ACLU complains of bias in Catholic antitrafficking programs funded by U.S.

Restrictions on contraceptives and abortion referrals
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the federal government, charging that it allows the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to use taxpayer dollars to impose its religious doctrines on victims of human trafficking.

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded the bishops’ conference $6 million in grants from 2006 to 2008 to aid victims of human trafficking, many of whom are female prostitutes, according to the ACLU.

In keeping with Catholic teaching, the bishops require subcontractors to pledge not to use the grant money to pay for contraceptives or abortion referrals.

“Everything we do has to be consistent with our beliefs,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokesperson for the Washington-based U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We do all these social services, and we do it better than anyone else.”


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