Washington D.C., Oct 13, 2011 / 18:06 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Obama administration has cut funding for the U.S. bishops' campaign against human trafficking, which had been challenged by the ACLU for avoiding contraception and abortion.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said there was “no reason given” by the Department of Health and Human Services, for rejecting the conference's application for a new grant at the end of September.
She said the bishops' Migration and Refugee Services work had previously been “well regarded.”
However, in a Sept. 29 letter to the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan had warned that the administration was “requiring that Migration and Refugee Services provide the 'full range of reproductive services' to trafficking victims and unaccompanied minors in its cooperative agreements and government contracts.”
The U.S. bishops' conference president indicated that the “full range of reproductive services” was a veiled reference to contraception and abortion. He stated that this new federal requirement followed “exactly the position urged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the ongoing lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of MRS’s contracts.”