Washington D.C., Mar 28, 2012 / 03:08 am
A federal judge sparked criticism after he ruled unconstitutional the government's accommodation of pro-life beliefs in an anti-human trafficking contract with the U.S. bishops.
“The bishops are disappointed and probably will appeal. This is another assault on the free exercise clause of the First Amendment,” Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops' conference, told CNA March 27.
The bishops' contract proposal for a major five-year grant was approved in 2006 under the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act. The proposal contained language ensuring that its victim services are not used to “refer or fund activities that would be contrary to our moral convictions and religious beliefs.”
It stated that subcontractors could not provide or refer for abortion services or contraceptive materials for its clients.