Bishops’ Policy for Immigrant Teenagers: Sorry You Were Raped, but We Won’t Help You

This piece originally appeared at The Washington Post's PostEverything

Indiana isn’t the only place where people want to use their religious beliefs to discriminate against others. Currently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops receives millions of dollars from the federal government to provide care to the surge of children and teenagers who have crossed the U.S. border alone, often fleeing torture and abuse in their home countries. These are some of the most vulnerable people in the United States, and their journeys are often terrifying, particularly for girls and women, up to 80 percent of whom are sexually assaulted. Nevertheless, the bishops refuse to provide teens with critical reproductive health care — such as emergency contraception and abortion — as required by U.S. law.

The Catholic organization insists that laws protecting religious freedom mean that the government must continue to award it millions of dollars in contracts — $73 million overall and $10 million to care for unaccompanied minors in 2013 alone — even though it says it won’t provide all the services stipulated in the contract and required by law.

That’s a big problem. Today, my team at the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to uncover how the bishops’ policy is working. Six months ago, we asked the government to share documents about how often religious organizations refuse to provide reproductive care — and what measures teen refugees and immigrants are forced to take to get that care. The government has not answered that request and repeated inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act. We’re suing for this important information because when you contract with the government, the public has a right to know if you’re not following the rules.

To finish reading, please click here

Add a comment (8)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

Clearly this Catholic organization is not providing abortions and birth control. This is discrimination only in that they deny it to everyone who wants it. What is unclear, at best, is if they are even breaking a law.

ACLU's own article from ten days ago seems to indicate they are not currently breaking any laws:

"Recently, the federal government released PROPOSED REGULATIONS requiring federal contractors who care for unaccompanied minors to provide access to contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion if a teen has been raped. In response, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the groups that received a government-funded contract to provide care to these teens, said any requirement that they provide information about contraception or abortion, even a referral or the arrangement for such services, WOULD violate their religious freedom."

https://www.aclu.org/news/religious-organizations-obstruct-reproductive-...

The ACLU saying we should change the law is one thing. Saying someone is breaking a law, when that law doesn't even exist, is something else entirely. The ACLU should not be doing this.

Anonymous

Proud to see the ACLU supporting killing babies.

Seriously

So the vision after reading the article is this. I can see millions of immigrants surging into Catholic churches and being welcomed. Being fed, given a bed and taken care of. Also being denied the ability to murder a baby and told not to have sex. The other vision that is wanted by the ACLU is that of millions of immigrants surging into the USA and having nowhere to go, no food, no bed and somehow being given the option of killing any unborn babies that are not wanted. Well let's all celebrate that with some condom balloons that will be handed out after we vacuum the unborn childs brain into the garbage.
Gladly rid the earth of one to save many. It will come your way.

Anonymous

Thank you for your insightful comment. I've noticed that the least generous people are liberals.

Anonymous

I can't believe an evil woman like Brigitte Amiri can be part of an organization that claims to be looking out for the welfare of the citizens of the United States.

It's no secret that the Catholic Church is one of the leading organizations in the world for helping those in need whether it be funded within it's own membership or by Federal assisted funds. It's also no secret that the Catholic Church believes that abortion is the murder of innocent unborn children, and will not take part in any process that includes abortion.

So why is it so difficult for Ms Amiri to understand the greater good that the USCCB provides? You should leave them alone before they step aside and let some less able and less organized agency take over?? Then let's see what good comes of this situation then.

Anonymous

Abortion is legal in mexico only when the woman's life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest.

Problem solved.

Anonymous

Did you know that you can actually watch a video of a late term abortion being performed? Google it.
Beyond sad that any person would elevate a worman's "right to choose" over another human being's life.

Anonymous

Wow, the 'have the baby at any cost' trolls came out for this one! I wonder how many of them want to pay for the unwanted child's care and education? I think if you want to force women to have the baby then YOU pay for all of it. In the case of a child born from rape, you can pay for the psychological care of the mother as well.

Sign Up for Breaking News