The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in what some see as an effort to force religious groups to provide abortions to illegal immigrants. The ACLU reportedly wants unaccompanied illegal immigrant children in the care of Catholic charities to have access to abortions and birth control.
ACLU lawsuit details also indicate that the group is seeking to obtain access to the records pertaining to the federal government’s “reproductive healthcare policy” for unaccompanied illegal immigrant children being cared for by Catholic charities.
The federal government contracts with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to provide care for unaccompanied illegal immigrant children until the minor is either reunited with a relative or attends a deportation hearing. The Catholic charities agency has reportedly received approximately $73 million in taxpayer funds, with $10 million earmarked for illegal immigrant children care in 2013 alone.
“We have heard reports that Catholic bishops are prohibiting Catholic charities from allowing teens in their care to access critical services like contraception and abortion – even if the teenager has been raped on her journey to the United States or in a detention facility,” ACLU attorney Brigitte Amiri said. The American Civil Liberties Union lawyer also claims that “up to 80 percent” of the illegal immigrant minors were sexual assault victims.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, approximately 60,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant children crossed into the United States from the Mexican border in 2014. The ACLU claims that almost one-third of the unaccompanied minors were girls and teenage girls.
A letter from the USCCB Catholic charity reportedly shows the group “strongly objecting” to an Obama administration proposal mandating that illegal immigrant children care contractors offer abortions to those who claim to have been raped.
“The Catholic Bishops are taking millions of dollars in federal grants- and then imposing their beliefs on this vulnerable population who they are supposed to serve, Amiri also said. “And that raises serious concerns under the separation of church and state provision in our Constitution.”
Catholic bishops are standing their ground and maintain that the charity agency it within its rights to exercise religious freedom when providing services to illegal immigrant children.
“For decades, we have provided exemplary services to this vulnerable population without facilitating abortions, and despite ACLU’s extreme assertions to the contrary, the law not only permits our doing so, but protects it,” USCCB’s Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs Director, Kevin Appleby, said.
Director Appleby also said that a request from an illegal immigrant child for care that is “contrary to the beliefs” of the Catholic church, is rare. In such instances, Appleby said his group informs the federal government of the girl’s request.
Apppleby expanded upon his thoughts about the ACLU lawsuit during an interview with Fox News.
“Let’s be clear about the ACLU’s purpose here: ending the productive and successful partnership between the Catholic Church and the federal government on the care and shelter of vulnerable populations. Denying us the freedom to serve betrays the very children the ACLU is purportedly attempting to help.”
What do you think about the ACLU lawsuit filed against the federal government in an effort to garner access to the health records of illegal immigrant children in the care of Catholic charities?
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