Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Catholic Group May Sue Over Loss of Grant For Serving Trafficking Victims

The Washington Post reported Monday that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops may sue the Department of Health and Human Services over the its refusal to renew a grant to the USCCB for it to provide services for victims of human trafficking. Instead the grant money will be shared by 3 other non-profit groups.  Apparently career staff at HHS's Office of Migration and Refugee Services recommended that the grant which USCCB has held since 2006 be awarded to it again, on the basis of scores assigned by an independent review board. However senior political appointees reportedly overruled them because USCCB will not refer victims of trafficking for contraceptive or abortion services.  The Catholic group did allow subcontractors to refer women for these services, but would not reimburse the subcontractors with federal grant funds. The ACLU sued over USCCB's practices in 2009. USCCB Media Blog earlier this month accused HHS of having an "ABC Rule", i.e. "Anybody But Catholics."