Wednesday, March 30, 2016

FOIA Request Aimed At Human Trafficking Grant To Catholic Bishops

The ACLU earlier this month filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking the release of records related to the federal government’s award of Trafficking Victim Protection Act funds to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  According to the complaint (full text) in ACLU v. Administration for Children and Families, (SD NY, filed 3/17/2016), in 2009 the ACLU filed a lawsuit claiming that the federal government violated the Establishment Clause by allowing USCCB under a 2006 grant to enter subcontracts with religiously-based reproductive health care restrictions in them.  Those subcontracts barred subcontracting agencies from furnishing abortion and contraception services or referrals to trafficking victims. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed as moot because the government was no longer contracting with USCCB.  However in 2015 USCCB received a new grant, and the ACLU is now seeking documents to determine whether religiously-based restrictions are again being imposed. LifeSite News yesterday reported on the lawsuit.