A Catholic group lost a bid to continue providing assistance to victims of human trafficking for what it says may be the Obama Administration’s support for abortion rights.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was awarded a five- year contract that paid it $19 million to coordinate the services during the administration of President George W. Bush.
The contract was extended briefly in March, and the group said it was informed recently that its grant request to continue the work was turned down. Starting today, three other non-profit groups will provide case-management services for victims such as helping them obtain food, clothing and access to medical care.
“We hope our religious beliefs didn’t come into play,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Bishops in an interview. “Abortion politics will not find homes for minors being sold into sex slavery.”
The organization, which does not refer clients for abortions or provide contraceptives, has helped more than 2,700 victims of human trafficking since the group was awarded the contract in 2006, Walsh said. She said group leaders told her they don’t know why they didn’t receive a grant.