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Why the ACLU Is Suing the Government over Grants to Catholic Charities


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sued the federal government over its contracts with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other Catholic agencies. The ACLU claims the First Amendment’s establishment clause has been violated because the USCCB groups do not provide contraception and abortion.

According to the lawsuit, the government is required to provide unaccompanied immigrant minors with basic necessities. Because it funds groups that do not offer abortions, however, the ACLU claims the government is not fulfilling its responsibility to female minors.

In fact, the group asserts that the federal government has violated the separation of church and state because its grants to Catholic charities have supposedly authorized them “to impose religiously based restrictions on young women’s access to reproductive health care.”

“Our taxpayer dollars should not be used to authorize organizations to violate the law and impose their religious beliefs on these young women and deny them care they desperately need,” said ACLU senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri in a press release.

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