NY Daily News: Can’t we put aside politics to help people?


Would have missed this editorial in the New York Daily News, if not for the invaluable New Advent:

Modern-day slaves, hostage to abortion: Set aside politics to help Catholic groups that fight human trafficking

Some problems are more important than politics. Human trafficking should be one of them. As Secretary of State Clinton has said, “If this issue doesn’t demand zealous advocacy, it’s hard to figure out what does.”

In fact, just this week, a new State Department report estimates that some 21 million people around the world are victimized by the horrific practice. [. . .]

All the more surprising, then, that the Obama administration has blocked funding to a highly effective service provider to trafficking victims just because it does not provide abortion-related services.

For years, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ well-regarded office of Migration and Refugee Services has helped lead the charge against human trafficking. The global reach of the Catholic Church makes MRS well positioned to serve victims of this international affliction. Through its top-rated Anti-Trafficking Services Program, MRS has helped human-trafficking victims from some 64 countries, providing immediate assistance wherever they’re suffering.

Yet the administration placed abortion politics ahead of this important work. In May 2011, the federal Department of Health and Human Services decided its human trafficking grant-making process would prioritize those who would provide “family planning services and the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care.”

Translation: Unless you offer abortion and contraception, you’re not welcome. Meaning the Catholic service provider — whose model program has received some $15 million in federal funds since 2006 — did not receive any of the $4.5 million in HHS funding for trafficking victims this year.

The result? More trafficking victims will suffer. According to the Polaris Project, which operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, those victims live in all 50 states and Washington , and are often the most vulnerable among us, including runaways, undocumented immigrants and the homeless.

Catholics who seek to serve these vulnerable groups are answering the gospel call to welcome everyone and to treat all with dignity. These same beliefs also root the Catholic view that we should protect life at every stage.

Some contend that Catholics are simply trying to impose their beliefs regarding abortion and contraception on others. Those who make this argument particularly ignore the context here: When abortion or contraception is provided to trafficking victims who remain under the control of those who exploit them, it’s the trafficker who benefits, continuing to exploit his victim without interruption.

Read the whole excellent thing. Pass it around — particularly during the next two weeks!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    Oh those poor girls. My heart goes out to them. I have donated to Catholic charities to stop human trafficing. I don’t have the organization’s name handy or I would pass it on. What human beings do to each other is appalling. I’m proud that the Catholic Church has taken this on.

    The only thing I take offense in that article is the suggestion that it’s capitalism that has brought back prostitution. First of all, China is not really a free market capitalist country, but a command driven economy, commanded by communists. Enforcement of laws or lack there-of has nothing to do with capitalism or any economic system.

  • deacon john m. bresnahan

    Unforunately the Obama re-election campaign has decided (since it has made the recession worse instead of ending it) to do everything possible to convince the American people that a “Do Nothing Republican Congress” is behind everything that doesn’t get done. The mainstream media is, of course, only too willing to be the propaganda arm of the Obama re-election campaign and blame Republicans for the partisanship that has frozen getting anything done.
    But Congress is NOT controlled by the Republicans–only the House. The Democrats control the Senate and it refuses to take up and debate and vote on bills already passed by the House—And the media does its dirty work convincing the American people that the logjam is caused by the Republicans–not by Dem Reid’s Senate.

  • Tonestaple

    He who pays the piper calls the tune. It’s always worked that way. It was a mistake for this organization to take money from the federal government in the first place because they doubtless got used to funding on that scale and now feel helpless without it.

    He who pays the piper always, always, always calls the tune, and it’s usually a tune to no one’s liking.

  • Hantchu

    Yeeargh! I can’t figure out how to put this comment under the Chiara Corabello story, so you’ll have to excuse me.

    Margaret, your explanation regarding the double-effect issue makes sense. This, at least, makes the logic coherent to me. Traditional Judaism has a concept of “being machmir”, where a devotee chooses to observe beyond the letter of the law (while not violating any other principle thereof) as a means of showing love of G-d through elevating and being especially careful to a given area of worship or observance. A group or individual “chassid” may strive to achieve spiritual elevation by being strict en matters pertaining to,say, truth, to laws of correct speech, personal modesty, etc. I had always interpreted the Catholic view as developing their “chassidus”, or devotion, as “being machmir” on the definition of life.

    A mother *choosing* strict regard for the life of the fetus where that would involve disregarding her own, would then not be an act of “chassidus”, because it would mean violating that principle in another sphere. This, I assume, is what Margaret refers to as the problem of “double effect”. Since a level of religious-legal conflict appears to exist in the Catholic paradigm, at least I can see the thread of logic here, if not agree with it.

    I will continue to consider my Catholic brethren as “Chassidim who are “machmir” on the issue of human life.

    [Sorry, Hantchu; I have had to set comments to close on each post after 24 hours, because all the moderation -- I couldn't keep up! admin]

  • doc

    The Democrats’ fanatical commitment to abortion is truly disgusting. The refusal of Catholic leadership to clearly link abortion to Democrats is cowardly. The Democrats own abortion. It’s just a fact. We have the ability to end this political support, you know. The Dems just have to lose badly a couple of times in a row and know they lost Catholics because of abortion. That would pull the rug out from under the entire abortion industry, ending their political protection and moral authority.