When an agency of the bishops’ conference was awarded a five-year grant in 2006 to fight human trafficking, the proposal explicitly said that no funds would be spent on “activities that would be contrary to our moral convictions and religious beliefs.” At the end of last year, when the bishops sought to renew their grant, their proposal was awarded a score of 89 by an independent review board at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It was subsequently denied and two other organizations with scores of 69 and 74 were given a grant. Yet none of this was mentioned in a recent New York Times editorial.

The Times sided with a judge who ruled in March that the old contract was unconstitutional because it allowed the bishops “to impose religiously based restrictions on the expenditure of taxpayer funds.”

One of the persons who established the HHS program recently said that none of the organizations that initially sought funding wanted to provide for abortion. He said the program was founded with the understanding that it was “totally inappropriate” to see abortion as a remedy to women in need.

At work was the Times’ insatiable appetite for abortion rights, and its hostility to religious liberty. The “right” to abortion was invented. Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment.

In saying that the contract was not renewed because the bishops were “unwilling to meet the needs of trafficking victims,” the Times insults the bishops and women. Killing the child of an exploited woman is not meeting her needs—it exploits her even further.

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