The American Civil Liberties Union is attempting to force Catholic Charities and other faith-based organizations who provide care for illegal alien minors to proclaim to their female population that they have a “right” to an abortion.
The ACLU is seeking to compel this speech under the auspices of providing “notice” to the members of the certified class action in Garza v. Hargan.
This case made headlines in October of 2017 when the ACLU sued the federal government attempting to force the Office of Refugee Resettlement to release unadmitted illegal alien minors to obtain abortions. The ORR refused to facilitate abortions for minors within their care and maintained that it did not create a substantial burden under Supreme Court abortion jurisprudence because the minor could voluntarily return to her own country of origin or seek release to a sponsor.
The ACLU responded by stressing that it did not want the government’s assistance, but wanted the ORR to allow others to transport the girl to an abortion clinic, pay for her abortion, and then return her to federal custody.
That argument convinced a federal district court judge to order the government to release the plaintiff and the court heard the case “en banc,” which means all active members of the court participated in the case. Before the DOJ could appeal, the plaintiff had her abortion and the government asked the Supreme Court to vacate the circuit court’s decision. That petition is still pending.
In the meantime, the ACLU has added three more plaintiffs: Jane Moe, Jane Poe and Jane Roe. The district court directed the ORR to release one of the girls for an abortion and the ORR released a second girl to a sponsor. The third girl was released on her own recognizance, after the government discovered she was, in fact, not a minor.
The ACLU also sought certification of a class action lawsuit with the class made up of all pregnant unaccompanied minors held in government shelters. On March 30, 2017, Tanya Chutkin, a federal judge, certified the ACLU’s requested class and entered a preliminary injunction against the ORR, effectively requiring the federal government to facilitate abortions.
Following Judge Chutkan’s decision, the DOJ filed a motion to stay the ruling pending appeal, and quickly appealed to the D.C. Circuit. The ACLU opposed the motion for a stay and filed a motion for “notice of the class.” In this motion the ACLU asked the court to “require ORR-funded shelters to orally … as part of the orientation for new unaccompanied minors,” inform girls that if they are pregnant they “have the right to decide whether to have the baby or to have an abortion.”
Additionally, the ACLU wants to force the ORR-funded shelters to post the notice in English and Spanish and to distribute a separate copy to the girls during orientation.
The ACLU seeks to subject all ORR-funded shelters to the court-ordered mandate, including those with religious or moral objections to abortions, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
How do you think this relates to an organization’s religious liberties?
Credit: The Federalist