Catholic Charities of the East Bay (CCEB) in California is remaining firm in its conviction against referring teenage victims of sex trafficking for contraception and abortions at a new facility, while emphasizing that medical care is not the new facility’s primary mission.
“We are not licensed to provide medical services,” said Mary Kuhn, spokesperson for CCEB. “We provide therapeutic services, shelter, case manage, and make sure the girls are getting either homeschooling or the right school, all of that…We’re not involved in their medical decisions.”
Catholic Charities is planning to open a home for teenage victims of sex trafficking, but has faced opposition from neighbors and critics who oppose the Church’s teaching on contraception and abortion.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the planned home will house up to 12 teenage sex-trafficking victims, ages 12 to 17, in Sequoyah, a forested neighborhood of the eastern Oakland hills. The facility, a former rectory, is still awaiting state approval to begin operations.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley had approached the diocese with an initiative to tackle human trafficking in the area. The new facility will be named “Claire’s House,” after O’Malley’s mother.
The young people that the house will be serving will primarily be referred to the house by the county social services agency, and will be children that are already in the foster care system.
In alignment with Catholic teaching on the immorality of artificial contraception and abortion, the facility will not make appointments for clients at clinics that provide contraception or abortion and will also not provide transportation to those facilities.
Instead, the home will post a sign in a common area that explains the teens’ medical options. It will be up to the teens’ parents or guardians to arrange for abortion or contraception if they so choose.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.