A new set of rules soon to be issued by the Obama administration would require faith-based charities to provide abortions to child refugees entering the U.S. without their parents.
Organizations working to help resettle the children contend the rules are a violation of the conscience rights of faith-based groups and a contravention of the rights of parents.
The rules would require charitable organizations, including faith-based groups that help resettle refugee children, to make referrals for emergency contraception or to partner with groups that provide abortions. The groups also have the option of notifying the federal government, which would then make arrangements for abortions.
Failure to follow the rules means the groups would no longer be eligible for federal aid. They must comply no later than June 24.
The new rules are being fast-tracked in what some are calling elusive methods.
The Center for Family and Human Rights, or C-Fam, notes the public has until Monday to comment on the new rules, which were issued on Christmas Eve.
“The administration says it would be ‘contrary to the public interest’ to wait ‘until a public notice and comment process is complete,'” writes Dr. Susan Yoshihara. “The administration also asserts that no congressional review is required and that there is no issue with federalism or any impact on families in the new guidance.”
Kristi Burton Brown at Live Action News said the rules have been purposely fast-tracked to avoid sustained public objection.
The new regulations are collectively titled, “Implementation of the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.”
“That’s not exactly a title that would advise the average citizen that Christian organizations will be forced to participate in abortions or lose their federal funding,” Brown writes.
The Obama administration asserts that no congressional review is required and that there is no issue with federalism or any impact on families in the new guidance.
However, Brown wrote, “It’s likely that a number of Christian relief organizations that work with child refugees will rightly refuse to comply. When they do this, they will lose their federal funding, and this will diminish their potential to serve vulnerable, innocent children who come to this country with great needs.”
In addition to providing abortion services, the rules “requires all care provider facility staff who may have contact with UCs [unaccompanied children] to receive training on, among other things, cultural sensitivity and effectively communicating with UCs who are LGBTQI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or intersex].”
The document defines gender as “the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex.” Gender identity is defined as “one’s sense of oneself as male, female, or transgender.” Gender nonconforming means “a person whose appearance or manner does not conform to traditional societal gender expectations.”
The rules require “care provider facilities to train youth care worker staff in the proper procedure for conducting pat-down searches, including cross-gender pat-down searches as well as searches of transgender and intersex UCs in a professional and respectful manner.”
To help care workers identify a child’s sex, the rules advise, “There are a number of indicators of biological sex, including sex chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia.”
Although several human rights instruments require nations to protect children against predatory adults, a 2013 UNICEF report claims children as young as 10 have the “right” to confidential sex services.
C-Fam reports, “In 2009 the committee that monitors the Children’s treaty began interpreting it such that children must have access ‘without parental consent’ to ‘reproductive health education or services,’ a term often used by U.N. staff to include abortion.”
Public commentary can be submitted at a link provided by the government. Deadline for public input is Monday at 11:59 p.m. EST.