To the editor:
The initiative by the Diocese of Rochester to tackle the human rights scourge of sex trafficking is commendable. However to invite Planned Parenthood to the table as an equal partner with Feminists For Life, religious communities, and Rochester Area Right to Life, to name a few, defies understanding.
The Catholic commitment to prevent and combat human trafficking needs to be based on the mandate to protect, preserve and promote human dignity which is at the heart of Catholic social teaching. Any approach to diminish this modern day slavery must avoid the risk of any further exploitation of victims.
How then with Planned Parenthood’s record of exploiting the uninformed with abortion solutions could the Public Policy Committee include them in a partnership that requires a basic recognition of the dignity of the human person? There is a sweeping initiate both on the state and federal level to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Locally we are negating any opportunity to build on this momentum by providing them a grandstand position. The Catholic arm of the U.S. Bishops, that has helped victims of trafficking, has now been denied funding from the Department of Health and Human Services on the pretext of religious discrimination. This decision was based on the refusal of bishops to refer pregnant sex trafficking victims for abortions.
The Diocese of Rochester does not need the collaboration of Planned Parenthood to advocate for victims of the "sex industry". What we need is prophetic leadership as it relates to abortion in this diocese.
Colleen Kelly Spellecy