Young women and girls who have illegally crossed the border, in many cases trafficked and abused, may soon find themselves without the tender and familiar help of the Catholic Church. The ACLU is suing the federal government, irate at the fact that Catholic charities will not provide abortions. This may lead to the end of the very successful partnership between the federal government and Catholic Church in the care of these poor people.

Just last year almost 90,000 children crossed the border and about one third of these were girls. The utter vulnerability of these children is hard to contemplate. They come from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, where life for the poor has become hellish due to the brutish violence of the drogos (drug gang members) who virtually run whole villages and townships with impunity. Desperate mothers and fathers think the perilous journey with a coyote is less risky than staying home where violence is almost sure to claim them.

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