updated 1/12/2009 3:37:44 PM ET 2009-01-12T20:37:44

A new lawsuit claims Catholic bishops are wrongly imposing their beliefs on victims of human trafficking by not letting federal grant money be used for emergency contraception, condoms or abortions.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the complaint Monday in federal court in Boston against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It claims HHS, which distributes grant money to help trafficking victims, has allowed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to limit the services its subcontractors provide to female trafficking victims.

The ACLU says the bishops' conference is misusing taxpayer money and attempting to impose its religious beliefs on trafficking victims.

A spokeswoman for the conference did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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