Up to 80 percent of immigrant women and girls from Central America are raped during their journey to the U.S.
That number was reported by Fusion.net in 2014 after interviewing directors of immigrant shelters.
The rapes are committed by gangs, smugglers, corrupt government figures and by other immigrants. Sex is often the price that is demanded by the smugglers who guide the girls and women illegally into the U.S.
Rape is so common that some females take contraceptives before they begin their journey.
Many of the immigrants who entered the U.S. last year were minors. These young people were often placed into group homes that are run by religious organizations, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The USCCB, National Association of Evangelicals, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services and World Relief recently sent a letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement objecting to the Interim Final Rule on Unaccompanied Children that requires faith-based organizations to refer girls to federal authorities who can provide emergency contraception and other care that the minor females may need after being sexually assaulted.
ThinkProgress.org reports that the religious groups don't want to provide information, facilitate, refer or arrange "for items or procedures to which they have a religious or moral objection."
The religious groups claim that they should not lose their federal funding (millions of dollars) because they refuse to refer pregnant immigrant girls to sources of emergency contraception or abortion.
The faith-based organizations cite the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which doesn't allow the government to substantially burden the exercise of religion.