by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life organizations are anticipating a battle in Congress next week over a bill that funds the AIDS relief program but opens the door to pro-abortion groups obtaining taxpayer funding under it. The groups are asking members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to approve an amendment closing the door or vote against the bill.
Rep. Tom Lantos, a pro-abortion California Democrat, is behind the legislation reauthorizing the President’s Emergency plan for AIDS Relief.
In a letter National Right to Life sent members of Congress yesterday that LifeNews.com obtained, the group says it "strongly opposes" the PEPFAR bill unless amendments are added to it that stop the abortion funding.
"The radical effect of the Lantos bill, if enacted, would be to turn what is a bipartisan program focused on combating HIV/AIDS into a massive taxpayer-financed funding stream for abortion providers and abortion-promoting organizations," NRLC said.
The Family Research Council joined in opposing the pro-abortion language found in the bill.
"It is essential to ensure that the resources are spent on evidence-based programs that have proven to be successful and that respect the pro-family, pro-life cultures of the countries in which they are implemented," the group said.
FRC also opposes the dropping of abstinence education programs under previous versions of the PEPFAR bill.
"In 2006, to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV, PEPFAR supported abstinence and faithfulness activities reaching over 40 million people," the group said. "These programs help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by reducing multiple partners and encouraging individuals to abstain from risky behavior until marriage. The draft bill would virtually erase these prevention programs."
Meanwhile, the bill increases funding for the Global Fund from $1 billion to $2 billion per year without any transparency requirements.
Pro-life groups say there is strong evidence suggesting the Global Fund has already funded abortion groups in China that have promoted the coercive one-child forced abortion policy there.
The markup of the bill had been planned for Thursday, but was postponed today until Thursday, February 14.
ACTION: Contact your member of Congress, especially if they serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and urge opposition to the Lantos bill unless changes are made to stop it from funding abortion. Visit https://www.House.gov or call 202-221-3121.