by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Bush administration sent a letter to Congress yesterday indicating that the president would oppose a bill that funds the AIDS relief program unless Congress removes funding for pro-abortion groups. Leading pro-life organizations have joined President Bush in saying they will work to defeat the bill if it’s not amended.
While he appreciates that Congress is working towards reauthorizing the President’s Emergency plan for AIDS Relief, the Bush administration said it was concerned by changes Democrats made to it.
The State Department said the president "opposes the draft in its current form" and would like to work with members of Congress to fix the problems.
The letter touched on the concerns pro-life groups have that pro-abortion groups will become eligible for funding because the reauthorization bill talks about "reproductive health" and "family planning" — code words international groups use to refer to abortion.
"We are deeply concerned that the draft repeatedly invokes ‘reproductive health’ and ‘family planning,’ and requires linkages, referrals on reporting training, support, and direct funding for these activities," the administration said.
The statement said those terms are not needed "and should be struck from the bill."
The letter also said the terms are wrongly used to potentially promote abortion as a means of preventing the mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus.
"Such language does not appear in the current law and wrongly suggests it is necessary to prevent children from being born in order to prevent them from being born with HIV," the Bush administration said.
The letter also outlined the Bush administration’s concerns that abstinence education would be targeted under the revised bill and that more money would be sent to the Global Fund. Pro-life groups charge the Global Fund with giving money to groups promoting the coercive one-child forced abortion policy in China.
The policy letter asks members of Congress to fix those issues.
As LifeNews.com previously reported, pro-life groups anticipate a vote late next week in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the bill and possible amendments.
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.