by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Members of Congress have recessed this week to mark Presidents’ Day, but one of the first votes on the docket when they return is an intense debate on whether to open international AIDS/HIV funding to pro-abortion groups. Pro-life organizations are asking for calls and emails urging a no vote.
Abortion advocates in Congress have changed the wording of the President’s Emergency plan for AIDS Relief to include funding for groups that engage in "reproductive health" and "family planning."
Those are code words international pro-abortion groups use to hide their performance of or support for abortions in other nations.
The Bush administration released a letter recently, along with the support of pro-life groups, saying American AIDS programs should not encourage poor women worldwide to have abortions as a means of combating AIDS.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List says her group will closely monitor the vote.
"Unfortunately the funds available through the PEPFAR program are not covered by the Mexico City Policy, and abortion advocates see this as an opportunity to advance their murderous agenda," she said.
"If abortion groups win this round, the PEPFAR program will be transformed from a successful HIV/AIDS relief effort into an abortion program," she explained.
When Congress goes back into session, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are expected to debate the subject on Thursday, February 28.
Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, is one of the many pro-life leaders urging an amendment to fix the problems.
"While President Bush is touring Africa and receiving nearly unanimous praise from African leaders on his AIDS program … the Democratic Leadership is taking PEPFAR, created to protect future generations in Africa, and trying to change it into a program that would instead help to eliminate those generations," he explained.
Pro-life advocates are also concerned that abstinence education would be targeted under the revised bill and that more money would be sent to the Global Fund. That’s a group that has been charged with giving money to groups promoting the coercive one-child forced abortion policy in China.
ACTION: Contact your member of Congress, especially if they serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and urge opposition to the PEPFAR bill unless changes are made to stop it from funding abortion. Visit https://www.House.gov or call 202-221-3121.