Catholic Campaign for Human Development Still Under Fire for Abortion Ties

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Campaign for Human Development Still Under Fire for Abortion Ties

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 23
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Despite efforts to respond to some of the problems pro-life advocates have brought up, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is still coming under fire for supporting groups with ties to promoting abortion.

Catholic writer Deal Hudson writes in a new column at for some of the CCHD watchdogs.

The anti-poverty program run by the USCCB received criticism as early as October 2009 for funding groups who were explicitly supporting abortion.

"After its internal investigation, the CCHD claimed there were problems with only five groups out of the 51 listed as problematic by the Reform CCHD Now coalition. These five groups were subsequently de-funded," Hudson noted today. "However, new evidence has emerged that adds 16 new groups to the 51 originally listed as problematic."

"The 2010 CCHD list of grantees has yet to be released, so we have to wait to learn how many of the problematic groups were funded once again," Hudson continued.

Hudson says one of the big problems has been participation in an event titled U.S. Social Forum 2010 that was held in Detroit in late June.

Dozens of People’s Movement Assemblies (PMAs) from across the country attended the Forum, "to set a national action agenda," Hudson notes, and 21 CCHD grantees also attended the event.

"Unfortunately, the program attended by these groups supported by the donations of U.S. Catholics contains numerous workshops promoting abortion," Hudson writes. "Is there any reason not to conclude these are elements of the "national action agenda" being defined at the Forum?"

Some of the workshop titles at the event included "Reproductive Justice 101: Creative Vision, Innovative Strategies, and Powerful Networks," "Maintaining abortion as a reproductive right for low-income women," and "Reproductive Justice in the Age of Obama."

Hudson says one of the criticisms leveled against those pointing out the CCHD grant problems is that it was alleging "guilt by association."

"But that misses the point completely," Hudson writes today. "The presence of 21 CCHD grantees at U.S. Social Forum isn’t problematic because grantees are keeping company with the wrong people, but because they’re actively participating in a forum designed "to set a national action agenda." Looking at the program, it’s safe to assume that the agenda includes the right to abortion."

"Those participating in the forum can hardly claim they were innocent bystanders; that wouldn’t pass the smell test. The stated purpose of the U.S. Social Forum was to stress the importance of working on a unified front. Thus, the evidence from the forum itself suggests not so much guilt by association as guilt by participation," he continued.

"At the very least, this latest incident proves the CCHD problem did not end with the 5 de-funded groups," Hudson said. "Just how many of the remaining 62 problematic groups will be on the 2010 list of CCHD grants is an open question."

Hudson is also concerned about the timing of the new public list of grant recipients.

The CCHD is waiting until the end of September to release the new list, when it is normally released at the end of August.

"Why? Is the CCHD holding the list so that it can’t be properly examined before the bishops decide the program’s fate? Taking a month away from that examination process prior to the bishops’ meeting in November will not help rebuild public trust," Hudson concludes. "After all the controversy surrounding the CCHD last year, you’d think there would be more due diligence and transparency in selecting grantees. Instead, we get less."


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