Public Policy Alert for Knights of Columbus in the U.S.


Congress considers transforming AIDS relief into a massive abortion program financed by U.S. taxpayers

ACTION:

A Congressional committee is about to take America’s overseas AIDS relief program and use it as a vehicle for population control and abortion promotion.  Knights are urged to write to their members of Congress (especially if they’re members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee) to oppose this change.  See additional details at the bottom of this e-mail alert.

BACKGROUND

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is due for reauthorization in 2008. In 2003 this bill was passed with bipartisan support and has a proven record of success in saving lives.

Last month, however, the House Foreign Affairs Committee proposed a reauthorization bill (the “Global HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008”) which would drop the program’s exclusive focus on HIV/AIDS, and define HIV/AIDS and pregnancy as a “dual threat” to women’s lives.

The $50 billion authorized by the bill would then be used for both AIDS relief and what are termed “women’s reproductive health services” and “family planning services.” Although the bill’s definition of “reproductive health” does not mention “abortion,” abortion advocates have long interpreted “reproductive health” and “family planning” to include abortion.  Women seeking solely HIV/AIDS treatment could unexpectedly find themselves subjected to abortion counseling.

MEXICO CITY POLICY

Currently, the Mexico City Policy provides that no U.S. population assistance funds can be given to non-governmental organizations unless they certify that it will not perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning.  But the Mexico City Policy does not apply to AIDS relief legislation.  The insertion of “reproductive health” and “family planning” in AIDS relief legislation is a ploy to redirect AIDS relief money to international abortion organizations, and represents an end run around the Mexico City Policy restrictions.  Foreign abortion groups that cannot currently obtain US funding for family planning would be able to do so under this AIDS relief legislation. 

CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES AFFECTED

Catholic health institutions deliver approximately 25% of all HIV and AIDS care worldwide, and this bill places Catholic participation in jeopardy. Men, women and children seeking treatment for HIV and AIDS by Catholic providers in the world’s poorest regions could lose their access to treatment.

On February 6, Bishop Thomas Wenski, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services, wrote to the Foreign Affairs Committee, welcoming the major increase in funding for AIDS relief, but said that they were “deeply troubled” by inclusion of ‘reproductive health’ and ‘family planning’ services . . .” 

That is why the National Right to Life Committee and many other organizations are asking that the legislation be changed, and we ask that you do, too.

Click here for the full text of Bishop Wenski’s letter and a fact sheet.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Contact members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by phone, FAX or e-mail.  This is especially important if your own representative in Congress is a member of the committee.  Click here for a list of committee members.

Even if your representative is not on the committee, it will also be helpful to contact your representative and your U.S. senators by mail, Fax, e-mail or phone.  Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121 or call your representative’s local office. 

MESSAGE:

“When you reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), please do NOT link the AIDS/HIV program to family planning and abortion.  PEPFAR should keep its bipartisan focus on saving human lives.  Those suffering from HIV/AIDS should not be sacrificed to the cause of abortion and population control.”

WHEN:

Due to the death of Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, markup of this legislation has been postponed until February 25.  Immediate action will ensure that your voice is heard before the committee action is taken.

Top Seven Acts of Christian Bashing in America of 2007


This is a list from the Christian News Wire; read the whole article here.

 

7.) Golden Compass, the Movie–Phillip Pullman’s atheistic answer to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series because destroying the church and killing God in the mind of every child is the best revenge. Why be damned alone when you can take a few million souls with you and get rich on the proceeds.

 

6.) John Edwards’s Campaign Bloggers who called Christian supporters of President Bush his “wing nut Christofascist base.” One asked, ‘What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit,’ to which she replied, ‘You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.’ They posed the thoughtful question of religious conservatives, “What don’t you lousy %#*@!+# understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds and our families?”

 

 5.) CNN’s “God’s Warriors” and “Friends of God”–Two biased, anti-Christian documentaries were produced and aired. One by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, “Friends of God” on HBO and the other by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “God’s Warriors.” At least they tried to act as if they wanted to be fair. Of course, they failed. Evangelicals are almost 100 million strong and very diverse but are reduced to clichéd caricatures or are portrayed as the moral equivalents of Islamic terrorists.  

 

4.) Attack on Jerry Falwell–CNN reached a new low when Anderson Cooper invited Christopher Hitchens, editor of Vanity Fair Magazine, on his show the day of Jerry Falwell’s death to make critical remarks about Falwell. Hitchens made the most reprehensible and offensive remarks one can imagine against a Christian minister, Jerry Falwell, even on the day of his death. Christopher Hitchens called Falwell “a little toad … a horrible little person…an evil old man…a conscious charlatan and bully and fraud…an actual danger to democracy, to culture, to civilization.”  

 

3.) Violence on San Francisco Church–In September, Christians in San Francisco spoke out against a blasphemous anti-Christian advertisement for the Folsom Street Fair, a perverted “fair” for the sadomasochistic, leather fetish community. The ad mimics the classic Christian painting of Christ at the Last Supper. In the ad, Christ and the 12 Disciples are portrayed as sexual deviants provocatively posed before a table of sex toys.

 

2.) Federal Hate Crimes Bill–The 2007 Federal Hate Crimes Bill which threatens religious liberties and lays the groundwork for “thought crime,” which has no place in American law and violates the concept of equal protection under the law. As has occurred in other nations, these laws pave the way for Christians to be silenced and even arrested because they believe that homosexual acts are sinful. It is totalitarian regimes which punish thoughts, not free societies. Thomas Jefferson declares that “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions.”

 

1.) Colorado Church Murders–“You Christians brought this on yourselves I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. … God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die. …” Posted by a troubled young man, Matthew Murray, ten hours after killing two at the Arvada missionary base and two hours before killing two at a Colorado Springs church. Churches used to be considered sanctuaries, but now they are targets for the hateful and the deranged. The CADC calls on every church to be prepared to use deadly force, if necessary, to protect their congregations.