Aids funding renewal bill contains major flaws

Lantos draft bill favors abortion providers

Washington, D.C. – Next week the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs will consider the renewal of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  Initially debuted by President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union Address and authorized by Congress in May of that year, PEPFAR provides essential funding ($10 billion worth) for reducing the transmission and devastation of HIV/AIDS in those countries most affected.

However, the bill drafted by Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) to renew PEPFAR removes several critical pro-life, pro-family provisions critical to the success of PEPFAR.  Please click on the link below to encourage your representative to use his/her influence to see that these provisions are reinstated.

Following are the reasons why this bill must not be passed as drafted:

  • The bill undermines the abstinence prevention programs of PEPFAR by removing the provision that requires that a third of prevention funds be spent for “abstinence-until-marriage” and “be-faithful” programs.  Since 2006 PEPFAR has supported abstinence and faithfulness activities to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV, reaching over 40 million people with that message.  The draft bill would virtually eliminate these prevention programs.
  • The draft bill removes the current requirement that recipients of PEPFAR funds certify their opposition to sex-trafficking and prostitution.  Such removal essentially puts our government’s stamp of approval on prostitution and trafficking, while encouraging risky behavior that feeds the transmission of HIV.
  • The Lantos draft bill contains no safeguards to prevent faith-based organizations from being discriminated against because they do not provide “family planning” services, a term which often equates to providing abortion services.
  • The bill increases funding for the Global Fund from $1 billion to $2 billion per year without any transparency requirements.  There is strong evidence to suggest that the Global Fund already has funded abortion groups in China – groups participating in China’s coercive abortion program to implement their one-child policy.

Please click on the link below to urge your representative to preserve the integrity of PEPFAR by supporting amendments that prevent the funding of abortion and that protect the program’s effective pro-abstinence and anti-prostitution requirements.

Have time to do more?  Call members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to urge them to create and support those amendments.  For contact information, click here.