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New PEPFAR Draft Undermines Family Values

Changes Would Fund Abortionists and Pro-Prostitution Groups

Press Conference to be held Feb. 7 with Congressmen, CWA and HIV/AIDS relief activists

Contact: Natalie Bell, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126


WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- The House Committee on Foreign Relations is scheduled on Thursday, February 14, to review the renewal of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  While Concerned Women for America (CWA) supports the bipartisan efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS, a draft by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-California) would radically alter PEPFAR and reduce its effectiveness.


"Abstinence education, which has proven effective in target countries in reducing HIV/AIDS, would be removed.  Providers of HIV/AIDS preventive services would be required to refer for family planning services, which may include abortion, thus cutting faith-based groups from participation.  This would force American taxpayers to fund groups that commit abortions overseas," stated Wendy Wright, President of CWA.


"The U.S. already spends about $430 million each year on international family planning. This change in PEPFAR is a greedy attempt by family planning groups to steer money from effective HIV/AIDS programs into their own coffers.  Faith-based groups, which provide the bulk of healthcare in Africa and are the most trusted health providers, would be shut out," said Wright.


Rep. Lantos' bill also strips the court-approved requirement that PEPFAR funding not go to groups that support prostitution, which contributes to trafficking.  As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said, "It would make little sense for the government to provide billions of dollars to encourage reduction of HIV/AIDS behavioral risks, including prostitution and sex trafficking, and yet to engage as partners in this effort organizations that are neutral toward or even actively promote the same practices sought to be eradicated.  The effectiveness of the government's viewpoint-based program would be substantially undermined, and the government's message confused, if the organizations hired to implement the program by providing HIV/AIDS programs and services to the public could advance an opposite viewpoint in their privately-funded operations." 


Wendy Wright will join Congressmen Chris Smith (R-New Jersey), Mike Pence (R-Indiana), Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania) and HIV/AIDS relief activists for a press conference on the Cannon Terrace at 11:30 a.m. on February 7.


CWA sent letters to Congressmen and President Bush urging them to support family friendly amendments and to oppose provisions that undermine PEPFAR's effectiveness.


Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.