Patrick Craine

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‘Heads should roll’: Pro-life leaders react to U.S. Bishops agency’s funding of abortion giant PSI

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine
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BALTIMORE, Maryland, July 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life leaders are expressing outrage after LifeSiteNews.com revealed Thursday that the U.S. Bishops’ foreign relief agency is funding a leading abortion-marketing firm.

Catholic Relief Services is distributing a two-year $2.7 million grant to Population Services International (PSI), which networks and trains local providers throughout the developing world to offer “safe abortion.” 

"Somebody has to get fired over this,” said Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). “We fight groups like PSI all over the world and now we find our own church funds them. It's disgusting and for one I am bone-weary of these types of revelations. Heads should roll." 

Fr. Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, said he finds it “incomprehensible” that an organization like PSI was deemed worthy of Catholic funds. 

PSI’s “primary mission has always been to promote contraception, abortifacient drugs, condoms, and even surgical abortion,” he said. “Like many other population control groups in the mid-1990s, they started to rebrand their mission as being about 'health', using more positive language and adding malaria-prevention programs to their portfolio. But this should not confuse anyone as to their purpose.” 

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, said the news was “not surprising.” “Catholic Relief Services has historically been advocates, although not publicly – behind the scenes – advocates of population control in the Third World,” she charged. 

Brown’s point was echoed by Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, who said CRS implicates itself in population control by the very fact that it receives over two thirds of its funding from USAID. 

“CRS knows very well what the principal purpose of USAID is. And it tries to, in various ways, to massage that purpose, and avoid being implicated in the purpose of population control,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, they know who’s paying their salaries, and that’s why the money goes to CARE, that’s why the money goes to PSI, that’s why the money goes back and forth to other population control agencies, because that’s what their masters in the federal government demand of them.”

“This is not an agency of the institutional Catholic Church. This is a separate aid agency, which, because it receives two thirds of its funding from the U.S. government, is Catholic in name only,” he added. “No man can serve two masters.”

The grant

The $2.7 million grant to PSI is part of a Global Fund-backed project run by CRS in Guinea to combat malaria. The funds are disbursed over the two years of the project’s initial phase, from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013. 

When LifeSiteNews questioned CRS about the grant, they initially claimed PSI had merely acted as a vendor by selling them mosquito nets, but when presented with more information, the Catholic agency acknowledged that the abortion giant is taking a decidedly more active role. 

“To be clear, now that we have had more time to talk with staff involved in the project, the money did not go specifically to purchase the nets but rather to implement other parts of the grant which is focused on distributing 3 million nets and making sure they are properly used to save thousands of lives by preventing malaria,” Michael Hill, CRS’ Senior Writer, told LifeSiteNews on Thursday. 

PSI, he said, is leading the project’s mass media marketing campaign as well as “training and overseeing community health workers” and “community organizations.” 

Though the Catholic agency stressed that PSI’s role was restricted only to malaria prevention, concern over the grant is heightened by the fact that PSI describes its work on malaria as “deeply intertwined” with its “reproductive health” agenda. 

“Reproductive, maternal and child health and malaria are all deeply intertwined, affecting poor and vulnerable populations in rural areas together,” the organization wrote in a program description [link] for a USAID-funded project in Madagascar running from 2008-2013. “Success (or failure) in one area, such as malaria, can free up resources to focus on other areas, or drag down progress.” Integrating these programs, they add, “offer[s] many opportunities to reach target audiences.” 

As LifeSiteNews reported Thursday, PSI’s “reproductive health” agenda is heavily abortion-focused. On its own webpage, the firm explains that it “works to increase access to WHO-approved medical abortion drugs,” and mentions its provision of medical abortions in Cambodia and Nepal, noting that in Cambodia it launched the country’s “first safe medical abortion drug, known as Medabon.” 

The firm markets a “safe abort kit” in India as a part of a project that aimed to “facilitate … over 200,000 safe abortions using medical abortions” from 2008-2013 by focusing “both on the demand and supply side” of the medical abortion market. 

At a “maternal health” conference in Tanzania on January 16, 2013, a PSI employee delivered a talk titled “Creating the misoprostol market”. (See video here.) 

Numerous job ads are accessible online showing PSI seeking to fill various roles in its campaign for globally-accessible abortion. Among them is one seeking a candidate with “clinical proficiency [in] surgical and medication abortion.” 

For more evidence of PSI’s work in the abortion industry view Thursday’s LSN report.

CRS willing to go to ‘third level of hell’, just not the tenth

LifeSiteNews initially began investigating CRS’ relationship with PSI because the Catholic agency’s IRS filings for 2012 showed that they had given PSI a grant of $9,588 for “agriculture.” 

But it turns out that CRS has a history of working with PSI going back at least over a decade. A page on the website of the Centers for Disease Control describes a safe water initiative in Madagascar, with an implementation date of April 2000, that CRS partnered on with PSI and CARE. On PSI’s website, CRS is listed as a partner in Zambia, Haiti, and Guinea. According to PSI’s webpage on Guinea, CRS partnered with them on a measles vaccination program there during 2009. 

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CRS has defended similar grants in the past, such as its multi-million dollar annual donations to the pro-abortion group CARE, by arguing that the funds are given only for projects in line with Catholic teaching and are not fungible because of the way the grant agreements are established. 

But the Catholic agency has also said that it would never give a dime to Planned Parenthood. “We would never partner with Planned Parenthood,” communications director John Rivera told LifeSiteNews last year. “We’ve given this a lot of consideration, and there’s a threshold in terms of what the focus of an agency is, and the preponderance of their work.”

In Thursday’s report, Michael Hichborn, director of American Life League’s Defend the Faith Project, said that CRS, in funding PSI, “might as well be funding Planned Parenthood.”

Judie Brown, ALL’s president, slammed the funding policy. “If you read Dante, there’s the ten levels of hell,” she said. By the policy’s logic, she said, “CRS is willing to go to the first, second, and third level of hell. They’re just not willing to go to all the way to the tenth.”

“The underlying philosophical bent of all of those organizations is ridding the world of poor people,” she added. “It’s just that they’re pecking order of how they get that done is a little bit different. The underlying philosophy is exactly the same.” 

“CRS should not be collaborating with any of the population control agencies funded by USAID, which means all of the agencies that receive money for ‘family planning,’ ‘reproductive health,’ and ‘population stabilization,’” said Mosher. “They are not as well known as Planned Parenthood, obviously, but they are all cut from the same cloth.” 

John Smeaton, chief executive of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said CRS’s claims that their multi-million dollar grants to groups like CARE and PSI are not supporting their evil actions are utterly false. 

“Firstly, CARE and PSI's knowledge that, year after year, CRS will give them millions of dollars for ostensibly ethical projects enables them to budget and plan ahead for their unethical activities,” he said. “Secondly, receiving millions from CRS helps whitewash their reputations in the wider world and entrenches their presence in the countries where they operate.” 

“Lastly, there are legions of pro-life/pro-family Catholic initiatives which desperately need funding, such as MaterCare International, the Billings Ovulation Method and Culture of Life Africa,” he added. “CRS' millions for CARE and PSI should be given to them instead."

A plea to the U.S. Bishops

According to Brown, the problems at CRS are “something that we’ve tried to call attention to the bishops for a long time.” 

“The longer the bishops remain in denial, the more obvious this population control aspect of CRS is going to become. Because they have nothing to lose, they have nothing to fear,” she cautioned. 

In her view, the issues are so deep that an attempt at reform simply wouldn’t be enough. “What has to happen is that the USCCCB itself has to dismantle this organization completely,” she said. Unfortunately, she added, “I just don’t see that happening.” 

Mosher urged action from individual bishops in their dioceses. “What we need in the United States is for a number of bishops to … say that until these problems with CRS are cleared up, they will not be taking a collection for CRS,” he said. “They will be encouraging Catholics in the U.S. to give to authentic Catholic charities.” 

“If you sup with the devil, you need a long spoon,” said Mosher, but “there is no spoon long enough to sup with this particular devil.” 

“This particular devil is in the business of destroying human life and any agency that’s supposed to be Catholic must not have anything to do with that agenda.” 

Contact info:

Cardinal Robert Sarah
Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
Palazzo San Pio X
V-00120 Vatican City State
Phone: +39-06-69889411
Fax: +39-06-69887301 or +39-06-69887311
E-mail: corunum@corunum.va

Find contact information for all U.S. Bishops here.

Readers may also comment on Catholic Relief Services’ Facebook page.


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

Steve Weatherbe
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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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