WASHINGTON, D.C., August 21, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As Catholic Relief Services responds to criticisms over its partnerships with pro-abortion anti-poverty groups, LifeSiteNews has discovered that the aid organization also has a history of hiring employees with strong ties to pro-abortion and pro-contraception organizations.
One CRS employee lists the pro-abortion Pro-Choice Resources and Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies as former employers on her LinkedIn resume, while another was hired by the Catholic aid organization directly from the pro-abortion Population Services International.
Another former employee was convicted of assault last fall after ramming her car into a crowd at the DC March for Life in January 2011 as the pro-lifers traversed a crosswalk.
The latter employee, Charisse Espy Glassman, was a Democrat candidate for the DC school board as well as a legislative assistant with CRS-Haiti. Despite assault charges, she remained at CRS until August 4th, 2011. In a statement on Facebook responding to queries, CRS said they had “operated on the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty.” A victim of the assault, who suffered two herniated disks, reported that Glassman had seemed to laugh as she drove into the crowd.
CRS employee Dr. Amy Ellis joined the Catholic organization in October 2011 after working three years at Population Services International, a major advocate of population control through abortion and contraception.
Ellis, CRS’ Regional Technical Advisor for Health & HIV in Asia, contributed to a paper by PSI employees on “global contraceptive needs” that was delivered at the International Conference on Family Planning in Senegal from Nov 29 – Dec 2, 2011.
In May 2012, Ellis represented CRS at the Women Deliver conference in Bangladesh, a regular gathering of pro-abortion activists focused on achieving “universal access to reproductive health.” The session she joined included a focus on “revitaliz[ing] family planning.”
Ellis also worked at the Population Council, another pro-abortion population control organization, from 2001-2002.
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Daphyne Williams, who has worked for CRS since 2008 and currently serves as the East Africa Regional Technical Advisor, interned at the Minneapolis-based pro-abortion group Pro-Choice Resources in 2001-2002, according to her LinkedIn page. The group is dedicated to expanding abortion access through programs such as the Hersey Abortion Assistance Fund, which provides “no-interest loans” and “grants” to help poor women pay for abortions.
From 2003-2004 Williams worked at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, which offers “the full range of reproductive health services including contraception.” And from 2004-2005 she worked in STD prevention at the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, a national public health organization that advocates for abortion access and links to leading pro-abortion and pro-homosexual groups.
Dr. Pun Sok, CRS’ Health and HIV/AIDS Program Manager in Cambodia, joined the Catholic relief organization in 2008 after years working at CARE. A longtime partner and grant recipient of CRS, CARE has opposed restrictions on abortion and partnered with Marie Stopes International as well as promoted contraceptive initiatives in the Third World.
In 2011, Sok represented CRS on the steering committee of MediCam, an organizing body for Cambodian health NGOs that promotes contraception and abortion. He also joined a discussion of MediCam’s 2011 Position Paper as a member of the steering committee. The paper advocated expanded access to abortion and abortifacient contraception.
Notably, CRS’ Board of Directors includes Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, who famously defied the U.S. Bishops in 2010 when she endorsed Obama’s health care plan despite the bishops’ judgment that the plan included funding for abortion.
CRS communications director John Rivera did not respond to questions on the organization’s hiring practices by press time. However, on their website CRS explains that it “considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, age, marital status or physical or mental disability.”