BALTIMORE, Sept. 19, 2013 ( – A new report is highlighting that 86 percent of Catholic Relief Services’ domestic grants in 2012 were given to organizations that promote contraception, in addition to, in some cases, other evils such as abortion, the abortifacient “morning-after pill,” and homosexuality.

The U.S. Bishops’ official foreign relief agency handed out $75 million to 47 U.S.-based organizations in 2012, according to its IRS documents. Of that amount, more than $64 million went to 23 organizations that promote activities the Church deems intrinsically evil.

The organizations’ violations of Catholic moral teaching are thoroughly documented in a 248-page graphic-laden report issued Wednesday by American Life League (ALL). The pro-life organization goes through each grantee one-by-one, highlighting the evidence in detail. Along with the report, ALL released a video discussing the findings.

The report focuses on CRS’ grants to U.S.-based groups because the Catholic agency makes those grants public through its annual IRS filings. The agency does not reveal the names of its foreign grantees, so it’s not possible to determine the percentage of its foreign grants that go towards problematic organizations.

Judie Brown, American Life League’s president, said they met with CRS over the course of two years but believes their efforts proved futile.

“Only a few weeks ago, CRS stated that 'it could not support, even indirectly, a group that launched unfair smear campaigns against those in the Church,' referring to criticism of CRS by American Life League,” said Brown, a former three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life. “Now, CRS defends directly funding groups whose primary work is abortion and contraception in order to deliver mosquito nets. Doesn't that qualify as the ultimate hypocrisy?”

The largest domestic grants featured in ALL’s report went to CARE International ($13.8 million), Save the Children ($13.1 million), and the Institute of Human Virology ($11.7 million).


As has reported in the past, CARE International heavily distributes contraceptives, including the abortifacient “morning-after pill,” as part of its development efforts, and partners with the illegal-abortion group Marie Stopes International.

While the organization claims it “does not fund, support or perform abortions,” its president and CEO, Helene Gayle, appeared before a U.S. Senate committee in 2009 to urge the funding of abortions abroad by overturning President Reagan's Mexico City Policy.

At the Gates Foundation’s London Summit on Family Planning, they pledged to put “reproductive rights” at the center of their work in the area of maternal health and to make “family planning” a priority in emergency services. Of the $13.8 million CRS gave to CARE in 2012, nearly $9 million was dedicated to “emergency services.”

Save the Children promotes the abortifacient “morning-after pill” and has produced a document urging that teenagers be given access to abortion without parental consent. In a 2013 report the organization laments that abortion remains illegal in some countries. (See page 16 here.)

The group heavily promotes “family planning” to teens, and argues that by doing so they save children’s lives. They go beyond merely handing out contraceptives: at the Gates Foundation’s London Summit on Family Planning they pledged to “stimulate demand” for contraception.

The Institute for Human Virology distributes condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. More than $11.3 million of CRS’ grant to the organization was dedicated to HIV/AIDS, according to the IRS filings.

“Pope Francis was clear when he said, 'The Church is not a charitable NGO,'” said Brown. “I cannot believe our bishops support the idea that, in order to serve the poor, CRS must accept government grants to then fund groups whose primary work undermines Catholic evangelization. It defies common sense.”

ALL says they have sent their full report and video to every active bishop in the U.S. by e-mail and Priority Mail. contacted Catholic Relief Services for comment but did not hear back by press time.

The twenty-three CRS grantees that ALL reports on are:

  • CARE International ($13,880,143);
  • Save the Children ($13,169,755);
  • Institute of Human Virology ($11,778,726);
  • Futures Group International ($4,758,122);
  • World Vision International ($3,888,914);
  • Adventist Relief Agency ($2,903,159);
  • ACDI/VOCA ($2,649,565);
  • Interchurch Medical Assistance ($2,497,442);
  • Land O’ Lakes ($2,151,903);
  • Africare ($1,650,107);
  • International Medical Corps ($1,370,519);
  • Project Concern International ($1,310,691);
  • Helen Keller International ($614,287);
  • Plan International USA ($551,067);
  • American Refugee Committee ($476,139);
  • JHPIEGO ($282,356);
  • Medical Care Development International ($203,100);
  • Conservation International Foundation ($198,778);
  • D Tree International ($137,514);
  • Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS ($94,000);
  • The Child Fund International ($61,993);
  • Young Women’s Christian Association ($23,447); and
  • Population Services International ($9,588).