(LifeSiteNews) — A coalition of African leaders has petitioned Congress to keep funding for abortion out of HIV/AIDS programs.
On June 6, Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament sent a letter to Republican and Democratic members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. The 129 leaders who signed the letter represent 15 African countries and requested that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) be “respectful of our beliefs” regarding the sanctity of life in the womb and abandon funding for abortion.
“As you now seek to reauthorize PEPFAR funding, we want to express our concerns and suspicions that this funding is supporting so-called family planning and reproductive health principles and practices, including abortion, that violate our core beliefs concerning life, family, and religion,” the letter states. “We ask that PEPFAR remain true to its original mission and respect our norms, traditions, and values.”
The leaders further specified their desire to ensure that the U.S. government does “not cross over into promoting divisive ideas and practices that are not consistent with those of Africa.”
“We thank the American people for their extraordinary generosity and solidarity with us and ask that our voices be heard and acknowledged and our beliefs safeguarded in future PEPFAR programming,” the letter concluded.
PEPFAR was initially authorized by the U.S. government in 2003, when it promoted “abstinence, fidelity, and condom use to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS” and required groups receiving funding “to pledge not to promote the decriminalization of prostitution,” as noted by the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam). It is “the largest global health program in the U.S. foreign assistance budget,” receiving $5 billion annually.
“One PEPFAR program that increasingly integrates abortion concerns with HIV/AIDS programming is the public-private initiative targeting adolescent girls called DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe),” C-Fam pointed out. “Since 2014, over $1 billion has been directed to DREAMS programs in 16 African countries.”
So-called “sexual and reproductive health services” — an umbrella term that the Biden administration consistently uses to imply abortion — were given to 12 to 14-year-old girls in Malawi. According to the government’s website, DREAMS seeks to “empower adolescent girls and young women and reduce HIV risk through youth-friendly reproductive health care.”
Additionally, the program is committed to providing “improved access to youth responsive sexual and reproductive health care including equitable access to contraception.”
The Biden administration has repeatedly pushed its abortion agenda onto nations that defend the unborn. In February, LifeSiteNews reported that the U.S. government pressured the small country of Benin to abandon its pro-life values and remove its support of the Geneva Consensus, which declares there is no international “right” to abortion.
Africans have expressed similar sentiments about Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his country’s attempt to force abortion into their culture.
While the Western world continues to bow to radical agendas promoting abortion and LGBT ideology, African countries have stood firmly in their religious and cultural belief in the dignity of human life. The Ugandan parliament has consistently rejected Western abortion agendas and remained committed to its recently passed anti-sodomy law that criminalizes homosexuality. Additionally, a pro-life doctor in Kenya has previously exposed international government organizations for intentionally and covertly sterilizing young women in his country.