‘Heads should roll’: Pro-life leaders react to U.S. Bishops agency’s funding of abortion giant PSI
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 $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.
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.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah
Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
Palazzo San Pio X
V-00120 Vatican City State
Fax: +39-06-69887301 or +39-06-69887311
E-mail: [email protected]
Find contact information for all U.S. Bishops here.
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Pro-life group asks: Pray for abortionists who sell baby body parts
February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - This Lent, a pro-life group would like you to pray for an abortionist - specifically, an abortionist who facilitates the sale of unborn babies' body parts.
The Pro-Life Action League is asking for people to pray for three people in particular throughout the 40 days of Lent. All three were caught on video by the Center for Medical Progress.
Dr. Deborah Nucatola appeared in the first video released last July, sipping red wine and stabbing her salad as she discussed the dismemberment of aborted children, including where to “crush” their bodies for a "less crunchy" technique.
The second is Dr. Mary Gatter, who appeared in the second undercover video, haggling over the prices Planned Parenthood expected to receive for the aborted children's organs and tissue. At one point, she joked that she wants the revenue to pay for “a Lamborghini.”
And the third is Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who was also caught in the first video praising Dr. Nucatola.
Despite the shocking evidence uncovered by CMP, Richards has insisted her organization did not receive any profit for what she dubs its "fetal tissue donation program." She apologized only for Dr. Nucatola's "tone." She has since said that Planned Parenthood will not receive any remuneration for babies' body parts.
"These three architects of Planned Parenthood’s baby parts scheme have devoted their lives to the destruction and exploitation of human life in the name of ‘choice,’" said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. "If we won’t pray for them, who will?”
He asked Christians to pray for these three abortion industry profiteers - and for Richards, who is a post-abortive woman - in order to fulfill Jesus Christ's commandment in the Bible, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (St. Matthew 5:44).
“In God’s eyes, what abortion has done to these three women may be worse than what they’ve done to unborn children, who now rest in our Lord’s loving arms," Scheidler said.
For most Catholics, Lent began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, and lasts 40 days.
Texas AG faces ethics probe for defending conscience rights of natural marriage supporters
AUSTIN, Texas, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The attorney general of the state of Texas is facing an ethics investigation for having affirmed the constitutional religious freedom of state workers to decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if it goes against their religious beliefs.
Attorney General Ken Paxton took steps to address the issue of conscience protection in his state before and after last June's Supreme Court's Obergefell decision imposing same-sex "marriage" on all 50 states, first issuing a statement the day prior clarifying that Texas law recognizes the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and recommending that state officials wait for direction from his office should the High Court move to redefine marriage.
Paxton then issued a statement two days after the ruling, his office allowing county clerks and their employees to retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and said as well that justices of the peace and judges would similarly retain religious freedoms.
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A month later, a group of some 200 attorneys filed a complaint asserting that Paxton's position encouraged officials to violate the U.S. Constitution and break their oaths of office, according to ABC News.
The complaint was dismissed at first by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, but it was reinstated February 2 by a state Supreme Court-appointed appeals board, which contended that the complaint alleges a "possible violation" of professional conduct rules.
The appeals board decision to reinstate the case does not mean Paxton violated professional ethics, according to the ABC report, but does require him to respond to the complaint in conjunction with the investigation.
"The complaint has always lacked merit," said Paxton spokeswoman Cynthia Meyer, "and we are confident the legal process for resolving these complaints will bear that out."
Paxton was among several state officials across the U.S. who moved to ensure conscience protection in the immediate aftermath the Obergefell ruling, at times garnering the ire of homosexual activists.
Last July, South Dakota's attorney general granted permission to county clerks with conscientious objections to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as another clerk in the office would issue the license.
In a highly contentious case, Davis had asked for a religious accommodation allowing her office to issue altered licenses to homosexuals without her name on them, which was eventually granted by Kentucky's Governor Matt Bevin. However, the ACLU sued, seeking to force Davis to issue the old forms with her full name on them. A federal judge rejected the suit earlier this week.
Last year, homosexual activists sent harassing messages, including threats of violence, to Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk and his family after the Republican legislator sponsored a bill that would have given the state's business owners the freedom to follow their religious convictions in regard to homosexual "marriage."
Paxton faces penalties varying between a reprimand and disbarment resulting from the ethics complaint. The Texas attorney general is also facing securities fraud charges.
This pro-abortion billionaire may run for president
NEW YORK, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - He's an upwardly mobile, socially liberal billionaire whose political affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He's teased numerous presidential campaigns in the past, but this time he's talking like he's serious. And no, he's not who you think he is.
Michael Bloomberg, who served three terms as mayor of New York City, has confirmed to media sources that he is considering running for president as an independent in 2016.
Bloomberg told told the Financial Times this week that he finds American political "discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters," and that he's “looking at all the options."
The 73-year-old tycoon was a registered Democrat before switching parties to run in the less contested Republican primary in 2001. He became a registered independent in 2007.
As mayor, Bloomberg governed as a social liberal who strongly supported abortion and the LGBT political agenda.
In 2011, Bloomberg signed a controversial gag order directed at crisis pregnancy centers. A year later, he endorsed Barack Obama's re-election, saying that abortion-on-demand is part of "the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there."
That's the same year Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand "reproductive health," including a major partnership with Planned Parenthood-Global to overturn pro-life laws in four nations: Nicaragua, Sengal, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.
Mayor Bloomberg played a pivotal role redefining marriage in New York state, giving the four Republican state senators who voted for New York’s same-sex “marriage” bill the maximum campaign contribution allowed by law. One retired and a second lost his primary fight.
His strong emphasis on health regulations, such as attempting to ban soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, did little to enhance his popularity and were deftly parodied by Sarah Palin. (A state court struck down the proposed regulation.)
The financial heft he could bring into the race, as well as his quirky politics, has tempted Bloomberg to enter presidential politics in the past. He considered a presidential run in 2008 and thought more strongly about a third party bid in 2012, after hosting the inaugural convention of the “No Labels” movement in New York City in 2010, but he backed off each time after not seeing a viable path to victory.
With an estimated fortune of $39 billion, he has said he would be willing to spend more than $1 billion on his campaign in 2016 - but he would only enter the race if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and the Democratic Party nominates Bernie Sanders.
He called Jeb and Hillary Clinton "two quality” candidates and "the only two who know how to make the trains run." Jeb reciprocated last month, telling CNN that Bloomberg is "a good person, and he’s a patriot and wants the best for the country.”
At least one of his competitors is eager to see Mike run. "I hope he gets into the race," Donald Trump told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Wednesday night. "I'd love to compete against him...I would love to see Michael in the race."
That is likely because polling shows Bloomberg would draw most of his support from the Democratic candidate. "Although he is characterized as the New York counterpunch to Trump, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is more the nemesis of Bernie than he is of Donald," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Bernie Sanders would defeat both Trump and Cruz in a head-to-head match, according to Quinnipiac. But if Bloomberg entered the race, he would win 15 percent of the vote largely from Sanders, giving Trump a one-point victory in the popular vote (and narrowing Cruz's loss to one point).
However, he could throw a major wrench in the Democrats' electoral college total, according to columnist Pat Buchanan.
"Not only would Bloomberg lose the Big Apple, his statewide vote would come mostly from the Democratic nominee, giving Republicans the best opportunity to carry the Empire State since Ronald Reagan coasted to re-election in 1984," wrote Buchanan, who served as White House communications director during Reagan's second term.
“It’s not beyond imagining that he could get in and have an effect on the race,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, told The Hill.
Perhaps sensing this, numerous Democrats - including Senators Claire McCaskill and Jeanne Shaheen - have thrown cold water on a Bloomberg presidential run.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, said this week that an independent Bloomberg candidacy "won't be necessary" - because the Democrats already represent social liberals.
"I really think when he takes a good hard look, he will conclude that the issues that are important to him...[have] a natural home among our Democratic candidates," she said. "And so, I think Michael Bloomberg's agenda is well cared-for and advanced among our Democratic candidates, and his candidacy, I think he will find, won't be necessary.""
His entrance into the race would be a true injection of "New York values" - making him the third or fourth New Yorker in the race - alongside fellow billionaire Trump from Queens, the Brooklyn-born Sanders, and onetime New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
Annie Linskey, a reporter for the Boston Globe who once worked for Bloomberg, told Fox News on Monday that there is "about a four" percent chance that Bloomberg will run.