By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  April 4, 2008, – The U.S. House of Representatives has approved what could become the biggest financial bonanza in history for the population control movement.

  The House voted today to approve H.R. 5501, which is popularly known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has already pumped billions of dollars into programs in Africa that ostensibly seek to reduce the spread of HIV and to provide medications to those already infected.  A similar bill (S 2731) is under consideration in the Senate.

  In previous years the bill has mandated that 33% of spending be committed to programs that prioritize abstinence, marital fidelity, delayed sexual debut, and other concepts that are family friendly and are likely to reduce the spread of venereal diseases. 

  Such programs, often known by the slogan “Abstain, Be faithful, Use a condom” (ABC) have had a significant impact in reducing HIV infection rates in Africa.  Although many do advocate condom use as a third option, they emphasize abstinence and fidelity first.

  However, the new PEPFAR bill is dramatically different.  It eliminates the requirement that a specific percentage of funding be spent on ABC and similar programs, replacing it with vague language about “balanced funding” for such measures.  Even worse, it dramatically increases the bill’s budget, tripling it to $50 billion over five years, with all but $9 billion going to HIV-related programs (the rest will be spent on eliminating malaria and tuberculosis).  That’s $20 billion more than President Bush requested – a massive sum of money.

  The bill’s huge increase will literally flood “family planning” organizations with new money for condom promotion and distribution, and allow them to shift their existing funds used for condom programs to other contraceptive programs, such as abortifacient birth control pills and other methods that kill the unborn, which are not covered by current funding restrictions.

  The organizations that receive the money, in other words, are likely to be part of the world’s vast network of population control groups, pushing the lie of “prosperity” through demographic suicide.

  Such groups will, according to the bill’s official objectives, receive funding to train 140,000 new “health care workers” to implement the programs.  In other words, the bill is likely to create a vast new cadre of family planning personnel in Africa with a personal interest in promoting the population control agenda.

  It will become even worse if America’s new president in 2009 is unwilling to renew the “Mexico City Policy” that prohibits funding of organizations that perform or promote abortions.  If Barack Obama, who is enthusiastically pro-abortion, or John McCain, who is a notably lukewarm “pro-lifer”, fail to renew the policy, then the tens of billions of remaining funds will suddenly become available to a wide array of organizations that promote surgical abortion in the third world. 

  It could quite simply be the biggest single boost in the history of the global pro-abortion movement.

  The effect of this massive infusion of cash into “family planning” organizations is likely to be magnified by the fact that the new bill drops an existing requirement to spend 55% on treatment of existing AIDS cases.

  If the next administration does not prohibit abortion providers from receiving government funding, this would mean virtually unlimited funds for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which promotes and provides abortions worldwide, and other such groups. Commenting on this aspect of the legislation, Michael Weinstein, President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, says the bill “gives a free hand to bureaucracy”.

  Republican Whip Roy Blunt is mincing no words about this bill.  According to the Cybercast News Service, he is calling it a “blank check for abortionists abroad.”

  Democrat Donald Payne, who has a 100% voting score from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), is reveling in the bill’s text, gushing that “in my opinion, this will be remembered as the single most significant achievement of the president during his two terms in office.”

  The bill’s beneficial effects, already ambiguous, are likely to be even less significant in the current legislation. Although some of the money will continue to be spent on behavior modification programs, it is likely to be more than offset by the damaging effects of increased contraceptive use, which is highly correlated with family breakdown and increased sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. That is, more Africans are likely to die as a result of this new, huge flood of condoms. 

  When used “correctly”, condoms have a 10% failure rate, and their distribution encourages a false sense of security about the inherently risky nature of promiscuity. They also bring a host of psychologically damaging effects, increasing the allure of adultery and extra-marital sex and creating the incentive for more abortions when such methods inevitably fail, as well as elevating the level of out of wedlock births and the rate of divorce, particularly devastating consequences for a continent already mired in poverty. 

  Moreover, it is arguable that African countries don’t need the USA to fund abstinence programs.  Uganda has had a successful abstinence program since the 1980s, well before PEPFAR came into existence.  How much money can it cost to change existing instructional programs to emphasize abstinence, and to erect posters and distribute flyers?  It is safe to say that, whatever the price, it is far less than $41 billion.

  It is true that, as some human life advocates observe, the bill has some “consolation prizes” for pro-lifers, which seem to be nothing more than sweeteners for the bill’s poison.  These include a requirement for a written report to be submitted by the program coordinator if 50% of funds are not used on behavioral change programs.  But in a more liberal administration, that would simply be a matter of additional paperwork. 

  The bill also has a “conscience clause” disallowing discrimination against groups that refuse to promote birth control on moral grounds.  However, “discrimination” is difficult to prove, and the provision will have no effect on an administration that chooses to focus its spending on condom distribution and similar measures, which can bypass such groups on the grounds that they can’t meet program goals.

  The truth is that no matter what language the bill has about funding “balance” relating to abstinence and fidelity, there will be more than enough money provided by the new legislation to cover existing programs, and the rest can easily be channeled into the population control movement. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program will be overfunded by $14 billion, leaving the rest of the spending to the imagination of the next administration.

  In short, the new version of PEPFAR is likely to be a disaster for the global pro-life and pro-family movement.  Life and family advocates should take notice: we could be on the verge of losing an entire continent to the Culture of Death.

  Contact Information:

  United States House and Senate Switchboard (ask for your senator or representative)

  Represenatives names and contact info can be found at:

  Previous coverage:

  Pro-Family Forces Achieve Compromise to Allow Continuation of Abstinence Education in Massive US AIDS Program