The shocking reason America’s leading pro-life groups oppose the massive federal HIV/AIDS relief program

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Congress is attempting to close out 2023 by spending as much as they can.

And foremost among their goals is reauthorizing billions of dollars for the massive PEPFAR HIV/AIDS relief program.

But here is the shocking reason leading pro-life groups oppose this multi-billion-dollar federal HIV/AIDS relief program.

Twelve of America’s leading national pro-life organizations recently announced their opposition to the multi-year renewal of PEPFAR, a federal HIV/AIDS relief program worth billions of dollars.

Combating the global AIDs crisis through abortion?

The action by the pro-life groups was due to concerns the program’s funding supports pro-abortion organizations.

President George W. Bush established The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003.

The program works with government contractors and international organizations to try and combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Previous extensions of the program enjoyed bi-partisan support because of PEPFAR’s alleged success.

The State Department has claimed PEPFAR has saved 25 million people from dying of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses in Africa alone.

But this year some pro-life organizations and pro-life members of Congress want explicit pro-life protections included in PEPFAR before Congress gives it another $30 billion.

The reason for their demand is the actions of the Biden pro-abortion regime which made changes to abortion law.

In 2021, the Biden White House repealed a 2017 law that had prevented the government from sending taxpayer dollars to pro-abortion organizations through global health aid.

The Biden administration claimed it was “(an) undue restriction() on the use of federal funds” that “undermine(d) the US’ effort to advance gender equality globally by restricting our ability to support women’s health and programs that prevent and respond to gender-based bias.”

Bankrolling abortion, not combating AIDs

Because of that PEPFAR now helps bankroll 26 explicitly pro-abortion international organizations to the tune of a combined $1.34 billion between 2021 and 2022.

According to the Daily Citizen, “Among these organizations are Population Services International (PSI), Village Reach, and Pathfinder International, all of which provide abortions, help start abortion programs in other countries and lobby to weaken pro-life laws. According to an alarming letter from New Jersey Representative Chris Smith to some congressmembers, these three groups received more than a combined $110 million from PEPFAR in two years.”

And two of PEPFAR’s five largest contractors specifically and publicly condemned the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade last June, claiming it violated women’s rights to “reproductive care.”

Just as concerning, government documents that plan out PEPFAR’s future show the government will use the program to prop up pro-abortion organizations and work to shape legislation making abortion legal.

These intentions are outlined in the government’s 2022 plan for “Reimagining PEPFAR,” which attempts to tie the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS relief with “sexual reproductive health, rights and services.”

The plan also promises to coordinate with “other U.S. government global health and development programs” for “sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

Completely unrelated efforts

Of course it’s unclear why the federal government believes abortion access will help in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

After all the two are completely unrelated.

Yet PEPFAR’s 2023 Operational Plan explains how PEPFAR will work “with organizations advocating for structural systemic and institutional reforms in law and policy regarding sexual, reproductive and economic services for women.”

PEPFAR may or may not be worthy of taxpayer dollars, but it shouldn’t be another vehicle for the Biden administration to expand its pro-abortion social agenda.

Pro-Life Press will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.