PEPFAR Reauthorization

Rumors Regarding PEPFAR and Abortions

The 2023 PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) reauthorization has been complicated by rumors that the program funds abortions. Shepherd Smith, Co-founder of Children’s AIDS Fund International has been a strong advocate for and involved in Christian work to care for and provide support for people living with HIV for many years, going back to before PEPFAR’s creation.

Shepherd Smith researched the situation and found no evidence to support the rumor that PEPFAR is funding – or has funded – abortion or promoted abortion and wrote a summary of his findings, as well as an opinion piece explaining why Why a One-Year PEPFAR-Reauthorization Is a Really Bad Idea. In the piece Shepherd explains the pitfalls of the one-year reauthorization and presents why conservatives and pro-life advocates who have knowledge about the program and work in developing countries have always been supportive of PEPFAR.

Opinion Pieces from Faith Actors Supporting a Clean PEPFAR Reauthorization

CCIH, the Christian Health Association of Kenya and the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services contributed to this opinion piece posted by the Global AIDS Policy Partnership on “Why Christian Organizations Want Congress to Reauthorize PEPFAR.”

In this opinion piece in the New York Times, Father Richard Bauer shares his experience working for 25 years in clinics for people with HIV in Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia and the transformational impact he saw from PEPFAR. Father Bauer is a Roman Catholic priest with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers who serves as a hospital chaplain and social worker. In the piece, he expresses his support for a clean five-year PEPFAR reauthorization and debunks the rumors that PEPFAR funds have been used for abortions.

World Relief President and CEO Myal Greene wrote an opinion piece published in The Hill about PEPFAR and why he supports it: PEPFAR is a pro-life miracle – evangelicals must continue to support it.

Advocacy Resources

CCIH Advocacy Toolkit

CCIH released this advocacy toolkit in 2022 that we hope members will be able to use and customize to achieve their advocacy goals. We aim for it to be useful for organizations that have been advocating for years, as well as for those who are just beginning. To help guide development of the toolkit, CCIH conducted several focus group conversations with members to learn more about their advocacy outreach and ways that CCIH might be more effective in supporting those efforts.

CCIH Advocacy Advisor Bob Noziglia wrote this blogpost to share some highlights of those conversations and what we’ve learned, as well as a follow up piece to explore the influence of faith communities a little deeper. We hope you will use the toolkit and we would appreciate hearing from you about your thoughts or suggestions for advocacy tools so we can continuously improve the toolkit.

Why Christians Support Strong Global Health Programs

This two-page brief explains why US support of strong global health programs aligns with Christian values and is a wise investment to protect security and economies.

Christian Voices on the Importance of Advocacy

In this video, CCIH members explain the value of U.S. foreign assistance and why advocating and speaking out for those without a voice is important to them as Christians.

Issues & Actions

September, 2023

CCIH Faith Community Letter Supporting PEPFAR

CCIH led a faith community letter to U.S. Congressional leaders in support of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with signatures from 35 faith-based organizations supporting the program’s reauthorization. The letter urges Senate and House leaders to pass a clean, five-year reauthorization before PEPFAR expires on September 30. PEPFAR has saved the lives of over 25 million people, provided treatment for 20.1 million people, prevented mother-to-child transmission for 5.5 million babies, and provided care to 7 million orphans and vulnerable children. Four identical letters were sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee leadership, House Foreign Affairs Committee leadership and Senate and House Leadership.

See The Letter

July, 2023

CCIH Reaction to the FY24 Senate Allocation for Foreign Assistance

CCIH released a statement about the Senate allocations for the State and Foreign Operations bill, confirming our strong support for the U.S. global leadership position of promoting human dignity and security through global health investments that provide stability and economic benefits that far exceed their initial cost.

As nations continue to recover from COVID-19, we understand how vital it is to improve readiness of health systems for future disease threats, conflicts and crises.


July, 2023

Global Health Community Concern over Steep Cuts in FY2024

CCIH joined faith-based organizations and other global health advocates in signing on a letter coordinated by the Global Health Council to express our concern over the steep cuts being proposed to the House State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) budget. The letter points out the importance of strong support at a time when the world is facing concurrent destabilizing events, such as the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, further instability and food insecurity caused by the war in Ukraine, and the continuous threat of emerging infectious diseases.

See The Letter

June, 2023

Concern Over the House FY24 Allocation for Foreign Assistance Funding

CCIH released this statement expressing our alarm and disappointment over the proposal from the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations to drastically reduce funding to life-saving programs. We believe this abandons the U.S. leadership role on the global stage and undermines decades of progress toward sustainable health, and is inconsistent with our Christian values and calling to care for our neighbors. We urge Congress to reconsider these funding allocations, and to instead support the current funding level (FY2023) as the absolute floor for funding.

See the Statement

Advocacy Stories

CCIH Advocacy Teams Share Faith-based Work in Global Health

On June 10th, 2019 CCIH hosted its annual Advocacy Day. This year, we had 10 CCIH members from Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zaire, and Zimbabwe, as well as six CCIH members based in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan. The teams met with 15 Congressional Offices (14 in the…

CCIH Joins Partners in Malaria Day Hill Reception

Malaria Day Hill Reception On May 7, 2019 CCIH and partners from the Malaria Roundtable (Malaria No More, American Society Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, PATH, United Nations Foundation, Nothing But Nets, and Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, TB, and Malaria) co-sponsored a Hill Reception to recognize…

CCIH Members Meet with U.S. Senators to Show Support for Foreign Assistance

Interfaith Working Group for Foreign Assistance Faith Leader Fly-In On May 1, 2019, CCIH participated in the Interfaith Working Group for Foreign Assistance Faith Leader Fly-In where faith leaders meet with Congressional offices to highlight the importance of preserving and expanding these life-saving initiatives. Dr. Perry Jansen, Senior…

CCIH Advocates Take Message to Capitol Hill

Immediately following the conference on July 16, 2018 three groups of CCIH members went to Capitol Hill to advocate for global health and development programs and to discuss the vital role of faith-based organizations in providing care. The three teams had representatives from five U.S. states and eight…

Capitol Hill Briefing on Healthy Families and the Role of Faith Communities

CCIH held a briefing on Capitol Hill on Healthy Families and Communities and the Role of Faith Communities on July 17, 2018 following the CCIH Annual Conference and Advocacy Day. The briefing was moderated by Dr. Alma Golden, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID Bureau for Global Health (shown at…

Scripture Motivates Young Advocate to Visit Congress

Love is not just sympathizing with the miseries of others, instead it means making every effort to alleviate their suffering. – Olushola Ogunleye, Liberty University Student and CCIH Advocate The account in Matthew 15:32-39 is one of many places in scripture that inspired Liberty University student Olushola Ogunleye…

CCIH Brings Christian Global Health Work to Capitol Hill

Following the conference on June 20, 2016, three teams of CCIH advocates visited offices on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of U.S. foreign assistance and the work of Christian organizations in global health. One team visited the offices of Representative Dave Rouzer (R-N.C.), Senator James Lankford (R-Tex.),…

Students Meet with U.S. Congressmen and Staff to Share Christian Perspective

Liberty University student Olubunmi Sharon Obayemi said she always wanted to be a Christian voice encouraging U.S. leaders to support health care for women and children in need. In October 2015 she got her chance when she came to Washington, DC along with other Liberty students participating in…

Christian Global Health Advocates Visit Capitol Hill

On June 29, 2015, 25 advocates from 11 different nations visited Capitol Hill to express their appreciation for U.S. support for global health programs, and share their experiences regarding the critical role faith groups play in health around the globe. Advocates came from Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal,…

Advocacy Day 2014

    The advocates were divided into small groups and visited 26 Capitol Hill offices, including the offices of 19 Republicans and seven Democrats. They shared their personal stories of the positive impacts of U.S. foreign assistance and the support among Christians for international family planning for improved…

Advocacy Day 2013: Global Health Advocates “Tell it from the Heart”

A little rain and waves of tourists didn’t deter Joy Mukaire of the Christian Health Association of South Sudan from her goal of sharing a very important message on Capitol Hill in June 2013. “The message I wanted to put across was that women’s health is at stake….