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.
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.
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
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.SEE THE STATEMENT
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
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