U.S. Aid Not for Abortions, Say Bishops

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 2, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops reminded a Senate appropriations committee of the need to prevent aid money from paying for abortions.

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In a letter to the U.S. Senate conferees on the bill appropriating funds for foreign operations, Bishop John Ricard and Kenneth Hackett underscored the need to continue implementing the Kemp-Kasten and “Mexico City” policies.

Bishop Ricard chairs the U.S. bishops’ International Policy Committee, and Hackett is president and chief executive officer of Catholic Relief Services, the bishops’ overseas relief and development agency.

The letter said the Kemp-Kasten policy helps to prevent U.S. money from funding organizations, such as the U.N. Population Fund, that are “involved in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

The bishops’ conference also mentioned opposition to a bill “which states that foreign nongovernmental organizations shall not be ineligible for U.S. funds solely on the basis of the health or medical services they provide with non-U.S. government funds.”

“This provision would effectively overturn the Mexico City policy, which prevents U.S. funding of NGOs which perform and promote abortion as a family planning method in developing nations,” the conference said.

The letter also highlighted other foreign aid priorities such as health, humanitarian assistance and peace.

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ZENIT Staff

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