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Eagle Forum Alert
February 26, 2008

UPDATE: On February 27th, the evening before the scheduled committee mark-up of PEPFAR, a bipartisan conceptual agreement was reached between the White House and Members of the House Majority and Minority. The reauthorization was renamed The Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (H.R. 5501), and it passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee on February 28th with the important pro-family provisions restored. Despite the fact that the funding authorization level was increased to $50 billion, the new language improved and expanded the "conscience clause" and added accountability requirements for the Global Fund.
AIDS Relief Bill Rife with Pro-Family Concerns

Tell the Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to restore the original provisions in the PEPFAR/Global AIDS Reauthorization Act!

This Thursday, February 28th, at 10:30 a.m. (postponed from Wednesday, February 27th, at 9:30 a.m.) in 2175 Rayburn House Office Building, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will mark up the Global HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, commonly known as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR began under the current President Bush and is the largest international health initiative in history.

The original compromise was worked out between the late Tom Lantos (D-CA) and the late Henry Hyde (R-IL) back in 2003. Before his passing earlier this month, Committee Chairman Lantos managed to strip various, highly effective pro-family provisions from the language of the bill. Even worse, the new funding request goes $20 billion over the Bush Administration's recommendation.

Tell the Members of the Committee to Restore these Provisions to PEPFAR:

  • "Abstinence and Be Faithful" (AB) programs, which help to reduce multiple partners and have been part of the evidence-based approach to prevention for the past five years.

  • Sex-trafficking and prostitution ban, which requires all recipients of PEPFAR funds to certify their opposition to these activities. This ensures that prostitution and sex-trafficking do not bear the U.S. stamp of approval.

  • No funding of organizations which promote abortion as a method of "family planning," as a potential means of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. If this provision is not restored, foreign abortion groups that cannot currently obtain U.S. tax-dollars for "family planning" because of the Mexico City Policy will be able to do so under PEPFAR.

  • Protection of faith-based groups from discrimination because they don't promote and provide "family planning services" which include abortion. This "conscience clause" should be retained in the final bill.

  • Reduce funding for the Global Fund back to $1 billion/year. There are no transparency requirements associated with the Global Fund, which promotes China's coercive one-child policy.

  • One-third of all prevention spending is required go to abstinence programs.

The Department of State has stated its opposition to the draft bill in its current form and has called on Congress to "ensure that the reauthorization is consistent with PEPFAR's successful, founding principles." Call the committee Members and tell them to correct these problems during the mark-up!

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