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CFC condemns USAID’s opportunistic efforts to block humanitarian aid for vulnerable populations

May 22, 2020

“Catholics for choice is proud to join the International Women’s Health Coalition and dozens of other social justice and civil rights organizations as signatories on a letter that defends the work of the United Nations and the World Health Organization against USAID’s zealous, dangerous attacks.

“As Catholics, our faith calls us to follow our conscience in all matters of moral decision making and to respect the right of others to do the same. The core Catholic principle of social justice calls us to advocate for equitable policies that enable every individual, especially the poor and marginalized, to receive the healthcare they need—including abortion.

“For nearly 50 years, CFC has lived out these social justice principles by condemning efforts to block access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services among vulnerable populations. Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa’s letter to the United Nations is particularly contemptuous in its gross opportunism. It is further evidence that extremists will exploit any crisis, including this catastrophic global health pandemic, to advance their ultraconservative agenda, no matter the cost or harm done.  And it represents yet another example of the Trump administration kowtowing to its ultraconservative masters on the religious right.

“The fact remains that this pandemic only underscores the need for access to reproductive health services. Now more than ever, as the world confronts enormous fear and uncertainty, individuals must be free to exercise their choices and plan their families. The economic fallout amid COVID-19 alone creates greater, not lesser, need to access contraception, abortion, and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, particularly in developing economies.

“Taking advantage of a global health crisis to endanger the health and safety of the poor and marginalized is not leadership, it’s not scientific, and it’s not Catholic.”