Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Garrett vs. Reducing AIDS in Africa

This has to be a campaign commercial this year.

In his most recent post on, Representative Scott Garrett came out strongly against the compromise bill to re-authorize the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Here are Garrett's thoughts:
More than 25 million people have died from AIDS and many lawmakers want to extend this compassionate effort, but sadly this proposal does not help the people of Africa, it only hurts them.

Okay, here are the results of the program thusfar:
  • Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services for women during more than 10 million pregnancies;
  • Antiretroviral prophylaxis for women in over 827,000 pregnancies;
  • Prevention of an estimated 157,000 infant infections;
  • Care for more than 6.6 million, including care for more than 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children;
  • Over 33 million counseling and testing sessions for men, women and children.
Only hurts them? Really?

Now there was a bit of controversy regarding certain provisions of the bill allowing funding for condoms and the perceived potential for funds to be used for abortion. However, at least to the White House the issue has been resolved. From Voice of America News:
"We appreciate the effort to draft in a thoughtful, bipartisan way; we appreciate that we were able to work with them," said Dana Perino. "It retains the important policy principles that have made the program such a success and we applaud the committee's work in quickly moving this bill forward and we hope that the House and Senate will soon follow suit and send it on to the President for signature."

So it's condoms in, abortion out. In fairness to Garrett, he did publish his piece before the final bill came out of committee. However, he had to understand in order to get the the President's signature the core principle would have to remain regarding funds not going for abortion.

However, like with SCHIP, Garrett is only attacking Democrats. He fails to mention the Republicans working with the Dems to improve on a Republican program. So, this program that has helped millions of people is described like this by Garrett:
I hope the Democrats are happy with themselves, because this is just down-right disgusting.

I'm pretty sure the President, Democrats and Republicans working on this bill ARE happy with themselves. By the time this is done 100 million people's lives will likely have been saved, and there is nothing disgusting about that.


Theresa said...

I went over to Townhall and read the comments on this. This was my reply:

Well, Tony Perkins, Pres FRC...
Seems to be happy with the BIPARTISAN effort on this bill, but Mr. Garrett would never acknowledge THAT fact.

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, released the following statement:

"I applaud the House Foreign Affairs Committee for passing an HIV/AIDS bill free of troubling provisions contained in earlier drafts. Previous drafts would have funded international abortion groups, undermined abstinence and faithfulness programs, removed an anti-sex trafficking provision, harmed faith-based groups and would have done nothing to require transparency in the Global Fund. This bill is a marked improvement and is aimed at protecting life, not destroying it.

"While not perfect, this bill continues the principles of the bipartisan PEPFAR program passed five years ago. I especially applaud Rep. Chris Smith for his tireless work to ensure that PEPFAR does not create new family planning programs to fund international abortion groups. The White House is also to be congratulated for involving themselves early in the process and holding the line on key provisions, such as continued funding for abstinence prevention programs, maintaining the anti-sex trafficking pledge, requiring more transparency in the Global Fund, and ensuring that faith-based organizations are not discriminated against in HIV/AIDS grants.

"Most importantly, those people in the countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS should know that we will continue to work hard to ensure the United States continues to support them, rather than redirect funds away from their plight. FRC will monitor this bill as it continues through the legislative process."

SOURCE Family Research Council Copyright © 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Jill said...

As long as those evil unchaste temptresses who sing their siren song of sex to poor, unsuspecting males and won't keep their legs closed get punished for their sins, eh? *snerk*