Political Advocacy Tracker is a roundup of what Christian activist organizations have been talking about over the last week.
Pro-life groups suggested this week that the federal government had spent over $1 billion to fund abortion since 2002. However, federal law prohibits any funding of abortions. As with many issues, word choice by political advocacy groups make a difference.
CitizenLink chose the following headline for a story on a Government Accounting Office (GAO) report on six organizations selected by pro-life legislators for audit: "Government Report Confirms Nearly a Billion Tax Dollars Funding Abortion."
As CitizenLink states, from 2002-2009 the federal government awarded grants "to six pro-abortion abortion organizations and their affiliates." The government gives research, education, and other grants to organizations that may perform abortions as one of their other services. It does not, however, fund abortion services.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that the government "is a major shareholder in the international abortion business" and has given over a billion dollars to organizations that "make it their mission to slaughter unborn babies by dismemberment, decapitation, and deadly chemicals." Perkins urged support for the Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would prohibit any federal funds going to organizations that perform elective abortions.
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said, "The GAO report is one more piece of conclusive evidence showing that, while Planned Parenthood claims to offer women choices, it only offers one: abortion."
The GAO report lists each of the grant programs and how much each organization was granted. The report states that under an executive order at the time, no funds were given to international organizations that performed or promoted abortion. (President Obama reversed the executive order after he took office in 2009.) International Planned Parenthood did not comply, and did not receive funds.
Planned Parenthood in the U.S. both supports abortion as a reproductive right and provides abortion services. It received an average of 90 million dollars a year in federal funds. In 2008, Planned Parenthood provided around 11 million services. Of these, 3 percent were abortion services. Most were contraceptive services, treatment of sexually transmitted disease, and cancer screening and services.
SBC Resolutions on DADT and ENDA
At its annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) passed two resolutions that took positions on bills under consideration in Congress. The SBC voted to oppose any repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identification, or disability.
The SBC also passed a similar resolution to one it passed in 1993 opposing a change to Don't Ask Don't Tell, the policy that openly gay soldiers may not serve in the military. The 1993 resolution and new resolutions are nearly identical. But the changes between the two resolutions show some of the subtle changes in how the SBC and evangelicals view sexuality.
In 1993, the resolution included arguments for keeping openly gay soldiers out of the military because it would "endanger the life and health of military personnel by the increased exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and by enhanced danger of tainted blood in battlefield conditions" and would affect the military budget because of increased "medical, legal and social costs."