WASHINGTON (November 1, 2007)—As the House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a hearing on the Mexico City Policy yesterday, October 31, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) ran ads in four Capitol Hill publications urging members of Congress to support "that sensible policy." The Mexico City Policy, currently under attack, ensures that the U.S. does not fund foreign non-governmental organizations that promote abortion as family planning abroad.
The USCCB's full-page ad in Roll Call, The Hill, CQ Today, and Congress Daily AM features the image of a woman from the developing world holding her child, paired with a quotation from Grace Olivarez, dissenting member of John D. Rockefeller III's federal advisory commission on population: "The poor cry out for justice and equality and we respond with legalized abortion."
Yesterday's hearing included pro-life testimony from Kenyan obstetrician and gynecologist Jean Kagia, MD, who compared efforts to legalize abortion in Africa with an earlier era's damaging and long-lasting influence by non-African outsiders. "The promotion of and effort to legalize abortion in Africa is a foreign agenda and a form of recolonization," Dr. Kagia said.
Deirdre A. McQuade, Director of Planning & Information at the Secretariat, commented on the ad in light of Dr. Kagia's testimony. "Just as Latina activist Ms. Olivarez spoke out in 1972 against abortion as family planning in the U.S., Dr. Kagia spoke out courageously for today's African women," she said.
"Poor women around the world need help providing for their children, not eliminating them," Ms. McQuade said, "They deserve authentic help, not the phony substitute of more abortions."
Made possible by a grant from the Knights of Columbus, the ad appeared on October 30 and 31, and may be found on the Pro-Life Secretariat's website along with information on the Mexico City Policy at: www.usccb.org/prolife/MexicoCityPolicyAd.pdf.