Focus on the Family Applauds Passage of Global AIDS Bill

Focus on the Family
Friday, 16 May 2003

Pro-Family Organization Commends Presidential Leadership

Tom Minnery, Vice President of Public Policy for Focus on the Family, commended the Senate for passing the Global AIDS bill this morning, calling it a victory for the people of Africa.

"The passage of this bill represents a landmark effort to end this deadly plague by ensuring that the only successful approach abstinence will be a priority," said Minnery. "AIDS sufferers in Africa will no longer continue to be offered only condoms the same faulty approach that has increased sexually transmitted diseases in America. We look forward to seeing more successes like the ones we've seen in Uganda."

Uganda once had the highest HIV infection rate in the world, but after launching an aggressive program prioritizing abstinence and monogamy, the infection rate plummeted by as much as 70 percent due to the fact that young people delayed sexual activity.

The House-passed bill, H.R. 1298, earmarked at least one-third of prevention funds for abstinence programs and included a conscience clause that allows faith-based groups to participate in the U.S.-funded HIV prevention efforts without being forced to distribute or promote condoms. In addition, the measure ensures that no funds go to groups that support the legalization of prostitution or human sex trafficking.

None of these provisions were included in the original Senate bill, but after citizens across the country voiced their concerns and President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist weighed in, the Senate heeded their call.

Minnery added, "Just a couple of weeks ago the Senate was headed in the wrong direction, but thanks to the strong leadership of President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Senate changed course and passed a bill that will begin to address this global problem."

"We are grateful for their leadership on this bill and for their sincere efforts to relieve the suffering of so many afflicted by this horrible disease," said Minnery.

For more information, or to contact Focus on the Family, see their website at: www.family.org

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