The Catholic Campaign for Human Development gives out $8 million to about 250 organizations nationwide annually. But under pressure from conservative Catholics, the Catholic Church has been cutting off aid to organizations that are even slightly connected to an issues that disagrees the church’s teaching.
For example, it cut off thousands of dollars to a small Colorado nonprofit that provides access to health care and other basic services for immigrants because the organization had joined “an immigrant rights coalition that had joined forces with a statewide gay and lesbian advocacy group.” And recently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying that the Catholic Church should have a right to impose its values on fellow citizens “for the common good,” like cutting off funds to groups with which the church disagrees.
Now, it looks like a Baptist organization is doing the same. A Baptist health ministry in Georgia has withdrawn thousands in grant funding to a women’s health clinic because of what health care the clinic offers:
The Women of Worth clinic’s main goal is to provide Pap smears and cervical cancer screenings for women who cannot afford them — it does not provide abortions, said Executive Director Marilyn Ringstaff.
When a representative from the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation called last year during the application process for a $42,000 grant to ask if they were an abortion clinic, a volunteer told them “no,” she said.
But they do offer the morning after pill.
And when an unidentified pastor saw that the Baptist group had awarded WOW the grant he called the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry, accusing the local clinic of providing abortions, she alleged.
On Tuesday, Ringstaff received a letter from Will Bacon, vice president of development for the ministry, officially rescinding the grant offer.
The morning after pill, which prevents ovulation and fertilization to prevent a pregnancy, is in no way the same thing as RU-486, the pill that disrupts an already established pregnancy, and Ringstaff said she explained this to representatives from the Baptist ministry. But the group is still asking for the money to be returned because the clinic clinic provides the medication.
Ringstaff said the funds would have helped staff the clinic, which has been run by volunteers since 2008.