Washington, DC – A new report from the Lepanto Institute proves that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is providing a third consecutive grant to an organization that advocates for abortion access to women in prison.
In 2020, the Lepanto Institute sent a detailed report to the Catholic bishops of the United States proving that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) provided a $60,000 grant to the Ostara Initiative. The report gave indisputable evidence that Ostara was directly advocating abortion “as a resource” to women in prison while assisting women to gain access to abortion providers. One article cited in the report indicated that the co-founder of the Ostara Initiative and her project director explained how their “doulas have sometimes served as resources for women considering abortion.” Another article said “they have recently aided a few of their clients in accessing abortion care.”
Given the evidence we provided two years ago, it’s inconceivable that the bishops would have even considered giving this organization any more funding. But now the bishops have provided two additional grants to Ostara while it continues advocating for abortion.
Rebecca Shlafer is the research director and co-founder of the Ostara Initiative, and these are her retweets following the news about Roe v. Wade:
The Lepanto Institute’s new video report gives more recent evidence of the Ostara Initiative’s ongoing abortion advocacy and deeper context regarding the financial support from the bishops. Video footage from an Ostara Initiative conference held in November of 2021 asserts that women have a “constitutional right” to abortion and complains that women lack access to abortions while in prison. A journal article written by Ostara co-founders Erica Gerrity and Rebecca Shlafer, published just last month, complains that “Pregnant people experiencing incarceration have been denied access to their constitutional right to abortion.”
The evidence couldn’t be clearer. The Ostara Initiative is advocating for and assisting women obtain abortion access while in prison. It’s absolutely unconscionable for the bishops to continue supporting this organization!
In addition to directly advocating for woman to obtain access to abortion while in prison, the Ostara Initiative is also in violation of the CCHD’s grant agreement forbidding membership in pro-abortion coalitions. The Ostara Initiative’s MN Prison Doula Project is a member of an organization called “Forward Together,” which is completely committed to abortion and contraception under the auspices of so-called “Reproductive Justice.” Just this year, Forward Together produced a “Reproductive Healthcare Success Guide” that claims, “Abortion is healthcare. Reproductive healthcare, including abortion care, must be integrated into the greater healthcare system.”
The only explanation for this group continuing to receive funds is that the CCHD clearly has no compunction about Catholic moral teachings and doesn’t give a rip about its own guidelines. That’s why the CCHD has to be shut down, permanently. It can’t be fixed, it’s just got to end.
The Lepanto Institute is calling on all faithful Catholics to contact their bishops and ask them to withdraw all support for the CCHD program and work for it to be shut down once and for all.
Michael Hichborn is the president of the Lepanto Institute. Formerly, Michael spent nearly eight years as American Life League’s Director of the Defend the Faith project. He has researched and produced countless articles and reports on the funding of abortion, birth control, homosexuality and Marxism by Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Christendom College in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s degree in Education from American Intercontinental University.
Michael lives in Virginia with his wife, Alyssa, and their seven children.