Rep. Hyde ‘Unlikely Hero’ in Congressional Debate Over International AIDS Funding, New York Times Editorial Says
Although Bush administration actions have already negatively affected sex education and reproductive health programs both internationally and domestically, the "far right's agenda" has never been as "potentially disruptive" as it is now regarding international AIDS funding, a New York Times editorial says. The administration and some lawmakers, along with the "religious right," have said that both the House and Senate versions of a bill to finance global AIDS prevention and treatment efforts do not sufficiently promote abstinence and that the AIDS initiative could become, as the Family Research Council has said, "an airlift for condoms" (New York Times, 3/28). The Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week delayed a vote on Sen. Richard Lugar's (R-Ind.) proposed AIDS legislation over concern that the bill does not adequately promote abstinence over condom use as well as debate over the amount of money to be allocated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A House Committee on International Relations markup of an AIDS bill (HR 1298), sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), has also been postponed until further notice (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/20). In the debate over international HIV/AIDS funding, Hyde -- a longtime abortion-rights opponent -- has emerged as "an unlikely hero ... wrangl[ing] bipartisan support in the House for a very good AIDS bill ... with no abortion distractions," the Times says. The editorial concludes, "Mr. Hyde's bill may not prevail because for others, promoting a doctrine comes before saving millions of people from AIDS. How pro-life is that?" (New York Times, 3/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.