Abortion Referral Prohibited for AmeriCorps

Saturday, May 09, 2009

AmeriCorps became the center of media attention when the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act passed, tripling AmeriCorps’ size and allotting $5.7 billion in federal funding for the community service programs it provides. Few news sources noticed one controversial stipulation that was added to the bill: the prohibition of several activities, among them, abortion referral.

 
Beginning on October 1, AmeriCorps’ staff and members will be prohibited from “providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services.” In the past, AmeriCorps members have joined with clinics that offer abortion services and partnered with Planned Parenthood chapters to work on public health education topics. The new stipulation will allow members to volunteer or provide their services on their own time, but not while affiliated with AmeriCorps, itself.
 
Also included in the list of prohibited activities: engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; assisting, promoting, or deterring union organization; engaging in religious instruction and conducting worship services.
-Jacquelyn Lickness
 

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