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Catholic Relief Services Works in Family Planning “Just Like the Others”

Breaking Investigation from Madagascar

MADAGASCAR — Catholic Relief Services of Madagascar (CRS-Madagascar) uses funding from American Catholics to distribute contraceptive and abortifacient drugs and devices, a Population Research Institute (PRI) investigation has confirmed, working in conjunction with some of the world’s biggest population control/family planning organizations.

Steven Mosher, the President of PRI, said, “Our investigation documents a long-standing pattern of complicity and cooperation in such programs by CRS-Madagascar ranging from the actions of high-level administrators down to local employees in rural areas. These violations of Catholic teaching by a supposedly Catholic organization must stop.”

CRS-Madagascar is responsible for implementing “the whole package of health activities” in a large part of that country. As an “implementing health partner” of USAID, CRS must ensure the provision of contraception and abortifacients to Malagasy citizens in its service area. USAID and CRS officials both confirmed that CRS is directly involved in family planning programs. As one zone supervisor for CRS commented, “We all [NGOs] do the same work, including in the area of family planning.”  

The PRI investigation confirmed, from multiple sources, that structural mechanisms were in place to ensure that all health workers used and promoted the same family planning programs, regardless of their NGO associations.  Said Jean Patrick Bourahimou, a program manager for USAID-SantéNet, “We, the USAID technical specialists, are there for that, precisely to assure that the implementers from the different consortium members are using the same approach. For us, there’s nothing special with CRS: CRS works in family planning just like the others.”

Mosher said, “We undertook our investigation at the behest of CRS donors who were concerned about the possible misuse of their contributions. We hope that our report will be of assistance to the American bishops in carrying out much-needed reforms at Catholic Relief Services.”

PRESS CONTACT: Anne Morse, Tel: (540) 660-2733, email: [email protected]


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