Children’s Defense Fund Defends Only Some Children

As we near the holiday season and the end of the year, charitable giving increases as many wish to become more generous with both their money and their time. But some organizations that vie for our money have a sordid past, nefarious partnerships, or are themselves advocating for immoral practices.

One name that often appears in connection with charitable giving is the Children’s Defense Fund, especially because people focus on children’s charities around the holiday. The name alone invokes images of people protecting children, advocating for them, and placing their welfare above all else. However, the reality is that the Children’s Defense Fund seems to pick and choose which children it will support and defend.

The Children’s Defense Fund proudly boasts on its website that it is “unleashing the joy in growing up.” But as the American Life League (“ALL”) points out, “This organization promotes abortion and contraception, even to children, and has had a relationship with Planned Parenthood for decades.” This means that millions of children have had, and will have, that joy snuffed out before they even reach birth.

The same Children’s Defense Fund website goes on to say, “We focus our advocacy on the whole child because we believe children don’t come in pieces.”

This is incredibly ironic, as children in pieces is exactly what happens when an abortionist tears them apart during a dilation and evacuation abortion. To remove the baby, the abortionist not only crushes the baby’s skull but he rips off his arms and legs. As if this were not gruesome enough, he must make sure that he extracted all the baby’s body parts from the mother, which requires him to re-assemble the pieces like a macabre jigsaw puzzle.

Image: Pregnant woman and her older child (edited) by senivpetro.

Any group that could advocate for abortion and claim that it works to protect the well-being of children and “unleash joy” is lying to itself and to the public.

We see further evidence of CDF’s support for abortion in the fact that its historian-in-residence, Dr. Courtney Pace, founded and chairs the Clergy Board for Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi.

Additionally, in an August 2022 statement decrying the Dobbs decision, Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of Children’s Defense Fund, wrote:

Since the potential for the decision was made public, we have leaned into discussions around it; assessing its implications for America’s children and youth, and the work that we do. The consensus of our discussions made it clear that the time has come for Children’s Defense Fund to take a public position as the impact on birthing people and the need for movement solidarity calls for such. We stand with clarity on a matter so critical to the health and well-being of children and youth.

Reproductive justice is a human right.

This is not the first time this country has denied black and brown women agency over their own bodies. We must confront the fact that America has never lived up to the ideals of reproductive justice, or any type of justice that values the lives of women of color.

It is a lie that “reproductive justice is a human right.” There is no right to abortion. Killing a child before he is born is an evil act that will always end in the child’s death. The same process can lead to both mental and physical problems for the mother as well.

And lest we forget, it was Marian Wright Edelman who founded the Children’s Defense Fund in 1973. Edelman is pro-contraception and believes that it should be available in schools. Discussing her beliefs, a Catholic Culture article states, “In direct contradiction to Catholic teachings on sexual morality Mrs. Edelman and the CDF have espoused and supported birth-control clinics for unmarried minors in schools.”

The article went on to say that “Mrs. Edelman calls for ‘comprehensive adolescent health services’…‘both in and out of school settings’…including access to contraceptives (abortifacients) for ‘all sexually active teens—and, increasingly, preteens.’”

In 2008, Edelman wrote, “We have an opportunity to take advantage of a renewed national conversation and once again emphasize pregnancy prevention for today’s teenagers—both boys and girls.”

An organization that would advocate for the use of artificial hormones for young teens clearly does not have their best interests at heart.

Every child—born and preborn—should feel safe and should be respected, cared for, and protected. We cannot pick and choose which children we want to advocate for. All have value. And that is why CDF earned a red—or do not donate—rating on ALL’s Charity Watchlist.

As Katie Brown, American Life League’s director of communications, said about the watchlist, “It’s an eye opener to how many big-name nonprofits fund dirty programs, but what I think is more important is that there are many nonprofits that do great things and keep out of the weeds of abortion research.”

So, as we near the end of the year and contemplate where we want to send our hard-earned money, let us remember that there are many organizations out there that not only serve worthy causes but that support worthy causes that don’t contradict their primary mission. These are the organizations that deserve our financial contributions. ALL’s Charity Watchlist explains in great detail what each organization supports and why you should or should not support them.

Susan Ciancio is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has worked as a writer and editor for over 20 years; 14 of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently, she is the editor of American Life League’s Celebrate Life Magazine—the nation’s premier Catholic pro-life magazine. She is also the executive editor of ALL’s Culture of Life Studies Program—a pre-K-12 Catholic pro-life education organization.

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