Home-Grown Groups, Global Missions T o set the context for the growth of conservative groups at the UN, it is helpful to observe that the U.S.  Christian  Right  has  long  maintained  global activity in other arenas. Missionary work in foreign lands has been a staple of many U.S. churches. In line with  their  missionary  orientation,  Christian  Right groups  directly  support  grassroots  efforts  in  other countries that promote a “culture of life,” a philoso- phy with  opposition to abortion at its hub. These groups  include:  American  Life  League,  Concerned Women for America and its LaHaye Institute, Focus on the Family, Heartbeat International,  Human  Life International,   The   Justice Foundation, National Right   to   Life   Committee, and United Families International. Such organizations have maintained their pres- ence abroad by opening overseas chapters or offices, affiliating  with  local  organizations,  or  by  dissemi- nating  their  materials.  Beyond  these  attempts  at making inroads, they have supported foreign organ- izations  and  have  helped  develop  local  electoral strategies.   For   instance,   National   Right   to   Life Committee’s  Olivia  Gans  claimed  that  her  group, with  support  from  American  Life  League,  helped launch  200  local  groups  and  elect  12  anti-choice members of parliament in Sweden in only six years.7 As she put it: Early  in  the  1990s  a  young  man  named Michal Oscarson sought out NRLC’s sup- port for a study project that allowed a few volunteers to come from Sweden and spend time here in America with NRLC staff and affiliates  with  a  view  to  building  a  strong and   effective   prolife   movement   in   that country. In the six years that have followed that venture Ja til Livet  has grown to 200 chapters throughout Sweden. Recently they helped to elect 12 new pro-life parliamen- tarians, including Michal Oscarson himself.8 For those wanting to take special anti-abortion missionary  trips,  Human  Life  International  (HLI), the  organization  of  hard-line  conservative  Roman Catholic  priests  with  worldwide  reach,  offers  the chance  to  proselytize  abroad.  HLI  has  established satellite offices in more than 50 countries including Kenya,  South  Korea,  Chile,  and  Russia.  The  mis- sionaries export anti-choice strategies already in use in  the  United  States:  forming  crisis  pregnancy  and post-abortion   healing   centers,   fighting   sexuality education  and  establishing  “chastity  programs”  in schools, and training priests   how   to   organize against abortion. The U.S.-based “Silver Ring  Thing,”  targeted  to adolescents, is a Christian abstinence  sexuality  edu- cation   program,   and   its home   base,   John   Guest Evangelical Team, is attempting to spread overseas. It encourages students to take virginity pledges and wear a silver ring as a symbol of their commitment to  abstinence  until  marriage.  A  recipient  of  more than $1 million in federal faith-based funding since 2002,  the  Silver  Ring  Thing  lost  its  government funding  in  August  2005  after  an  ACLU  lawsuit. Based in the United States, the Silver Ring Thing has a  presence  in  South  Africa  and  aims  to  reach  the majority of teenagers there by 2010.9 Another well-known group with extensive inter- national  programming,  Focus  on  the  Family,  has produced  a  controversial  abstinence-only  curricu- lum,  “No  Apologies,  The  Truth  about  Life,  Love and Sex.” “No Apologies” can be found in many of the  150  countries  where  Focus  has  a  presence.  In South Africa, for example, both the government and independent   school   administrators   have   invited Focus  to  train  educators  in  how  to  teach  the  cur- riculum. In Ethiopia, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church offered his extensive network of churches to UNd o i n g   R e p r o d u c t i v e   Fr e e d o m  Christian Right NGOs Target the United Nations POLITICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES   2006 3 The U.S. Christian Right is interfering with vital public health projects … harming the very people they seek to save. 7Olivia Gans, “NRLC Helps Build Pro-Life Bridges Abroad,” http://www.nrlc.org/news/1998/NRL10.98/olivia.html. 8Ibid. 9“Silver Ring Thing Launched in South Africa in February 2005,” http://www.silverringthing.co.za/articlesdetails.php?ArticleID=2.