Matt C. Abbott
A pro-life charity watchlist
By Matt C. Abbott
December 2, 2023

Below is an edited version of a recent press release from Tom Ciesielka, spokesman for American Life League.


In a season of giving, American Life League urges caution for life advocates selecting recipients for their charitable donations. The national organization known for its “no exceptions” policy on abortion wants charitable givers to know exactly what they are supporting with their dollars.

ALL’s Charity Watchlist is an online tool using a simple stoplight green-yellow-red color coding to allow donors to know if they “go ahead” and donate to a nonprofit without reservations, “proceed with caution” after being fully informed of the potential risks, or “stop” any support of an organization that endorses abortion.

“The Charity Watchlist is a project designed to hold nonprofit organizations to account for the positions they take, especially when it comes to their positions on respect for life, fertility, the nuclear family and the aging,” said Judie Brown, president of ALL. “Americans should be fully informed before they choose to support any charity and our project helps fulfill this need.”

The watchlist holds some surprises.

The Salvation Army, widely known for its Christian ministry, features an overtly pro-life statement on its website. But as one reads the complete message, more and more exceptions surface, raising serious concerns for those donors who do not wish to support abortion in any context. This alarming dichotomy has earned the organization a designation of red.

ALL points out the misnomer of the nonprofit named Children’s Defense Fund. The group that bills itself as championing policies and programs that lift children out of poverty is certainly not defending preborn children. This organization promotes abortion and contraception, even to children, and has had a relationship with Planned Parenthood for decades. The watchlist tags Children’s Defense Fund as red.

By contrast, Food for the Poor, an organization that serves the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean, gets a watchlist green light for giving. While providing food, medicine, and shelter (among other services), Food for the Poor works to expand and build maternal health clinics in rural areas but will not endorse abortion. The group severed its partnership with Jamaica Aids Support for Life once they learned of its aggressive contraception promotion.

“You can take the Charity Watchlist one of two ways,” said Katie Brown, director of communications for ALL. “It’s an eye opener to see 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. This is something people deserve to know. Where we put our dollars counts and nothing sends a message quite like withholding funds from pro-abortion organizations.”

Brown offered the example of green-rated Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Unlike many other organizations funding cancer research, this pediatric cancer charity founded by neuroblastoma patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott states that research utilizing human embryonic stem cells is not permissible and that the group will not fund it. She noted that many other nonprofits funding cancer research are willing to support abortion for the sake of using fetal cells.

Among those earning the anti-life red designation are American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Research Association, Children’s Leukemia Research Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and even St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The watchlist currently profiles more than 60 tax-exempt nonprofits based on their implementation of life-affirming values or their endorsement of anti-life practices. ALL promises that the list will continue to grow and invites charitable givers to submit nonprofit groups for review.

View the current watchlist at

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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