High Birthrates Linked to Poverty in the Philippines
High birthrates help keep Filipino families in poverty, the Washington Post reports. The government of the Philippines only supports so-called “natural family planning” methods, rejecting more modern methods of birth control because of the country’s strong ties to the Catholic Church. The Washington Post reports that the national government prohibits the use of federal funds to buy contraceptives. Because of the Philippines government hostility to birth control, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is ending its contraception donation program this year.
USAID will be phasing out its condom distribution program, but, according to Craig Lasher of the Population Action International, "the responsibility for the poor state of family planning programs in the Philippines falls squarely on the Arroyo administration's opposition to modern contraception, supported strongly by the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines." President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagel Arroyo is a devout Catholic and her administration’s policies closely follow that of the Catholic church when it comes to issues of birth control.
In a speech last year, Suneeta Mukherjee, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative for the Philippines, said, “In this context, socio-economic development in the Philippines would be virtually impossible unless the country’s rapid population growth is squarely addressed. Four babies are born every minute, 5,000 a day, or almost two million a year. Ten women die every 24 hours from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth – almost entirely preventable causes. Nearly half [1.43 million a year] of all pregnancies in the Philippines are unintended. One third of these unintended pregnancies – about 473,000 – end in abortions, again entirely avoidable if these women had access to reproductive health and family planning information and services."
Media Resources: Washington Post 04/21/08; Daily Women’s Health Policy Report 04/22/08; Feminist Newswire 08/16/07; UNFPA Speeches and Statements 04/17/07; Craig Lasher of Population Action International
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .