Ms. Magazine Forum Raises Awareness on International Family Planning
Ms Magazine held a forum at the National Press Club on Wednesday to raise awareness for the effort to increase funding for international family planning to $1 billion in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act. Katherine Spillar, executive editor of Ms., moderated the forum. Dr. Solomon Orero, Dr. Nafis Sadik, Daniel Pellegrom, and Eleanor Smeal addressed the issue of international family planning and the impact of US policies, domestically and internationally.
US funding for international family planning programs has decreased 40 percent in real money, despite the fact that the population of the world has increased and abstinence-only programs create more unintended pregnancies. The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for FY 2009 calls on the US to increase its international family planning assistance from $457 million to $1 billion, including $63.5 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which the Bush administration refuses to fund.
Dr. Orero, a leading Kenyan women’s health physician, spoke about the grave consequences of restrictive US policies like the global gag rule. He said that in the maternity wards of Kenyan hospitals, more than half of the women are there after botched abortions. Dr. Sadik, special envoy to the UN for HIV/AIDS in Asia and former executive director of the UNFPA, spoke about US responsibilities to international family planning. Pellegrom, president of Pathfinder International reminded the press that reproductive health care is a basic human right and cannot be ignored. Each minute around the world, a woman or girl dies in childbirth.
"There are things we don’t have solutions for," said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, "but we can stop unintended pregnancies."
Take Action! Tell House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs know you support empowering women and increasing substantially international family planning funding.
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. . . .