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. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
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.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .