Republicans propose massive cuts in programs that benefit women as they propose increases in Defense spending of $8.1 billion. The House begins consideration of the Continuing Resolution (CR) for funding FY 2011 without which the government will shut down on March 4. Republicans would eliminate Title X domestic family planning programs with a massive cut of $327 million which is what President Obama is requesting in his 2012 budget. International family planning would be cut 32% from FY 2010 spending levels and 38% from the President's 2012 request. To make matters worse, Republicans explicitly forbid any of this funding go to UNFPA while the President would designate $55 million of these funds to UNFPA in 2011.
"House Republicans are revealing that their utter contempt for women's programs and their lack of concern for children in these inhumane so-called budget cuts. Every dollar for family planning saves an estimated four dollars of unplanned governmental spending. If you are not going to spend money on family planning, on children's education, adequate food and nutrition for poor and pregnant women, you will spend more money on health care and prison programs," responded Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority.
While proposing wiping out domestic family planning, Republicans are drastically cutting, by $758 million, the Women Infant Children (WIC) program which provides food and nutrition for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women. The Republican bill also includes a proposed $210 million cut in Maternal and Child Health block grants and $1.83 billion cut in Head Start from 2010 spending levels and $2.27 billion from the President's 2011 request. The Republicans would also cut dramatically Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding by $170 million.
A vast coalition of women's rights, civil rights, domestic violence, and health groups including the Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood Federation of American (PPFA) NARAL, National Organization for Women (NOW), National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) are determined to fight these Republican draconian measures.
Media Resources: Americans for UNFPA Press Release 2/12/11; Moveon.org Website 2/14/1; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Action Alert 2/14/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/10/11; Statement of Cecile Richards 2/9/11
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. . . .