Study Shows Contraception Key in World of Seven Billion
A new Guttmacher study, entitled "The World at Seven Billion: Global Milestone a Reflection of Individual Needs," found that empowering women and couples is imperative to addressing the economic, developmental, environmental, and social challenges that will be present when the world's population reaches seven billion. The United Nations estimates that by the end of this year, the world's population will be seven billion and by the middle of the century, it will grow to be over nine billion.
Susan Cohen, the author of the study, stated, "Especially in the developing world, millions of women and couples are still unable to control the timing, spacing, and total number of children they have because of the barriers they face to obtaining and using contraceptives. Recognizing this fact provides a road map for action that simultaneously addresses the needs of people and our planet."
According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately "215 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for contraception." Enabling women, primarily those living in South Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, to obtain contraceptive services, may help to ultimately slow population growth, Cohen indicated.
Media Resources: Guttmacher Institute 8/29/11; "The World at Seven Billion: Global Milestone A Reflection of Individual Needs" Summer 2011
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. . . .