UNFPA Provides Services to Pakistani Flood Survivors
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is providing humanitarian assistance and reproductive health services and emergency reproductive health kits to the approximately 1.4 million women and girls affected by the flooding in Pakistan. The UNFPA estimates that 160,000 of these women are pregnant and approximately 440 women go into labor daily.
The UNFPA has established 50 mobile clinics, which "are offering basic emergency obstetric care services and basic primary health care to women and adolescent girls," according to Dr. Shahnaz Shallwani, UNFPA Provincial Coordinator in Karachi. Nevertheless, the UNFPA noted difficulties in recruiting female health care providers to assist women in areas affected by the floods.
Dr. Shallwani indicated that the "UNFPA is also providing psycho-social and protection services to survivors of gender based violence."
On October 5, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted along party lines to pass a bill to defund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The vote was 23 to 17, with all 23 Republicans present voting to block US funding to UNFPA and all of the Democrats voting against the measure.
Media Resources: UNFPA 9/29/11; 10/12/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/6/11
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. . . .