Growing Need for Contraceptives Funding in Developing Nations
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health released a report in the latest issue of Population Reports, “Family Planning Logistics: Strengthening the Supply Chain,” warning that declining contraceptive funding in developing countries could result in more unwanted pregnancies and higher cases of sexually transmitted diseases. According to the report, contraceptive use in developing countries and countries of the former Soviet Union is expected to increase by 212 million users to 764 million by 2015. By then, $739 million from international donors—$585 million more than supplied in 2000—will be needed to support the rising demand. Between 1992 and 1996, 41% of contraceptives funding came through international donors, such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
According to the report, the UN estimates 360,000 additional unintended pregnancies, 150,000 more induced abortions, 11,000 more infant deaths, and 800 more maternal deaths for every $1 million decline in contraceptive funding.
The Bush Administration placed a hold on the release of $34 million in UNFPA funding, originally appropriated in January 2002. The loss of UNFPA funds has already caused the agency to make cut backs in programs and personnel, as US funding accounts for 13 percent of the UNFPA budget.
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. . . .