Defying advice from his own fact-finding team and State Department officials, President Bush will most likely cut $34 million in funds for vital healthcare programs to women and children in 142 countries, Knight Ridder reported Sunday. After signing a bill in January in support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), Bush froze the release of the funds in March after an extremist anti-abortion group claimed that the program supported forced abortions in China.
Bush sent a three-person investigative team to China in May to investigate the allegations and has refused to release their report since the team returned last month. However, State Department officials told Knight Ridder that the report concluded: “The UN program did not knowingly support coercive abortions.” “In fact, one of the officials said, the report concluded that the UN program improved women’s lives.” These officials also told Knight Ridder that the White House will instruct State Department employees to cut the funding.
Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY) are asking the Senate to subpoena the State Department report, according to Salon.com. “The President has put the lives of millions of women and children at risk, and we believe we must do everything in our power to reverse his tragic decision,” Maloney and Crowley wrote.
In a letter to Maloney, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, undersecretary-general for the Population Fund, said that the loss of the $34 million promised by the US will force the agency to cut back on programs that train birth attendants in Kenya and Algeria, help prevent AIDS in Haiti and provide HIV-testing kits and equipment for safe blood transfusion in Vietnam – to name a few.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .