New York Times Columnist Excoriates Bush For Record On Women
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff today severely criticized President George Bush for policies his administration has pushed that are having a negative impact on the lives and health of women worldwide. Most notably, Kristoff critiqued Bush’s refusal to release a promised $34 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) because Bush objects to China’s one-child policy - a policy that the UNFPA does not support.
In fact, US funding for the UNFPA can never be spent on family planning programs in China. A clause in the House Appropriations bill each year stipulates that US taxpayer money cannot be spent on UNFPA programs in China at all, and the 1973 Helms amendment explicitly prohibits US funding from being directly spent on abortion, according to the US Agency for International Development.
Kristoff also disparages the Bush administration’s refusal to support the Convention to End all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which supports women’s equality and rights worldwide, and his reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, which prohibits US funds from going toward any organization abroad that even mentions abortion.
Kristoff points to the dire statistics about the state of women and children’s health worldwide — 500,000 women die each year in pregnancy or childbirth; 100 million women and girls worldwide are “missing” due to sex-selective abortion, female infanticide, and lack of clean water and proper nutrition; 60 percent of the children kept out of elementary school are girls; 130 million girls have undergone genital mutilation; and 1-2 million girls and women are forced into sex trafficking each year.
Kristoff notes that “the Bush administration is allying the U.S. with the likes of Iran, Sudan, and Syria to frustrate international efforts to save the lives of some of the most helpless people on earth. Somehow we have become the core of an Axis of Medieval.”
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .