A new report shows that there is a shortage of condoms being donated from richer countries to poorer countries, with a current supply that is about one tenth of what’s needed, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The report published by Population Action International (PAI), entitled “Condoms Count: Meeting the Need in the Era of HIV/AIDS,” shows that at least 8 billion condoms are needed every year to protect people against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in developing countries and Eastern Europe. According to the UNFPA, less than one billion condoms are distributed annually.
The report also states that the US is falling behind on policy and funding for the global supply of condoms. According the New York Times, the biggest decline in donations was from the US. The US gave the developing world 800 million condoms in 1990 and only 360 million in 2000. On October 16, six House members sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell asking him to reconsider the recent decision to prevent the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from distributing free contraceptives to the Philippines by 2004, according to Kaiser Network. Over the last 11 years, USAID had distributed approximately $40 million in contraceptives to the Philippines. Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), James McGovern (D-Mass), Connie Morella (R-MD), Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) wrote in the letter that it is “widely documented that proper and consistent use of condoms is the most effective way to safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases” and that “curbing the supply of both contraceptives as well as information on family planning could exacerbate” poverty.
In a move that could cost the lives of tens of thousands of women and children around the globe, President Bush officially withheld $34 million in funds for the UNFPA. Bush’s decision was made based on unsubstantiated claims that the UNFPA supports forced abortions in China. USAID and UNFPA are the two largest sources of condoms for the developing world. Condoms are cheap, reliable, and prevent AIDS and pregnancies. The United Nations has estimated that for every $1 million that was not spent on condoms, there will be 360,000 unwanted pregnancies, 150,000 abortions, 25,000 deaths of children under the age of 5, and 800 maternal deaths, according to the New York Times.
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. . . .