President Proclaims “National Sanctity of Human Life Day,” Undercuts Women’s Lives
Pledging that his administration “will continue to honor our country’s founding ideals of equal dignity and equal rights,” President Bush on Tuesday proclaimed Sunday, January 19, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Using the declaration as a platform for espousing his anti-abortion rights beliefs, Bush called “unborn children” “those without the voice and power to defend their own rights,” according to the Associated Press. In a White House release, Bush urged organizations and individuals to aid those in need, to help create a “culture of hope… and ensure a brighter future for all.”
However, Bush pressed for welfare reform policies yesterday that will do little to “ensure a brighter future for all.” In a White House speech, Bush urged Congress to pass his approach to welfare reform, which includes requiring welfare recipients to work 40 hours a week at a time when the unemployment rate is 6 percent, according to the New York Times. The National Organization for Women issued a statement criticizing Bush’s proposal, pointing out that there has been no increase in spending for the past seven years, despite the fact that the cost of living has gone up. In addition, the harsher work requirements are not supported by a substantial increase in child-care spending. Bush has proposed that $4.8 billion be spent on child care, but NOW argues that this will meet only 15 percent of the need.
Bush has also taken action to restrict access to and information about abortion and birth control. The Bush administration has altered scientific fact sheets naming condom use as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of AIDS and disproving any link between abortion and breast cancer. Bush threatened to back out of a landmark international population policy, forcing a vote at the last minute, which he lost. He has stacked scientific panels to favor his political agenda. Most notably, Bush appointed Dr. W. David Hager, who is adamantly against mifepristone, abortion, and birth control, to a key reproductive health committee of the Food and Drug Administration. Furthermore, he withheld $34 million appropriated by Congress for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), based on inflammatory rhetoric from a right-wing organization that was not even supported by Bush’s own fact-finding team.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .