NGOs and Members of Congress Criticize Bush’s AIDS Initiative
The Feminist Majority last week joined more than 130 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in writing a letter to President Bush stressing the importance of integrated family planning and HIV/AIDS education, Kaisernetwork.org reported. “At this critical time it is urgent to eliminate barriers to effective programs not erect new ones. We therefore oppose any expansion of the ‘Mexico City’ policy [also known as the global gag rule] and urge the Administration in the strongest possible terms to abandon its plan to expand these restrictions in any form,” the letter stated.
Twenty members of Congress reiterated the call with a signed letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, terming the President’s expansion of the Mexico City policy “a very grave and costly mistake.” The members warned that “Such a policy… will also make authorization of a comprehensive global AIDS bill in Congress a difficult proposition,” according to the Advocate.
This week, the Feminist Majority joins Population Action International (PAI), a DC-based health advocacy group, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) at a press briefing, entitled “International Women’s Health in Crisis” at the National Press Club. The 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. session this Thursday will cover topics such as the impact of the global gag rule on reproductive health services, the maternal and child mortality rates in Afghanistan, HIV prevention programs, contraceptives supplies, and unsafe abortion as a public health issue. Attendance is open to the public.
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. . . .