In anticipation of World Population Day this Friday, Congressman Joseph Crowley and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs will join policy experts this afternoon at an audio press conference to discuss restoring monies to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Despite President Bush’s persistent efforts to sabotage critical funding for international family planning programs, the US House Committee on International Relations in May passed an amendment to the FY 2004 foreign operations authorization bill (HR 1950) that would provide $100 million over the next two years for the .
Co-sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), the amendment is clear retaliation against Bush's decision last year to withhold $34 million from the UNFPA based on allegations by the right-wing Population Research Institute that agency programs in China used coercive family planning policies. In fact, the Crowley amendment revises the ambiguous Kemp-Kasten amendment used by Bush to justify his action, by stipulating that funding be denied to any organization that "directly supports or participates in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization." Last month, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Crowley, and several other key lawmakers joined Jane Roberts and Lois Abraham, founders of the 34 Million Friends in calling for majority support when the measure goes for a vote in the full House.
The theme of World Population Day this year centers on adolescent reproductive health. "All young people have a right to health, including reproductive health, and the information and services to make this right a reality. This is especially urgent in the fight against HIV/AIDS. UNFPA supports national efforts to ensure that young people can make informed, responsible decisions and lead healthy, productive lives," stated UNFPA executive director Thoraya Obaid, according to the agency website.
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. . . .