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 Bushís 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.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund¬†Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).¬†Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as¬†out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two¬†heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .