Report: Investing in Women's Reproductive Health Has Huge Benefits
Leading health policy experts released a report stating that investing in women's reproductive and sexual health services results in huge medical benefits and could save more than a million lives every year. According to the report, written by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the gaps in sexual and reproductive health care that account for nearly one-fifth of illnesses and premature deaths in women of reproductive age around the world could be closed with cost-effective investments in sexual and reproductive health care.
Despite increasing needs, the report also states that in 2000, only $2.6 billion was provided for sexual and reproductive health services, which is less than half the amount pledged at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Providing the needed services could prevent fifty-two million unintended pregnancies and one and a half million maternal and infant deaths.
According to the report, there needs to be increased funding, especially in poor countries, in three key areas: prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; maternal health; and contraceptive supplies and services, reports AGI.
The report calls on countries to fulfill the pledges made at the ICPD. According to the President of AGI, Sharon Camp, they "hope [the report] will reach the Bush administration and also members of Congress who appropriate funds. We also hope it will reach European donor governments. Even though they are doing better than the United States in meeting their pledge, none of them are where they committed to be in 1994," reports Kaiser.
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. . . .