Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-23-04

LEADERS AND ACTIVISTS FROM 57 COUNTRIES TO MARCH FOR WOMEN’S LIVES

Arlington, VA -- The March for Women’s Lives in Washington this weekend will show that women’s sexual and reproductive rights have enough national and international support to be untouchable by any politician wishing to stay in office, march leaders said today.

Eleanor Smeal, president of Feminist Majority, one of seven sponsors and 1,400 groups taking part in the Sunday march, told a news conference at the National Press Club that the event will create “another ‘third rail’ of politics, like Social Security” and discourage attacks from conservative critics. Representatives of women’s groups from 57 countries will march behind their flags to affirm the global need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive rights, she said.

Funding cuts for international family planning programs and restrictive aid policies of the Bush administration have caused “mayhem” and a health care crisis in developing countries, where up to half of available hospital beds are taken by women “suffering and dying from complications of childbirth or from unsafe abortions,” Smeal continued. “The Bush administration is now blocking aid to education and democratic free speech.”

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), said the marchers are “extremely disturbed” by what she called “an unholy alliance between the Bush administration and the Vatican to destroy women’s lives and women’s aspirations.” They will lobby Congress after the march to register their views, she said.

Ana Kumar, executive vice president of Ipas, which combats abortion-related deaths, noted that 70,000 women die each year from unsafe abortions because of legal barriers, technological shortages and social stigma. All the deaths are “entirely preventable,” she said, “but the U.S. government is on the other side.”

Elfriede Harth of CFFC’s European branch noted that the European Union had contributed $32 million in 2002 to the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund to “help fill the decency gap” of the Bush administration’s withdrawal of $34 million for the agency. “It could have been an increase instead,” she said, and called for restoration of U.S. funding. Canada donated another $4 million to the agency, which supports family planning and reproductive health programs in 140 countries.

In Portugal, Ireland, Poland and Malta, abortions are illegal and punishable by jail terms, said Helena Pinto, president of Portugal’s UMAR women’s advancement association. “We are a modern country, but on this issue we have medieval laws,” she said. Teresa Lanza Monje of Bolivia, regional director of Catholics for the Right to Decide, said maternal mortality rates are rising in her country, where women have an average of five children each, because of U.S. funding cuts and restrictions on family planning programs that receive U.S. aid.

A complete delegation list is available at www.planetwire.org.

The 57 countries represented at the March for Women’s Lives include:

ALBANIA
AFGHANISTAN
ARGENTINA
AUSTRALIA
BANGLADESH
BOLIVIA
BOTSWANA
BRAZIL
CAMEROON
CANADA
CHILE
COLOMBIA
COSTA RICA
DENMARK
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
EGYPT
ETHIOPIA
FRANCE
GERMANY
GHANA
GUATEMALA
INDIA
JAMAICA/USA
KENYA
LEBANON
LAOS LEBANON
MALAWI
MEXICO
MOLDOVA
NEPAL
NETHERLANDS
NICARAGUA
NIGERIA
NORWAY
PERU
PHILIPPINES
POLAND
PORTUGAL
PUERTO RICO
ROMANIA
SENEGAL
SLOVAKIA
SOUTH AFRICA
SPAIN
ST. VINCENT
SURINAME
SWEDEN
THAILAND
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
UGANDA
UKRAINE
UNITED KINGDOM
UNITED STATES
URUGUAY
VENEZUELA
VIETNAM
ZAMBIA

Media Resources:


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/22/2014 Students Protest Fordham University's Anti-Birth Control Policy - Students at Fordham University are engaged in a battle against the New York City Catholic school's anti-birth control policy. Students for Sex & Gender Equality and Safety (SAGES) has launched a petition drive, calling on Fordham to provide free and confidential access to birth control and STI testing on-campus, free condoms, professional gynecological services at the university, and resources for pregnant women, among other things. . . .
 
10/22/2014 Doctors Warn That Measure 1 Would End In Vitro Fertilization in North Dakota - Doctors at North Dakota's only clinic offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) are speaking out to warn voters that Measure 1, a proposed personhood amendment in the state, would make the practice illegal. Dr. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .