Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Will Break Cycle of Poverty
Respect for human rights and the elimination of inequality must be emphasized alongside of efforts to reduce poverty, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid, at the Ad Hoc Committee meeting on Population and Development of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said she is “absolutely convinced that providing universal access to sexual and reproductive health, as well as access to education and employment, can effectively break the cycle of poverty in which millions and millions of women, men, and adolescents are trapped in this region,” reports UN Wire.
Obaid urged President Bush to reinstate funding for the UNFPA, saying, “We hope there is a change in policy that will allow [Bush] to release the funds that have been given to us by US Congress,” reports the Associated Press.
The ECLAC meeting was held to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), where 179 countries adopted the plan that looked at the relationship between population and development and the importance of promoting sexual education and access to family planning as a method of slowing down the world’s population growth.
Meanwhile, at the ECLAC meetings, US Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) attempted to block the reaffirmation of the ICPD because of the terms “sexuality” and “reproductive rights.” Smith urged other nations “to consider instructing [their] delegation[s] not to reaffirm” the ICPD, reports the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). According to CHANGE, the President and First Lady of Guatemala received a letter from Smith stating that the ICPD is a direct attack “on the right to life, family rights, and national sovereignty.”
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. . . .