Women's Groups Demand Restoration of Critical Family Planning Funds
A massive effort organized by a broad-based coalition of women's rights and health organizations, environmentalists, HIV/AIDS organizations, and religious organizations joined together to call President Bush today to demand that he reinstate critical funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Bush Administration will be making its final decision whether to fund or not fund the UNFPA this Thursday.
Last week, several women’s health organizations called on the Bush Administration to re-fund foreign organizations that provide abortion services and counseling. The groups also demanded that the Administration provide the promised funds of $8 billion for family planning in developing countries that the United States promised during the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development that took place in Cairo, Egypt.
On Friday, during a House Appropriations Committee hearing, Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) offered an amendment for $25 million for the United Nations Population Fund that was defeated on a vote of 26 to 32. The Lowey-Kirk Amendment ensures that the United States support certain countries that have critical need for family planning services and that also have national security implications, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Bush officially withheld $34 million in funds for the UNFPA in 2002 based on unsubstantial claims by the right-wing group Population Research International (PRI) that the UNFPA supports forced abortions in China. Despite the fact that Bush’s own handpicked investigative team found no evidence to back PRI’s claim, Bush still would not release the funds to the UNFPA.
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. . . .