US Withdrawal of UNFPA Funding Constrains Programs in Uzbekistan
A United Nations Population Fund official expressed her disappointment regarding the Bush Administration's withdrawal of another $34 million for the UNFPA last week. Eriko Hibi, the UNFPA’s deputy director in Uzbekistan, asserted that the blockage of funds will have a negative impact on reproductive health activities in Central Asia and will constrain their program activities in the region, reports IRIN News.
According to IRIN News, Hibi stated that an additional $200,000 that the US originally slated for Uzbekistan would have expanded essential reproductive health and family planning services such as the procuring of contraceptives, provided training to make pregnancies safer, and improved the equipment in the hospital.
Secretary of State Colin Powell sent a letter to Congress last week stating that the United States will not fund the UNFPA for 2004. This is the third year that the Bush Administration has blocked funding to the UNFPA based on unsubstantiated claims by the right-wing group in 2002 by the Population Research International (PRI) that the UNFPA supports forced abortions in China. Even though President Bush sent his own handpicked investigative team that found no evidence to back PRI's claim, he has continued to block desperately needed funding for the UNFPA.
The yearly US contribution to the UNFPA makes up 13 percent of the total funding for its international family planning programs - enabling UNFPA to prevent two million unwanted pregnancies, 4,700 maternal deaths, nearly 60,000 cases of maternal illnesses and over 77,000 cases of infant and child death each year.
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. . . .