Eighty-Five World Leaders Support Cairo Plan, Bush Refuses
Over 250 global leaders have endorsed a statement that reaffirms the plan of action created ten years ago at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. President Bush has refused to join the 250 world leaders including 85 heads of state and governments in signing the statement that ensures the rights of women to education, health care, and to reproductive choice, the Associated Press reports. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kelly Ryan explained that Bush would not sign the world leaders’ statement because it “includes the concept of ‘sexual rights,’ a term that has no agreed definition in the international community.” The ICPD statement was signed by leaders from Mexico, Canada, all member countries of the European Union, China, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Botswana, and over a dozen other African countries, as well as 22 former world leaders including Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton according to Oneworld.net.
The Cairo plan of action intended to grant women the “right to make decisions concerning reproduction, free of discrimination, coercion and violence as expressed in human rights documents.” The Associated Press reports that although the term “sexual rights” was not used in the Cairo plan adopted by the US and 178 other countries in 1994, the term was used in the United Nation’s Fourth World Women’s Conference in 1995, which the Clinton Administration not only signed but played a leadership role in drafting.
The Bush administration have withheld over $70 million in funding approved by the US Congress from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and have also threatened to withhold contributions to those who will not break ties with the UNFPA, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Oneworld.net reports.
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. . . .