February 14 Marks Condom Awareness Week: Global Shortage Still Prevalent
Today marks the first day of National Condom Week of Action. Even though consistent condom use reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission by 85 to 100 percent, men aged 15 to 59 in sub-Saharan African receive, on average, less than five condoms per year. According to UNAIDS, women now comprise 50 percent of those who have contracted the HIV virus. In Africa, where women are often not in a position to ask sexual partners to use condoms or other contraceptives, that figure is close to 60 percent.
Donor countries met only 25 percent of the global need for contraceptives in 2002, which include condoms, reports the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Due to inadequate aid efforts by the United States and other donor countries, acute shortages of condoms have been contributing the rapid rise in HIV/AIDS cases in Africa and other parts of the developing world. While advocating for abstinence-only HIV/AIDS prevention policies instead of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, the Bush administration has withdrawn $34 million annually since July 2002 for the UNFPA, an international organization that has been providing contraceptives and reproductive health services to the poorest people in the developing world that are at the highest risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Although the Bush Administration has stated that it supports the "ABC" HIV prevention model, which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms, the Administrationís global AIDS policy restricts one-third of its global HIV/AIDS prevention funding for abstinence-only promotion programs.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .