Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has proposed a bill that would require all HIV programs funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to address the rapid spread of infection among women and young people. This legislation, titled the PATHWAY Act of 2006, also removes earmarks in the current law requiring 33 percent of funding to go toward "abstinence-until-marriage" programs. Previously this month, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report confirmed that current PEPFAR funding restrictions undermine efforts to prevent the most HIV infections. Over 47 organizations, including the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), have given their support to Rep. Lee’s changes to this program, signaling the failure of the Bush Administration's ABC (Abstain, Be Faithful, Use Condoms) policy to address the feminization of the epidemic.
"The highest rates of new infections throughout sub-Saharan Africa are among women in their twenties and thirties and among youth aged 15-24," said Rep. Lee. To counter the changing face of the epidemic, the PATHWAY Act proposes to address violence against women, increase access to female-controlled prevention methods, and expand the educational opportunities for women and girls. In addition, the elimination of abstinence policies allows more money to be focused on issues such as the prevention of mother to child transmission.
According to the PATHWAY Act, over 38.6 million people worldwide are infected with HIV/AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are twice as likely to become infected via vaginal intercourse than men and account for 27 percent of the new diagnoses of the disease.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .