Nancy Goldstein writes on NPR.org yesterday in response to the Pope’s declaration that condoms won’t solve the proliferation of HIV/AIDS transmission throughout Africa. It’s hard not to want to scream but Nancy lays it out calmly. Yes, the Pope is right, she writes. Condoms certainly won’t wipe the HIV/AIDS virus from the continent, nor stop the transmissions if people don’t use them. Much more is needed, says Goldstein:
Access to health care and education, for one. Information about how people can protect themselves and their loved ones against HIV transmission — and yes, that includes learning how and when and why to use condoms. Viable drug treatment on demand, syringe-exchange programs and other harm reduction measures. And a sea change in the status of women and men who have sex with men — in Africa, in the U.S., everywhere. Let’s face it: Anyone who is dependent on others for money, shelter, protection or status isn’t in much of a position to negotiate condom usage. Add children, addiction, homelessness or domestic violence to this problem, and preventing HIV drops to the bottom of that person’s list of priorities.
In fact, a guest opinion (a Catholic, no less) for the Washington Post’s On Faith column suggests now might be the right time to "Impeach the Pope."
NPR is rockin’ the reproductive health and rights debate, apparently. Yesterday, NPR featured an on-air exploration of the state of family planning and reproductive health services in our fragile economic times. It’s no surprise to RH Reality Check readers that women are in desperate need of care now more than ever. From NPR.org:
Some people are calling the clinic to see if they can get free birth control. They include middle-class clients who have decided to foreego preventive heath care because they just can’t afford it. Even older women are finding they are without insurance, perhaps for the first time. Others ask questions about abortion.
Free Abortions in Spain?
Spain’s "Minister of Equality", Bibiani Aido, defended a proposal to allow young women to access abortion services without parental consent. Aido’s view:
If a woman aged 16 to 18 can decide to get married and have children, she is mature enough to decide if she wants an abortion.
There is also a proposal on the table to allow government funding for abortion services for abortion procedures performed up to 14 weeks. In a statement that makes one google "housing in Spain":
The Minister said the Government could not bow to ‘fundamentalists’ on the matter as they had to govern for the majority.
Against Stem Cell Research? Don’t Have IVF Treatment Either
Ross Douthat and Michael Kinsley debate the anti-choice stance against embryonic stem cell research and whether it also extends to embryo destruction in fertility clinics; and ultimately what is the most politically savvy road to implementation of anti-choice legislation expressly related to federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. As Douthat writes:
Most Americans already know that the pro-life movement has a maximalist
view of what abortion law should be, I think, which means that
restating your maximalism at every opportunity isn’t a savvy approach
to negotiation – it’s a good way to get people to tune you out.
For more of the most current news and information on reproductive rights and health:
March 17: AP: Archbishop: Pro-choice Catholics Shouldn’t Receive Communion
March 17: News Leader: Pro-choice politicians come closest to majority opinion
March 17: Idaho Statesman: Idaho miscarriage bill faces opposition:
Allowing certificates for early fetal deaths could lead to a lawsuit.
March 18: Reuters: Vatican defends pope’s stand on condoms as criticism mounts
March 19: SLT: Abortion facts: Teach about birth control in schools
March 18: Houston Chron: Preventing teen pregnancy begins with family
March 18: Houston Press: Mexican Birth Control and Undocumented College Students
March 19: AP: US births break record; 40 pct. are out-of-wedlock
March 18: KFOR: Poor economy leads to rise in permanent birth control procedures
March 19: Time: How to End The War Over Sex Ed
March 18: Buffalo News: United Way drops policy tied to abortion
services: New position allows funding for wellness, income or