When the World Takes Care of Women, Women Take Care of the World


On Common Ground must expand the discussion to the entire
planet. What we do here in this country has an effect on the entire world’s view
of women, on their status, on their role in human affairs.

Here are some facts which everyone should know. There are
approximately 200 million pregnancies in the world every year. Of these, twenty
percent end in abortion i.e. 40 million. Of these 40 million, half (20 million)
are unsafe and illegal. These 20 million unsafe illegal abortions result in
68,000 deaths of women and girls, and 5 million injuries, infections and
hemorrhages most requiring hospitalization if indeed a hospital is within reach.

Any honest person would have to say that laws against
abortion are not effective, that throughout human history abortion has been and
no doubt will always be a “method of family planning” which women use in great
numbers. What do we all say about this?

Everyone should know that about 9 million children under
5 years of age die every year and of those 9 million, 40 percent die in their
first month, many in their first hour. The underlying cause for these deaths is
the ill health of the mother. The babies were born weighing two pounds. The
mother’s diet was inadequate. The pregnancy was close on to the preceding
pregnancy and birth. Very probably the woman had no access to family planning.
 Imagine the
pain.

When the world takes care of women, women take care of
the world. The world is doing a terrible job. Millennium Development Goal 5
“Improve Maternal Health” is the least likely to be achieved because in many
poor countries, maternal health is a low priority. Maternal health budgets are
shortchanged and there is a huge dearth of healthcare workers.

Five hundred thousand women are still dying in childbirth
every year and the promise of universal access to reproductive health and family
planning made at the International Conference on Population and Development in
Cairo, Egypt in 1994 has been more honored in the breach than in the
implementation.Please take a look at Millennium Goal 5?
Could we all find Common Ground in Millennium Development Goal 5?

A
good case can be made that gender inequality is the moral scourge of the age.
Hillary Clinton during her confirmation hearings to become Secretary of State
said: “Of particular concern to me is the plight of women and girls who comprise
the majority of the world’s unhealthy, schooled, unfed, unpaid.” Can we all work
on this?

When you look around the world, the countries which are
the most prosperous, stable, and democratic are those where women have the
highest status. With high status usually comes decision making autonomy in the
area of fertility. What do we think about that?

When you look around the world, you see that the
countries where there is fairly definite separation between church and state are
the most stable and where gender equality is the most pronounced. This is no
accident. This is cause and effect. Can we discuss this?  

More than 60
million (it may be 100 million) women and girls are “missing” in
Asia and Africa due to sex selective abortion, female
infanticide, and neglect of the girl child. Can we all get our heads around
that? (There has been a recent report that there appears to be more than the
natural percentage of boys born among Asian families in the
U.S.) Any Common Ground here?

Last Thursday, in the Washington Post, Secretary Clinton wrote a column
“Fighting Modern Slavery” lamenting worldwide sex trafficking. The root causes
of sex trafficking are poverty, illiteracy, and powerlessness. Gender inequality
is the basis for all three.  I quote
Stephen Lewis of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and former U.N. ambassador to
Africa for AIDS: “I challenge you to enter the
fray against gender inequality. 
There is no more honorable or productive calling.  There is nothing of greater import in
this world. All roads lead from women to social change.” Can we all find Common
Ground here?

 I think we are
all "Pro-Life" but in different ways. I have spent the
last 7 years urging my fellow Americans to support the United Nations Population
Fund through 34 Million Friends. UNFPA is a worldwide
champion of women’s and girls’ education, health (particularly reproductive
health including family planning) and human rights.  To me Pro-Life and UNFPA are synonymous.

I
repeat. When the world takes care of women, women take care of the world. What
does taking care of women mean? It means that people rejoice equally at the
birth of a girl or a boy. Every single human being ever born has come from the
womb of a woman. Women risk their very lives to ensure the propagation of the
species.  If women lack health and
education and choices in their lives, humanity suffers. If women disappear,
humanity disappears. It is really that simple. So take care of women! Can we
find Common Ground here? Yes we can!

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To schedule an interview with Jane Roberts please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    Great article!

  • invalid-0

    Yes, yes, yes! Jane Roberts spoke on my campus in 2004, and I was heartened when many of my self-identified pro-life friends came to hear her speak and left with 34 Million Friends buttons on their bags. Global equality for women and maternal health are non only non-negotiable human rights, but they save lives.

  • invalid-0

    The statistics are terrifying –

    ‘…in sub-Saharan Africa, a woman’s risk of dying from treatable or preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth over the course of her lifetime is 1 in 22 compared to 1 in 7,300 in developed regions…’
    – MGD 5 fact sheet

    I would definitely call maternal health Pro Life.

  • paul-bradford

    Any honest person would have to say that laws against abortion are not effective, that throughout human history abortion has been and no doubt will always be a “method of family planning” which women use in great numbers. What do we all say about this?

     

    I’m an honest person and what I have to say about this is that it would be an expression of utter hopelessness to suggest that women will always rely on abortion for family planning.  If we can envision a world that ‘takes care of women’ we can envision a world where women take care of their own children.

     

    A world where women are valued and supported is a world where women have better options for managing the size of their families than to end the lives of their daughters and sons. 

     

    Laws against abortion are not effective because laws alone do not address the root cause of abortion which is a lack of choice on the part of women.   Any society where the unborn are at risk of being aborted is a society where women are unable to exercise sufficient control over the question of whether and when they will have children.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    “When the world takes care of women, women take care of the world.”

    It’s a simple formula with wide-ranging implications, from improving the environment to the betterment of the human condition. Why don’t we do it already?? I don’t see any possible controversy… this just makes sense. The argument for supporting women and their families worldwide is absolutely compelling- Jane is spot on and we should all be in agreement about that.

    annie

  • http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php invalid-0

    Thanks, Jane, for all you are doing. Keep going. Steve

  • paul-bradford

    Any honest person would have to say that laws against abortion are not effective, that throughout human history abortion has been and no doubt will always be a “method of family planning” which women use in great numbers. What do we all say about this?

     

    I’m an honest person and what I have to say about this is that it would be an expression of utter hopelessness to suggest that women will always rely on abortion for family planning.  If we can envision a world that ‘takes care of women’ we can envision a world where women take care of their own children.

     

    A world where women are valued and supported is a world where women have better options for managing the size of their families than to end the lives of their daughters and sons. 

     

    Laws against abortion are not effective because laws alone do not address the root cause of abortion which is a lack of choice on the part of women.   Any society where the unborn are at risk of being aborted is a society where women are unable to exercise sufficient control over the question of whether and when they will have children.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    Any society where the unborn are at risk of being aborted is a society where women are unable to exercise sufficient control over the question of whether and when they will have children.

    This is a quote from LETTER OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
    TO WOMEN http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_29061995_women_en.html

    the Church has many reasons for hoping that the forthcoming United Nations Conference in Beijing will bring out the full truth about women. Necessary emphasis should be placed on the “genius of women”, not only by considering great and famous women of the past or present, but also those ordinary women who reveal the gift of their womanhood by placing themselves at the service of others in their everyday lives. For in giving themselves to others each day women fulfill their deepest vocation.

    I was raised Catholic. I don’t think I ever believed in an afterlife. When I was looking up what the documents said about gay people I also realized how anti-women they were, and went from “lapsed” to “former”. It really feels like all the debate (from the Vatican and a lot of other religions and social groups) is trying to get women back into the service role so they can have their “automatic servants”. I suppose the religious perspective is that everyone is called to service — but it seems women are being asked to give more, as a matter of course, as a matter of expected sex roles.

    With this kind of view of women (if everything happens for a reason, it’s easy to say being born a woman is a sign of “what God wants”) it’s easy to expect that, of course, a woman will welcome every pregnancy. I also think the amount of energy spent is an indication that it isn’t really an appropriate matter for voting & laws. Medical standards would do the job better. That’s what Canada has; and they have less “culture war” happening than USA.

  • 29834273

    Of course secular nations discriminate less. Christian nations go by the Christian bible which teaches that women are second class to men and are less than equal. Atleast some Mormon’s, Mormon Priests (or equivelant), and bible thumping Mormon’s believe men and women are “seperate but equal” (all men are equal to each other, all women are equal to each other, but women aren’t equal to men).

    I hope the women-haters will realize that the health of a male child depends on the health of his mother. Then, we might be able to get them to support maternal health because it benefits little boys. (I doubt we’ll be able to get people like Dick Matherson to really change)

  • http://ulcer-cure.net/ invalid-0

    Well this is definitely true and I go with your words too.. Women have greater roles to play.. There seems to less priority when we talk issues related to then….. This fact has to be analyzed…Men will definitely repent in future if they so “no” to girl child.Men and women are separate physically but they are equal in all other aspects…