Reaching the Global Goal: Health and Rights for All


This article is co-authored by Adrienne Germain, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity.

This
afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a major speech to mark
the 15th anniversary of the United Nations International
Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)
, which set ambitious goals
for improving sexual health and reproductive rights throughout the world.

Prior
to the ICPD, the importance of securing women’s health and rights was largely
absent from international development discourse. It took the mobilization—and
action— of grassroots women’s groups from across the Global South to persuade
governments that women’s health and human rights are imperative in their own
right—and crucial to sustainable global development. In response to this
movement, 179 governments agreed to a 20-year action plan.

Since ICPD, we have seen progress on securing the health and
rights of women and young people. 
Despite these gains, much remains to be done. Women and girls in many parts of the world still face
egregious violations
of their basic human rights, and lack access to the
comprehensive reproductive health services they need to stay healthy:
contraception,
comprehensive sexuality education, testing and treatment for reproductive
cancers and prevention, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted
infections, including HIV; maternity care, and access to safe abortion
services.
 

Recognizing the urgent need for concrete action, more than 50
faith-based, human rights, health, and environmental organizations and program
implementers—including CHANGE and IWHC— are advocating for specific
steps
the U.S. can take to fulfill the goals of ICPD. The core
recommendations include:

  • Ensure that U.S.
    policies and programs address the real-life circumstances of individuals and
    communities being served and ensure equitable and maximum access to services
    and information;
  • Ensure that U.S.
    programs and policies protect and promote the human rights of women and youth,
    including their right to decide freely and responsibly on matters related to
    their sexual and reproductive health free of coercion, discrimination and
    violence;
  • Increase the amount of U.S.
    funding that goes directly to innovative, local and women’s organizations that
    advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality; and
  • Re-engage with
    international organizations on meeting global goals (such as ICPD) related to
    sexual and reproductive health and rights through increased financial support and
    enhanced coordination.

This afternoon, the world will be watching for a renewed U.S. commitment
to reaching the ICPD goals, and other related UN agreements such as the Millennium
Development Goals. The
Congress is working on a similar statement of commitment, though a resolution
introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee
(D-CA).

These statements of commitment by the Administration and the Congress now
need to be turned to action – in program implementation, funding levels, and
diplomatic endeavors to ensure
the right of all people to make decisions about their own
sexuality and access the services needed to make that right a reality.  And we all need to be behind them and
support them in taking those steps forward. 

The speech will be streamed live on www.icpd2015.org starting at approximately 2:30
pm EST. A transcript and video of the speech will be posted on this site
following the event.

 

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with Adrienne Germain and Serra Sippel please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • teb-abhour

    Ensure that U.S. programs and policies protect and promote the human rights of women and youth,

    Duhhh— LIFE is the most fundamental Human Right and supercedes all other human rights.

    http://heyitsjustablogman.blogspot.com/2009/12/well-duh.html

  • prochoiceferret

    Duhhh— LIFE is the most fundamental Human Right and supercedes all other human rights.

    So, if your kidney would save the life of another person, does that mean that I can make you donate your kidney to that person—whether you wanted to or not?

     

    After all, doesn’t LIFE supercede your human right to bodily integrity?

  • teb-abhour

    dook… Your argument is inane.

  • prochoiceferret

    dook… Your argument is inane.

    Yep. As soon as your pat ideology makes it possible that someone other than a (pregnant) woman may have their human rights violated, it does start to seem pretty inane, doesn’t it?

  • jenh

    PCFerret,
    Since when does carrying a child violate a woman’s bodily integrity or human rights?
    You’re a fine one to speak of human rights! You afford the child no humanity whatsoever!
    A kidney has no life on its own. No mind, no intelligence, no soul, no sentience, to use a word you’re so fond of. A child is not a PART of her mother’s body — a child is a separate person entirely, and therefore entitled to life. A little logic, reason and science is all that’s required to understand that.

  • prochoiceferret

    Since when does carrying a child violate a woman’s bodily integrity or human rights?

    If I attach myself to your body, and live off your bodily resources, and you don’t want to allow this—that’s a pretty clear violation of your bodily integrity, and indeed, your human rights. I could say "If you separate me from you, I’ll die!" but that doesn’t somehow negate your right to stop this violation of your rights.

    You’re a fine one to speak of human rights! You afford the child no humanity whatsoever!

    No, the child is human. But that doesn’t change anything. Not even fully grown human beings have the right to live off your body like a parasite (and I doubt you’re going to argue that potential human beings somehow have greater rights than grown ones). You have the option of allowing that if you so desire, but you can’t be forced to do so, because that would violate your human rights—and afford you very little humanity indeed.

  • crowepps

    A kidney has no life on its own. No mind, no intelligence, no soul, no sentience, to use a word you’re so fond of.

    At the point in its development where the vast majority of abortions remove it, the zygote/blastocyst/fetus also doesn’t have mind, intelligence or sentience.  The point at which there is a "soul" to be concerned about is unknown, however since most who believe in a soul also believe it to be eternal, its presence is irrelevant.

     A child is not a PART of her mother’s body

    Precisely her argument.  If the child is not a part of the mother’s body, then it can be removed just like any other foreign object.  It does not have a ‘right’ to highjack her bodily processes to its own benefit without her permission.

  • teb-abhour

    Ferret – If you choose to attach yourself to a body – you are a parasite. The host organism did not wilfully choose yoour dependence on them – you did. A pre-born human is the opposite situation. Their dependency situation is the result of the willful acts of it’s “host”. The host is responsible for the dependency, and is culpable to maintain it. It’s 180 degrees from your position, so your argumant is invalid.

    Crow – “No mind, no intelligence, no soul, no sentience”. You are not correct on the “no soul” issue. Soul is the word for life force. The organism is alive, so therefore has a soul (life force) acting on it’s physical makeup.

    No mind, no intelligence are invalid arguments as they presuppose that consciousness is in a mind, which is incorrect. If consciousness were mere products of developed brains, then no living cell could perform any behaviors whatsoever without one. It is fact that even single cells act wilfully, so the concept of “mind” is attached to life at the smallest level (cellular, not to the presence of brain matter.

    The excuses of lack of feeling, and intelligence as we normally understand it are also invalid. All cellular life responds to stimuli, which is evidence of “feeling” and “intelligence” having presence within every living cell.

    Also, if the lack of developed nervous system, lack of feeling, lack of intelligence are valid arguments, then the life of a sleeping, unconscious, or stupid person is terminable by the same argument. It is obviously false.

  • jenh

    Ah, Crowepps and PCFerret,
    Do you not hear yourselves? You speak of a child as a parasite — I admit, I can’t understand that at all. That is a tragic insight into your hearts. I pity you, and I pray that one day soon your hearts will be changed.
    The difference is I don’t call the child in the womb a “potential” human being — simply a human being, as I am a human being and you are a human being. We all have potential to become more tomorrow than we are today — to learn more, understand more, achieve more, give more, etc. That has nothing to do with our basic humanity. The child is human, period, regardless of how developed in body.
    The child’s rights are not less than the mother’s. The mother’s rights are not more than the child’s. The mother is the one with greater power and choices, and in fact, is the one who made the choice to create the child in the first place!
    This “parasite” did not appear in your body by magic, but by YOUR choice! That makes you responsible! That makes you obligated to acknowledge the human rights of the new human being you helped bring into existence.
    But, as I’ve learned by now, pro-aborts don’t believe in responsibility. Just “free” sex whenever, wherever, with whomever with no obligations, no accountability, no strings, no expectations. And those pesky “parasites” had better not show up, and if they do, well, just kill ‘em.
    How pathetic.

  • prochoicegoth

    NOTHING and NO ONE has the right to use the body of another without their consent or against their will. If my fiance is not allowed to have sex with me against my will, if a dying leukemia patient is not allowed to take my marrow against my will(if I’m a match), then why should a woman be forced to allow a fetus to gestate in her womb? Bodily autonomy DOES NOT end once a woman conceives. 

     

    Oh and there are no children involved in abortions. A child is a born human from 3 years to 12 years of age. 


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • prochoiceferret

    The host organism did not wilfully choose yoour dependence on them – you did. A pre-born human is the opposite situation. Their dependency situation is the result of the willful acts of it’s "host".

    Sorry, but a woman does not give up the right to bodily integrity just because she "willfully" engaged in sexual intercourse. Just because she had sex doesn’t mean that she wanted to become pregnant. Heck, even if she wanted to become pregnant, guess what! She still has the right to bodily integrity!

    The host is responsible for the dependency, and is culpable to maintain it.

    Culpable? Excuse me? Did she sign a contract with someone? Did she make a legal promise to you, or someone else, that she would keep the pregnancy? I don’t think so! I know that you would like for her to be "culpable to maintain it," but it’s rather more important to respect womens’ human rights than your bizarre wishes about how the world should work.

     

    I realize that the idea of women being in control of their bodies really annoys you, but you’re just going to have to grow up and accept that.

    If consciousness were mere products of developed brains, then no living cell could perform any behaviors whatsoever without one. It is fact that even single cells act wilfully, so the concept of "mind" is attached to life at the smallest level (cellular, not to the presence of brain matter.

    This is a very interesting theory you have posited. Do you have papers published in a peer-reviewed neurology journal that I could read, to learn more about your notion of single-celled-minds?

  • prochoiceferret

    Do you not hear yourselves? You speak of a child as a parasite — I admit, I can’t understand that at all.

    If you ever find yourself pregnant one day, and realize that you really don’t want to go through with it, you’ll probably begin to appreciate the comparison.

    The child is human, period, regardless of how developed in body. The child’s rights are not less than the mother’s. The mother’s rights are not more than the child’s.

    Right. But no human has a right to sustain itself from another human host against the host’s will, so even in this analysis, the mother has the right to abort her pregnancy.

    The mother is the one with greater power and choices, and in fact, is the one who made the choice to create the child in the first place! This "parasite" did not appear in your body by magic, but by YOUR choice! That makes you responsible!

    The fact that pregnancy may have resulted from the womans’ own actions does not somehow deprive her of her right to bodily integrity. What, are you going to suggest that abortion is okay if the woman was raped, but not if she engaged in consensual sexual intercourse?

    But, as I’ve learned by now, pro-aborts don’t believe in responsibility. Just "free" sex whenever, wherever, with whomever with no obligations, no accountability, no strings, no expectations. And those pesky "parasites" had better not show up, and if they do, well, just kill ‘em.

    And people think it’s only young kids who need comprehensive sexual education….

  • princess-rot

    It is paramount that readers of RHRC understand that Jen’s indifference to other women’s circumstances and opinions on their lives and bodies is born of an idealistic myopia where nobody ever has a different opinion to Jen, and everyone who is pregnant and doesn’t want to be needs to pull themselves up by their bootstraps or suffer their deserved punishment for failing to understand that their lives and wellbeing don’t matter once they are outside the womb.

    And Jen? People dying for want of a kidney transplant do have lives, even if the kidney itself doesn’t. That you failed to grasp that part of the analogy is quite telling. You think very little of other people’s lives if they violate your preconcieved standard to qualify for full humanity in some manner, or if they are not silent creatures whom you can speak for and feel like a martyr for doing so, even when ultimately the responsibility of caring for that eventual baby will not fall on your shoulders.

    Honestly, anti-choice is the laziest, most self-righteous political position ever.

  • princess-rot

    Does anyone here ever get tired of having their lives and bodies explained to them by patronizing men who will never be in the same position but still feel entitled to tell you what you should think and feel about it if it ever happens to you?

  • pilar608

     So by your logic, if I willfully eat undercooked pork and thereby introduce a tapeworm larva into my system, I have no right to rid myself of this parasite. After all, the tapeworm had no say in the matter, and I was the one who decided to eat the pork. Especially given that most tapeworm infections are asymptomatic and go unnoticed.

    You doubtless will be all offended by my analogy, but really, the only difference is that a pregnancy carries greater risk to the mother and will result in the expulsion of the entire "parasite" after a set period of time. It carries the same weight of responsibility. I am aware that if I consume undercooked pork products, I might end up with a tapeworm. I am aware that if I have sex without contraceptives (or with, if I’m unlucky), I might end up with a zygote. In neither case have I consented through my actions for another being to use my body and my body’s resources without my consent.  Unless, of course, you’re also willing to argue for the right to life of innocent intestinal parasites.

  • pilar608

    I’m having some serious html issues.  Moderators can feel free to delete this.

  • ks

    I would only add that being pregnant and really not wanting to go through with it isn’t in any way, shape, or form a prerequisite for viewing a zygote/fetus as parasitic.

     

    I have two children, from planned and wanted pregancies, who I absolutely adore.  And I still refer to the fetus as a parasite.  Because it is.  Just because I wanted those particular parasites at those particular moments in time doesn’t make them any less so.  And just because I got pregnant on purpose and wanted the children I have right now doesn’t make me any less likely to abort if I were to find myself pregnant again.

     

    And also, just because I think it bears repeating to the anti-choicers around here, consent to sex is absolutely NOT consent to pregnancy.  I consent to sex pretty frequently and I forsee a future with, hopefully, lots more, but I will never again consent to pregnancy.  Because I’m done with the whole making babies thing.  Absolutely done.  And, just for the record, all that sex I consent to and want to have more of, is part of my committed, over 10 years so far in duration, officiated by a Catholic priest, etc., marriage.  I don’t count myself as Catholic anymore, and the husband never was, but we’re still married and still plan on fucking like bunnies whenever the opportunity presents itself, hopefully well into the future.  And still, no more kids.  And should my ovaries decide to kick in at some point, I know where the clinic is in my city.

  • teb-abhour

    Your last round of arguments are fundamentally that you can willingly perform “reproductive acts” without being responsible for reproducing. That is so obviously wrong, and such a silly argument that it is unworthy of rebuttal.

    Ferret wants peer reviewed science jounals.. Did you skip grade school biology where you looked a paramecium under a microscope. It is fundamental biology. You can look it up on page one of any biology 101 text.
    http://library.thinkquest.org/C003763/index.php?page=origin06

    All of your arguements are pathetic regurgitations of logical fallacies.
    http://heyitsjustablogman.blogspot.com/2010/01/straw-gods.html

    You don’t seek truth, you seek excuses so to convince yourself that you won’t pay for your murders. You can’t ever silence your conscience. You can only out yell it. It is always going to convict you

    http://heyitsjustablogman.blogspot.com/2010/01/when-truth-wins.html

  • prochoicegoth

    Their dependency situation is the result of the willful acts of it’s
    "host". The host is responsible for the dependency, and is culpable to
    maintain it.

     

     

    Since when is consent to sex consent to motherhood or continuing a resulting pregnancy? Since when is sex a crime worthy of punishment via forced gestation? 

     

     


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • prochoicegoth

    pro-aborts don’t believe in responsibility. Just "free" sex whenever,
    wherever, with whomever with no obligations, no accountability, no
    strings, no expectations. And those pesky "parasites" had better not
    show up, and if they do, well, just kill ‘em.
    How pathetic.

    Wow, and I thought pro-lifers couldn’t sink any lower. Jenh, since when does seeing sex as far more than a baby-making tool perceived as irresponsible? Since when does advocating SAFE SEX with birth control or condoms seen as irresponsible? There’s nothing wrong with casual sex, unless you’re a prudish individual who thinks sex is ONLY for married couples with the intent of procreation. Oh and fyi, pro-choice IS NOT pro-abortion whatsoever. If that were the case, my very pro-choice buddy Niamh wouldn’t have an almost three year old son and a daughter that’s due any day now. If pro-choice was pro-abortion, I would have suggested abortion to all my pregnant friends, which I haven’t. 

     

    And you call US pathetic? Who’s the one making ASSumptions and lying about the pro-choice movement? 

     

    Oh and fyi, a fetus is PARASITIC in nature, meaning it takes and takes and takes without giving anything back to the mother. It also causes the mother to be sick, uncomfortable and in some cases the fetus’ existsance in her body CAN kill her. 

    It’s pro-choice or NO choice.

  • prochoicegoth

    NONE of your links are peer-reviewed studies. NONE of them are medical journals and NONE of them prove you right. The last link is laughable at best.

     


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • prochoiceferret

    Your last round of arguments are fundamentally that you can willingly perform "reproductive acts" without being responsible for reproducing. That is so obviously wrong, and such a silly argument that it is unworthy of rebuttal.

    Of course people are responsible for the consequences of their participation in sexual activities. That’s why we have contraception, abortion, and reproductive health facilities in general.

     

    Oh, I’m sorry, were you referring to this mythical "responsibility to carry any possible resulting pregnancy to term, whether you want to or not?" Yeah, can’t help you with that one.

    Ferret wants peer reviewed science jounals.. Did you skip grade school biology where you looked a paramecium under a microscope. It is fundamental biology. You can look it up on page one of any biology 101 text.

    I must have missed the part of Biology 101 that said that a paramecium had a "mind"—as in a real, thinking mind, and not just as an analogy for all the internal cell-regulation machinery.

    All of your arguements are pathetic regurgitations of logical fallacies.

    Apparently, one has to be a Bible-quoting fundamentalist in order to see the logical fallacies I (and others here) have made. I guess it’s like how evolution has been shown to be consistent with scientific observation, unless you’re a Creationist or Intelligent Design supporter.

    You don’t seek truth, you seek excuses so to convince yourself that you won’t pay for your murders. You can’t ever silence your conscience. You can only out yell it. It is always going to convict you

    Um, sorry, I’m on pretty good terms with my conscience. (Remember what ProChoiceGoth said about ASSumptions?) But if you are so tormented by your conscience, I can see how that would lead you to post wild screeds on the Internet that accuse random people of having committed murder. Perhaps you should switch to decaf.

  • crowepps

     Crow – "No mind, no intelligence, no soul, no sentience".

    If you had actually read my post you would have noted that I never said there was "no soul".  Instead I said:

    The point at which there is a "soul" to be concerned about is unknown, however since most who believe in a soul also believe it to be eternal, its presence is irrelevant.

    Your statement is incorrect:

    Soul is the word for life force.

    Soul is not the word for "life force", because the possession of a soul is restricted to humans.  Using your definition, cows, fish and bacteria would have souls and killing them would also be ‘murder’.

    1. The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity.
    2. The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.
    3. The disembodied spirit of a dead human.
    You also seem to be a little fuzzy on the concept of consciousness.
    No mind, no intelligence are invalid arguments as they presuppose that consciousness is in a mind, which is incorrect.
    Consciousness is not only in the mind, it is in the awake and aware mind, which is why its alterate is the state of UNconsciousness. 
    1. The state or condition of being conscious.
    2. A sense of one’s personal or collective identity, including the attitudes, beliefs, and sensitivities held by or considered characteristic of an individual or group
    Your assumption that anything which happens is a result of ‘someone’  acting ‘willfully’ is downright bizarre – chemicals react to each other, but most of us wouldn’t therefore assume that the fizzing of baking soda is proof that NaHCO3 demonstrates ‘feeling’ or ‘intelligence’.