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C-FAM Continues to Miss an Opportunity to Fight Trafficking

After writing last week about a seemingly dishonest attempt from C-FAM to campaign against human trafficking, their follow-up email for that campaign this week appears to confirm my suspicions.

It is the same email from last week, recycled in its entirety, with two small changes: a list of “progress” items at the front, and a change in the number of signatures needed at the bottom. But Austin Ruse didn’t spend too much time on even those changes – he updated how many signatures they had received, but he forgot to update how many they needed. Or did he?

It still says they need “50,000 more and we need it fast," same as last week. Do they need those signatures for the campaign, or do they just need some more email addresses for their mailing list? Considering that C-FAM has been on a “serious” fundraising kick for the past month, every email they can get on that list might translate into another person opening their pocketbooks, either now or in the future.

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Catholic Bishops Do the Right Thing by Not Denying Communion to Politicians

At RH Reality Check, we’re willing to give credit where credit is due, and I think credit is due to the US Catholic bishops for their recent decision, reported yesterday, to not invoke a communion ban for politicians who do not support the Catholic Church’s perspective on abortion in their public life.

The possibility of bishops denying communion to such public officials made major news in the 2004 election cycle, when Sen. John Kerry, a Roman Catholic who supports reproductive rights, was targeted by critics for his views. The American Life League has led the efforts to pressure Catholic bishops to deny communion to Sen. Kerry and other politicians, and some in this camp have even called for the excommunication of such politicians. ALL started a campaign, the “Crusade for the Defense of our Catholic Church,” that produced ads demonizing a group they call the “Deadly Dozen” – the “most influential” pro-choice Catholic politicians, which has included Gov. George Pataki (R-NY), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). There was even a blog – Catholic Kerry Watch – dedicated to defaming John Kerry on account of this issue during the 2004 campaign.

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Video: Global Health Council Panel Discussion

[img_assist|nid=292|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=61|height=69]This post includes links to video footage of the entire presentation, as well as to RH Reality Check interviews with panel members.

On May 30th, the Global Health Council's annual conference featured a panel discussion on a new report from the UN Millennium Project entitled, "Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals."

The report's author, Stan Bernstein of the UN Millennium Project and UNFPA, was joined on the panel by renowned author and development expert Jeffrey D. Sachs of the UN Millennium Project, and by Ana Langer, president and CEO of EngenderHealth and a leading expert in women's and family health services. The panel was moderated by Nils Daulaire, president of the Global Health Council.

It was a fantastic conversation, featuring some of the most expert voices in this field. These leaders and others like them do the work that makes RH Reality Check possible — they provide the solid research and thinking on reproductive health to counter the fuzzy logic of opponents.

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Obsessed with Prostitution, Right-Wing Groups Miss a Chance to Fight Trafficking

When the World Cup starts this week in Germany, over 3 million people are expected to be attending from around the world, and over 40,000 sex workers have been brought in for the event. Several NGOs are raising legitimate concerns that despite Germany’s best efforts, many of the women coming to Germany will be coming against their will or under deceitful circumstances, as victims of human trafficking.

Among the right-wing NGOs, C-FAM is leading the way in making noise about the event, with their Stop World Cup Prostitution campaign. While they and others (see Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America’s statement, and Rep. Chris Smith’s statement) might be bringing the horrible crime of human trafficking into a broader light, their main obsession appears to be prostitution, not trafficking. This focus may actually be hampering efforts to effect real and lasting change that would serve to end human trafficking.

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“AIDS is a Virus, Not a Moral Condition”

A panel discussion was hosted today by the Center for Health & Gender Equity and other NGOs that focused on US sexual and reproductive health policies as they affect HIV/AIDS work abroad. Rolake Odetoyinbo from Nigeria, Beatrice Were from Uganda, Meena Seeshu from India, Gabriela Liete from Brazil, and Rev. Johannes Petrus Heath from Namibia all had nearly the same message to share: that despite the benefits that have come from PEPFAR and other work of the Bush Administration, moralistic policies are making their work difficult.

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UNAIDS’ Piot Tells Delegates He is “Angry” About Negotations

Last night, UNAIDS hosted a dinner reception for the Global Coalition on Women & AIDS leadership council at the Ford Foundation.  Several leaders spoke briefly, including UNAIDS chief Peter Piot.

To a room of official country delegates to the UN and high level NGO staff, Piot confessed his disappointment about the state of negotiations — as of last night — on the political declaration for the UNGASS on AIDS.

"I am angry," he said, adding that the political maneuvering in the negotiations were coming close to being "unethical." 

"This is about people's lives."

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GHC Panel: Jeffrey Sachs (Part 1)

This segment includes the first half of Jeffrey Sachs' comments. The second half of his comments are available to view in a subsequent post.

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GHC Panel: Q & A (Part 1)

This clip includes the first part of the question & answer portion of the presentation. It is moderated by Nils Daulaire.

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GHC Panel: Stan Bernstein

This section of the panel discussion features comments by Stan Bernstein of the UN Millennium Project and UNFPA. He is the author of the report "Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals."

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GHC Panel: Intro with Nils Daulaire, Stan Bernstein

This post includes the opening footage from the panel discussion on "Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals."

Nils Daulaire, president of the Global Health Council, introduces the report, and its author, Stan Bernstein.

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