Today is World Contraception Day. It’s actually a day just like any other, because it’s a day when so many women worldwide remain without access to birth control or other reproductive health services, and in which reproductive choice for all women remains an elusive goal.
Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment to the FY 2012 State Department and foreign operations appropriations bill introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that, if signed into law, would block re-imposition of the Global Gag Rule.
With the global population expected to surpass 7 billion, we can only expect that the unmet need for family planning services, which currently exists for an estimated 215 million women globally, will only increase.
The Associated Press reports that a federal judge ordered Kansas “to immediately resume funding a Planned Parenthood chapter on the same quarterly schedule that existed before a new state law stripped it of all federal funding for non-abortion services.”
It’s not often that I agree with Michael Gerson, the conservative former speech writer for President George H.W. Bush, advocate for abstinence-only policies in U.S. global AIDS programs, and columnist for the Washington Post. Today, however, I am in near full-agreement with him on why a pro-choice position on a public health intervention is also pro-life in the real sense.
On the heels of Vice President Biden’s recent trip to China, the leadership of the House of Representatives issued a misguided ultimatum to President Obama: defund UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, or else.
The cover story of the July 29, 2011 issue of Science Magazine is Population. We learn that in 1900 there were 1.6 billion human beings, 3 billion in 1960, and that the world will reach the benchmark of 7 billion this year.
By voting to reduce funding for international reproductive health and family planning activities, eliminate funding for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and reinstate the Global Gag Rule, the House threatens to turn back the clock on women’s health and has taken its disturbing war on women to a global stage.
Just weeks after publication of a major report underscoring the benefits of robust U.S. investment in family planning worldwide, the GOP-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee voted in the early hours of the morning today to reinstate the Global Gag Rule with broader and more damaging implications than ever before.