Amidst the controversy around Rush Limbaugh and birth control coverage, there have been some missed opportunities to dive deeper into the underlying issues. What I had hoped (and continue to hope) for is space for a more nuanced discussion about privilege, sex and sexuality, and feminism.
Improving access to sexual and reproductive health services is necessary to advance the Millennium Development Goals. At this critical moment, however, funding priorities for family planning are being shifted away from Latin America and the Caribbean, which may undermine the substantial gains that have been made in the region and overlook the tremendous need that still remains.
As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “women hold up half the sky.” Yet how can they, if they do not even have a plot of land on which to stand?
The prosecution of drug use in pregnant women does nothing to fulfill a legitimate policy goal and in fact seems to be racially motivated—at least in the implementation—rather than spurred by a concern for children.
Governor Brownback , like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, speaks about goals such as reducing childhood poverty while passing laws that actually deepen poverty throughout the state.
Since household income has been declining over time (and proportionally fewer individuals earn more than twice the poverty level), the silver lining of the 2008 economic crisis might be that more Americans start seeing poverty for what it is: not something anyone “deserves.”
This year, the theme of World AIDS Day is “Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths.” In order to get to zero, we must be clear that now is not the time to cut back on essential services, even in the face of fiscal austerity.
What young women need (beyond the obvious need for greater access to low cost birth control and improved sex education in schools) is a boost to their self-esteem, mentors, and to be told that they possess greatness within themselves beyond what can be obtained by any man, babies, money, drugs or alcohol. They sure don’t need the condescending and biased advice of Sam Brownback and the Heritage Foundation.
Governor Brownback’s policies are designed to favor the likes of the Kochs, not the kids of Kansas. His “town halls” are further proof of the control that our governor demands over every interaction, every policy and every man, woman and child within Kansas boundaries.
Kansas facing rising rates of poverty, extreme poverty, child poverty and other problems, even outpacing the nation as a whole in terms of poverty. But for Brownback and the extremists in the Kansas legislature, its all-about-abortion all the time.