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.
The budget proposal put forth by Paul Ryan is a vicious and cruel all-out attack on everyone under the age of 55, but the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that the Ryan plan propose would be felt in a particularly acute way by women.
It happens frequently when I meet someone new. We each say what work we do, and then he or she says, “You are a man. Why are you interested in family planning?”
Mother’s Day always makes me think about the up and down journey motherhood has been for me and many of the women I know. I had my first child at nineteen and I still don’t know how I made it. I worked two jobs, with the first one starting at five in the morning and the second one finishing at nine at night. I couldn’t afford full-time childcare, so I moved my son Danny between two part-time centers that weren’t as good as I hoped for but better than I could afford.
If budget negotiations lead to re-instatement of the Global Gag Rule, it will not reduce the deficit one penny. It will instead eviscerate family planning and force providers to choose between U.S. funding and serving women in need.
Even in Massachusetts, where 98 percent of residents have health insurance, research shows cuts to publicly-funded family planning would be devastating.