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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:35 AM
Original message
Obama's Other Family-Planning Move
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...

OBAMA'S OTHER FAMILY-PLANNING MOVE.... President Obama's decision to repeal the global gag rule ("Mexico City Policy") will make a huge difference in the lives of countless families around the world. With a stroke of a pen, Obama has taken a key step towards advancing international family planning and women's health.

But let's also note the other important move Obama made on family planning yesterday.

In a related move, Obama also said he would restore funding to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA). Both he and Clinton had pledged to reverse a Bush administration determination that assistance to the organization violated U.S. law known as the Kemp-Kasten amendment.

Obama, in his statement, said he looked forward to working with Congress to fulfill that promise: "By resuming funding to UNFPA, the U.S. will be joining 180 other donor nations working collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries."

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund, said: "The president's actions send a strong message about his leadership and his desire to support causes that will promote peace and dignity, equality for women and girls and economic development in the poorest regions of the world."


Indeed, it does more than just send a message; by restoring UNFPA funding, Obama is poised to save some lives.

This never should have been controversial. In Bush's first term, the former president intended to maintain UNFPA funding at Clinton-era levels. Then- Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "We recognize that UNFPA does invaluable work through its programs in maternal and child health care, voluntary family planning, screening for reproductive tract cancers, breast-feeding promotion and HIV/AIDS prevention." The administration sought the money, and Congress overwhelmingly approved it.

And then, some right-wing activists with the Bush administration's ear, starting complaining bitterly. Since its inception in 1969, the Fund has won widespread recognition for its work in improving the lives of women in developing countries, but for far-right leaders, most notably in the religious right, UNFPA is a pro-abortion enterprise that supports China's one-child policy.

Bush put a hold on the money he'd already requested and received, so he could investigate UNFPA's work in China. When international investigators and a U.S. team found "no evidence that UNFPA has knowingly supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization" in China, Bush suppressed the findings and blocked the funding anyway. It's a callous, twisted position he maintained for the rest of his terms in office.

Because of Bush's actions on UNFPA, fewer women in developing countries received pre-natal care, fewer doctors were trained to deal with pregnancy complications, fewer HIV prevention programs could operate, and less medical equipment was made available to expectant mothers.

Obama is going to make this right.

-Steve Benen
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. What more clear proof does anyone need that "Pro-Life"ers are Liars than that they have HURT Life
the world over and promoted SLAVERY by denying reproductive autonomy to Women.

I live in a state where the first thing many many many people ask you when you knock on their door for a candidate is "Is s/he Pro-Life?".

I remember when all of this went down between Bush and the UNFPA; at first there was hope. I was happy for the pResident and then . . . . The Bush Administration has definitely proven that if you're truly Pro-Life, you're also Pro-Choice.
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm very happy about this...but he needs to do a few more things before I'm satisfied
1. Start the ball rolling to rescind the BushCo bullcrap "right of conscience" rule.

2. Sign an EO (just as Bill Clinton did) restoring Federal employee health insurance abortion coverage.

3. Push for a law allowing overseas military doctors to provide abortions to military servicewomen.

President Obama, there are American women who need the anti-abortion yoke lifted from their necks ASAP, too.
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. This is why Obama mandated a blanket stop order before any of these
Bush directives became actual law.. that order would include these initiatives that Bush inacted in regards to those you've mentioned.
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Everything I mentioned already is law or in place by Bush EO's that need to be overturned.
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Perhaps, he can get to those things next week. So far, he's had 3 full days.
I bet he's still getting lost in the White House. Bush had 8yrs to mess it all up. Its going to take a little bit of time. But e-mail the white house. Pushing for these things may remind them of the things they need to fix.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Now there's a point. Three whole days! He'd best get with it!
:)
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. As I said -- he needs to do these things for AMERICAN women including American SERVICEWOMEN
Shouldn't they be as big of a priority as non-American women?
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Everything I mentioned already is law or in place by Bush EO's that need to be overturned.
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rvablue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Can we add to that list
reinstating the RICO act for the protesters outside of clinics.

Now that I'm typing this, I'm not sure.... was that something Bush got rid of or did the SC decide against it?

Hmmm, maybe you know. Anyway, there's a group in my city that sits outside screaming at young women and it drives me nuts!!!
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. ITA. Especially for servicewomen that choose to end pregnancies from rape. nt
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. All or nothing doesn't work in healthcare
great post.

great (no brainer really) move by Obama
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. It would be wonderful if the US became well know as a major
force for medical and disaster relief again. That, far more than military missions, should be our mandate internationally.

I hope Obama and Clinton can pull the money and authority out of the Pentagon and put it into the State Department instead. How much good could we do if we were saving lives instead of taking them?

:applause:
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:52 AM
Response to Original message
13. YES!!! I'm lovin me some President Obama
Every day is like Christmas!
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