I would like your opinions on this foreign policy change....

  1. I received this in my e-mail this morning, and I am curious as to what your opinions are, right and left wing (esp you Susy!) I mean giving a dollar won't break me, but first of all, how can we determine if this is legit? Second of all, while I feel for these women, don't we have enough of our own homeless here who could benefit from $34 mil?

    So, what's your take on this?.....

    AUSTIN, Texas -- As all the Miss Witherspoons of our
    lives used to call in those clear, flutey tones,
    "Attention, girls!" Heads up, women, we've got
    problems.

    The latest in a long line of anti-woman decisions by
    the Bush administration is, for once, getting some
    attention, in part because of the sheer cheapness of
    the move.

    President Bush has decided not to send the $34 million
    approved by both houses of Congress for the United
    Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). The
    fund provides contraception, family planning and safe
    births, and works against the spread of HIV and
    against female genital mutilation in the poorest
    countries of the world. Thirty-four million dollars
    goes a long way in the parts of the world where over
    600,000 women die every year from pregnancy and
    childbirth, many of them children themselves.

    Of course, our poor government is so broke it can't
    afford to waste $34 million on women in poor
    countries. It has more important things to do, like
    spending $100 million on "promoting marriage." (I'm in
    favor of recycling old Nike ads for this one:
    "Marriage. Just do it.")

    Two women -- Jane Roberts, a retired teacher in
    California, and Lois Abraham, a lawyer in New Mexico
    -- have started a splendid symbolic protest, and it is
    spreading by email, fax, newsletters and all kinds of
    women's groups. The organizers are looking for "34
    million Friends of UNFPA" to send $1 each to the
    United Nations (FPA) at 220 East 42nd St., New York,
    NY 10017.

    Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, director of the UNFPA, said the
    $34 million U.S. contribution would save helped
    prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000
    induced abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, and 77,000
    infant and child deaths. We don't have $34 million to
    save the lives of poor women, but President Bush wants
    to spend $135 million on abstinence education, which
    doesn't work worth a damn.

    According to that fountain of misinformation, the Rev.
    Jerry Falwell: "This announcement angered school sex
    educators, who concentrate on teaching our nation's
    students that they should explore their sexuality and
    ignore the consequences. But Mr. Bush said government
    can teach children how to exhibit sexual control."

    Actually, sex education is entirely about the
    consequences of "exploring sexuality," and it works.
    The Guttmacher Institute published a report last week
    showing that the abortion rate is down by 11 percent
    in this country precisely because young people are now
    getting more education about sex. One would think the
    anti-abortion forces would be grateful.

    Instead, there is every indication that in addition to
    taking away a woman's right to choose whether to have
    an abortion, the Bush administration is going after
    contraception, as well. Bush's first action on his
    first day as president was to reinstitute the global
    "gag rule" that no foreign aid
    can go to any women's clinic abroad that that mentions
    the word abortion, even when the life of the mother is
    at stake. Now he wants to make W. David Hager chairman
    of the Food and Drug Administration's panel on women's
    health policy. Hager is an ob-gyn from Kentucky who
    wants the FDA to reverse its approval of RU-486, the
    so-called "abortion pill."

    Although Hager is the editor of a book that includes
    the essay "Using the Birth Control Pill is Ethically
    Unacceptable," he told Maureen Dowd of The New York
    Times he does not agree with the essay. Then why
    include it? He does not prescribe contraceptives for
    single women, does not do abortions, will not
    prescribe RU-486 and will not insert IUDs. Hager also
    believes headaches, PMS and eating disorders can be
    cured by reading Scripture. I do not want this man in
    charge of my health policy.

    It took almost all of human history for the population
    of the globe to reach 1 billion in people in 1800. It
    took only from 1987 to 1999 for world population to
    grow from 5 billion to 6 billion. At current rates, we
    will reach 13 billion by the middle of the 21st
    century. Ninety-five percent of
    this growth will be in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
    Studies estimate that by 2025, two out of every three
    people on Earth will live in water-stressed
    conditions. The stress on global resources is already
    apparent. The National Wildlife Federation points to
    severe deforestation, habitat fragmentation, species
    extinction, water scarcity, climate change, loss of
    biodiversity and pollution. Eighty percent of the
    original forest is gone or degraded. The grim toll on
    the Earth's resources goes on and on.

    While we spend trillions of dollars on weapons, the
    military and homeland security, the real threats --
    water scarcity, climate change and population growth
    -- advance unchecked. Of course, you would know more
    about all this if the media weren't so busy wasting
    hours of time on rank speculation about the Maryland
    sniper. Crime doesn't pay, but it sells.

    Bottom line: Please send $1 to

    United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
    220 E. 42nd St
    New York, NY 10017

    NOW!
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I am generally ALWAYS in favor of providing family planning education and materials to women, whether it be here or in a third world country. In the end, everyone benefits from a sustainable population. I also agree the government does spend a lot more than that on stupid things (abstinence education? Saying "don't have sex" should not cost over 100 million). I would prefer my money goes to providing birth control than searching for Bin Laden for another few years.

    No we aren't obligated to provide everything for the third world, and yes we have our own homeless people and the like who could benefit from 34 million dollars. I just don't see anything wrong with giving it, especially when we always talk about American generosity and charity work. I would also think that controlling population levels would decrease the need for foreign aid in the long run wouldn't it?
    Last edit by fergus51 on Nov 14, '02
  4. by   hoolahan
    All excellent points fergus! Thanks for giving me that to think about!
  5. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by fergus51
    I am generally ALWAYS in favor of providing family planning education and materials to women, whether it be here or in a third world country. In the end, everyone benefits from a sustainable population. I also agree the government does spend a lot more than that on stupid things (abstinence education? Saying "don't have sex" should not cost over 100 million). I would prefer my money goes to providing birth control than searching for Bin Laden for another few years.

    No we aren't obligated to provide everything for the third world, and yes we have our own homeless people and the like who could benefit from 34 million dollars. I just don't see anything wrong with giving it, especially when we always talk about American generosity and charity work. I would also think that controlling population levels would decrease the need for foreign aid in the long run wouldn't it?
    I agree with everything you have said here... with the exception of one sentence: "I would prefer my money goes to providing birth control than searching for Bin Laden for another few years."

    If Bin Laden has his way, he will BE a form of population control by killing as many as he can.
  6. by   Gomer
    Does this really surprise anyone? With his "mandate" Bush and the conservative right will have women in burkas within 5 years. The white boys are in control now.
  7. by   NurseDennie
    Originally posted by Gomer
    Does this really surprise anyone? With his "mandate" Bush and the conservative right will have women in burkas within 5 years. The white boys are in control now.
    Sheesh Gomer, over-exaggerate much?

    Love

    Dennie
  8. by   JedsMom
    What you said Dennie!
  9. by   Gomer
    Wish I was Dennie. Ever since the days of the ERA and Roe v. Wade I've had the fear that sooner or later we (women) will be put back in our place (barefoot, pregnant, & in the kitchen?). We may be in the majority when it comes to numbers, but as a viable sisterhood we suck.

    I see examples on this board every day that women are still having many of the same issues we all had back in the 60's & 70's....salary issues, respect (or lack of it) for what we do, are we or aren't we professionals. There was even a recent post about age and marriage. So, why does it surprise anyone that reproductive issues/freedom are being surpressed by policy makers who still think motherhood is what women are made for. (Don't mean to offend any mothers out there....if that's what you want to do...more power to you, but some of us have other desires and needs). Females are still the only sex able to give birth and that makes reproductive rights/education and our ability to choose (whether you be pro-choice or pro-life) paramount to our survival.
  10. by   Lausana
    OH BROTHER. I certainly don't see us heading back to the kitchen, right now the majority of the 20,000 plus people who are a part of this BB alone are career women, who manage to work and have families just fine.

    As for Bush NOT sending them (UNFPA) the money, that isn't factual...he didn't approve 34 million, but he reapproved what we've been contibuting since the Clinton administration--25 million...so maybe the argument should be taken up with our congressmen & senators if people feel we should contribute more.

    Article includes Foreign Aid for 2002: http://www.oneworld.net/ips2/apr01/00_58_006.html
  11. by   Gomer
    I wonder who really knows the truth about this issue??

    PRESS RELEASE
    United Nations Population Fund
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    UNFPA Expresses Regret at U.S. Decision
    Not To Grant it Funding

    UNITED NATIONS, New York, 22 July 2002 - - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today said a decision by President Bush not to grant it the $34 million dollars appropriated by Congress for 2002 will cost thousands of women and children their lives

    The Executive Director of UNFPA, Ms. Thoraya Obaid, said: "The denial of these funds will, unfortunately, significantly affect millions of women and children worldwide for whom the life-saving services provided by the UNFPA will have to be discontinued. Women and children will die because of this decision." [see Executive Director statement]

    UNFPA operates projects that provide contraception and gynecological services, teen-pregnancy prevention and HIV/AIDS prevention in 142 countries.

    The $34 million from the United States would have allowed the agency to prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths, UNFPA estimates.

    "We regret this decision by the Administration and hope that the United States will reconsider its stand and rejoin the community of nations working through UNFPA to save women's lives, to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to improve the quality of life for hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people," Ms. Obaid said.

    The Bush Administration, in withholding funds, accepted allegations that UNFPA gives tacit support to China's one-child policy just by working in China.

    "UNFPA has not, does not and will not ever condone or support coercive activities of any kind, anywhere," Ms. Obaid said.

    "UNFPA has been and remains steadfast as a leading voice for human rights and for the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Programme of Action agreed at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, all of which condemn coercion in all forms," she added.

    Ms. Obaid stressed that the Fund's programme in China strictly observed the highest standards of human rights and that the participation was voluntary.

    The United States is the only country ever to deny funding to UNFPA for non-budgetary reasons.

    ____________________________________________
    [B]
  12. by   PennyLane
    Originally posted by Gomer
    I see examples on this board every day that women are still having many of the same issues we all had back in the 60's & 70's....salary issues, respect (or lack of it) for what we do, are we or aren't we professionals. There was even a recent post about age and marriage. So, why does it surprise anyone that reproductive issues/freedom are being surpressed by policy makers who still think motherhood is what women are made for. (Don't mean to offend any mothers out there....if that's what you want to do...more power to you, but some of us have other desires and needs). Females are still the only sex able to give birth and that makes reproductive rights/education and our ability to choose (whether you be pro-choice or pro-life) paramount to our survival.
    Gomer, I'm with you all the way.

    I also think that we, as a rich nation, have an obligation to help our poorer nations. After all, we all share the same planet, and if we end up destroying the planet, or at least life as we know it, we will ALL suffer for it. The human race's population growth and species elimination has gotten out of hand. The time to act is now, or it may be too late.
  13. by   Lausana
    Thanks for the article Gomer, I think mine was regarding our contribution for this yr--in this article below it states earlier this yr Bush had designated another 25 mil and congress tacked on another 9, if the the Bush admin is having a change of heart isn't it up to us to do something about it as I posted before? It sounded like congress was in support if they were pushing for more money. ?? I get tired of the griping when we vote people into office to be our representatives...it isn't as if they issue can't be brought up again.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com...ID38/1244.html

    I personally don't care either way, I can think of a lot better ways to spend ALL of the governments money, 100 million here, 100 million there
  14. by   hoolahan
    OK, now I am confused. Which article is accurate? I would be less disturbed knowing we were still contributing 25 mil, same as before. So which is it, 25 or none?

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