Synchronicity . . . Following my post, two days ago, I find this in my mail, from the Feminist Majority, :
Today, over 200 million women who want birth control lack access to contraceptives. Please join the movement to reverse cuts to reproductive health programs, helping the poorest of women. During the Bush years, international family planning funding has been cut some 40% in real dollars, and funding to the United National Population Fund (UNFPA) has been withheld for the past six years.
We just spent the last week with Dr. Solomon Orero, a heroic Kenyan OB/GYN, who described to us in vivid detail the suffering and unnecessary deaths of young women and girls in Kenya. We also worked with Dr. Nafis Sadik from the United Nations, who described the harmful conditionality of US funding, such as wasteful abstinence-only programs and restrictive policies like the global gag rule. We must reverse the direction of US international reproductive health policies.
Take action now! Write to Senator Pat Leahy (D- VT) and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), chairs of the House and Senate State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations subcommittees. Urge them to support an $530 million increase in U.S. assistance to international family planning, including $63.5 million to the United Nations Population Fund, in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for FY 2009. This brings the total funding for international family planning to $1 billion, less than the cost of 1 missile.
Without adequate access to birth control, more than 500,000 young women die each year from pregnancy related causes and complications in childbirth. Another 70,000 women and girls die from botched, unsafe abortions. Women want access to birth control, but our government’s policy of cutting family planning funding is contributing to unnecessary suffering and death.
Take Action! Tell the House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs Chairs Senator Pat Leahy and Congresswoman Nita Lowey know you support empowering women and increasing international family planning funding to $1 billion.
For Women’s Lives,
Will you take action?