President Bush has further derailed the United Nations Population Fund’s efforts to help women and support family planning by re-routing $34 million that had been slated for the international organization.
Without U.S. aid, international organizations will be unable to provide help to private agencies that give women information about effective birth control and other sexual health issues. Despite the Administration’s decision to cut the funding, Mills continues to advocate support for such organizations. By inviting speakers like Kavita N. Ramdas, president and chief executive officer of the Global Fund for Women, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Under Secretary General, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund and by donating $2,364 to the UNPFA.
Mills students should become more involved in matters of family planning. In times of political upheaval and war it is easy to find an enemy and fight for peace. However, we must remember that there remains a war which has yet to be won. Since 1933 women have been lobbying to protect their rights to know and be aware of their options. Yet, recent accomplishments continue to be undermined. By targeting the rights of couples and women overseas, Bush’s administration is exercising political power at great costs to those affected.
Bush’s first exercise of judicial power was to block funds to the UNFPA asserting that the United States will not support abortions abroad. This shows his administration will do everything possible to stand in the way of family planning organizations and has succumbed to the values of anti-choice lawmakers who supported his presidential campaign.
Since the second day of his presidency, Bush undermined programs to help women without access to reproductive choice education. Bush’s decision places an incredible strain on organizations that rely on outside donations to run these programs in underdeveloped countries.
Mills has made sure that we are aware of this issue through speakers and programs. It’s important for us to remain active in order to show Bush we are aware that his moral beliefs are interfering with women’s health. We can show our support by participating on Pro-Choice Walk Out Day and Call-In Day on Oct. 25, and calling our Congress member to protest the global gag act Bush imposed on inhibiting women’s reproductive rights. We should do this in support of legal, safe abortions and of health care providers that provide patients accurate information about all sexual health options throughout the world.