Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pro Life - Can Mean Death for Women

One of the most brilliant and provocative writers of our time is Nicholas D. Kristof, who has made it his life's work to expose the horrors against women in third world countries around the world.
In his Op-Ed, "Can This Be Pro-Life" he shines a spotlight on the Republican Right (which includes President Bush, Senator McCain, Governor Palin and their supporters) and how pro-life policies have a devastating effect on women around the world.

The opposition to condoms and birth control have had a terrible effect on women in Africa and Asia as they contract AIDS and fall further into poverty with unwanted pregnancies. Since 2002, President Bush - backed by Senator McCain- has stopped funding the UN Population Fund
which works in 140 developing countries and has international support.

Now, the U.S. Agency for International Development has ordered six African countries to ensure that no U.S. financed condoms, birth control pills, IUDs or other contraceptives are furnished to a British Based aide group that operates clinics in poor countries. These clinics are often the only health care provided in rural areas where women walk for miles to receive care. The result will be at least 157,000 additional unwanted pregnancies per year, leading to 62,000 additional abortions and 660 women dying in childbirth.

These "pro-life" policies have dire effects on women and in countries where childbirth is the most common cause of death in young women, "pro-life" translates into "pro-death".


EC said...

Condoms and contraceptives are not the only form of birth control- what about natural family planning?

NFP is acceptable to those who are pro-life, and when used properly, is highly effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies. Is this not being taught in third world countries?

Toni Brayer MD said...

ec: I'm sure women everywhere do whatever they can to avoid unwanted pregnancy but I always tell my young patients: "Do you know what we call people who use rhythm method to avoid pregnancy?" "Mom and Dad".

CountryMidwife said...

ec -- women in third world countries have very few periods - they are either pregnant or breastfeeding most of their reproductive years. You can only use NFP when you have regular cycles. And you must have a partner who is willing to abstain for 8-12 days per month, and many women in this world do not have that.

EC said...

NFP =/= the rhythm method

A great source of info is in Toni Weschler's "Taking Charge of Your Fertility". I'd read up on it, for your own info and so you can pass on accurate information to your patients.

countrymidwife- Fair point.

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