<\body> Stories in America: Europe Rejects Bush's Abstinence-Only Plan

Friday, December 02, 2005

Europe Rejects Bush's Abstinence-Only Plan

IN THE COURTS

Alito abortion memo stirs more controversy - Reuters
A prominent Senate Democrat on Thursday demanded Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito explain why he did not mention a controversial 1985 memo on abortion in a lengthy questionnaire tracing his legal career. "It is puzzling that one of the most significant cases that Judge Alito had a hand working on was omitted," New York Democrat Charles Schumer said. "The American people are entitled to know his views on all constitutional matters, not just the ones that the administration cherry-picks."

INTERNATIONAL

Europeans reject abstinence message in split with US on Aids - Guardian
Europe, led by the UK, signalled a major split with the United States over curbing the Aids pandemic in a statement that tacitly urged African governments not to heed the abstinence-focused agenda of the Bush administration. The statement, released for World Aids Day, emphasises the fundamental importance of condoms, sex education and access to reproductive health services. "We are profoundly concerned about the resurgence of partial or incomplete messages on HIV prevention which are not grounded in evidence and have limited effectiveness," it says.

Survey calls for end to female carpet weavers' misery - IRIN
Thousands of women and girls who toil in appalling conditions to make Afghan carpets for export are treated as unpaid slaves and suffer from routine exhaustion, long hours and health problems, according to a survey conducted by a local rights body released on Thursday. The world famous handmade carpets, woven mainly in northern and central Afghanistan, are one of the poverty-stricken country's few exports and can fetch thousands of dollars abroad. According to the Ministry of Commerce, there are around 1 million small carpet workshops across the country, in which around 6 million people, mainly women and children, are employed. The Rabia Balkhi Advocacy and Skill building Agency (RASA) conducted the survey over seven months in three northern provinces: Balkh; Kunduz; and Jawzjan, and spoke to more than 300 weavers.
"Most of the weavers spend up to 18 hours a day working in poor conditions, with many becoming ill and taking opium to relieve their pain," Nilofar Sayar, regional director of RASA, said. Afghanistan's 2003 constitution limits the normal working day to eight hours.

Indian PM: 'Talk about safe sex' - BBC
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged Indians to start talking more openly about safe sex to check the spread of the HIV virus that causes Aids. This follows growing alarm among Indian health officials about the spread of the virus to rural areas where health care is poor. Aids workers dispute official figures that say the rate of HIV infection has fallen sharply in India. More than five million people in India are HIV positive. Only South Africa has more people with the virus.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

Pay women not to have abortions, say Italian MPs - Guardian
A proposal to pay women in Italy not to have abortions was rapidly gaining momentum yesterday as politicians of right and left alike gave it their endorsement. The scheme - put forward by the left - came against a background of mounting pressure from the Roman Catholic church for a rethink of the country's 1978 abortion law. With a general election due in four months, both sides are keen to woo the decisive Catholic vote. Under the scheme women in straitened economic circumstances would get between $250 and $350 a month for up to six months before giving birth. The plan is outlined in a proposed amendment to next year's budget sponsored by a group of MPs that includes two former women ministers - one an ex-Communist and the other from the centre-left.

2 Comments:

At 12/02/2005 12:26 PM, Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

Hi Rose! An interesting message by the Holy Spirit on The Christian Prophet blog today seems to suggest a reframing of the abortion issue, with more emphasis on the avoidance of responsibility. On Saudi elections, two women victories sounds wonderful.

 
At 12/07/2005 11:28 PM, Blogger t1ernd0g said...

I don't know where else to post this, but it needs to get out somehow.

Limiting reproductive rights to women is gender-specific and is therefore unacceptable. If we believe in equal rights, we need to recognize men’s equal reproductive rights and equal right to privacy.

We need to change our vocabulary to eliminate prejudices and negative connotations, and to put a positive slant on these neglected rights of men. Therefore, “rape” and “child molestation” will become the more positive “drive fulfillment”; “domestic violence” and “child abuse” will be appropriately called “anger redirection”; and “victim” becomes the non-prejudicial “facilitator”.

I personally am against drive fulfillment and anger redirection, but every man has the right to choose.

The laws that currently repress these freedoms must fall in landmark Supreme Court cases. Men should educate themselves, recognize their empowerment, and become activists. Society should shrug off the negative connotations of “rape”, “molestation”, “domestic violence”, etc., and these rights must no longer be exercised furtively in back alleys but allowed to be enjoyed in the full light of day, free from disapproval and intolerance. Politicians at all levels should be supported or not based on their support of gender-neutral reproductive rights. After all, it’s my body -- government, keep your laws off it!

We should be prepared to counter the attacks of narrow-minded special interests, who may make claims such as “rape is wrong”, “child abuse is violence”, etc. We can easily poke holes in their arguments, for example by simply countering that if they don’t like “rape”, then they don’t have to have one. In the case of drive redirection via minor (formerly called “child molestation”), it’s obvious that a minor is a post-natal fetus, and a fetus has no rights. The issue of pre-term vs. post-term falls before the more fundamental right to privacy.

Please join with me in embracing this progressive cause.

 

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