The Politics of Plan B, Parents Back Sex Ed in Rural TX
"Listen, the reason I took this job is, I feel like we need to go into the 21st century. Clearly, with some folks in the country, we're going to get there kicking and screaming."
-Cecile Richards, the new president of Planned Parenthood
Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood's Choice Leader - Washington Post
In her first week on the job, the Supreme Court agreed to decide if the first federal ban on a method of abortion is constitutional. Two weeks later, South Dakota became the first state to ban nearly all abortions and set up a challenge to Roe v. Wade . Mississippi is on the cusp of enacting a similar law. A nonprofit organization with an annual budget of $800 million, Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care and sexual-health information to nearly 5 million women, men and teens each year, but Richards, 48, does not have a background in public health: She is a veteran Democratic political operative with Annie Lennox hair and a steely, strategic core, hired to preserve abortion rights.
Morning after in America - Washington Post
President Bush's uneasy relationship with science and policy is about to hurt him as much as it has already hurt American women. For years now the Food and Drug Administration has failed to make the morning-after contraceptive pill, commonly known as Plan B, available over the counter. This despite numerous studies (including ones by the FDA) showing that the medication is effective and as safe as Tylenol. The result? Millions of women have been deprived of easier and cheaper access to an important product. And the agency has seriously damaged its reputation among scientists, Congress and the American public.
Time to Stall a Bush Nominee - NY Times
We don't generally approve of holding nominations hostage to other political objectives. But Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray surely have good cause to block a vote on the nomination of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach to become commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration until the agency makes a final decision on the morning-after pill. There is no excuse for the administration's endless obfuscation and delays on making the pill available without a prescription when the overwhelming bulk of expert opinion says it is safe to do so. The pill must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, preferably within 24 hours, leaving little time to visit a doctor to get a prescription.
African women ask for safer abortions in Ethiopian conference - eitb24
More than 120 researchers, health-care professionals and policy makers held a three-day conference in Ethiopia to discuss ways to liberalize attitudes, laws and accessibility to safe abortions in Africa. A coalition of women's rights groups and activists pledged Friday to do more to make safe abortions available in Africa and called for more research into unsafe abortion and maternal mortality.
Survey says parents back sex ed beyond abstinence - Express-News
As Bexar County continues to suffer one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, local health educators find themselves in the crosshairs of a passionate debate over what to teach children about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence is the core message of all school-based sex education programs, in line with the Texas Education Code. But the state leaves it up to local school districts to decide whether to teach students about birth control and condoms, and at what grade level to introduce that information. Now, a small survey of parents from inner-city and rural areas of Bexar County has found that 80 percent of them favor teaching their children about condoms and birth control as early as the middle school years.
Iraqi woman's Baghdad blog in the running for£30,000 book prize - The Guardian
An anonymous Iraqi woman has become the first blog author to be in the running for a big literary prize for a book published between hard covers. Baghdad Burning, by a 26-year-old author who has won an international readership under the pen name Riverbend, is longlisted for the £30,000 Samuel Johnson award. In the list, announced today, she is up against 18 other books including Alan Bennett's latest bestseller, histories of the cold war and the great wall of China, and a biography of the 19th-century cookbook author Mrs Beeton. The Guardian carried an extract from Riverbend's title last summer.
For some women, Senate choice is no choice - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
One of the more intriguing dynamics of this year's Pennsylvania Senate race is that when faced with a Democrat and a Republican who both oppose abortion, some Democratic women are going to sit the race out. The issue was thrust to the forefront this past week when several women's groups endorsed a virtually unknown Democrat, Alan M. Sandals, as their choice to challenge Sen. Rick Santorum, largely because Mr. Sandals supports abortion rights.
Healing Powers - Newsweek
African women are starting to take charge--making new laws, changing old attitudes, inspiring others to follow their lead. Who will help them mend a broken continent?
Women leaders to discuss role - Gulf Daily News
About 100 women's leaders from 16 Arab countries will converge in Bahrain tomorrow to discuss the means of promoting their role in the region. The two-day conference will focus on the success of Arab women in the legal, economic and political fields. Participants will examine experiences in the region that reflect women's achievements, including the role of women in family and society, women's contribution to the economic sector and their political participation.
As outsourcing booms, now India makes babies too - GG2.net
giving birth to healthy twins, Mrs A, a young Indian woman, handed them to a US-based couple knowing she was unlikely to see them again. Her parents never knew what she was doing," her mother-in-law confides. "She told them she had a baby boy but he passed away." Mrs A, 27, is part of India's most prolific family of surrogate mothers, something that although not unlawful has to be kept a secret in this conservative country.
PanAfrica: Somber Outlook On Aids - AllAfrica.com
A former director of the United Nations Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa has painted a gloomy picture of efforts to bring the pandemic under control across the continent. "There is absolutely nothing optimistic about HIV in Africa, 25 years after the virus was discovered," said Nana Poku, who is now a professor in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, in the United Kingdom. "The biggest issue we fundamentally got wrong is prevention. The ABC strategy doesn't work," he added.