13 January 2010

We'll Have What They're Having...

Beware: Reading Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks at last week's 15th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (where, in Cairo, in 1994, more than 180 countries came together to agree upon a Program of Action that declared women's reproductive health and rights as key to ensuring "quality of life" for all) gives one a bit of a Twilight-Zone effect. Are we existing on two planes at once? How is it possible for Secretary Clinton to be proclaiming the Obama Administration's support for reproductive health and rights around the world when they're on the Congressional health-care chopping block back at home, with the Administration seemingly standing idly by? Here are excerpts from her speech:
What is it we will do between now and 2015? Remember what was expected of us. All governments will make access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services a basic right.

However, vast inequities remain. Too often, still today in 2010, women and girls bear the burdens of regional and global crises, whether it’s an economic downturn or climate change or political instability. ...And 15 years after the Cairo conference, far too many women still have little or no access to reproductive health services, including family planning and maternal healthcare.

So we’re here today to examine the distance that remains to be traveled before the world fully realizes the ICPD goals. This is a journey that the Obama Administration and the United States Government will travel with you.

We are rededicating ourselves to the global efforts to improve reproductive health for women and girls. Under the leadership of this Administration, we are committed to meeting the Cairo goals.

Investing in the health of women, adolescents, and girls is not only the right thing to do; it is also the smart thing to do. That is why we are integrating women’s issues as key elements of our foreign policy agenda and in, especially, our Global Health Initiative and our Global Food Security Initiative.

We are doing all of these things because we have seen that when women and girls have the tools to stay healthy and the opportunity to contribute to their families’ well-being, they flourish and so do the people around them.
Read Secretary Clinton's full remarks.

Meanwhile, as Congress figures out the final health care bill, Ms. Foundation grantee, the National Women's Law Center, has produced a video about the consequences of allowing the Stupak amendment to become law. Watch it below and take action on their campaign site, A Woman Is Not a Pre-existing Condition.

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