Take Action Now: Don’t Let Women Lose in Healthcare Reform

Call Congress Today Following weeks of debate, congressional leaders have announced that they will not vote on health care reform until September, after the summer recess.  But this doesn’t mean a stop to the conversation-lawmakers will be hosting events across the country to continue the momentum for reform, and they need to hear from you.

The 2008 Mexico City Ministerial Declaration: One Year Later

One year ago today, health and education ministers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean committed to investing in comprehensive sexuality education and increased access to health services as a foundation for curbing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. Nearly every country in the region was in attendance at the unprecedented meeting, convened by the…

Mid-Week Links: New Report on Maternal Mortality in India, New Youth Festival Aims to Engage

It’s only Wednesday, but we’ve already had a lot of interesting information cross our desks and couldn’t wait until our weekly wrap-up to share:  Our online strategist Audacia Ray has been guest-blogging at Feministe.  Check out her posts about the effects of changes to the abortion law in the Netherlands, and…

Reporting on Nicaragua's Abortion Ban

Of all the regions in the world, Latin America consistently has some of the most restrictive laws when it comes to abortion. There are six countries in the world in which abortion is illegal in all circumstances, three of which are in Latin America: Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Malta, East Timor, and the Vatican…

Speaking Up Against Rape in Pakistan

In 2002, a young woman in Pakistan named Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped as punishment for her 12-year-old brother’s alleged affair with a woman of a higher clan. Because of Mai’s determination to seek justice, the 13 accused were detained. She has pressed charges through to Pakistan’s Supreme…

Assault on Planned Parenthood Thwarted

An amendment to prohibit funding to provide contraceptive and family planning services to low income women and men in the United States was sounded defeated, despite best efforts of a leading anti-women’s health policy maker, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).  The lop-sided 247-183 vote showed strong opposition to Pence’s never-ending…

Responding to the Economic Crisis: Why Investing in Women is a Smart Choice (Part 3)

From a speech given at the 20th World Population Day in Abuja, Nigeria. Read Part 1 and Part 2 in this three-part series. As I prepared this presentation on a recent Friday night, I was called five times by a woman who was being battered by her husband.  The very next day,…

Big Step Forward and Small Step Back in Removing Syringe Exchange Ban

In an effort to promote sound HIV prevention policies, Rep. José Serrano led the U.S. House of Representatives effort to end the ban on federal funding for needle and syringe exchange programs by including the ban-ending provision in the based FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services…

Increase in Title X Funding for Low-Income Families

Understanding the growing needs faced by many in the country, the House-passed FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill increased funding by $10 million to $317.5 million for the Title X program, which provides contraceptive and other reproductive health services for low-income women and men. Under President Obama and the…

Abstinence-Only Funding Zeroed-Out with Funding Appropriated for Teen Pregnancy Initiative

Taking an important step in ending funding for failed abstinence-only education programs, the House passed its version of the FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill with no funding for these programs and making a $114.5 million investment in a new evidence-based teenage pregnancy prevention initiative.  As expected, amendments were offered…