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Articles by Category for ‘Contraception’

Hobby Lobby Creates Open Season For Birth Control Lawsuits

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Hobby Lobby Creates Open Season For Birth Control Lawsuits 

See: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/hobby-lobby-declared-open-season-for-birth-control-lawsuits

Ten weeks after Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling has emboldened a swath of separate legal attacks on birth control, many of which experts say have a real chance of succeeding.

In a case heard in an appeals court court this week, a Missouri state representative named Paul Joseph Wieland and his wife sued the Obama administration over the contraceptive coverage mandate because it could let their three teenage daughters access birth control in their family insurance plan at no extra cost.

 
“The employees are to Hobby Lobby what the daughters are to Paul and Teresa Wieland,” Timothy Belz, the attorney for the Wielands, told the three judges, as quoted by MSNBC. Belz’s message was that the Wielands object to birth control and expect their children to follow their religious beliefs. His case was previously thrown out by a district court judge.

 
The lawsuit is one of dozens of attacks on birth control coverage that enjoy new life as a result of the landmark Hobby Lobby decision. The Supreme Court’s ruling applied only to the four types of emergency birth control methods (emergency contraceptives Plan B and Ella, as well as two types of IUDs) that were challenged, but lawyers quickly saw an opening to attack contraceptive coverage more broadly because the justices didn’t distinguish the methods.

See: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/hobby-lobby-declared-open-season-for-birth-control-lawsuits

Stoddard: Bill Ryerson, Global Vermonter

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Stoddard: Bill Ryerson, Global Vermonter 

See: http://digital.vpr.net/post/stoddard-bill-ryerson-global-vermonter

In his office in Shelburne VT, Bill Ryerson, founder and president of Population Media Center or PMC is unassuming, as he jokes about a foot-high stack of folders on his desk he still needs to deal with at the end of the day, before resuming a relentless travel schedule.

 
(Ryerson) Well, next week I will be in Washington DC speaking at the International Best Practices Meeting. The following day I’m speaking at the Inter-American Development Bank and have several other meetings. Then I fly to Ethiopia. I’ll spend nine days there with our country representative, meeting with donor agencies like UN agencies and embassies, to seek their support for what we hope will be our ninth program on Radio Ethiopia.

 
He’s pitching soap opera as one of the most powerful catalysts for social change. Ryerson has worked in more than 50 countries using the power of entertainment media to shift behavior patterns. PMC’s popular radio and TV serial dramas with compelling characters as role models, have led to significant change in both attitude and actions.

 
(Ryerson) We’ve reached well over a hundred million people. We have clearly seen dramatic increases in family planning use, dramatic increases in willingness to send daughters to school, which of course is a very important factor in both human rights, the human rights of women to be educated, and in delaying marriage and child-bearing until adulthood.

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Barber Shop and Beauty Salon Program Extends Family Planning Services to Liberians

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Barber Shop and Beauty Salon Program Extends Family Planning Services to Liberians 

See: http://www.jhpiego.org/sw/content/barber-shop-and-beauty-salon-program-extends-family-planning-services-liberians

Monrovia, Liberia-When Gbeni Taylor was 16, she learned she was pregnant and worried how she would tell her family. It was a frightening and uncertain time for her and one that she would wish on no other young person. She feared her father would throw her out of the house, but her mother and other family members ensured that she remained at home and attended night school to complete her education. Gbeni’s experience is all too common in Liberia where, according to the most recent Liberia Demographic and Health Survey  2007, literacy rates are low and about one-third of girls ages 15 to 19 have begun childbearing.

 
In hospitals in Monrovia, says Gbeni, “you see babies carrying babies. We need to talk to them. They don’t know. They do it out of ignorance.”
Gbeni’s life changing experience, as well as seeing her friends become mothers when they were too young, led the 21-year-old hair stylist to participate in an innovative program in Liberia to educate young women about properly spacing their families. The barber shop and beauty salon family planning program, an initiative under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), trains employees of beauty salons and barber shops to provide family planning messages, condoms and referrals to a nearby hospital for family planning services. A total of 16 workers have been trained in four salons and shops. Since 2012, they have reached 1,100 clients and distributed 16,550 condoms through this initiative.

See: http://www.jhpiego.org/sw/content/barber-shop-and-beauty-salon-program-extends-family-planning-services-liberians

Africa’s child demographics and the world’s future

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Africa’s child demographics and the world’s future 

See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61331-3/fulltext?_eventId=login

In 1950, only about a tenth of the world’s children lived in Africa.1 Within 50 years, that proportion almost doubled, and it is set to double again by the middle of the 21st century, leaving Africa with nearly a billion children younger than 18 years by 2050-37% of the worldwide total. By the end of the century, based on present trends, almost half of all children will live in Africa.

 

How this unprecedented growth in the continent’s child population came about, and its implications for Africa and the rest of the world, is the subject of Generation 2030 Africa,1 a report on child demographics released by UNICEF on Aug 12, 2014. The report is the second in the UNICEF series on child demographics, after Generation 2025 and beyond.2
Two main forces are driving this present rise and projected expansion of Africa’s child population: rapidly rising numbers of births (figure) and falling rates of child mortality. Currently, around 3·4 million births take place in Africa every month.1 In the next 15 years, about 700 million will occur, and between now and mid-century 1·8 billion are projected, resulting from high rates of fertility and an increasing number of women of reproductive age. The average fertility rate for Africa currently stands at 4·7 children per woman of reproductive age (15-49 years)-far above the rate in Asia (2·2) and the worldwide average.

Congressional Candidate Trolls Anti-Choice Group With ‘Prevent Abortion’ Condoms

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Congressional Candidate Trolls Anti-Choice Group With ‘Prevent Abortion’ Condoms 

See: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/26/3475633/james-woods-abortion-condoms/

When the National Pro-Life Alliance asked congressional candidate James Woods (D-AZ) to fill out a survey about whether he supports the “sanctity of life,” Woods came back with an unusual response. He pointed out that he does support some policies proven to lower the number of unintended pregnancies, and mailed back condoms emblazoned with the phrase “prevent abortion.”

 

“Thank you for taking the time to write to me about your anti-abortion stance,” Woods replied in a letter to the right-wing group. “While I cannot support policies that jeopardize the health and stability of women and their families, there are many measures that I do support that are proven to quickly enhance the well-being of women – and to significantly reduce abortion.”

 

In his letter, the candidate went on to list several sexual health policies that can lower the abortion rate – like expanding comprehensive sex ed, ensuring greater access to birth control, and strengthening government safety net programs for low-income women and their children. “I look forward to working together with you to promote policies like these,” he concluded.

See: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/26/3475633/james-woods-abortion-condoms/

Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html

With just 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we must all intensify our actions to hit our targets, especially the MDG 5 targets to reduce maternal death and achieve universal reproductive health.

There is no time for complacency when 800 women and girls continue to die each day of pregnancy and childbirth complications, and more than 220 million women who want to plan their births continue to lack modern contraception.

To speed up progress, I am excited about a new public-private partnership that plans to save an additional 140,000 women and 250,000 newborns and significantly increase access to reproductive health services, including modern contraception, by the end of 2015. We are working together — governments, the United Nations system, civil society and the private sector — guided by a roadmap, we unveiled last month, to accelerate maternal and newborn survival.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html

 

Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines 

See: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/reproductive-healthphilippines/

MARK LITKE: It’s 8 a.m. at the Jose Favella hospital in the Philippine capital, Manila. In the past 12 hours there have been about 40 births, a fairly average night for one of the world’s busiest maternity wards.

DR. SYLVIA DE LA PAZ: As you can see, there’s more patients than there are resources for them.

MARK LITKE: Dr. Silvia de la Paz, the chief obstetrician here, says they manage the crush as best they can. Often putting two beds together as a tandem bed for four mothers and four newborns.

And from these overcrowded hospital wards, out into the teeming slums of the city, it’s easy to see this country is in the midst of a population explosion, what some are calling a crisis. The Philippines today has one of the highest birth rates in Asia with a population that has more than doubled over the last three decades from 45 million to 100 million.

Once the mothers and their newborns leave the maternity hospital, many are going to return to places like, Tondo – this gritty neighborhood right on the edge of Manila. It’s a place where families struggle to get by on $1 or $2 a day at best. Here, very young children scavenge through garbage in search of something to sell for a few dollars to help support their families.

See: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/reproductive-healthphilippines/

Long-Term Answer to Border Crises: Empower Women

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Long-Term Answer to Border Crises: Empower Women 

Border crises flare as government policies neglect inequality, family planning and gender mainstreaming

See: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/long-term-answer-border-crises-family-planning

 
MEXICO CITY: The United States has a border crisis – with more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors streaming into the country overwhelming the administration. The obvious reasons behind their desperate journey of up to 1,600 miles are well known – fleeing violence, drug crime, poverty and lack of opportunities. But the solutions offered by the US government and politicians are short-term palliatives that do not address the fundamental causes including gender inequality and poor governance.

 
Most of the minors are fleeing from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which have high rates of homicide and poverty. The violence threatens livelihoods, and in addition, about 40 percent of the minors coming from these three countries have a parent or family member living in the United States. Regional migratory surges are common when a struggling country has easy access to stronger, more developed economies and a constant onslaught of images touting wealth and comforts. Conflicts emerge when many in the host country fear the sudden influx might precipitate demographic, cultural or security threats. Migrations are more complicated when the influx is composed mostly of unaccompanied minors – a migratory challenge transforms into a humanitarian and moral dilemma.

See: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/long-term-answer-border-crises-family-planning

Safety nets for birth control coverage aren’t working in U.S.A.

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Safety nets for birth control coverage aren’t working

The number of poor women who need contraception has gone up nearly a quarter. The number getting it has dropped

See: HERE

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of American women in need of publicly funded family planning services went up 22 percent. The number of women able to access those services did not. Instead, it declined, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute. Recent estimates show that 20 million women qualify as “in need” of publicly funded contraception typically provided by Title X services, instituted decades ago to provide family planning assistance (because even Richard Nixon knew that accessible birth control is a good idea).But the ongoing partisan crusade against abortion providers, in which Title X programs have unfortunately been included, has left just over one-fifth of qualifying patients covered.

“The number of women needing publicly funded contraceptive services has skyrocketed over the last decade,” Rachel Gold, Guttmacher’s acting vice president for public policy, said in a statement. “Publicly funded family planning centers are safety-net providers – they are essential in enabling women to plan the pregnancies they want and avoid the ones that they don’t. But public funding sources – such as the federal Title X program and state revenues – are failing to keep pace with women’s growing needs.”

In 2000, public clinics were able to provide coverage for just 41 percent of the low-income women who qualified for it; that number dropped 10 percent by 2012, when Title X was able to serve just 4.3 million women. Despite the program’s inability to keep up with growing demand, it has still offered crucial assistance: Guttmacher credits public clinics with helping to avoid 1.5 million unintended pregnancies in 2012, which would have resulted in 741,000 unplanned births and 510,000 abortions. Title X health centers provided more than 70 percent of those services, which kept the combined rate of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion down by 44 percent. It also saved the U.S. a whole lot of money.

See: HERE

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire 

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1

Kampala – A new Ugandan sex-education campaign to reduce teen pregnancy, maternal mortality among young women and girls, and the cost of post-abortion medical care, is generating heated debate.

The one year campaign “Let Girls Be Girls” was officially launched on 13 July by the Health Ministry and UN Population Fund (UNFPA). It aims to address the growing vulnerability of girls to early pregnancy and birth related complications, and hopes to reduce deaths among young mothers aged 15-24 from the current 24 percent to 15 percent by July 2015.

The programme provides free contraceptives to adolescents in schools, and sex education to local communities, parents, pupils and teachers on the rights children have to a safe and secure environment within their homes, schools and communities.

“Our campaign is ‘Let Girls Be Girls’ and not young wives or mothers. Our emphasis is on sex education and empowering girls and boys to say no to early sex before marriage and to report men and boys disturbing them,” Zainab Akol, principal medical officer, family planning, at the Ministry of Health, told IRIN.

“We want them [girls] to preserve their fertility and not do abortions. We also want all those who get pregnant to return and complete school,” she said.

According to the 2011 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS), 24 percent of female teenagers are either pregnant or have given birth already. About 14 percent of young women and 16 percent of young men had their first sexual encounter before the age of 15, while 57 percent of young women had their first encounter before the age of 18, the survey found.

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1