Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama Lifts Restrictions on Family Planning Aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday lifted restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush.

When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offered abortion services or counseling in other countries, even if the funds for those activities came from non-U.S. government sources. The Washington Post

Under Duyba's 8 year reign of ignorance, the religious conservatives' sole strategy to reduce unplanned pregnancies and to reduce the spread of AIDS/HIV has been through abstinence-only education programs that purposely avoid any mention of modern birth control methods, including the use of condoms to prevent the spread of STDs. In forcing their puritanical morality on the world's poor, these conservative scolds have condemned countless thousands of needy women to untimely deaths from back-alley abortions and AIDS/HIV.

Stephen Lewis, the UN secretary general's special envoy for HIV/Aids in Africa, said US cuts in funding for condoms and an emphasis on promoting abstinence had contributed to a shortage of condoms in Uganda, one of the few African countries which has succeeded in reducing its infection rate. "There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by [US policies]," Mr Lewis said yesterday. "To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa."


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