Tuesday, February 21, 2006

George Bush killed my girlfriend’s job

It’s true, more or less. Thanks to the man-child idiot leader of the free world, D will likely be out of work by the end of the week. How? She works for an organisation that promotes family planning and reproductive health in the Philippines. Her organisation, like every other similar organisation in this very Catholic nation, does not in any way endorse or promote any sort of abortion. But an organisation that funds D's organisation, the UK-based International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) does support such programs. These programs are credited with not only saving the lives of women forced to undergo dangerous backyard terminations (according to IPPF, “This year 19 million women will face serious injury, illness or death as a consequence of abortions performed by unskilled people under unsanitary conditions”) but – insofar as they are generally part of overarching family planning programs – are also regarded (by the Whitehouse, no less) as being one of the best ways to reduce abortion rates. But of course that’s not good enough for Baboon Bush, who is intent on imposing his dangerous moral code onto people who don’t need it and who will die because of it. All while Dubya thumps his carefully calculated, voter-endorsed, conservative Christian chest and adopts his obscene moral postures.

So - D's organisation was subcontracted by another Philippine organization to run a reproductive health program in one of the provinces here. This program is funded by the US government, which now requires any family planning agency that wants access to US government funding to sign Bush's policy (known as the Mexico City policy, after it was created in that city by Ronnie Reagan in the 80s -- then suspended by Clinton and now reinstated by Bush) -- i.e., if an organisation wants any US government dollars, it has to promise to have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with abortion. Because D's organization is funded by IPPF, it can't sign the Mexico City policy -- to do so would mean it loses its IPPF support, its main source of funding. This would effectively kill D's organization. And because D's organization can't/won't sign the Mexico City policy, the US-government-funded program she works (sorry, worked) on will be terminated by the end of this week. Which may be a bit of a shit for her, but really sucks for the thousands of Filipinos who could do with a better idea of how to avoid having 8 kids they have no way of affording.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

President Reagan created the "Mexico City policy." It prohibits aid being given to international family planning organizations that provided abortion counseling, -- or provide abortions, or which advocated abortion access -- in as little as one country.

They are blacklisted and receive no funds at all -- even for family planning counseling unrelated to abortion elsewhere in the world. The ban was suspended by President Clinton, reinstated by President Bush, and then partially suspended by President Bush.

In 1984, during a United Nations International Conference on Population in Mexico City, President Reagan announced a ban on U.S. government financial support for certain U.S. and foreign family planning agencies -- those that were involved in any way with the provision of abortion in foreign countries. 1 He did this by way of an executive order. This ban totally removed all U.S. government funding from international agencies which:

A. Provided abortions anywhere in the world.

B. Provided abortion counseling anywhere in the world.

C. Advocated for women's abortion access anywhere in the world.

Thus, an agency's funding might be cut off from its contraceptive/family planning counseling services in one country if it had any abortion activity in the same or in another country. Reagan's rationale was that even if an agency involved in both family planning and abortion were given funding only for their family planning functions, that it would release funds within the organization for their abortion activity.

This executive order has since been called the Mexico City policy. "During the 9 years that the ban was in effect, funding increased substantially for USAID population planning assistance, and 350 private, foreign organizations received aid." 2 International Planned Parenthood Federation, and a few other agencies, refused to conform to the Mexico City policy. They continued to direct part of their budget to abortion provision, and to political activity to advocate for access to abortion. They were denied all U.S. government funding. However, in an apparent response to the funding cuts, the European Union, the UK, Sweden and Switzerland have increased their funding levels to compensate.

6:56 pm  

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