Global Gag Rule extended
November 28, 2005 7:08 AM   Subscribe

"Global Gag Rule" extended. The Mexico City Policy now applies to AIDS relief: reversing a previous 2003 exemption, the Bush Administration has linked $193 million in AIDS grants to Kenya with its policy of forbidding any funding, or provision of information, about abortion services in exchange for U.S. funds. In Kenya, complications from illegal abortions are a leading killer of married women in their 20s and 30s.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (27 comments total)
 
Uganda: 'Abstinence-Only' Programs Hijack AIDS Success Story
U.S.-Sponsored HIV Strategy Threatens Youth

(London, March 30, 2005)—U.S.-funded “abstinence-only” programs are jeopardizing Uganda’s successful fight against HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Abstinence-only programs deny young people information about any method of HIV prevention other than sexual abstinence until marriage.

Link to PR, report
posted by docgonzo at 7:41 AM on November 28, 2005


Why make sound policy to help people when you can score quick, political points with your base?
posted by my sock puppet account at 7:51 AM on November 28, 2005


This is stupid and awful, but compeltly unsurprising from this administration.
posted by raedyn at 7:52 AM on November 28, 2005


On related news, earlier this year Brazil turned down a U$ 48 million grant from USAID for DST education/prevention programs because the USAID insisted that prostitutes (a very high risk and fragile group) should be excluded from any action promoted with that money. The programs were not cancelled and are being financed in full by the Brazilian government. I can't help wondering how the USA's Fundamentalist Christian government managed to exclude compassion from their list of Christian attributes.
posted by nkyad at 7:56 AM on November 28, 2005


Well, Jesus never hung out with hookers, dontcha know.

/sarcasm
posted by docgonzo at 8:14 AM on November 28, 2005


I do believe that's flip-flopping. I look forward to the Republican-led attack ads.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:49 AM on November 28, 2005


Abstinence education, independent of HIV infection rates, fails miserably. This is statistical fact. Education about birth control has been statistically demonstrated to work successfully to reduce HIV and other STD rates in Africa and SE Asia. It's sad that we need women to die once again in order to reaffirm what science and rational thought have taught us.
posted by Rothko at 9:02 AM on November 28, 2005


Why should foreign policy be different from domestic? It's evil shit but it is the same evil shit they fling locally.
posted by srboisvert at 9:20 AM on November 28, 2005


Nice one George. I don't know as much about AIDS in Africa as a I should, but I understand women who contract HIV sometimes have little choice in the matter of intercourse. A lot of good abstincence will do them.
posted by londonmark at 9:22 AM on November 28, 2005


To try and introduce some optimism into this, read this story in today's Globe and Mail outlining the ongoing public trials of a topical vaginal microbicide which promises to cut the rates of HIV-1 infection while allowing for conception. Let's see the fundies block this one.
posted by docgonzo at 9:31 AM on November 28, 2005


docgonzo: Do you really think the fundies won't try to block it???
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:33 AM on November 28, 2005


Can someone provide a logical argument in favor of the administration policy? Dios?
posted by iamck at 9:39 AM on November 28, 2005


Can someone provide a logical argument in favor of the administration policy?

Cuz abortion is like, murder??? Duh!
posted by b_thinky at 9:50 AM on November 28, 2005


.

(for all the women's lives that are needlessly lost to someone else's idea of morality)
posted by Space Kitty at 9:52 AM on November 28, 2005


But is there any reason for this ban on funding that can be explained without resorting to the stance on abortion? Is this clearly an idealogical issue (or is there some fallback argument that the adminstration can point to)?
posted by iamck at 10:02 AM on November 28, 2005


b_thinky writes "Cuz abortion is like, murder???"

What about condoms?
posted by clevershark at 10:08 AM on November 28, 2005


imack, from the Wiki link:

This [global gag] policy was in effect until it was rescinded on January 22, 1993 by President Bill Clinton on his first working day as President.

It was likewise reinstated January 22, 2001, the first day of President George W. Bush's term with the comment, "It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad. It is therefore my belief that the Mexico City Policy should be restored."

posted by Rothko at 10:09 AM on November 28, 2005


But is there any reason for this ban on funding that can be explained without resorting to the stance on abortion?

No.

Bush didn't even bother with spin or statements from Scotty for this one. His actual statement on re-establishing the policy was: "It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad."

Bush doesn't like abortion. He doesn't want money going to programs that promote abortion. There's no subtlety or spin to it. He's altering international policy, because, as he himself explained, he wants to.

So there.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:10 AM on November 28, 2005


What about condoms?

Because craploads of men in Africa & other similarly afflicted countries refuse to use them? I don't believe you're not aware of this.
posted by zarah at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2005


AID mashup from here
posted by blue_beetle at 10:17 AM on November 28, 2005


"Cuz abortion is like, murder???"

And this policy is like, not?

I guess we are all forgetting that, as far as this administration is concerned, it is okay to kill them darkies once they is born. At that point, they become "useless eaters". Until they is born, however, we is doing Gawd's work to make sure they is born... so we can kill them.

See? Makes sense, don't it?
posted by Enron Hubbard at 10:21 AM on November 28, 2005


“abstinence-only” programs =


posted by wakko at 10:28 AM on November 28, 2005


It's a complex issue, made all the more complex by the fact that the US is one of the few nations with the resources to make significant contributions to global HIV/AIDS research.

Not too long ago we had news in Australia of a research team's difficulties in applying for funding from the US for what might become an incredibly cheap and effective way of dramatically reducing HIV takeup from unprotected sex using, of all things, lemon or lime juice.

The problem being that the team's best and most ethical opportunity to conduct human research is on a group of Nigerian prostitutes who have been using lemon juice as a natural contraceptive for many years, and that runs into the following difficulty (quote taken from above link): the Bush administration had announced a new policy that requiring all U.S. HIV/AIDS groups seeking federal funding for work overseas to make a written pledge to oppose commercial sex work, or risk losing funding.

If lemon or lime juice turned out to be an effective and non-harmful way of significantly reducing HIV infection, it would be a revolutionary win in the battle against the spread of HIV / AIDS in third world countries.

And the cynic in me wonders if the research might be further opposed by companies who would much prefer a patentable, profit-earning approach to the same problem (eg the product described in docgonzo's link)?
posted by planetthoughtful at 10:42 AM on November 28, 2005


docgonzo: "Let's see the fundies block this one."

Well, the religious right isn't too happy with a vaccine that might prevent cancer just because it might cause people to have more sex.
So I fear they'll try their best to block that progress, too.
I wonder how they can live with a body that is obviously (intelligently?) designed to derive pleasure from an act that they consider shameful, impure and dirty...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 10:43 AM on November 28, 2005


"It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad."

That statement is one I don’t disagree with. However I’ve always found abstinence-only to be in conflict with the anti-abortion agenda. I’m not sure how acceptance of the former serves the goals of the latter. I would think saving the lives of the unborn would outweigh any other moral consideration given an anti-abortion position (one I’m morally, but not legally, aligned with). In this case the catch-22 seems to be not that you must take responsibility for the child, but that the child is the lifetime retribution for having sex.
While I might have a problem with spending taxpayer funds on abortion, it does raise the question on what the other public costs are.
Not only the disease and public health issues in not spending money on birth control education, but also the delivery of an unwanted child and societys role in caring for that child through services. I simply don’t have that information, I would think though money spent on adoption counseling would be better spent than trying to circumvent the universally powerful force of nature that is the urge to procreate.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:22 AM on November 28, 2005


I wonder how they can live with a body that is obviously (intelligently?) designed to derive pleasure from an act that they consider shameful, impure and dirty

Most of them consider it sacred, actually, and thus feel that sex for any purpose other than procreation to be an affront to God.

It's still remarkably stupid, though.
posted by wakko at 12:48 PM on November 28, 2005


but also the delivery of an unwanted child and societys role in caring for that child through services

I'm sorry but you misspelled "Society's role in exploiting that surplus labor for the benefit of those at the top".
posted by beth at 4:07 PM on November 28, 2005


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