Republicans Threaten Contraception Access World Wide

The Republicans may be launching an all out assault on contraception here in the United States, but as Michelle Goldberg reports, it’s a war that has devastating global consequences.

In Liberia teen pregnancy rates are high even by West African standards, birth control is largely paid for by USAID programs that are at risk of evaporating should Republicans win in 2012. With every Republican candidate speaking out against contraception and with all of them pledging to eliminate Title X, the federal family-planning program launched by conservative Richard Nixon, public health officials are legitimately worried about a coming spike in unintended pregnancies and deaths should access to contraception be taken away.

As Goldberg notes, to put the severity of attack in some context, consider Mike Pence. Pence is one of Congress’s leading crusaders against Planned Parenthood, but even he thinks the right has gone too far. “I’ve never advocated reducing funding for Title X,” he told an Indiana radio station last year. “Title X clinics do important work in our inner cities. They provide health services for women and children that might not otherwise have access to them.”

Just how at risk are international women’s health programs? Should Mitt Romney, the most moderate of the Republicans win the presidency then he’ll impose the global gag rule, preventing any American money from going to organizations that perform or even counsel about abortions. He will also likely withhold money from the United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, an agency that promotes reproductive health worldwide on the “demonstrably false” grounds that it supports coerced abortion in China.

Romney has also made it clear he would slash funding for HIV/AIDS relief efforts, pulling harder to the right on international public health initiatives than even former President Bush.

And a loss of funding will literally mean a loss of lives. In Africa approximately 95% of abortions performed are considered unsafe, meaning they happen outside of clinics and/or by people other than trained health care practitioners. In West African countries like Liberia where abortion is illegal women have been resorting to a method called a Rocket Propelled Grenade which is a mix of herbs and broken glass that is inserted into the vagina. Make reproductive health services even more difficult to access, or eliminate then all together, and these methods of desperation will only increase.

In countries like Liberia where civic peace is a tenuous prospect, destabilizing women’s health will increase pressure on governments and NGO’s and threaten to undo the small bits of progress that has been made in these desperately poor regions of the world. Like it or not the Republicans have declared war on the poor women of the world and it’s time they get called out on it.

Related Stories:

Unsafe Abortions On The Rise

Boehner Fights Contraception Rule: Catholic Women Speak Up


Photo from nateOne via flickr.


Frederic L.
Frederic L6 years ago

Like Rose L. says (actually writes...), it's true that it's not US Govt's responsibility to give the world access to contraception. But every of our actions or inactions have consequences that we'll have to face one day or another. Since our planet is finite, overpopulation is a major threat and I don't think that's a bad investment to do something about it. When it's about spreading war all around the world, trillions of dollars are available. Why don't spend some for helping women to avoid dramatic situations? It's easy to speak about "personnal responsibility" when you had access to education. It's not that obvious for people who hadn't.

Deborah L.
Deborah L6 years ago

Actually G.W. Bush was the one who started the gag order in countries other than America. He launched a war against women of the world. Read a really good book, "The W Effect, Bush's War on Women." by Barbara Finlay.

Mark S.
Mark S6 years ago

Republicans threaten freedom. Period.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S6 years ago

Luvenia V.
Luvenia V6 years ago

I read “Handmaiden” and “1984” and had more nightmares than I ever had watching the most horrific horror movies or reading the scariest of books. These stories brought on nightmares and those nightmares continued into the waking hours because these fictional stories could in fact one day cease being fiction and become nonfiction.

These articles should be gathered together and made into one long story because they are all connected. These articles are all about the side effects of a problem that has spread across the world. They all stem from a small group of people that would rule the world and not lightly with care but cruelly with a whip and chains. As we fight to make puppy mills illegal, they seek to make human mills legal. There will be breeders and workers and we will be controlled by the few. Extreme you say. Well I say gather the facts and then tell me it is extreme, I don’t think so. John D. Rockefeller said, “I don’t want a nation of thinkers; I want a nation of workers.” He is so close to getting what he wants and that SHOULD scare everyone on the planet.

Nicole Gorman
Nicole Gorman6 years ago

This is a health issue. Pure and simple. It's not a religious issue and if it is, then it shouldn't even be considered in terms of the Federal government because it is my understanding that there is supposed to be clear separation of church and state in this country. If it's against your religious, don't you do it. Until it's against mine, stay the *% out of my business and keep your laws away from my body and my reproductive system.

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P6 years ago

:/ thanks

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin6 years ago

Vote Democrat
The Republicans' destructive social policies ENSURE there will be UNESCESSARRY SUFFERING AND DEATH.

The Republicans dehumanize their victims like rapists, and use evil social policy to callously murder the non-rich.

The Republicans know this, and actively CHOOSE to cause UNESCESSARRY SUFFERING AND DEATH.

A vote for the Republican party might as well be rape and murder by proxy.

The Democrats on the other hand have made good on some of their promises despite Republican barriers, and continue to advocate for the middle/poor classes against the Republicans' wishes.


Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin6 years ago

I made a video about why abortion should be easily available, and free for any woman that wants one. Here’s the link:

Watch it, share it, and join the fight against the evil anti-abortionists.

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M6 years ago

Mark S.-
Yes, and remember, the second a fetus crosses the threshold, so to speak, they are also in favor of stripping pre-school programs, education in general, childrens' programs of all types and health coverage.