aside The President’s War On Poor Women

We need folks to call the White House, 202-456-1111, or their members of Congress, 202-224-3121, to protest what our republican President Donald Trump recently signed, which is an order that will cut off access to contraception to vast numbers of poor women, mostly in Africa. This action will result in the obvious consequence of an increase in unwanted pregnancies, which in turn will cause an increase in the number of abortions as well as an increase of women dying due to child birth complications. If our president was doing this to please his pro-life supporters, it is just another bait and switch con. This order is pro-death and is emblematic of the republicans’ War On Women.”Related image

On 1/26/17 Nicholas Kristof of The NY Times penned the following article, “President Trump’s War on Women Begins:”

“In 2017 we reach a mortifying moment for a great democracy: We must decide whether our 45th president is a liar or a crackpot.

“Yet the costliest presidential falsehoods and delusions are not the ones that people are talking about, such as those concerning the inauguration crowd or electoral fraud. The most horrific chicanery involves Trump’s new actions on women’s health that will cause deaths around the globe.

“It followed the weekend’s stunning women’s marches: At least3.2 million people  apparently participated in all 50 states, amounting to 1 percent of the U.S. population. In a slap at all who marched, Trump this week signed an order that will cut off access to contraception to vast numbers of women, particularly in Africa.”Image result for photo of trump signing ban of contraceptives

“Americans have focused on the executive actions about building a wall, or expediting oil pipelines, but nothing is more devastating than the edict on women’s health (signed in front of a group composed almost entirely of smiling men in suits).”

“Trump probably thought he was doing a good thing; that’s a measure of his delusion. He reinstated what’s called the Mexico City policy, which stipulates that family planning funds cannot go to foreign aid groups that ever discuss abortion. (Federal funds already don’t go for abortions.)”

“Presumably Trump thought this policy would reduce abortions, and was thus “pro-life.” In fact, this is a “pro-death” approach that actually increases abortions, as well as deaths among women.”

“How can that be? Many groups, like Marie Stopes International and Planned Parenthood International, lose funding in poor countries from this policy. In 2001, when President George W. Bush imposed a more limited version, 16 developing countries lost shipments of contraceptives from the U.S.”Related image

“Stanford University researchers found that the Bush version of the policy reduced contraceptive use in Africa — and increased abortion rates.”

“This all sounds wonkish and antiseptic, but in poor countries, the most dangerous thing a woman can do is become pregnant. I’ve seen too many women dying or suffering in filth on stained cots in remote villages because of childbirth.”

Image result for photo of women in niger“I wish Trump could see them: a mother of three in Cameroon dying after her birth attendant sat on her stomach to hasten delivery; a woman in Niger collapsing from a common complication called eclampsia; a 15-year-old girl in Chad whose family dealt with her labor complications by taking her to a healer who diagnosed sorcery and burned her arm as she lay in a coma.”

“With this new order, Trump will inadvertently cause more of these horrific scenes. Maybe “war on women” sounds hyperbolic, but not if gasping, dying women are seared in your memory.”Related image

“Worse, Trump expanded this “global gag rule” — as critics call it, because it bars groups from mentioning abortion — so that it apparently will cover all kinds of health services, including efforts to tackle polio or Zika or H.I.V., even programs to help women who have been trafficked into brothels. (The White House didn’t respond to my inquiries.)”

“Marie Stopes alone estimated that if it cannot find replacement funding, the new policy will result in 6.5 million unintentional pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions and 21,700 women dying in pregnancy or childbirth.”Related image

“The victims invariably are among the most voiceless, powerless people. When Bush imposed his version of the policy, it meant that no contraceptives reached a village in northern Ghana. As a result, a young woman named Kolgu Inusah became pregnant. She tried to abort the pregnancy herself using herbs, but something went wrong and she suffered terrible abdominal pains. She was rushed to a clinic, but doctors couldn’t save her. Her two children have no mom.”

“President Trump, you may think you are “pro-life” and preventing abortions, but that’s a lie or a delusion. In fact, you are increasing the number of abortions and of dying women.”

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8 comments

  1. While I do agree that contraception seems like the humane thing to do, considering our overpopulated world and strain on natural resources and the environment, why must the US gov’t be solely responsible for providing free contraception for developing nations like Africa? Where does the funding come from? Does the US have moral authority to dictate reproductive policy for other nations? Shouldn’t proper sex education and teaching “family values” take priority over free condoms, the pill, or abortions?
    I admit I don’t have the answers, just pertinent questions for further discussion.
    Thank you Gronda for highlighting these important issues!

  2. Dear 1EarthUnited,

    This is a way to foster stability in a part of the world as it emerges into a developing nations, to contain resources that eventually could benefit the US. It is an investment that is inexpensive. And if one claims to be pro-life, there should be no boundaries. But what do I know?

    Wikipedia: “Increased use of family planning leads to economic development because women are more likely to work and their children are more likely to be healthy and educated There is an estimated 140%-600% return on investment in family planning methods due to health care savings and economic development. “The Economic Case for Birth Control,” published in 1967, argues that decreasing the birth rate in countries with high fertility levels is crucial to economic growth and that “one dollar u seed to slow population growth can be 100 times more effective in raising income per head than one dollar to expand output.

    Ciao, Gronda

  3. Gronda, good post. There is a causal relationship around the world and in the US between increased family size and increased poverty. When the GOP is in the White House, they swing the pendulum to little help with family planning. When the Democrats are in the White House, the opposite occurs.

    Data shouts out the answer if we choose to listen. Family planning with education and access to contraception reduces abortions, healthcare costs and communicable diseases. Plus, a third world problem of fistula can be avoided, which occurs when young girls have children before their bodies are able. The vaginal tearing allows bodily waste to enter open wounds causing terrible damage.

    I have written before about two books all people should read. The first is “Half the Sky” by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof. The other is “A Call to Action,” by former President Jimmy Carter. In short, if we treat women better around the world, it is not only the right thing to do, it is the economically wise thing to do.

    This GOP change noted above is damaging to this premise. And, if someone would take the time to explain this with data, I think even those who are anti-contraception would agree.

    Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      There are an abundance of credible studies, data and just plain common sense which backs up your premises.

      But with DT and his cronies, facts and science mean nothing. He doesn’t have to think about the negative outcomes. He just does whatever sounds good. But at some point, people will want to see an improved standard of living for average folks. They want results which he does not seem capable of delivering.

      CIAO, Gronda

      • Gronda, agreed. I read an article that said those who don’t follow the news think he is doing a great job. Those who do follow the news have major concerns. One thing the press is reporting on is he is backtracking a lot. He is now walking back the 20% tariff on Mexico, saying it is just one idea. I think he found his GOP friends in Congress are not supportive of tariffs.

        We truly are in age of disinformation with this White House and false equivalences to previous White Houses pale in comparison, as this man treats the truth as a commodity to be traded. This in keeping with his history and predates his campaign lying which set records.

        Keith

    • Dear Jill,

      A lot of what the far right politicians do is window dressing, something to appease their pro-life constituency which often is anything but pro-life. For example, the US has the highest infant mortality rates of any developed country, and this is true, no matter how the figures are construed,

      Yet, they take steps like defunding “Planned Parenthood” which helps poor women have help to obtain pre-natal care. Many republican led states have refused to institute medicaid expansion which helps poor working pregnant women to have access to the pre-natal medical care that would prevent a premature infant deaths.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I saw a meme the other day that I thought was quite apt … something to the effect that if our birth control wouldn’t be covered, then neither should there Viagra. And it hit me how very appropriate that is! My daughter works for a urology group and says that vasectomies (birth control) and Viagra are covered by insurance and are the source of a large part of their business. Double standard? You bet!

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