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Contraception: A Human Right

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Once again, large swaths of the Republican Party oppose international definitions of basic human rights:

For the first time, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) explicitly described family planning as a “universal human right.” In its annual report, the organization said that improved access to contraception and other methods of family planning could greatly improve the lives of women around the world:

“Family planning has a positive multiplier effect on development,” Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the fund, said in a written statement. “Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women. Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive. Women’s increased labor-force participation boosts nations’ economies.”

The report effectively declares that legal, cultural and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women’s rights.


Of course, no doubt this is just part of the secret UN-Obama mind control conspiracy to take over the United States.

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  • sharculese

    Once again, large swaths of the Republican Party oppose international definitions of basic human rights

    Yeah, but to them, that’s a compliment.

    • sharculese

      Also, of course, good job U.N. This shit may be obvious, but it can never hurt to repeat it emphatically.

  • Joe

    Background reading: The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg. (did she have her baby yet?)

  • bradP

    What exactly does “family planning” include as a right?

    And for this:

    Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive.

    Which is cause and which is effect?

    • sharculese

      What exactly does “family planning” include as a right?

      Anything that allows people to choose if and when they want to start or expand a family.

      Which is cause and which is effect?

      They’re interrelated, but the bottom line is that women who don’t have to plan their lives around having children have much better opportunities to pursue education and social advancement, without being exposed to the myriad health risks that come with being pregnant.

      See chapter 4 of the report for more detail: http://www.unfpa.org/webdav/site/global/shared/swp/2012/EN-SWP2012_Report.pdf

      • bradP

        Anything that allows people to choose if and when they want to start or expand a family.

        I just read that abortion is not one of the measures included. Have you read that too?

        • sharculese

          I haven’t had a chance to dive deep into the report yet, but a quick scan suggests that yes, they are making that distinction, which is unfortunate.

          • bradP

            Could even be counterproductive, as I wouldn’t be surprised to find out access to abortion would be more important than access to condoms.

            All the teaching and access to pre-conception birth control will never be as effective a family planning tool as abortion.

            I would be afraid that delineating abortion from other methods of family planning would give some creedence to abortion bans.

            • ajay

              All the teaching and access to pre-conception birth control will never be as effective a family planning tool as abortion.

              Wait, what? Surely I have misread this.

            • sharculese

              I don’t really agree.

              Abortion is a costly and invasive medical procedure that requires the right tools and a sterile environment. Condoms can be handed out by the thousands, and all you need is instructions on how to use them.

              Abortion is an important part of the family planning tool box, but condoms and birth control are the first, and best, method.

              • anonymous

                It’s not that costly and not that difficult. Have you ever heard of the Jane Collective?

              • bradP

                Let me clarify, because that sounded much different before lunch than it did after.

                Just the act having unprotected sex rather than no sex shows seriously poor decision making. That poor decision making is due to factors that are unrelated to condom access, and can only be countered by condoms to a degree.

                Stigma-free and easily accessed abortion seems to me to be better at combatting the poor decision making that causes unplanned pregnancies.

                • Holden Pattern

                  Do you know ANYTHING at all about people? Especially people in developing countries?

                • anonymous

                  Your economic AND your male privilege are showing.

                • Malaclypse

                  Just the act having unprotected sex rather than no sex shows seriously poor decision making. That poor decision making is due to factors that are unrelated to condom access, and can only be countered by condoms to a degree.

                  I’m just going to note this right here, in the hope that you will remember the first rule of holes.

                • bradP

                  Your economic AND your male privilege are showing.

                  No its not.

                • Anonymous

                  bradP: “Every problem is a moral problem, and every conflict between two equally powerful individuals.

                  Patriarchy? Never heard of it!”

            • rea

              All the teaching and access to pre-conception birth control will never be as effective a family planning tool as abortion.

              All the driver education courses will never be as effective as a good body shop?

              • bradP

                All the driver education courses will never be as effective as a good body shop?

                For people prone to reckless driving, possibly.

                • Malaclypse

                  Because there are bright lines separating reckless drivers, the sort who are never at all like us, from good drivers, who only get in collisions because of extenuating circumstances.

                  I think your analogy is proving something other than what you were hoping…

            • DrDick

              There are no fool proof solutions to any problem. Fools are simply far too creative. The actual data show that where women have ready access to affordable, effective birth control the abortion rate declines dramatically.

              • bradP

                How much does it drop with condom-only provision? I know that what I said would not hold true with IUDs, but the constancy necessary with using other methods is a big problem that is greatly exascerbated by both the social and economic environment of the people that are at the worst risk.

                • DrDick

                  Who the fuck cares? I did say effective birth control. A full range of birth control is available under the ACA and should be everywhere. However, condom distribution programs in India and elsewhere have also reduced abortions, though I do not have any precise figures.

          • Joe

            The report seems to speak in broad principles though focuses on things other than abortion since when setting forth guidelines for the rights of the world, dealing with more controversial matters is problematic.

            But, references to spacing children, health and so forth is broad enough to cover abortion, particularly in certain cases. At the very least, “emergency contraception” is covered.

            • Joe

              In particular, is there anything in there that specifically DOESN’T include abortion? A quick search shows “abortion” mentioned a few times, particularly as something family planning could avoid.

              • sharculese

                Right, that’s the thing. A lot of it’s written as if they’re talking about abortion in contrast to what they define as family planning.

                This may be strategic. I could see them operating under the assumption that some places will never accept ready access to abortion, and that the best approach is to highlight alternate methods.

  • DrDick

    Of course they oppose such notions of human rights, since they define individuals other than rich, white, conservative, Christian men as fully human.

    • Bill Murray

      define or don’t define?

      • Malaclypse

        They = notions of human rights, not they = wingnuts.

        • DrDick

          Exactly.

  • Agenda 21 ISREAL.

  • Joshua

    I imagine that a lot of these people believe in American exceptionalism deep in their bones. When they hear that somebody wants to fashion American policy based on international consensus, what they hear is the rest of the world trying to drag the US down to their level.

    A small fraction of Americans have passports and even a smaller fraction have any interest in traveling beyond Canada and Mexico. When Rush tells them of the post-apocalyptic nightmare that is Paris or Madrid, they believe it.

  • There is some fine comedy in that second link:

    It was emceed by Field Searcy, a local conservative activist who was forced out of the Georgia Tea Party in April due to his endorsement of conspiracy theories about the president’s birth certificate and the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7. The presentation also featured a special video cameo from conservative talking-head Dick Morris in which the former Clinton aide warns that Obama “wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled.”

    Just when you though Morris couldn’t humiliate himself any further, he finds a way.

    • Derelict

      “From whence our ancestors fled”!?!?!

      Now THAT is some powerful WTF! I can only guess that he is talking about how all the white folk fled for their lives to the suburbs, and Obama means to make pure people like him live where he can occassionaly see the blahs and browns and other, lesser races.

      • sharculese

        Dick Morris believes Cliff Simak’s City cycle was prophecy.

        • Joey Maloney

          I’ve been reading political blogs since they were invented and I believe this is the first-ever Simak reference I’ve seen. Well-played, sir or madam as the case may be.

          Time and Again was the book that introduced me to science fiction. At age 7 it was over my head, but I kept coming back to it until I figured it out.

        • I’m awarding you the Internets for today just because you’ve read my favorite science fiction book ever.

      • gocart mozart

        From wiki
        “Morris is the son of writer Terry Lesser Morris, an early proponent of confessional human interest stories.[9] He attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City.”

        Seems like Dick “dick” Morris’ ancestors fled to the Big City. Could Dick be lying?

      • CD

        You have to read this with semiotician Lee Atwater in mind
        http://www.thenation.com/article/170841/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy
        “cities” = “urban” = black people

    • Dick Morris may in fact actually be a performance artist in the later stages of a decades-long act.

      • I said that about Victoria Jackson. I was wrong.

        • Victoria Jackson has more redeeming value than Dick Morris because she can play a uke.

      • We all know how that ended for Andy Kaufman.

        • Jim Carrey is playing Dick Morris in a bio-pic?

          • SeanH

            I’d watch the hell out of that.

          • I was thinking Bobcat Goldthwait.

          • No, Victoria Jackson is.

            • BigHank53

              That’s actually almost believable.

    • rea

      Primative humnanoids in Africa lived in large cities. Modern humans are descended from the handful of those city dwelling primitives who fled to rural areas and developed hunting and agriculture

    • ajay

      The presentation also featured a special video cameo from conservative talking-head Dick Morris in which the former Clinton aide warns that Obama “wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled.”

      Because he wants all the world to be taxed, right? That sounds familiar. (“But I live in San Diego!” “Sorry, sir, back to Boston with you, for you are of the house and family of Southie.”)

      • rea

        And when they make it back to Boston, there’s no place to stay other than the parking lot of the motel

        • Uncle Kvetch

          Pissah.

          • Malaclypse

            Is there no room at the packie?

      • Karen

        That’s going to suck for me, because the last “city” any of my ancestors lived in was 1790’s Belfast. I’d just as soon pass on that, thanks. My husband’s family came from Naples, Milan, and Strasbourg, which are much nicer thanks.

      • NonyNony

        Obama “wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled.”

        What the? I can haz basic understanding of urbanization? Also cause and effect? Also too industrialization and capitalism in general?

        Also too while I’m asking, a pony.

        I’m more likely to get the pony, aren’t I?

  • Your closing line makes me think of Chuck Colson: When you’ve got them by the reproductive organs, their hearts and minds will follow.

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  • cpinva

    once again, large swaths of republicans demonstrate their basic insanity in public. so what else is new?

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