What explains the 160 million plus total girls and women gone missing from the world, largely because of sex-selective abortion? Why, explains New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, it isn't misogyny, not even misogyny internalized and perpetuated by women. It's the spread of "female empowerment." This dynamic is also operative in the Dominque Strauss-Kahn case, where an immigrant hotel room cleaner to the US from Guinea has accused the now former International Monetary Fund head of rape. The defense has rushed to the oldest trick in the book for discrediting rape victims: painting them as women of bad character. As if rape weren't a crime no matter who the victim is. Don't institutionalized structures of male privilege have anything and everything to do with sex-selective abortion, which has imbalanced gender ratios in the world's two most populous countries, and rape, suffered by one in three women globally?

All Our Lives has joined over 200 other organizations in endorsing this call for 3.5 million more health workers, especially in the Two Thirds World. This figure includes 350,000 more midwives and 1 million community health workers, who can help with providing certain reproductive health services, such as sex education and some family planning methods. No human being should ever have to die-or live less abundantly than he or she could-for lack of enough health workers.

In 2008 alone, something prevented an estimated 112.3 million abortions and 21.9 million miscarriages, and saved the lives of 1.17 million newborns and 230,000 mothers globally.

What is it?

Surely, one would imagine, it's something that groups who call themselves prolife would be all over themselves to promote.

One would imagine, unfortunately.

Because that something is: modern, voluntary contraception.

And most anti abortion groups are all over themselves to actively undermine it, or to profess "neutrality" on the subject.

When really, how can anyone be "neutral" about anything that spares women and babies so much misery and death?

Don't believe those statistics? They are here for all the world to see.

All Our Lives belongs to the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, which addresses the shortage of family planning items among the global poor who want them. Already 200 million women worldwide want contraception but cannot access it. Is the US going to doom even more women to unintended pregnancies, abortions, and unsupported parenthood?

US Republicans are seeking to drastically cut US funding of UNFPA, the world’s largest family planning and reproductive health agency.

The proposed cut cannot be about abortion or coerced contraception. By law, US money cannot fund such practices. These two things also violate the mission of UNFPA.

So what is this cut about? All Our Lives has to wonder. Especially because UNFPA has played an important role in developing and distributing CycleBeads, a kind of natural family planning acceptable to people with religious objections to “artificial” methods.

Voluntary family planning is a basic human right. Why, once again, are US politicians trying to take it away-especially politicians who intone “prolife” but undermine everything necessary to prevent abortions?

Jen is indeed tweeting away from the Open Hearts, Open Minds conference.

I am at home taking courses from the US Agency for International Development's Global Health eLearning Center. So far, I have completed certificates in Child Survival, Family Planning & Reproductive Health, Gender & Health, HIV/AIDS, Maternal Health, Neonatal Health, and PEPFAR (the US international HIV/AIDS program). Both Jen and I are working to become more informed and effective advocates through All Our Lives.

The UNFPA blog Conversations for a Better World has announced the winner in its contest for best idea on contraceptive access for the 200 million plus women worldwide who want but lack it.

It's us!

Our proposal will be featured for a month on the website of Women Deliver, the just-concluded global conference on reducing maternal deaths.

Winning Idea: Access to Contraception Begins with Questions on the Ground

Please spread the news. It's not every day that the pro every life, pro nonviolent choice approach gets a hearing!

How best to serve the 200 million plus women worldwide who want but lack access to family planning? The UNFPA-sponsored blog Conversations for a Better World is running a contest for the best idea. Please vote for All Our Lives' entry! The winning idea will be presented at the upcoming Women Deliver conference for action against maternal mortality.

 

Access to contraception begins with questions on the ground

At least 200 million women globally want family planning but lack access to knowledgeable, equipped health workers. 50 million women worldwide have abortions every year, and the number of unintended pregnancies is even higher. You can make a difference with as little as USD 10. That's the cost to donate one copy of the acclaimed Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers–available now in at least 10 languages.