[Rant] Reproductive Rights. (Again.)

Why, Arizona?

Honestly, it’s one step forward, two steps back these days. There is no reason for sexual health clinics to be held under separate regulations and standards from all other medical facilities. This exact law was struck down 15 years ago as being unconstitutional, so let’s hope that this new one is eradicated quickly. Of course, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place…

It has been over 40 years since Roe v Wade and still no strict federal guideline exists as it should. Roe v Wade had (and continues to have) a significant impact on the gaining of reproductive rights for women in the United States. But with so little in place on a federal level beyond the supreme court ruling it has become possible for state after state after state to enact laws that exist in the holes left by the ruling.

Reproductive rights has become a global issue and conversation, and the US needs to catch up with the rest of the western world. It’s relentless ambiguity on the subject is challenging the direction of global initiatives and it needs to stop.

According to the WHO over 22 million unsafe abortions are performed each and every year, resulting in the deaths of nearly 50,000 women, most of whom are in the developing world.

In 2015 the deadline of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals will be reached, and the post-2015 agenda will be brought in. This post-2015 phase is often cited as being one of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, supplying a framework under which to go forward. The DPAD have provided a number of global issues that will need to be considered under this new framework, for which UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO have compiled a report stating the necessity of access to reproductive health:

“Current investment levels in health, including sexual and reproductive health, are in many countries neither sufficient, efficient nor equitable.”

The US is a major fund provider to development work globally, but it’s back-and-forth politics on reproductive rights has led to frequent amendment and recension stipulations on the usage of foreign aid. Most notably The Mexico Policy prohibits USAID funding to any organization that provides even information on safe abortion. This policy was put in place by Reagan in the 80’s, rescinded by Clinton in ’93, reinstated by Bush in ’01, and rescinded once more in ’09 by Obama. It is a pattern that will no doubt continue until a federal stance is taken, or the Republicans swallow themselves whole. Whichever comes first.

The US considers itself the leader of the free-world, and it’s power and influence certainly do have the potential to bring about positive global change. They’ve revolutionized technology, shaped the global free market, and bore some of the most brilliant and liberal thinkers in modern history. Now if they could only just catch up to the rest of us crazy socialist westerners on rights issues and help get us closer to global equality!

Thankfully Obama (who has been fully transparent from the get-go on his personal pro-choice stance) will be in power for a another 2 years, and if there’s any goodness left in this world Hilary will be the next one through the door. And in 10 years time we will hopefully all find ourselves living in a slightly better world.

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