Melinda Gates (yes, that Gates) writes in Newsweek about the big wrench in entrenched thinking about abstinence-only education: increasingly, women in the developing world are at greater risk contracting HIV within marriage than from any other source. The best solution? In her mind, microbicides. Behavior change would be great, but in the meantime, microbicides would save the lives of millions...
Marilyn Keefe, Vice President for Public Policy at NFPRHA joins us today with her thoughts on HIMMAA.
Congress is once again trying to address a very real problem with ill-conceived legislation certain to do more harm than good: The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (“HIMMAA”, or S. 1955).
The problem?The inability of small businesses to afford health insurance.Congress’s solution?Allow insurance companies to discriminate against employees based on everything from how old they are to where they live and take away state protections that guarantee coverage of basic health care services.Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Given a posthumous recognition for bringing, “…privacy and convenience to women worldwide” was none other than Gregory Pincus, inventor of the birth control pill.Inductees were selected and recognized for influencing “... the way we live our lives day to day.”
It’s not sex education if you don’t talk about sex, and STIs won’t be prevented if scientifically-based discussions on prevention are prohibited.But before CDC's National STD Prevention Conference next week has even begun, the research-based, biannual meeting has been commandeered by anti-sex education ideologues.
According to Slate Magazine, “The conference was supposed to include a symposium designed to explore how abstinence-only sex education may undermine other efforts to reduce STDs.”
“America needs a health care system that empowers patients to make rational and smart decisions for themselves and their families, a health care system in which the relationship between the patient and the provider are central, not a health care system where decisions are made by the federal government.” – President Bush, 4/6/06
Few could have said it better!So why is Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) advocating for the passage of the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (aka S. 1955, aka the “Lose Your Benefits” Act that would do just the opposite?
“Poor women in America are increasingly likely to have unwanted pregnancies, whereas relatively affluent women are succeeding more and more in getting pregnant only when they want to, according to a study analyzing federal statistics.As a result of the growing disparity, women living in poverty are now almost four times more likely to become pregnant unintentionally than women of greater means, the study found.”
“Contraception use has declined strikingly over the last decade, particularly among poor women, making them more likely to get pregnant unintentionally and to have abortions, according to a report released yesterday by the Guttmacher Institute.”
Two national newspapers, two objective reports on the study having talked to people on both sides of the issue and two important data based facts: class matters when discussing reproductive health, and contraception use is declining, thus risking increased disease and infection as well as pregnancy.These trend lines are not ideological, but provable points, well documented in the study.
The right wing rhetoric machine was anticipating the latest Guttmacher study, Abortion in Women’s Lives discussed in earlier posts from Ellen M., so here now is a little Reality Check on what they’ve been saying:
"Programs for poor women are often so condescending, even degrading. They teach how to put on a condom rather than how to take control of their lives." – Leslee Unruh, Abstinence Clearinghouse.
Reality Check: Teaching a woman to protect herself and prevent unwanted pregnancy or disease is not degrading, it provides needed tools to women and underscores the mutual responsibility men and women who choose to be sexually active must make.Further, the failure of abstinence-only policies is well documented.
With the “Microbicides 2006 Conference” having just wrapped up in Cape Town last week, the news is full of talk about these promising new technologies in the effort to halt the spread of HIV.One line of conversation is shared across almost all reports: microbicides may offer the greatest hope yet for protecting women from contracting HIV.