Bush and the Poorest Women in the World Jane Roberts today summarizes this administration's family planning policy on the world's poorest most vulnerable women.
Roberts is one of the pioneers of e-activism. In July 2002, the Bush administration refused to release $34 million voted by the Congress for the United Nations Population Fund.
When she heard about this, Jane Roberts 'lay in bed thinking, "A letter to the editor or to my congressman won't be enough. So I'll get 34 million people to donate a dollar."'
She and one other woman started a campaign, 34 million friends of UNPFA, to get 34 million people to donate a dollar and make up for what we, as a country, are failing to do. So far they have raised nearly 2.5 million dollars.
In 140 countries of the world, UNFPA does nothing but help mothers survive childbirth and plan their families the way the great majority of us do. It plays an integral role in United Nations' efforts to reduce AIDS and educates against harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early marriage. It is present in refugee camps preventing rape and violence.
But instead of supporting such an effort, the administration makes totally false charges that somehow UNFPA is complicit in what have been coercive practices in China's population programs.
I think there are ways we can get much broader support -- across party lines -- for refunding the UNFPA, but in the meantime, support Roberts if you can.