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#73877 - 02/18/03 04:13 PM Women's Rights Are Human Rights
Ria
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/01/01
Posts: 497
Loc: Massachusetts, USA

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(Disturbing subject matter ahead. Consider yourself warned.)

I'm not usually one to make a lot of public noise about things, but there's a situation in Nicaragua currently that I think people outside the country and region should hear about. I asked Deborah for permission to post about it, so here you have it.

A 9-year-old girl was raped recently, and as a result became pregnant. The authorities are currently refusing to give her an abortion, and women's groups in Nicaragua are asking people to send emails protesting the situation. You can read about the details of the situation and find the addresses to email here . (Scroll down a little to find the story; the email addresses are right at the top.)

***

I tried to come up with a broad enough topic that it would encourage debate and discussion not just about this case, but about the issue of rights in general. This particular case is causing a lot of discussion in Nicaragua because the parties concerned are busy fighting over who has the right to decide what happens to the child, who has the right to judge whether the child's life is in danger or not (Nicaraguan law allows abortion only when the mother's life is in danger, and then only if many, many obstacles are overcome), and so forth.

So, discuss.

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#73878 - 02/25/03 12:30 AM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
evebackwards
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 113
Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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That's.. abominable. I'll reply more intelligently when I'm not quite so appalled and sickened.
_________________________
burn the books
they've got to many
names and psychoses
all this incriminating evidence
would surely haunt me
if someone broke into my house.

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#73879 - 02/25/03 09:20 AM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
Ria
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/01/01
Posts: 497
Loc: Massachusetts, USA

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A quick update... the little girl was given an abortion at the end of last week. The government and some private citizens are now working to sue the parents and/or the doctors who performed the abortion.
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#73880 - 04/05/03 09:34 PM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
demode
GrŠinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 3

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i don't know how much good it will do, but i wrote...bump.
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#73881 - 04/15/04 09:58 AM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
Catness Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/02/02
Posts: 1863
Loc: Chicago, Illinois

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Brought over from the Bush vs Kerry thread.

Originally posted by tygrkatt:
 Quote:
I may be misremembering, but my understanding that this order only stopping US funds from going to other countries to run these programs. If this is correct I have no problem with it. I do not believe that my tax money should be going to any kind of programs to support sex ed or anything else of the nature in another country. We have enough problems here to worry about.
These sex education programs of which you speak, run mostly by non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood, are providing essential health care. Sometimes the only health care available to women in severely depressed and strapped countries. Planned Parenthood distributing condoms and educating people in their use is providing life saving information. AIDS is utterly decimating entire generations of people in countries like India and continents like Africa.

The Global Gag Rule applies not just to information on abortion, but to information on anything other than "abstinence only" programs for disease prevention and family planning. What that means, is that if there is even one line in a provider's literature on choices other than abstinence, that health care provider gets no federal funds. None.

Keep in mind that's a Global Gag Rule, not just overseas, but here at home too.

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#73882 - 04/15/04 10:38 AM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
tygrkatt
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/29/03
Posts: 574
Loc: Maryland, USA

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I'm not saying that sex ed world wide isn't a good idea, just that the US shouldn't be paying for it with the taxes paid by it's citizens. Planned Parenthood, an American organization, running these programs in Africa, great. They should be funding it off private funds, corporate and private donations, what ever, but not my tax money. And where are the goverments of these countries? Why does the US have to be responsible for the world? AIDS is a huge problem right here, and it sometimes seems to me that the government is more worried about taking care of other people than it is it's own people.

How this Global Gag Rule effects the US is, in my opinion, an entirely different matter altogether. For one thing the Gag Order link you posted says this:

 Quote:
In addition, it is increasingly clear that the administration and right-wing members of Congress intend to funnel the bulk of the new HIV/AIDS money to religious organizations that have a very narrow, abstinence-based approach to HIV/AIDS prevention that excludes condoms.
I don't think federal funding should go to any religious organization for any reason, and to provide it so that a "sex ed" progam that has been proven *not to work* can be implimented is worse than wrong, it is stupid and in my opinion, immoral because it puts the lives of young people in danger. How such organizations can run these progams and claim moral superiority for it is beyond me.

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#73883 - 04/15/04 11:20 AM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
Catness Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/02/02
Posts: 1863
Loc: Chicago, Illinois

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Oh I agree with you, we certainly should be doing more at home. We should be doing plenty more at home.

But you asked why the US has to be responsible for the rest of the world. Well, because we're the richest country in the world, because to paraphase "from those who have much, much is expected." Where are the governments of those countries to which we've been providing aid?

Here is a good starting point.

  • Somalia has been without a central government since 1991 and there have been numerous failed attempts at reconciliation.
  • Nicaragua At the end of 2002, combined foreign and internal debt was more than three times Nicaraguaís GDP, choking public finances and hindering possibilities for economic growth.
  • Kosovo Only three years after a devastating war and decades of economic decline, much remains to be done to bring stability and sustainable economic opportunities to this part of the Balkans.
  • Rwanda


Instability. Unsustainable economies. Debt. Natural disasters. Wars. Famines. Graft. Corruption. Genocide. That's where their governments have been and are still in many cases. And the "Western" world doesn't get off guilt free in this, because our policies (Europe and the US and the former USSR) in many cases caused these conditions. Nigeria fell into ruins and civil unrest in large part because of Chevron, Shell, and other oil companies. You won't find that on the USAid fact sheet, but you will find it here and here for some more recent information.

So yes, we can say all we want that charity begins at home, but our wealth makes it encumbent upon us to not only fix our problems here, but do what we can to assist those who are in even more dire straits.

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#73884 - 04/15/04 12:08 PM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
Bear Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 1954
Loc: Dublin, Ireland

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Hear, hear.

Every developed country has overseas aid programmes of various kinds. Ireland does, and we are not a rich country. I certainly don't have a problem with that.

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#73885 - 04/15/04 12:32 PM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
sunflow
Ching Shih


Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1156
Loc: Brighton, UK

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Honestly, I would be ashamed to live in a country that could so easily turn its back on those in dire need. My tax dollars go to many programs I do not support, and I cannot begrudge a few additional dollars being spent to educate and assist those in other countries. Iíve always had trouble with the whole my country/your country distinction, as if we should only bother helping those who happened to be born within these borders. Itís completely random and bizarre.

The U.S. AIDS epidemic cannot even be compared to what is happening in Africa, and the severity of their epidemic is due in large part to a lack of sex education and adequate health care. Here, all public school students have access to some form of sex education (even if itís the ridiculous ďAbstinence or bust!Ē philosophy), which at least informs the students that AIDS can be caused by sex. Also, in most areas and all urban regions, free or cheap health clinics do exist. They arenít pleasant, but they are options. These are not available in most African countries. I mean, there is still a prevalent myth that sex with a virgin cures AIDS, for freakís sake. This kind of harmful ignorance should not be allowed to run unchecked if we can do anything to help.

Finally, aside from our responsibility to help, there is the plain fact that the health and economic conditions of other countries do affect this one. We cannot simply isolate ourselves and say that other problems to not apply to us, because they do. As long as we live in a global market economy and have easy and frequent contact with those from other countries, their problems are our problems.

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#73886 - 04/15/04 12:56 PM Re: Women's Rights Are Human Rights
tygrkatt
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/29/03
Posts: 574
Loc: Maryland, USA

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 Quote:
Honestly, I would be ashamed to live in a country that could so easily turn its back on those in dire need.
See this is where things get touchy for me. It sometimes seems that our government is turning it's back on *us*. While on one hand I agree that we should do what we can, on the other hand is the Catch-22 that the more you give, the more is asked of you. It just seems like we give and give and give, while our people suffer.

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