Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bush's gag rule = 500,000 deaths a year

By Heraclitus

Speaking of immature control-freak bullies/borderline sociopaths giving Christianity a bad name -- well, with that set-up, you know this post is about the policies of the Bush administration. Jill at Feministe has an important post discussing an article reporting that the Bush administration's "gag-rule" -- their refusal to provide funding to any health clinics overseas which even mention abortion -- causes half a million deaths a year. From the article:

While world attention has focused on the HIV/Aids pandemic, public health experts say that United States political interference and declining financial support for family planning, abortion and prevention of other sexually transmitted infections has contributed to shockingly high death and disability rates in developing countries.

Approximately 500 000 women die each year of causes related to pregnancy, abortion and childbirth, 99% of them in developing countries, according to the World Health Organisation.

"These deaths would not be tolerated in other circumstances," says Dorothy Shaw, senior associate dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

As Jill explains, legalizing abortions doesn't make them more common, just safer. In fact, the countries with the lowest abortion rates in the world are those where abortion is most readily available.

In places where abortion is legal, it’s one of the safest medical procedures around — safer than taking penicillin, and safer than childbirth. Legalizing abortion also doesn’t have much of an effect on the abortion rate — South Africa is one example that the article cites. Also consider that the abortion rate in Brazil, where the procedure is illegal, is higher than the abortion rate in the United States. And the countries with the lowest abortion rates in the world are the ones where the procedure is not only safe and legal, but widely available, affordable, and sometimes even free. How do they do it? Widely available and affordable contraception; cultural values that don’t demonize sexual activity, but recognize it as a natural part of the human condition and therefore something that we should all take responsibility for; and comprehensive sexual health education. To quote something our fine president never said (but certainly could have), “It’s not rocket surgery.”

Another example of how destructive Bush's crabbed ideological style of governing is.

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