Thursday, October 09, 2008

Travesty

I'm on a tear this morning so watch out. The older I get the less virulent I am about stuff like abortion. I'm still pro-choice but as it's become less and less of an issue that I personally could ever be faced with, it's sort of faded to the background in the list of stuff I worry about whenever elections happen.

I just read an op-ed piece in the Times, though, that is making me crazy. Nicholas D. Kristof writes:
The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa.

Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

The saga also spotlights a clear difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Senator Obama supports U.N.-led efforts to promote family planning; Senator McCain stands with President Bush in opposing certain crucial efforts to help women reduce unwanted pregnancies in Africa and Asia.

You can click through to read the rest (and I recommend you do if only to see what Palin's policy on rape kits was as Mayor of Wasilla), but with all this talk about how scary the economy is I've not been paying as much attention to women's rights issues, which is usually one of the biggest reasons I've voted Democrat in year's past.

We are so privileged and coddled in this country that we sometimes forget that there are people living in third-world countries who might want and need the same things that we do. Birth control, for instance. We take for granted that there'll always be a Planned Parenthood around somewhere to help but for women in rural Africa, who just want to space out their births, this is life-changing and terrifying.

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