Saturday, January 24, 2009


This this this this this this this, is the best thing to hit international development in my short career. The first time I heard about this ban, I was flabbergasted. It's long be known in the public health sectors as the "ABC" method - Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condoms. You had to discuss all three, in that order, equally.

While I don't necessarily disagree that discussing ALL options (including abstinence) is a good idea, how do you tell a gang-rape victim in Southern Soudan that she should "Be Faithful" to her husband?

No, my main beef is that it's kept women-centric organizations, like Planned Parenthood, unble to access funding so that they can provide SIMPLE assistance to those who need it (we're talking something as basic as access to condoms and pre-natal care, not world wide abortions).

This is an important distinction. It's not that the US government is now giving organizations money to perform abortions overseas. NO. It's that ANY organization that even breathed the possibility of perhaps offering an abortion or abortion counseling or any mention of the "A" word (that wasn't Abstinence) either internationally or domestically was immediately rejected out of hand from receiving government funding to do any assistance overseas.

So, thank you Mr. Obama for having the heart to understand the need for comprehensive reproductive healthcare for women the world over. This dogmatic legislation has left underprivileged without access to so many of the freedoms we take for granted in the United States.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Obama, for not mixing "standing up for your ideals" with blind entrapment in ideology.

As a uterine-fitted citizen, I am proud to call you my President.

(As a side note - last night I was shopping in the Liberty Market of downtown Lahore, and chatting with a shopkeeper about some of his clothing. When he found out I was an American, he gave me a discount for being a part of "Obama Nation"! (I wonder if before I was being charged a Bush tax?))

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