Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lame Duckery

We shouldn't forget that the Bush administration is not yet in the past but busily fighting the hidden war against women of this world:

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.


The latest bout of reproductive-health madness came in the last couple of weeks when the U.S. Agency for International Development ordered six African countries to ensure that no U.S.-financed condoms, birth control pills, I.U.D.'s or other contraceptives are furnished to Marie Stopes International, a British-based aid group that operates clinics in poor countries.

The Bush administration says it took this action because Marie Stopes International works with the U.N. Population Fund in China. President Bush has cut all financing for the population fund on the — false — basis that it supports China's family-planning program.

It's always fun to punish poor women in some far-distant country for some perceived political advantage in a totally different place, is it not? The poor are easy to punish, in general, because their voices will not be heard. But we should be aware of all the stuff that even a lame-duck president can manage.