United Nations: “Access to contraception is a human right”

Via Think Progress and CBS, the UN has explicitly called family planning a human right for the first time.

“Family planning has a positive multiplier effect on development,” Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the fund, said in a written statement. “Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women. Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive. Women’s increased labor-force participation boosts nations’ economies.”

The report effectively declares that legal, cultural and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women’s rights.

This comes hot on the heels of a scientific study of the affects of denying abortion. As it turns out, the longitudinal study found that women who are denied abortions are three times more likely to end up in poverty two years later, and that there are no mental health consequences associated with having an abortion as compared to carrying a baby to term.
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The Rush Limbaugh implosion continues apace

Looks like Rush is getting his just desserts. Forty-plus advertisers have pulled their ads from Rush Limbaugh’s show, and the show itself has been pulled outright from two radio affiliates. At least two prominent musicians have told him not to use their music on his show ever again.

And somehow, it all continues to snowball.
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Citrix pulls out of Rush Limbaugh advertisements

After a metric assload of complaints regarding their advertising on the Rush Limbaugh Show, Citrix has pulled their advertisements. They posted on their Facebook wall:

Over the past day, we’ve heard from many great Citrix customers about our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show. These customers have expressed their growing concern that some of his recent comments seem inconsistent with the core values Citrix has always stood for – humility, integrity and respect.

While Citrix obviously does not control any show’s content or endorse opinions of their hosts, we do take the concerns of our customers seriously. When they are upset about something, we listen. After careful consideration, we have decided to discontinue our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show.

Sincerely,
Brett Caine
SVP and GM, Online Services Division
Citrix

Considering Rush publicly called a law school student a “slut”, you basically made the only choice you could, Citrix. A true shame you chose to advertise with his show to begin with, and a true shame you took so damn long to finally cave to the pressure, but at least you made that choice rather than stubbornly doubling down and doing more damage to your brand than you need right at the moment. You know, by supporting the systematic destruction of women’s rights.

Update: More advertisers are pulling out over Rush saying the law student — who began petitioning her university insurance to cover contraception because her friend had ovarian cysts, by the way — was just looking to have her sex life subsidized.

Republicans hearing on contraception: no women witnesses allowed

They were just one day removed from being exactly one month to the day from Israel’s gynaecological conference where no women speakers were allowed to present on lady bits. Just one day. This is 2012, people. You wouldn’t think this nonsense could happen here, now. Here in the Western world, where certain factions declare that we have the most advanced ideas of morality, and where we ostensibly espouse separation of church and state, despite all this Republicans are holding a hearing on contraception where every witness… EVERY WITNESS… is a male religious leader.


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Catholics’ protest against HHS contraceptive rules completely misfires

So Catholic officials are up in arms about the US Department of Health and Human Services’ new regulation requiring all employers to provide contraceptives to insured employees with no co-pay. The very idea that people who use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy might actually not have to pay for those contraceptives is evidently so anathema to the very foundational dogmas of the Catholic church, that the leaders of said church must absolutely take a stand for their parishioners. To wit:

In a letter read to congregants in the Atlanta Archdiocese, Archbishop Wilton Gregory called the policy “a matter of grave moral concern.”

“In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty,” the letter continued and was read at all English and Spanish language Masses, the diocese said in a statement.
[…]
“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan in a statement.

“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty,” said Dolan who is also the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the public policy arm of the church in the United States.

And yet…

And yet I wonder.
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