Monday, February 28, 2005

Michael: Bush Admin Abortion Crusade Goes International

The Bush Administration insists that the UN not include abortion among the list of fundamental rights of women. Bush spokesmen insist that the 1995 Beijing conference on women did not create new international rights. The platform document resulting from that conference urged that abortion should be safe where legal, and should not result in criminal charges in any case.

Kofi Annan also came under fire by the Administration for saying thet governments had to guarantee reproducive and sexual rights. Bush is also requiring NGOs recieving government funds to fight AIDS to sign statements opposing sex work, even if they do not work directly with prostitutes. This is part of an ongoing campaign by the Administration to use the conduct of international affairs and foriegn humanitarian aid to further their goal of controlling the reproductive and sexual choices of women outside of the United States. All this comes on top of the global gag rule, of course.

In large part, the lack of institutional opposition in Presidential conduct of international affairs that Samantha Power noted is responsible for Bush's ability to pedal his sexual snake-oil world-wide. It is a convenient way for Bush to throw red meat to the Fundamentalist lobby without risking much domestic blowback. How sad it is that a small minority of religious zealots in this country have the ability to control the reproduction of so many women around the world through their control of a U.S. President.

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