Withdrawing aid from UN Population Fund unwise | TheUnion.com

Withdrawing aid from UN Population Fund unwise

Just wanted to express my gratitude for Brian Bisnett’s excellent column criticizing President Bush’s incredibly short-sighted decision to withdraw financial aid to the United Nations’ Population Fund.

I cannot fathom how any man or woman, college educated or not, could possibly support such policy or embrace a morality that would deny information and contraception to those who so desperately desire such help. It is heartbreaking to imagine giving birth repeatedly, only to witness starvation and death as the result. To deny programs that prevent abortion through education and contraception will result in increased maternal death as well as increased abortions. Abortion has been financed and provided only where legal by host countries, not by family planning programs such as the UNPF.

I also challenge those opposed to family planning programs – both domestic and abroad – to understand that prevention is the most successful solution to worldwide hunger and disease. Providing humanitarian aid after the fact only results in inept and corrupt regimes reaping the intended assistance.

Programs such as the UNPF preserve life and prevent abortion by providing contraception, education, disease testing, prenatal care and childhood immunizations, to name but a few of their services. True social justice means equal access to such health care and education regardless of poverty. Those who oppose such life-saving services under the guise of being “pro-life” are contributing to abortion statistics, as well as death by starvation and disease.

This also brings to mind the ultra religious right’s blanket opposition to all forms of stem cell research, even using donated unfertilized eggs, the same shed by women during their monthly cycle. I shudder to ponder that slippery slope of extreme “pro-life” legislation that just might someday even lead to criminalizing menstruation.

Lisa Hioki

Nevada City

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