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2014 News Items

  • May 06, 2014 - The Vatican, Birth Control, and Galileo's Ghost
    If the Catholic Church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, takes the view that we are stewards of God's earth and that we have a responsibility to maintain this planet for future generations, it is not a big leap to conclude that couples should consider having smaller families. And from there it is not a huge leap to conclude that women should have access to modern methods of birth control in planning their families.
  • April 21, 2014 - If Food Could Fly
    Imagine that food could fly. Seriously, imagine it. Apples and oranges could fly from the orchards to the supermarket, or better yet fly directly into your kitchen. Potatoes and carrots could rise up from the earth, dust themselves off, and fly right into your pantry. Livestock could fly from the pasture to the packinghouse and the steaks could fly into your freezer. Imagine how much cheaper food would be, and how much less would be wasted. In the US, transportation and packaging account for about seven percent of what we pay for food. Globally, the UN estimates that about one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption never makes it to our tables.
  • April 16, 2014 - Re-Examining the Global Barriers to Reproductive Freedom
    Every woman in the world should be able to space or limit her births. At a minimum, that means every woman should have access to the contraceptive method of her choice, whether it's a female condom, birth control pills, an IUD, sterilization or a long-acting injectable. But physical access to contraception does not guarantee reproductive freedom. For many women in the developing world the real barrier to the exercise of reproductive choice is male opposition, religious teachings, social norms, or misinformation about contraceptive options.
  • April 08, 2014 - Behind the falling number of abortions
    No matter which side of the abortion divide you're on, there's broad agreement that declining abortion rates in recent years are a good thing. But there's disagreement over what's led to the drop, and how it affects women's reproductive rights.
  • April 07, 2014 - Climate Change: The Least We Can Do
    Access to reproductive health services is recognized by the United Nations as a universal right, but in many parts of the developing world it is far from being a reality. Making that right a reality for women everywhere may not save the world from climate change, but it would go a substantial way toward alleviating the human suffering that will accompany it. The costs of empowering women and providing family planning services are trivial compared to the benefits that would result from giving women reproductive choice. It really is the least we can do...for climate change...and for the women and their families who will endure some of its worst effects.
  • March 12, 2014 - Pope Francis and the Great Catholic Divide
    Perhaps more than any other pope in modern times, Pope Francis has done much to unify and reinvigorate the Catholic faith, but as he approaches the first anniversary of his ascendancy to the papacy, he still confronts a great divide. As confirmed by a recent international poll of 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries, many Catholics do not embrace the church's teachings on family planning. Many, in fact, hope that Pope Francis will relax, if not reverse, the church's longstanding opposition to the use of modern contraceptives.
  • February 20, 2014 - Women deserve equal access to health services in U.S.
    With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule on the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, and more battles looming in Congress and statehouses across the U.S., 2014 could be a decisive year in this high-stakes and escalating battle over women's health and rights.
  • February 19, 2014 - The Ultimate Reality Show: Man Versus Nature
    Chuck Duck Dynasty. Move over, Honey Boo Boo. Forget the Real Housewives. The ultimate reality show is here, and it is a colossal battle: Man Versus Nature. For centuries, it has been a dull, one-sided contest, with nature faring about as well as the Denver Broncos did against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. Not anymore. Nature is mounting a fierce comeback with forest fires, soaring temperatures and raging storms. It could be the greatest comeback in all of recorded history.
  • January 09, 2014 - The Still Uncertain State of Reproductive Health in America
    In a few weeks the president of the United States will be giving a report on the state of the union, but it is not too early to take a look at the state of reproductive health in this country. This week the Population Institute released its second annual report card on reproductive health and rights in the US, and the results were not encouraging. Thirteen states received a failing grade, and the US as a whole received a "C-" for the second year in a row.

2013 News Items

  • September 30, 2013 - Unconscionable
    I find it very difficult to think, let alone write, about the current budget impasse in Congress. Anger is never a good muse. Good writing should be thoughtful and, hopefully, illuminating, not a rant or a petulant screed, but silence in this instance is not an option.
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