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Appointment Schedule: Monday December 21st

December 21, 2009

4:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with President Obama, at the White House.

*Secretary Clinton’s Speech to Commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development will be rescheduled.*


6 Comments leave one →
  1. filipino-american4HRC permalink
    December 21, 2009 10:04 am

    Hi, Stacy! I hope the speech re International Conference on Population and Development will eventually get delivered. It was a huge victory for women and focused attention on reproductive rights in a way that previous UN conferences on women had not, and it really provided women with the momentum and energy that was demonstrated in the 1995 Beijing Conference. It is a timely speech, in the light of the current health care battle on abortion. As an outsider, my worry is that ultimately, the Democrats will also cave in on US Catholic bishops’ and other conservative religious organizations’ demand for the US to stop providing overseas development assistance for reproductive health and fertility management programs, even if this do not include abortion. I have a friend who works for USAID Philippines and she tells me that they’re hearing about a possible budget cut on their reproductive health program due to hard lobbying by the US bishops.

    By the way, I commented on your post (Heard Around the Hillary Sphere) particularly on principled pragmatism and Human Rights First.

    • December 22, 2009 9:43 pm

      Hi FA4HRC! I did see your comment on the other post and responded. As I said in the post itself, I am hopeful that the admin. starts being more consistent with human rights. Until you mentioned him, I had actually forgotten about Koh and I have to say, now that I think about it, I wonder what role, if any, he had in reviewing the legal aspects of the coup in Honduras- I am wondering because one of the most under-reported stories of 2009 (in my opinion) relates to the human rights violations taking place and the political aspects which affected our essentially enabling the Micheletti govt.

      As for the International Conference on Population and Development speech I believe it will be rescheduled and I am looking forward to it. One of the big factors in human/planet earth sustainability is the viral population growth and then of course as you mentioned, all the reproductive health issues are targeted for attack by the right wing despite almost international consensus (with some notable exceptions of course) about the importance of reproductive health worldwide. Unfortunately, even if one puts aside the controversy over abortion, many conservative American groups will wage a full-scale assault on birth control (and its funding) and anything else that allows women more control over their reproduction.

      I don’t care what religion anyone is, I think its totally inappropriate if the US Congress, Democrat or Republican, caves to ANY religious organization on this issue(ie. not just the Catholic Church). Some groups have gone way beyond blurring the line between Church and State and have spent considerable time and money eviscerating any distinction at all.

      If only the Catholic Church and other more conservative religious special interest groups would draw as hard a line and spend as much time and effort opposing war the death penalty as they do trying to dictate American policy regarding women’s health both nationally and internationally…But for some reason (*cough*) abortion, birth control and homosexuality always seem to be at the top of their priorities list.

  2. December 21, 2009 9:14 pm

    Hi f-a4HRC!
    I was raised Catholic (as you might have been) and am pro-choice and anti-abortion (with reservations – but I even had trouble approving an abortion for my CAT!). I do think that there is nothing at all wrong with birth control outside of the only approved Catholic method (rhythm – too many people don’t have rhythm). Many American Catholics stand where I stand.

    The REAL answer to all of this in poor countries IS birth control. But it will take more than condoms. You have to convince people that having ten or twelve children in the hope that at least 3 or 4 will survive to support and care for you in your old age is not an insurance plan. As you know, in too many poor countries it is the ONLY insurance plan – for health and for retirement (which happens only when you are too old to pull your weight).

    • filipino-american for HRC permalink
      December 21, 2009 10:39 pm

      Hi, still4hill! The problem in the Philippines — as in many poor Catholic countries where the Church is highly influential politically — is that there is so much awareness already even among the poor about the need for birth control, but politicians afraid of official Church wrath would rather not touch the issue. The only time family planning and artificial contraception — along with public education on unintended pregnacies and HIV/AIDS — became part of a govt program was in the early ’90s when we had a Protestant president and a Health Secretary who spent most of his years as a rural doctor and was a strong advocate of public and women’s health. Over the years, Philippine discourse on family planning has actually degenerated as more and more bishops and conservative Catholics vociferously condemn artificial birth control methods as abortifacent. Yet opinion surveys over the past 10 years show that nearly 3/4 of Filipinos accept artificial methods.

  3. December 21, 2009 9:17 pm

    Stacy – I love that picture. Who is she standing with there? It looks like Jim Jones.

    • December 23, 2009 4:55 pm

      STill4Hill- yes, I believe it is Jones and it looks like what she was wearing the day of the photo shoot for the Vogue article.

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