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Old 02-20-2003, 07:41 PM   #1
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Restrictions on New AIDS Funding

Abortion Politics Could Limit Bush AIDS Plan Scope
Thu February 20, 2003 05:28 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The Bush administration is considering a plan that would prohibit AIDS funding to foreign non-government organizations (NGOs) that do not separate their HIV/AIDS programs from family planning services that include abortion counseling or procedures, according to a leaked State Department memorandum.
Under the proposed plan, only foreign NGOs that do not offer abortion services or those that offer separate abortion services would be eligible for new AIDS funds recently proposed by the Bush administration, according to a letter dated February 11, 2003.

This policy is problematic because the vast majority of organizations in Africa and elsewhere have integrated services, the Global AIDS Alliance (GAA), a non-partisan advocacy group, said in a statement Wednesday. Combining services is more cost-effective than maintaining separate services and better serves the needs of women, the group notes.

According to the GAA statement, this is the first time that the "Mexico City Policy" restrictions have been applied to HIV/AIDS programs.

The Mexico City Policy bars US funding of international groups that use non-US funds to perform or advocate for abortion, and has typically been used when it comes to funding for international family planning organizations.

The policy, so named because President Ronald Reagan announced it during a United Nations population conference in Mexico City in 1984, was in effect until 1993, when President Bill Clinton revoked it on his second full day in office. It was briefly in effect again in 1999 after Clinton and the Republican Congress fought over paying back dues to the UN, then fully restored by President Bush on the first business day of his presidency in January.

"It is ludicrous to expect that organizations in Africa can or should establish separate HIV/AIDS programs in order to receive US funds," Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the GAA, said. "These restrictions will hamper the rapid expansion of global AIDS programs," he added.

"From a public health perspective, the best approach is to fully integrate AIDS programs into family planning programs, not separate them," Zeitz said. "The restrictions represent a Washington-imposed mandate that's unrealistic and costly in the African context."

When contacted by Reuters Health, no one from the State Department was available for comment.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:48 PM   #2
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i'm pro-life, but what the hell are they thinking? this is awful.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:51 PM   #3
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My God. Nothing that man does surprises me anymore. I don't think I can survive another two years of the moral majority in power.

There had to be some twist to his giving out the money. Always a payoff to his big money contributors.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:53 PM   #4
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Why don't we just buy the medicine to be used for HIV/AIDS patients? I find this extremely frustrating!
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:55 PM   #5
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this really pisses me off. if he's doing this due to his pro-life policy, WHY DOESN'T HE WANT TO SAVE LIVES?!

what a joke.
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:59 PM   #6
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In my opinion, it has more to do with the fact that he has an election coming two years from now. His base, as proven by his actions after McCain won the New Hampshire primary is clearly with the right. I am not in any way saying that President Bush wanted to be that far right, I do believe he wanted to be a more liberal republican, but he was forced in that direction, and wound up courting that side of the party.

Now, he has to make certain that he pleases that side of the party and his decisions have to be made and be decisions consistent with the platform. I am going to read it tomorrow to see what it says in there.

I am very disgusted with the whole thing. I am proud that he wants to do something to help. I am disgusted that this may very well get in the way of the distribution of the money. He may as well contact religious organizations to use it in Africa. I am not certain based on what I have read if there are organizations that would qualify for the money.

Sherry...Boston Anne...Any input?
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Old 02-20-2003, 09:26 PM   #7
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Did anyone really swallow whole the inference that they would actually be buying a few billion dollars worth of LIFE SAVING MEDICATION to ship over there?

Like, cmon now!

And like I said before, its a paltry sum, and it'll probably never get where it should.

Pure politics and reelection bullshit promises.

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Old 02-20-2003, 09:56 PM   #8
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Pure politics and reelection bullshit promises.

I figured something screwy like this would happen. .

*Sigh*

Any ounce of respect I may have ever had for Bush has pretty much drained away.

Angela
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Old 02-20-2003, 10:08 PM   #9
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i guess he's trying to make sure that every unborn child has the chance to get AIDS
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Old 02-20-2003, 10:12 PM   #10
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Just think, with every passing day more die...no bloodshed on their head, nope, no sirree..

"...a man who has lost faith in the peacemakers of the West...while they argue.." etc etc

Silver and Gold, live

Sure we live in different times. Now its called economic apartheid.
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Old 02-20-2003, 10:31 PM   #11
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Sherry...Boston Anne...Any input? [/B]
Absolutely.

I am heartily pro-life (which is why I support debt relief. It saves lives.) I think that Bush is making the mistake so many Westerners make when imposing moral judgements on Africa (or other HIPCs.) He's assuming that they have the same amount of choice in the matter that we do. (Yes, yes, we always have choices no matter what, but hear me out.) This is a culture that usually won't even USE the word sex much. It's taboo. A woman is supposed to be able to make some sort of informed choice on this matter? (This could be exploited by both "camps", really.) I think the situation there is a lot more complex than he is imagining, and I find it arrogant that he'd try to impose his morality on them at the risk of lives.

I also wonder if this is a gimmick to get out of having to cough up the dough.

Finally, I've been researching this and most of these villages have, if they are really lucky, 3 doctors per 1,000 people. Thus the idea of abortions in Africa really scares me. We're not talking about ideal medical conditions, to say the least.

And once again, I can only repeat what I've been saying since I first posted my letter to Paul O'Neill last July. If you care enough to discuss this hear, get your letter in the mail to tell Bush to follow THRU on this. Get it in the mail now! (If you'd like a copy of the one I posted, its in the link in my sig...)

And to answer your question, Dreadsox, there are a mix of NGOs and churches and other religious organizations and gov't aid agencies. He could insist that religioius ones get it all, I guess. Seems pretty limiting for such a huge pandemic!

SD
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Old 02-21-2003, 07:53 AM   #12
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I neither think he is assuming that they have the same amount of choice in the matter that we do.

I think it adds to the list of crimes that Bush has commited and continues to commit. I am not talking of crimes for which you can be held responsible, because no court in the world would accuse Bush of spending the money in the way he wants to - after all, he┤s the elected President. But in my personal opinion it is a crime to let people die when you could save them from illness and death. Bush doesn┤t bat an eye. What a cruel person.

I appreciate your talent for diplomacy, Sherry Darling

And to everyone: Go ahead, send a letter to the white house! Invest five minutes of your time, its worth it.
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Old 02-21-2003, 12:56 PM   #13
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This makes me mad as hell. The U.S. government shouldn't be posturing as the Big Bad Moral Cop. I'm even Catholic, which doesn't make me a big fan of abortion. But I don't like this .
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Old 02-21-2003, 01:32 PM   #14
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I am enraged by this. I don't care if you're a conservative republican, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that blocking this money this way is going to keep us from saving millions of people

Excuse me while I go throw up.
and write a letter.
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Old 02-21-2003, 02:04 PM   #15
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Bush is a born-again religious fanatic, and, once again, proves why our Founding Fathers had the foresight to value secularism.

If you cannot separate your religious beliefs from your professional career, then you have a problem.

Melon
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