Saturday, January 24, 2009


I generally do not do news and links on this blog but seeing that, I am creatively challenged this week due to a series of unfortunate events lately, I am posting this. Also in lieu of two blog posts I have been meaning to write since Obama's election last november:

The implications on Public Health Service delivery in Kenya of:

a) California's Proposition 8;
b) The Mexico City Policy

I will get round to it, someday, but in the meantime, and if only to keep my online footprint, here goes:

For those who have followed the politics of The Reagan- and successive rethugs- administration's ban on US funding for 'abortion' programmes abroad, it will come as no surprise that Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy also known as the global gag rule within the first few days in office.

It is important, though, to note that while the tradition is to reinstate or rescind the policy by presidential decree on the 22nd of January, Obama held out until the 23rd. The 22nd of January is the anniversary of the landmark US ruling on Abortion, commonly referred to as Roe Vs. Wade and both Clinton and Bush have used this day to sign executive orders on the Mexico City Policy and make a statement of their views on Roe V.s Wade.

Obama, who signed the decree with little media fanfare, while choosing to be less combative noted that:

"For too long, international family planning assistance has been used
as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us. I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate."

Obama also reinstated America's payments to UNFPA, who the Reagan and Bush administrations accused of supporting imposed abortions in china's one child policy.

And now we can sit back and await the fallout.

And from Kenya, he can expect a letter from Dr. Jean Kagia

Only this time, the chairperson of the Protecting Life Movement of Kenya might feel inclined to attach pictures of aborted foetuses floating down the Nairobi.

A study- I cannot find the report online- results of which were released in 2004 and that involved the Kenya Medical Association, the Kenyan chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers, and the Ministry of Health suggests that 300,000 women procure abortions annually in Kenya and of this 2,600 die from complications.

Bottom line is that those are not all fourteen year olds, there are many married women amongst them. So question is not whether that woman in Kibera who has ten kids and finds herself pregnant again and the mzee (who has totally refused to use a condom) tells her 'that is your shauri', needs an abortion or not but where she can get access to safe and affordable sexual and reproductive health information and

In other news, there is a very queer anthology in the works, whispers of are beginning to become loud murmurs, whose details I will be posting here soon. All I can say now is that it is to be Edited by Dr. Keguro Macharia and Angus Parkinson. Now if I could just dig up that call for submissions....

1 comment:

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