Thursday, February 21, 2008

Liveblog and Videocast for Safe Motherhood

What is our legislative strategy for ending maternal death?

Email us your questions or click on COMMENTS to post your questions.

11 comments:

Field said...

How do I know where my representative stands on Safe Motherhood?

Americans for UNFPA said...

Hi, I’m Jesse, the Outreach Coordinator for Americans for UNFPA.

Our Legislative Director, Joanne Zurcher, is busy in DC preparing for our biggest Lobby Day ever on this Thursday, March 6th.

But she’ll be online on Monday the 3rd and Tuesday the 4th from 1 Eastern to 3 Eastern each day, answering your questions and follow-ups about our Legislative Strategy.

So use the box on the right part of your screen to enter your question, and look below for Joanne’s answer.

Walid H. said...

If McCain wins the presidential election, will your legislative and advocacy work become easier?

Jesse said...

In response to the question from "field" about where certain Representatives stand on this issue:

The best way to track your elected official's stances is to see whether they sponsor some of the key pieces of legislation that effect Safe Motherhood and UNFPA.

A few bills to look out for:
HR 2604, introduced by Joe Crowley (D-NY), which would restore U.S. funding to UNFPA

S. 2782, a Senate bill just introduced by Hillary Clinton (D-NY) which would also restore U.S. support.

and a forthcoming resolution expected to be introduced this week in the House about Safe Motherhood in general.

Our Action Center (www.americansforunfpa.org/takeaction) will have detailed information on these new bills and allow you to contact your officials about them.

Jesse said...

In response to Walid's question about the upcoming election:

Because Americans for UNFPA is a non-partisan organziation, and because concern for Safe Motherhood is not limited to Democrats or Republicans, we will be working hard to secure U.S. support for UNFPA regardless of who the next President is.

If John McCain wins the election, we will urge him (just as we would any other new President) to IMMEDITATELY release the blocked funds to UNFPA and support an increase in U.S. support for Safe Motherhood programs.

Vicki said...

Jesse,

I am excited to see that bills to restore funding are being introduced! I know in the past there have been efforts to limit funding to specific initiatives, how do these bills approach the funding?

Jesse said...

Vicki,

Great question, and you're right, our government has an unfortunate pattern of micro-managing international assistance programs.

It's important for us to make our leaders understand that we can't solve any of the women's health and rights challenges in isolation - in other words, we can't end maternal death without making contraceptives available, we can't end child marriage without supporting girls education, we can't fight HIV/AIDS without more dedicated women's health clinics. The list goes on and on.

We think it’s a dangerous precident for the U.S. to pick and choose what it wants to fund. It detracts from the point of an international organization, which is to provide assistance based on need and without bias. And UNFPA determines what issues to addressed with input from the women and the governments of the countries where it works.

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