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Women Leaders Speak Out on US Global Family Planning Policies

Two days before the March for Women's Lives, women's rights leaders from around the world urged the Bush Administration to reinstate and increase international family planning funding and to repeal the Global Gag Rule. At a press conference on global abortion politics, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal challenged reporters to go to maternity wards to document the suffering women are facing around the world as a result of US international family planning policies. Smeal also asserted that the 500,000 maternal deaths and 70,000 deaths a year from botched, unsafe abortions around the world could be prevented.

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics For a Free Choice (CFFC), said the alliance between the Bush Administration and the Vatican has limited womens rights internationally. Anu Kumar, the executive vice-president of Ipas, asserted that countries cannot have freedom and democracy if they cant have maternal health. Kumar described the Global Gag Rule as fundamentally undemocratic, censoring freedom of speech.

According to Kumar, women from the US and around the world are marching for womens lives this weekend to fight the current systematic and organized assault on reproductive rights.

TAKE ACTION Sign up to March for Womens Lives on Sunday April 25

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

DONATE to support the Feminist Majoritys organizing work for the March for Womens Lives

Media Resources: Feminist Majority