By Jodi Jacobson, Editor-in-Chief, RH Reality Check

At the UN, only men will get to decide MDG priorities for women’s and children’s health. Including Bill Gates who is anti-abortion.

Consider this:

Men don’t get pregnant.

Completely preventable complications of pregnancy, labor, unsafe abortion and AIDS-related illnesses remain the leading causes of death and disability among women in countries throughout the world due to lack of political will, lack of funding, and the politicization of sexual and reproductive health by fundamentalist religious and political actors.

Women now make up the majority of those infected with HIV worldwide and over two-thirds of those infected in sub-Saharan Africa.

Women and girls continue to face profound discrimination in access to education, employment, and political power in virtually every country (yes, including the United States).  Women continue to experience high rates of sexual violence and coercion, high rates of child marriage, and low rates of access to basic reproductive and sexual health care, including safe abortion.

The health and well-being of newborns, infants, and children rests primarily on women.  In communities riven by poverty, violence and discrimination, the death of a mother too often results in the neglect, deteriorating health, abuse, or death of her child(ren).

Consider also that virtually all of these issues remained invisible–or just plain unimportant–to the largely male power structures in every country for the past several decades, until the global women’s movement gained traction in their fight to put them on the global agenda.

Given these realities, it would seem that appointments to a recently convened United Nations High-level Advocacy Group focused on pushing for progress on the Millennium Development Goals would take pains to put high-level women in charge–at least in equal numbers to their male counterparts–of advocating for maternal health, child health, and HIV and AIDS, as well as those “other things” like economic development, in which women, as all the development literature has repeated ad nauseum for 40 years, are essential actors.

Someone, somewhere, did not get the memo.

A “final” July 1 2010 list of prominent individuals circulated by the United Nations End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign comprising the “Global Advocacy Team” indicates that not one woman has been assigned to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 (to reduce child mortality), MDG 5 (to improve maternal health), or MDG 6 (to combat HIV and AIDS and malaria).

This is, quite simply, astounding.

And yet, its not.  Because in the pattern of all things having to do with women’s health–whether we are talking about Utah or Nebraska, Uganda or the United Nations–there are other truths.  Men continue to control the agenda and to decide how much or how little money and attention will be paid to ending the epidemic of pregnancy- and sexually-transmitted infection-related deaths and illnesses that robs millions of women of their lives and health every year worldwide.  Men continue to decide what priorities will be on the table when they do “pay attention” to these issues, and when they won’t, for reasons of their own political or financial agendas or their own ideological or political affiliations or all of the above, address honestly one of the leading and most preventable causes of pregnancy-related death and illness, that being unsafe abortion. Men continue to decide  whether they will, for the sake of ideology cloaked as “common ground,” push for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that leave women disproportionately vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, leave the issue of safe abortion out of research and international documents, confront other issues like stoning as “adulterers” women who’ve been raped, or “accept” that ending the war in Afghanistan likely means leaving women to the “mercy” of the Taliban.  Men decide whether we can talk about women’s health writ large, or even their sexual and reproductive health writ large, or only about the mommas and the babies. (more…)

A hotline that gives women practical information about sexual and reproductive health in general and the use of a medicine called misoprostol to prevent heavy bleeding of women after giving birth and for inducing safe miscarriage at home, will be launched on Saturday the 25th June. Misoprostol is registered as an essential medicine on the list of the World Health Organization and registered in Pakistan under the brand names Arthrotec, Cytotec, Cytopan, and ST Mom®.

Where: press conference at Hotel Ambassador, 7 Davis Road, Lahore, Pakistan
When: 13:00 hrs, Saturday, 26th June, 2010.

The launch is being carried out by the coalition of Pakistani Organization who support women’s rights  – Aware Girls from Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, Peace Foundation from Sindh and Wake Up Call International from Lahore, The hotline is supported by Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, Women on Waves and Women on Web.

Press inquiries:

0315-947 33 66 (Sindh)
0307-494 08 08  (Punjab)
0315-917 04 09 (Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa)
+31-6-52052561 (Women on Waves)

Women needing information in Pakistan/ hotline numbers:

0307 – 494 07 07 – (Urdu, Punjabi)
0315 – 917 04 08 – (Urdu, Pastho)
0315 – 947 33 99 – (Urdu, Sindhi)

Further information:

Pakistan has one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in Asia. Each
year 30 000 women die due to pregnancy related reasons. Nearly 90% of
women deliver at home in the absence of skilled birth attendants. Only
1 in 20 women reaches the emergency obstetric care. Heavy bleeding
after giving birth (PPH, postpartum hemorrhage) is the main cause of
maternal deaths. 80% of maternal deaths happen during home birth.
The abortion rate in Pakistan is 14 in every 100 live births,
approximately 890.000 are performed each year.

An estimated 11-15% of maternal mortality in Pakistan is caused by
unsafe abortions. (more…)

1.  Christival-Prozess

Heute, am 10.6.2010 fand im Verwaltungsgericht Bremen der 2.Verhandlungstag gegen den Polizeieinsatz während des Christivals 2008 statt.

Vor über einem Jahr wurden bei einer kleinen, spontanen Protestaktion gegen das Christival etwa 15 queere Aktivist_innen durch ein absurd großes Aufgebot an Bremer Polizist_innen außerordentlich brutal und teils sexualisiert herumgeschubst, geschlagen, gekesselt und durch die halbe Innenstadt getrieben.
Hierbei kam es zu zwei willkürlichen und gewaltsamen Ingewahrsamnahmen.
Die zwei Betroffenen versuchen seitdem, juristisch gegen die Bremer Polizei vorzugehen. Sie stellten Anzeigen wegen Körperverletzung, Nötigung und Beleidigung. Außerdem wurden Verwaltungsklagen gegen die Ingewahrsamnamen eingereicht.
Wir, die Antirepressionsgruppe 2.5.08 unterstützen sie dabei.

Während am ersten Verhandlungstag im Januar die beiden Kläger_innen gehört wurden, wurde am heutigen 2. Verhandlungstag Zeug_innen beider Seiten gehört, davon 5 Polizist_innen und 2 Aktivist_innen. Nach der insgesamt 10-stündigen Zeug_innenbefragung wurde die Verhandlung erneut vertagt. Der nächste Verhandlungstag wird voraussichtlich im September stattfinden. An diesem Tag wird noch mindestens ein weiterer Zeuge der Polizei gehört. Außerdem wird es um die Frage gehen, ob es sich in den Augen des Gerichts bei der Protestaktion um eine politische Versammlung gehandelt hat, oder nicht.

Weitere Informationen auf

2. Demonstration gegen den “1000 Kreuze”-Marsch der Organisation “Euro ProLife”

Im März des vergangenen Jahres äußerten mehrere hundert Personen Kritik an dem “1000 Kreuze”-Marsch der Organisation “Euro ProLife”. Mittels von Transparenten und Sprechchören kritisierten sie die menschen-verachtenden Positionen der Organisation, die im Rahmen des Aufzuges propagiert wurden. Die Kritikerinnen und Kritiker machten von ihrem Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung und dem Versammlungsrecht gebrauch.

Genau dies wird den Betroffenen nun als “grobe Störung” vorgeworfen.

Gegen etwa hundert Kritikerinnnen und Kritiker werden derzeit Gerichtsverhandlungen mit dem Vorwurf der Versammlungssprengung (§21 des Versammlungsgesetzes) geführt. Dabei wurden die Verhandlungen im ersten halben Jahr in der Regel vertagt, da die Münsteraner Staatsanwaltschaft die Beweise den zuständigen Rechtsanwält_innen nicht vorgelegt hat oder die Zeugen nicht geladen wurden. Dieses Vorgehen führt zu einem immensen Kostenanstieg auf Seiten der Angeklagten.

Das hauptsächliche Problem stellt jedoch die rechtliche Argumentation der Münsteraner Staatsanwaltschaft dar. Würde sich diese Interpretation der Staatsanwaltschaft durchsetzen, wäre das Versammlungsrecht durch eine veränderte Rechtsprechung ausgehöhlt, ohne materiell angetastet zu werden.

Weitere Informationen entnehmen Sie bitte dem beigefügten offenen Brief und der Internetseite:

Hier der ganze Aufruf:


A second major global gathering on women’s maternal health wrapped up in Washington, D.C., June 9. Participants celebrated progress and a huge new funding infusion and focused pressure on the G-8 summit in Canada later this month.

WASHINGTON (WOMENSENEWS)–More than 3,500 women from 146 countries converged on the nation’s capital this week for a second major conference on maternal mortality.

They celebrated benchmark achievements in reducing maternal and infant mortality and faced stubborn failures at the same time.

The gathering, organized by the global advocacy group Women Deliver, was able to savor success stories in countries such as Sri Lanka and Malawi, where maternal deaths have been significantly lowered since the first conference was held in London in 2007.

But the Women Deliver conference also offered a forum for tales of women still dying preventable childbirth deaths and of inadequate access to family planning services for 215 million women worldwide.

“We must fight for women’s health with all our resources all the time,” pledged U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon at the opening session on June 7.

Melinda Gates, a major philanthropist in this field, followed later that morning to announce $1.5 billion in new support from the Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, for programs targeting women’s health. She said she hoped that donation would spur the G-8 summit in Canada on June 25, where leaders of eight of the world’s most industrialized nations will meet, to step up in a similar fashion.

Gates pointed out that 350,000 women still die every year giving birth and that 3 million newborns die annually.

“Women and children have finally moved up on the global agenda, and I’m here to tell you that’s where they are going to stay,” she said.

The mother of three added that she “cannot imagine being denied access to the tools” to plan her family and the “basic right to decide how many children to have.”

Integrated Approach

Gates emphasized a theme that emerged in several sessions throughout the three-day conference: the need for a more integrated approach to global family planning efforts that doesn’t address one disease or problem at a time, but instead focuses on caring for the total human being. (more…)

Der Termin für unser erstes Treffen zur Gründung eines Pro-Choice Netzwerks in Berlin steht nun fest:

Am Mittwoch 12. Mai um 19 Uhr in der Kalkreuthstr. 4 im Büro von Pro Familia, die uns freundlicherweise einen Raum hierfür überlassen haben.

Mögliche Arbeitschwerpunkte können sein:

  • Vernetzung von pro-choice Gruppen EU weit und international

  • Direkte Hilfe in Form eines Abortion Access Funds (Arztkosten, Reise- und Übernachtungshilfen) für Frauen aus Irland, Polen und Malta

  • Informationsabeit gegen manipulative Webseiten im Internet

  • Pro-Choice Blog

  • Mobilisierung gegen den 1000 Kreuze Marsch von Abtreibungsgegnern im Herbst

  • Organisierung von gemeinsamen Aktivitäten mit der European Womens Lobby im EU Parlament

  • Organisierung von Konferenzen und Informationsveranstaltungen

Ich freue mich über alle weiteren Vorschläge, die von euch kommen und zahlreiches Erscheinen!

Alles Gute von Sarah

(Fragen an

(This is an announcment for the first meeting of a pro-choice network in Berlin.)

Event in Berlin about stigmatisation of abortion


„Die verschärfte Stigmatisierung des Schwangerschaftsabbruches in Deutschland – und wie fühlen sich betroffene Frauen?

Die Frage zur Existenz eines Post Abortion Syndroms & mögliche Folgen“

am 21.04.2010, 19.00 – 22.00 Uhr im

Berliner Familienplanungszentrum – BALANCE, Mauritius-Kirch-Str. 3, 10365 Berlin – Lichtenberg

Tel: 030 / 553 67 92;  Mail:;

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