Its impact is far reaching and the aftermath hits home as ‘Global Gag Rule’ takes aim at low-income Americans.
Undoubtedly, childbirth is a choice. At least that’s what we as Americans want to believe – and, most people today would agree that birth control should be used to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Now, let’s rewind to nearly two centuries ago – the year is 1832.
Charles Knowlton, M.D. (1800-1850), inventor of the first known birth control methods and founder of The Friends of Mental Liberty, a ‘freethought‘ society, is jailed for distributing pamphlets to his patients that explained withdrawal (pull out method) and the use of chemically treated sponges as contraceptives. At the time, his practices were viewed as being unorthodoxed – and challenged certain aspects of the church.
In The Case Against Kids, The New Yorker author Elizabeth Kolbert delves into the work of Christine Overall, who in “Why Have Children?: The Ethical Debate”(M.I.T. Press) rejects the idea of having kids as some sort of moral servitude and dispels the belief that having kids leads to a happier life. Kolbert also mentions the work of Professor David Benatar, who in “Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence” (Oxford) argues that we have a moral obligation to abstain from childrearing if, let’s say, there’s prior knowledge that both parents (although rich) have genetic diseases and will pass it on to their offspring who would live a life of “terrible” suffering. He also days
The same conclusion can be drawn for persons born into generational poverty – a mere $24,600 for a family size of 4 regardless if it’s makeup includes a single mother of 3 – attributing to gender inequality, which is the bigger issue here.
The ‘Global Gag Rule,’ or Mexico City Policy
As we know, recent public events – stemming from the actions of the Trump-Pence Administration immediately following Friday’s scant inauguration ceremony proceeded by massive women’s protests around the country – resurrected the issue of a woman’s ‘right to choose’. On Monday, Jan. 23, Trump signed Executive Orders to cut government funding to organizations that distribute or counsel women about preventative birth control methods and abortion treatments.
Who Gets Hurt by ‘Global Gag Rule’
The two health organizations likely to be the hardest hit by the ‘Global Gag Rule’ are PAI and Planned Parenthood – whose patients are low-income women and children – people who can’t afford costs for reproductive health treatments and vaccinations. And they are often times at high risk for teenage pregnancy, the victims of incest, rape and suppressed awareness.
A Call to Action: What you can do?
2.) Sign PAI’s Stop Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’ Petition.
3.) Contact your local officials. Use this link to search for local lawmakers in your area.
5.) Get Involved. These organizations need people who care and are willing to donate their time. Become a volunteer in your area or visit these and other organizations to learn more about how you can make a difference.
It’s important that collectively we realize that there’s an urgent call to action and take the above steps. But, more importantly, it’s time for us as individuals and as a nation to stop thinking what happens to them doesn’t affect us, because it does. If you’re female, it affects you. If you have a wife, daughter, sister or someone you care about, it affects you. If you’re a member of the LGBT community, it affects you. If you’re Agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or other, it affects you. If you’re a freethinker, it affects you!
What will you do to promote progress?