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Archive for the ‘Family Planning’ Category

From this allAfrica.com article, in Uganda, it appears that most men do not want women they are married to/involved with to engage in family planning.  While I agree with the article’s general premise that men should be more supportive of family planning, I’m very unsure how to actually go about achieving this.  Policies dictated by Western countries usually don’t succeed.  Furthermore, recent history does demonstrate that white South Africa was actively working on materials to inhibit black Africans from reproducing, so any skepticism regarding family planning coming from Africans appears justified.

For now, it appears the best way to continue advocating for family planning in Africa (and elsewhere where women are marginalized) is to focus on the women, not the men.  Create greater opportunities for women, which will allow to assert my independence in their own lives.  From this article:

“For those women who come, most of their husbands are not aware, I do not think any man in the village wants those things,” Namanya says.

So, women are already seeking out family planning, and the men mostly don’t know.  What hinders women most appears to be transportation issues:

Indeed transport was a challenge to most of the women that sought family planning at this hospital and they said that many of their fellow women remained home for lack of money for transport money to come to the health facility.

So, by investing in better infrastructure and by investing in women themselves, it appears that significantly more women would be able to engage in family planning.  So, while I agree that men should be more involved, that doesn’t appear likely until women are accorded greater equality in the society itself.  Therefore, the focus should be fostering the climate to allow that to happen.  Much easier said than done, obviously.

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I’ve never understood the hatred that Planned Parenthood generates in some people.  These are often the same people who cry about “welfare babies.”  Enter Texas and its recent foray into defunding Planned Parenthood under the idea that doing so will prevent abortions.  The Dallas Observer recently wrote a fantastic article detailing what happened, why, and what the proponents hope to accomplish and why they won’t accomplish it.

The part most interesting/depressing aspect to me is how women are again being limited in their ability to “plan” how they want to start a family.  First off, many of these services are not covered by insurance (though Cialis and Viagra are).  This by itself severely limits a woman’s ability to “plan.”  So, since insurance doesn’t cover these services, women seek out organizations like Planned Parenthood.  With mostly male legislatures controlling these funding decisions, women are again marginalized.  It’s a banal comment that I’m sure has been made numerous times before, but if men were the ones getting pregnant, we would be financing significantly more opportunities for men to “plan” when to be parents.  That’s what bothers me most, the discrepancy between the two sexes, and how the majority of decisions ultimately favor one sex over the other.

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