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Last week the 46th session of the Commission on Population and Development concluded at U. The five-day session was described as fraught with tension and disagreement because most of the states were "concerned about the economic implications of migration, looking at the effects of remittances," said Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, chief executive of leading Pakistani NGO Awaz Foundation.

He said the connection between health and migration was frequently overlooked. In October a high-level dialogue on migration and development will be held that will help lay the foundation for how migration will be incorporated into the post agenda. The number of internagional migrants reached million in , up from million in , according to U.

About half of today's international migrants are women, an extremely vulnerable group, unlikely to receive access to the social and health protections that they need from gender-based violence, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Member states from South Asia and some Arab nations like Qatar, as well as Nigeria and the Vatican, opposed the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health language in a consensus agreement.

I found the coverage of this meeting sparse and confusing. I welcome any better explanation of what happened at this meeting. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. Your support today will help improve and save lives in the countries around the world where UNFPA operates. Enabling women to control the number and spacing of their children is essential to reducing maternal deaths and human misery.

Over million women, mostly in the least developed countries, want to use modern family planning methods but can't access them, facing cultural barriers or family resistance, or not having access to contraceptives, or there is a lack of information or trained workers to give advice. The summit's aim is to mobilise the political will and extra resources needed to give million more women access to family planning by This ambitious target is one that is desperately needed. Hundreds of thousands of women continue to die from complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

This would be a betrayal of the most vulnerable people and communities on our planet and an affront to our sense of justice. For every mother who dies, 20 more suffer from chronic ill health and disability. Uncontrolled pregnancy has a much wider impact on the life chances of women and their children - and the health and strength of their communities.

The Huffington Post said, "If the U. Ranking Member Howard Berman D-CA stated, "Tragically, the bill takes aim at poor women and children in the developing world - women and children who all too often suffer from the effects of disease, war, rape, and a host of absolutely horrid conditions that few of us can even begin to imagine.

Rather than helping these desperate people - as UNFPA seeks to do - the legislation makes them pawns in a debate over social issues that often seems divorced from reality. House Republicans claim that their desire to defund the UNFPA stems from the organization's support of China's one-child policy, which requires women obtain abortions and sterilization.

S, money goes to China, and not one dime goes to abortion. Democrats on the committee offered various amendments to allow U. In her reflections, she said:. He insisted that his daughters get a good education and he never interfered with my life choices. The attacks were strongest during the Bush 43 administration years, but we have been attacked all the time, including by feminist groups that fear that UNFPA has 'sold out'".

The attacks come only from the United States. Recent Republican administrations have withdrawn United States funding from UNFPA, citing the "Kemp Kasten Amendment" which was enacted to ensure that no US money goes to any organizations that participates in the management of coercive population policies. The Bush administration sent a team to China that reached the same conclusion, but that made no difference.

It all was the result of the influence of the religious right. They agreed to disagree. It was significant that they opened a channel that would allow them to communicate if times got tough. On the ground, in many parts of the world, we work all the time with the Catholic Church on common agendas such as ending violence against women. It is important to broaden the base of understanding and support and find ways to support each other. Some groups still have doubts about UNFPA's commitment and approach and some are uneasy specifically about our effort to work with faith groups, fearing that it signals an erosion in our commitment to human rights.

It absolutely does not. Today, over faith based groups form the Global Network of Faith-based Organizations for Population and Development. It states that abortion should never be a form of family planning and that when family planning services are available and accessible that lowers abortions. Abortion is a national issue to be decided by national laws and legislations. Where it is legal, it should be done under good medical conditions.

Some women's groups approach the issue differently, viewing abortion in the context of a woman's right to choose. So, though we have many common interests, we deal with them differently. On the more controversial issues, we need to give some more space and time and show mutual respect for our differences. The availability, use, and funding of family planning worldwide has seen a revolution in the last 50 years, dramatically reducing fertility levels and slowing population growth in developing countries.

But contraceptive use is still low and need for it high in some of the world's poorest and most populous places. Perhaps its success has led to its recent loss of visibility. Recently key informants - developing-country program managers, senior staff members of nongovernmental and donor organizations, and prominent researchers - were surveyed in a study supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute of Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins University.

One key informant in the study said: When you say 'reproductive health' and have to be careful, something is happening. There is a declining sense of urgency about population growth and its consequences; competing health and development priorities; rising political conservatism especially in the United States ; and a lack of international and local leadership. Poverty reduction was cited as the primary focus of current development efforts.

The agenda of the International Conference on Population and Development ICPD meeting in Cairo in emphasized the welfare of individual women, the achievement of their sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender equity. This redefinition of the social problem of population growth in terms of reproductive health, particularly for women, has caused popular consciousness about the problem to ebb, since reproductive health does not carry the same political vitality as a developmental disaster or disease epidemic.

The trouble is that it's no longer a focused program. It's difficult for donors to see, to manage and implement. That and lack of funding for advanced training means that leadership in family planning is aging or lacking. Strong opposition from abortion opponents is also a disincentive to work in the family planning field. Some respondents felt that the international family planning movement was in it's demise, but others felt that the movement would continue with the locus of action shifiting to the developing world in those countries that have major contraceptive needs, a rapidly growing population, and a policy commitment to slowing growth.

Others felt that women's motivation to control fertility is so strong and the social norm of family planning so well established that contraceptive use will continue to rise no matter what happens to family planning programs. Some felt the message of family planning could be recast 1 addressing an unfinished agenda of unmet contraceptive need, unwanted fertility, stalled fertility decline, and shortages of contraceptive supplies; 2 highlighting family planning's benefits for reducing abortion and improving women's status and health; and 3 demonstrating family planning's relevance in reducing social inequity.

Many saw the risks of increased poverty, poor health, and higher mortality as a result of high fertility and population growth rates. It needs to be better utilized, not for Malthusian reasons, but in order to rise above poverty," said one respondent.

Obama pledged to restore the money while signing an order reversing a move by Bush that banned American government aid for family-planning organizations that, promoted or conducted abortions.

Sixty percent of people living in poverty are women. Two-thirds of the million illiterate adults are women. Seventy percent of children out of school are girls. Women are the givers and keepers of life. The money has permitted UNFPA to increase its support for family planning, to train doctors and midwives, save women's lives in childbirth, repair obstetric fistulas, discouraged forced early marriage, and to educate adolescents about AIDS. By the world's population is expected to rise to nine billion people, all of whom will be seeking food, water, and other resources.

This growth in population will exacerbate every environmental and humanitarian crisis we face today. Gender inequality is at the base of population and environmental issues. Of particular concern is the plight of women and girls who comprise the majority of the world's unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid. UNFPA offers the family planning that allows women to choose if and when have children.

In the world there is a vast unmet demand for family planning, that can mitigate the worst of humanitarian and environmental crises. A senior UN official urged countries to increase social investment and redouble efforts for an international population agenda.

The financial crisis threatens to push million people back into poverty. The financial crisis is threatening to wipe out progress in improving health and reducing poverty. Countries must put people first and the long- term well-being of the majority over the short-term interests of a few.

Increase social investment and redouble efforts for the ICPD agenda by investing in women, youth and migrants. Established in , UNFPA United Nations Population Fund is an international agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. Contributions are voluntarily allocated at the discretion of U. The organization that since has been shunned by the administration of the White House that withholds funding via a policy loophole that had its genesis during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Congress passed an amendment giving the president discretion to withhold funding from any group or agency involved in coercive abortion or sterilization. The White House has refused to release funding for the agency that was appropriated by Congress. Private citizens are being encouraged to support the UNFPA through a new web service that allows a user to enter information about herslf with the idea that women around the world can begin to compare their common experiences. Another new online tool is the MDG Monitor web site, that uses data to track progress in meeting the U.

MDG's Visitors can quickly check global comparison of data that include maternal mortality rates and girl-boy ratios of school enrollments. The Bush administration contends that because the UNFPA provides financial and technical resources to China's National Population and Family Planning Commission, it supports the Chinese government's program of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization.

At least million women lack access to the contraceptives they desire in order to plan their families or space their children. Reproductive health conditions are the leading cause of death and illness among women of childbearing age. Japan promised to focus on global health when it hosts the Group of Eight economic summit in Hokkaido Toyako in July A United Nations report says poverty perpetuates and is exacerbated by poor maternal health, gender discrimination, and lack of access to birth control.

This holistic view has helped slow the increase in world population. The average family has declined from six children in to around three today. Education and improved health for women and access to contraception are vital.

Smaller families are healthier families and improve the prospects of each generation. Since more women have access to education and other rights, and more early-marriage traditions are being opposed.

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Some women "don't even perceive themselves at risk for pregnancy, either because they're breastfeeding or having sex infrequently. The bill also bans any U. In addition the bill calls for a reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, which bans family planning aid to foreign health care agencies that use other, private funding to provide legal abortion, to offer counselling or referrals on legal abortion, or that publicly support a policy of legal abortion within their own countries.

This, in effect, disqualifies the most effective, experienced, and respected family planning providers in the developing world from receiving U. The results are disastrous. When it was in effect from to , clinics were forced to close, services had to be cut back, and contraceptive supplies ran dry. AS a result, abortions in several African countries affected by the policy doubled, according to researchers from Stanford University. The bill is now on track to go to the House floor for a vote by the full chamber.

Once they were told that the U. The House bill would slash funding for family planning programs in the developing world where there are already a quarter billion women who want to prevent or delay pregnancy but have no access to affordable, appropriate birth control.

The bill would also ban any aid to the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA despite its work to expand access to birth control, to prevent and treat obstetric fistula, to eliminate female genital mutilation, to ensure access to basic reproductive health care to women in emergency situations, to end the practice of child marriage, and to eliminate coercive practices in China.

Granger's bill also calls for a reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, one of the most misguided policies ever created. It bans family planning aid to foreign health care agencies that use other, private funding to provide legal abortion, or to offer counselling or referrals on legal abortion, or that publicly support a policy of legal abortion within their own countries. It effectively disqualifies the most effective, experienced, and respected family planning providers in the developing world from receiving U.

We'll be working hard to make sure that this bill never becomes law. Please join us in that fight. For over 45 years the U. It also reduces the motive for wanting abortions, which poor people often resort to under unsafe conditions. Planned birth spacing contributes to healthier mothers, babies and families.

Having affordable numbers of children improves prosperity for families, communities, and nations. These gains are seriously jeopardized when program funding gets targeted for budget cuts. The Helms Amendment, which passed in - more than 40 years ago, prevents U. However, the Helms Amendment still inhibits funding to family planning agencies. According to Al Jazeera, in Ethiopia, "a woman living in an area where health facilities receive USAID support will be denied the abortion care that is legal in her own country, whereas a woman living in a different district funded by another donor will have access to safe care.

These deaths often occur in poor countries that receive aid from the U. WHO studies show that where women can access safe abortions, fewer women have unsafe abortions, and a study in Nepal showed that legalizing abortion cut the maternal mortality rate in half. Six weeks after posting its general initial budget, the Obama Administration released the details of its FY request for international family planning FP and reproductive health RH programs. Of course, now that Congress has received the budget request, it still must decide over the next several months whether to grant the requested amounts or continue underfunding these urgent projects at current levels.

Only by promoting smaller families can we avoid dramatic population increases in the poorest countries. Population Matters chief executive Simon Ross commented, "To end aid dependency, we must tackle population growth in the poorest countries. We call on those standing in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament to commit themselves, if elected, to supporting the maintenance and increase in aid for population assistance and family planning.

The biggest driver of the scale of future aid dependency, together with climate change, is population growth. The UN estimates that the population of Africa alone will rise from one billion in to more than four billion by This will put enormous pressure on resources of all kinds. Emerging services, from health and education to transport and housing, will struggle to cope. One could question whether there will be sufficient employment opportunities to meet demand, while the challenge of supporting this population can only divert the resources required for social and economic development.

Such population growth will also be a contributor to increased migratory pressure on Europe's borders. Yet the EU, while increasing spending on reproductive health and family planning, often as part of wider health system strengthening, still spends relatively little in this area. The EU is the world's biggest multilateral donor and the third biggest donor after the US and UK, spending over nine billion euros per annum in bilateral aid.

Of this, the EU spends around 90 million euros 1 per cent on population assistance. Of course, reproductive health is not just about lowering unsustainable birth rates. Reproductive health conditions are the leading cause of death and illness in women of reproductive age worldwide.

For this reason, too, reproductive health has a claim to our attention and support. There are those who oppose support for family planning on the basis that some of it might go to providing abortion services. However, the best way to lower the rate of abortion is to improve the provision of family planning, not to cut it. Countries in which abortion is illegal often have a higher termination rate than those in which abortion is permitted.

A safe and legal abortion is much better than an unsafe and illegal one. Also, it is hardly appropriate for those in the EU, where abortion is generally available, to seek to limit access to abortion elsewhere. We welcome the EU's verbal and financial commitment to reproductive health and family planning and call on those standing as MEPs to support that commitment and to improve on it if elected.

More than 60 per cent of couples in less-developed countries used family planning services in Only 10 per cent did in In , million women wished to avoid or postpone pregnancy but were not using modern contraceptives. An estimated million years of productive life are lost every year worldwide as a result of reproductive health problems. The poor disproportionately bear the consequences of poor reproductive health -- especially impoverished women and young people.

With the current emphasis on voluntary family planning FP , FP fund raisers focus largely on the over million women who live in places where affordable FP is still unavailable. Their ads imply that if you provide it, they will come. Just help the sponsors service the unmet demand. But this message oversimplifies the problem.

Large and growing families often live where local clinics offer affordable contraceptives, yet they either don't use them or use them and still have large families.

Often young people are steered away from FP services, or not told about them, and they wind up bearing children while they are still children themselves. The problem often stems not from a lack of supply, but rather from a lack of demand for FP services. Unless health care workers view large families as a problem, they may only offer service on demand, and they may not even use the services themselves.

It is embarrassing enough to talk about sex when clients ask questions, so they would not discuss it unless clients ask. Many FP advocates know that low demand is more of a problem than low supply, and that an effective FP program must include quality outreach services. Outreach services come in different forms to best fit the needs of the communities they serve. This report has documented several outreach programs that have proved effective in making people understand the benefits of using available FP services.

Click here - or on the headline above - to see the report "Barriers and Solutions to Family Planning Resistance". This year, the National Retail Federation estimated viewers' total spending for the Super Bowl was up from that figure. The Latin Times noted on Jan 29, that the day of the big game is the second-biggest day for eating, after Thanksgiving, with the average fan eating 1, calories just in snacks.

This does not include the other three meals of the day. This would allow women around the world to voluntarily decide for themselves when and if they want to have children, and to space those children for healthier outcomes. We could solve a humanitarian challenge and help curb the U. This solution to two challenges we face is also good for the environment. When women are able to voluntarily decide the size of their families, they generally choose smaller families, leading to less demand for environmental resources.

Total fertility rates in these countries remained well above world average. A key factor in poverty reduction is thus reducing population growth to a reasonable level. Three aspects of development aid were shown to contribute to fertility reduction: However, the percentage of development aid spent on these three aspects combined was a mere 16 per cent, with only a derisory 0. Since fertility reduction is key to reducing poverty, aid donors should have invested much more aid in these three areas - especially family planning.

Commented Population Matters chair, Roger Martin, "This is yet more evidence supporting the argument for investing far greater sums in programmes shown to reduce fertility rates and hence population growth. Aid strategies that increase longevity without at the same time reducing fertility are simply running to catch up with ever-increasing numbers of people.

Indeed they appear actually to create more poor people, and thus the basis for future humanitarian crises. This is the question the Sierra Club Global Population and Environment Program and other health, environmental and population organizations are asking.

The United Nations Population Fund informs us that million women in the developing world would like to voluntarily plan their families, spacing births so that both mother and child are healthy, and so that families are able to educate their children.

This also puts fewer demands on scarce resources. They go on to explain that "2 billion people live in countries without adequate water There are million chronically malnourished people in the world Why should the U.

According to Population Action International's web site, we have supported family planning and reproductive health care programs since While the demand has consistently increased, the U.

Brian Dixon from Population Connection explained, "it's derived by taking the total overall donor funding necessary to meet the existing unmet need for family planning and reproductive health care and then apportioning that by the GDP of the donor countries.

One-billion dollars sounds like an awful lot of money. But consider this, in , here in the U. Shouldn't we be focusing on needs here at home? Yes, but Dixon goes on to note "total foreign assistance funding is less than one percent of the federal budget and family planning is a very small part of that. Focusing on need here at home, the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance companies provide all forms of female contraception without a co-pay as part of preventive-care.

This should bring down the incidence of unplanned pregnancy dramatically as was shown in a study at Washington University in St. There researchers "provided 10, St. Louis women with free contraception, with the goal of decreasing unintended pregnancy Few women ended up choosing the pill. Most went with a long-acting contraceptive method, like an IUD or an implant and the results were striking. Women who opted for a shorter-term contraceptive like the pill were 20 times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy.

By eliminating dependence on the birth control pill, which is not as effective as other long-term contraceptives, the incidence of unplanned pregnancies should be greatly reduced. The author, Alan Weisman, in his latest book, Countdown, notes that we can't afford not to spend this money. I wish every human now on the planet a long, healthy life. But either we take control ourselves, and humanely bring our numbers down by recruiting fewer new members of the human race to take our places, or nature is going to hand out a pile of pink slips.

When you see survival of the fittest portrayed on the National Geographic Channel, it's entertaining. When it happens to your own species, it's not pretty. However, if you show the actual figures i. If our government actually did spent what people think it spends on foreign aid, the cost would exceed that of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or all defense spending.

That breakdown too might come as a surprise to many people. The February 8, U. With military aid exact numbers are harder to find, but much of the aid money goes to U.

This raises the question whether Congressmen favor the aid more to support contracts in their district or as a way of supporting military allies -- or, in the case of Egypt and Israel, as a reward for signing the Oslo Peace accords, which triggered the U. Also, people working in the U. S often send sizable checks to assist their families living in poorer nations. And, finally, not all foreign aid gets budgeted as foreign aid.

As I write this, U. In , President Richard Nixon signed legislation that created the Title X family planning program and noted that, "this landmark legislation on family planning and population has had strong bipartisan support. On the other hand House Republicans recently tried to strip birth control coverage from the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare.

It violates their religious rights. It's led women to be promiscuous and men to be gay. It's even contributing to the terrible dearth of babies some writers see lurking just around the corner, even though we are expected to grow to 9. Family planning is one of the most cost-effective investments the United States can make in developing countries. If we are able to meet the Millennium Development Goals, - including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger - there will be less need for foreign aid spending.

Thailand and the Philippines had two similar economies in the s. But Thailand began a national program to provide its citizens with voluntary access to contraception, while the Philippines passed a law to finally do that late last year, now on hold by the nation's very conservative Supreme Court. By , Thailand had Birth Control Stabilizes Nations.

Very young populations - characteristic of nations with high birthrates - can be very unstable because the competition for jobs among young people is fierce, and unemployment is epidemic. When you're hungry and desperate, turning to crime - or even terrorism - might feel like your only option. Birth Control Reduces Human Suffering.

By allowing women to time and space their pregnancies, family planning could prevent up to one in three maternal deaths in the developing world. And spacing pregnancies adequately also reduces infant mortality and improves the health of children.

And access to family planning also prevents abortions. More than half of all abortions in the developing world are unsafe, which killed around 47, women in An estimated million women around the world who want to delay or end childbearing don't have access to contraception.

This number will grow as today's young people. We're spending 30 percent less in inflation-adjusted dollars on international family planning now than we did in When a single investment can save money, boost economies, stabilize nations and reduce human suffering, thoughtful people of all political persuasions should give it a second look.

On July 19, the House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee approved a slight funding increase for global health programs. The cutback was approved as part of a larger appropriation measure funding the U. State Department and U. The House bill also prohibited any U. The Subcommittee's action is the first step in the annual appropriations process for the fiscal year. The final appropriation bill must be approved by both houses. This Reagan-era rule forbade U.

All Democrats and three Republicans on the committee supported Shaheen's amendment. Was international reproductive health and family planning part of the government shutdown? I can find no news on this item since July. Click on the link in the headline to read the report. Anna has five children, and wants to plan her family, but her mother-in-law, said she didn't have enough children. Emphasis on family planning, and women's sexual and reproductive health, is completely a multiplier investment for nations.

We write to urge your support for international family planning and reproductive health programs in the FY State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill. This level of funding would meet the U. In addition, any increased investments in international family planning and reproductive health will help rectify the disproportionate cuts this program has faced in the last several years in addition to the impact of sequestration.

Based on an analysis of the powerful impact of U. Our nation's investment in international family planning has had a significant sustained impact. These investments are also highly cost-effective. Agency for International Development USAID has found that in Zambia, for example, one dollar invested in family planning saves four dollars in other development areas.

Despite this investment, every year , women die from largely preventable complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. For the health of women around the world, we firmly support international family planning programs and urge you to provide this level of funding in the FY Appropriations Bill. Signed by 96 members of Congress. Our aid to international family planning programs is facing devastating cuts due to the sequester.

Instead of this kind of mindless slashing of funds, we need to increase our investment in family planning programs overseas. It will bring huge returns in terms of improved global health, expanded economic empowerment of women, increased educational opportunities for girls, protection of resources and greater political stability. Please act quickly to stop the disastrous cuts the sequester will bring. Since , PAI has taken eight Members of Congress and over 70 staff members to Africa, Asia, and South America, showing Members of Congress and their staff, donors, and advocates the need for and value of international family planning and reproductive health programs.

This trip also expands upon a more recent PAI initiative to galvanize new voices in target U. Congressional districts to support the U. Peru has extremely high rates of teen pregnancy and recently the Peruvian courts declared unconstitutional a law which made sex illegal for people under eighteen. This law had made it illegal for a teen to purchase or receive information about condoms or contraceptives.

Also Peru's has "graduated" from USAID's family planning program now that its economy has improved and it is now a middle income country and its government can provide access to contraceptives and reproductive health care. With a long history of underfunding and repeated attempts in the last U. Congress to cut funding for international family planning programs, USAID is left to make tough decisions on where to invest its inadequate resources.

Many worry that politics and a lack of solid health infrastructure will cause setbacks in the gains made with USAID'S support. Inequalities still exist between rural and urban, poor and rich, and educated and uneducated women. PAI believes that "seeing is believing" and are excited to continue to work with all of our trip participants and partners to advance the funding and policy needed to expand access to family planning and reproductive health services worldwide.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a bipartisan International Affairs Budget, nearly unanimously, that provides critical funding for foreign assistance in key areas. By contrast, the House is considering a spending plan that calls for significantly less funding for the International Affairs Budget, particularly for poverty-focused programs. InterAction and our members are urging Members of Congress to support the Senate funding levels in all budget negotiations.

The difference in spending will quite literally mean the difference between lives saved or lives lost. Contact your elected officials and tell others to do the same. For super storms like Sandy, giant floodgates might be part of a long-term solution, but we need to find others that address the looming consequences of climate change, and recognize that family planning is part of the mix. Since , world population has grown sevenfold, while per capita CO2 emissions have increased times.

This multiplies out to about 1, times as much emissions. And that doesn't even take into account the fact that emissions will rise dramatically if and when billions of people are able to escape from poverty.

All of these luxuries will increase per capita emissions. We must cut our own emissions even as emissions of the poorest people increase to a level that yields a decent quality of life. To insure that the reduction of emissions in the developed countries is not cancelled by increases from the developing world, we must slow the growth rate of our human family.

Over million women in developing nations do not want another child right away or not at all, yet they are unable to prevent pregnancy because of a host of obstacles, such as lack of information about modern contraception and cost, or misinformation about side effects of birth control methods, including the false notion that they lead to sterility. In many societies, women - especially young brides - have no power over their own lives because their husbands, clerics or mothers-in-law make their decisions for them.

Women who do not procreate may suffer violent consequences. If each American were to invest one additional dollar per year in awareness-raising and education campaigns, we could help break down these barriers in partnership with other nations. This would amount to one billion dollars per year. One third of the growth of Asian "tiger" economies is attributed to a demographic shift in which the number of income-generating adults was higher than those who depended on them for support.

This shift was a consequence of family planning and brought increased productivity, leading to economic development in the region. On the other hand, the costs of ignoring the right to family planning include poverty, exclusion, poor health and gender inequality.

By enabling individuals to choose the number and spacing of their children, family planning has allowed women, and their children, to live healthier, longer lives. If an additional million obtained access to family planning, the report estimates 3 million fewer babies would die in their first year of life. Babatunde Osotimehin said "Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women.

Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive. Women's increased labour-force participation boosts nations' economies. The report says that governments and communities have the responsibility to protect the right to family planning for women across the spectrum, including those who are young or unmarried. While financial resources for family planning have declined, contraceptive prevalence has increased globally by only 0.

As we approach the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, I call on all leaders to build on this momentum, close the funding gap, and make voluntary family planning a development priority. Instead of reflecting the best public health practices of the day, it reflects the worst politics of the day. Standing on the side of science, good public health, and women is the right thing to do.

This is true whether she is HIV-positive or not. World Health Organization WHO guidelines identify contraception as one of four essential components of programs that prevent mother-to-child transmission PMTCT , known as "prong 2" -preventing unintended pregnancies among HIV-positive women.

It also reinforces the centrality of "prong 2" and sets the ambitious goal of reducing unmet need for family planning to zero by When President Ronald Reagan introduced the policy in , it was known as the Mexico City Policy - which says the United States can provide no assistance to foreign non-governmental organizations that even discuss abortion or provide referrals for their clients. Ever since it has negatively affected women every time it's reinstated.

President Barack Obama overturned it again in one of his first presidential actions. When the Global Gag Rule is in effect, organizations that receive foreign aid from the United States are forced to choose: They can accept funding but censor the programs they've developed to serve their populations.

Or they can refuse to comply and lose funding, at the risk of going bankrupt and being forced to shutter their doors. Under President George W. In Kenya alone, three clinics were forced to close, leaving 56, clients out in the cold. In either case, it's the world's most vulnerable women who suffer. For some women overseas it's a matter of life and death. Meanwhile, 20 developing nations saw shipments of U.

Family planning protects natural resources, reduces maternal and child mortality and allows women to pursue education and careers. Under the Global Gag Rule, organizations are not even allowed to discuss the dangers of unsafe abortion with their clients. While the Global Gag Rule has been called "pro-life," it's anything but, leading to more unintended pregnancies, more unplanned births, higher maternal mortality, worse outcomes for infants and children and more deaths due to unsafe abortion and inadequate resources.

Suzanne York of HowMany. Not only will Americans lose access to free contraceptives under Obamacare's mandate to provide birth control without a co-pay.

Many women and their families in developing countries will suffer. Romney doesn't care that million women in developing countries want access to family planning services but do not have that access, and doesn't understand that helping them is both critical to helping them More than 20 developing countries made commitments to increase spending on family planning.

UNFPA's programs include health care for women refugees, where one in five women are likely to be pregnant. Female refugees are often exposed to trauma, malnutrition, disease and violence.

They desperately need maternal health services and proper clinics for childbirth. Another program educates married men on reproductive health in order to improve access to maternal and newborn health services.

Well-respected men in the community are brought together to discuss concerns centered on reproductive health. Romney as president would likely cut U. While presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has said he opposes abortion, except in instances of rape, incest and when the mother's life is threatened, he recently said no abortion legislation is part of his agenda, but by executive order, not by legislation, he would reinstate the so-called Mexico City policy aka Global Gag rule that bans U.

In the Reagan administration officials - under pressure from its antiabortion and increasingly overt anti-family planning constituency - prepared a position paper for the U. The position went far beyond the Helms amendment, which had passed in - in the wake of the U. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade - to ban the use of U. An example of the effect this policy has had on women is Josephine, who at 29, was raped during the Congo's conflicts, became pregnant. She wanted an abortion, but didn't know where to get one, despite the many health services NGOs that operated in and around Congo, and had to carry her baby to term and raise him.

I am hungry; I have no clothes and no soap. I don't have any money to pay for medical care. It would be better if I died with the baby in my womb," she told Amnesty International. Thousands of girls and women raped and impregnated in armed conflict are routinely denied abortions with devastating consequences. President Barack Obama dropped the Mexico City policy on his tenth day in office.

World Contraception Day is tomorrow, 26th September and on this occasion UK Parliamentarians call attention to the million women who lack access to basic family planning services in the developing world. The unmet need for contraception in the developing world is increasing due to population growth. Baroness Jenny Tonge said: It will reduce unintended pregnancies, help women and couples attain their desired family size and prevent many deaths and disabilities related to pregnancy.

Millennium Development Goal 5, to improve maternal health, remains the hardest to reach. Investing in contraception benefits women, families and society, ranging from increased education for women and better child health to greater family savings, lower rates of population growth and stronger national economies. Baroness Tonge chairs a cross-party group of parliamentarians who have been lobbying for equal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare in the developing world for over 20 years.

She added that, "allowing people in developing countries to choose when, where and how to have children is a fundamental right. It is crucial to the health and economic development of the world's poorer nations and underpins women's empowerment across the globe. Costs and Benefits of Contraceptive Services, Estimates for ". About half of this increase was due to population growth.

For example, in Tanzania in , billboards depicted a "Faithful Condom User" as a skeleton in a blatant attempt to discourage condom use as an effective HIV prevention method.

HLI is staunchly opposed to contraception, abortion, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, sex education, and homosexuality.

Christian Right group peddling corrosive reproductive politics in Africa is Family Watch International, a small Arizona-based group, which condemns the United Nations' efforts to support family planning services and reproductive health options for women.

One of the groups claims is that vaccine distribution is really a secret sterilization program designed to destroy the African family. Abortion is already illegal in most African countries, bans first passed decades ago under colonial governments, and even where there are some exceptions the complications of the law often drive women to obtain illegal and dangerous procedures, such as "drinking surf washing powder , using wires, and poisonous herbs. However, when it comes to enforcement, both police and individuals seem to shy away from invading the "personal" decisions of women who seek abortions, even when they disapprove of the procedure.

Population Action International believes the U. Those who object to funding international family planning must think it is much better to let them breed poverty, misery and terrorism and then kill them with drones apparently. It is unconscionable that the majority insists on including these provisions, which run counter to our shared goals of saving mothers' and children's lives, and reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

The Guttmacher Institute determined that a cut to overseas family planning of this magnitude will result in 7. During markup, the committee rejected on largely party-line votes three pro-family planning and reproductive health amendments that were offered by Democratic family planning champions in an attempt to rectify the bill's most blatant attacks.

Her amendment was rejected on a vote of 23 to The Senate Appropriations Committee's version of a FY State Department-Foreign Operations bill is widely expected to be the complete opposite of the House legislation, with a robust family planning funding level, a permanent legislative repeal of the Global Gag Rule, and a U.

These diametrically-opposed bills from the House and Senate will set the stage for the high-stakes negotiations on a final bill, not anticipated to occur until after the November election during a "lame duck" session of Congress.

This will help recover some of the millions of dollars cut by congressional contraceptive critics over the last two years as part of the globalization of their war on women. The funding restoration is especially significant in light of the difficult economic and budgetary climate and the fact that other bilateral health sectors are slated for cuts below current enacted levels.

Imams in Senegal have become champions of birth control, calling it "Family spacing. We want healthy societies," they say. In contrast, two weeks ago Barack Obama met with Roman Catholic leaders to discuss the feasibility of including religious and moral exemptions to birth control coverage in a new healthcare bill.

Dozens of health and finance ministers from across the African continent gathered to extol the virtues of family planning and strategise better ways of delivering it to those in need. But in the US the Secretary of Health and Human services overruled the Food and Drug Administration's recommendation that emergency contraception be available to individuals under the age of 17 without a prescription. Other countries get it: When people can choose whether or when to become pregnant, women are healthier, and their babies and children more likely to be fed, educated and healthy; the workforce is more robust; the government spends less on healthcare, studies show.

And yet million women around the world want, but lack, access to birth control. Other plans to undermine reproductive health included gutting family planning programs in the US and reinstating the "global gag rule" to punish developing countries for addressing unsafe abortion. This year, we must do better.

Women in sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia, where the vast majority of maternal deaths and unmet need for birth control lies, are struggling with the burdens of preventing or spacing pregnancies, dodging HIV risks, chronic lack of health services taboos around sexuality. Obama's Global Health Initiative launched in , gave a modest bump to US global family planning program, but more is needed.

By not prioritising birth control access within US borders or worldwide, the US is sending a message that contraceptive access is not important. Nothing could be farther from the truth. More and more developing country leaders are committed to improving women's lives, and access to birth control is the first stop. Progress is imminent, especially in Africa. Robert Walker, the President of the Population Institute, said, "There is still a large unmet need for family planning in the world.

With the largest generation ever of young people entering their prime reproductive years, the U. While acknowledging the tight budget constraints facing Congress, Walker said, "Lawmakers need to recognize that family planning is an exceptionally cost-effective program. Investments in family planning and reproductive health do more than pay for themselves. Measured in terms of improved health, reduced mortality, gender equality, educational attainment, and poverty reduction, family planning is one of the best investments we can make.

Joy Phumaphi, the Bank's vice president for human development, said that greater financial resources are necessary to help women in developing countries avoid raising families that are larger than they can manage. Between and , U. Greater levels of assistance were needed, advocates claimed, in order to meet the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, targets for reducing poverty, expanding healthcare, and protecting the environment.

Among the targets is universal access to reproductive health by Based on health surveys, at least million married women who do not currently use contraception would do so to prevent or delay pregnancy if they had access to trusted forms of contraception and counseling on how to use it. Avoiding unintended pregnancies helps reduce population growth rates that are unsustainable, the UN notes.

With more people, consumption levels rise, greenhouse gas emissions increase, and already-depleted resources are further stressed. The world is projected to be home to 9. Despite the significant funding for AIDS-related programs, the number of infections worldwide continues to rise. The UN estimates that by nearly 3 million people in low- and middle-income countries received antiretroviral treatments to limit HIV infections.

The Center for Global Development estimates that U. Obama pledged during his campaign to double total U. Women are the focus of attention. It's talking about sex. Seems like we should be talking about [reproductive health and AIDS] together," said Levine, who formerly worked as a World Bank health economist.

UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon said that the economic crisis may lead to greater numbers of women dropping out of school or losing a job, but that funding population and family planning programs may avoid unintended and unsafe pregnancies.

As early as today the Senate will be debating a "minibus" appropriations bill. It contains funding for the State Department and various foreign assistance programs, including international family planning and reproductive health.

The Senate Appropriations Committee version was a victory for women. Unfortunately, next week a number of amendments are expected that would most likely reduce the amount of money for international family planning and reproductive health, eliminate funding for the United Nations Population Fund, and block the language that would permanently repeal the global gag rule. To help, call , tell the operator what state you are from, and ask to be connected to one or both of your U.

Tell your Senators that you support full funding for international family planning and a permanent repeal of the "global gag rule. Pollyanna thinking tells us that population issues are not in need of attention, that asking our planet to support 1.

After all, despite the fact that we went from 1. However, leaders listen to the pollyannas and consequently funding for family planning information and services has been reduced significantly since the Cairo conference on population. Beyond morally failing the women of the world, this has caused unplanned and unwanted childbearing and a terrible toll on health.

Funding for family planning information and services needs to increase dramatically. Entertainment-education programs, like radio and televisions soap operas, are particularly powerful in modeling daughter education, child spacing, and family planning use to mass audiences. Not because they were forced to, but because they wanted to.

Unfounded fears of side effects, male opposition, religious intolerance, and traditions of large family size are the main reasons for non-use of contraception. Many of the global problems that confront us have a solution. It's called family planning, but it is starved of resources due to America's religious wars, which are partly responsible for the world's population to reach seven billion so soon after reaching 6 billion 12 years ago.

It took humans hundreds of thousands of years to reach the first billion, in It took another years to reach two billion, in Since then, we've been passing these milestones like billboards along a highway. In , the United Nations' best projection was that the world wouldn't pass seven billion until , but we reached it two years early. Youth bulges in rapidly growing countries like Afghanistan and Yemen makes them more prone to conflict and terrorism.

Booming populations also contribute to global poverty and make it impossible to protect virgin forests or fend off climate change. Women in India average 2. Mexico's average is 2. There are women in rural Africa who have never heard of birth control. The Guttmacher Institute, a respected research group, estimate that million women want to avoid getting pregnant but have no access to contraception.

It's not just contraception that's needed, but girls' education and women's rights - starting with an end to child marriages.

Educated women tend to have fewer children. The Population Institute came out with a report that said gender inequality has replaced lack of access to contraceptives as the biggest barrier to reducing birth rates. We also need to find better contraceptives. A new breakthrough is an inexpensive vaginal ring that releases hormones, lasts a year and should not require a doctor.

It could even contain medication to reduce the risk of an infection with the AIDS virus. Republican presidents like Richard Nixon and George H. Bush provided strong support for birth control, even though the Roman Catholic hierarchy was opposed, but then family planning became tarnished by overzealous and coercive programs in China and India, and contraception became entangled in America's abortion wars.

Many well-meaning religious conservatives turned against it, and funding lagged. The result was, paradoxically, more abortions. When contraception is unavailable, the likely consequence is not less sex, but more pregnancy. Republicans want to cut more money from international family planning, resulting in more abortions and more women dying in childbirth.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that in a year these domestic programs avert , unintended pregnancies, of which , would end in abortions. The good news is that a group of evangelical Christians, led by Richard Cizik of The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, is drafting a broad statement of support for family planning.

It emphasizes that family planning reduces abortion and lives lost in childbirth. As we greet the seven-billionth human, let's try to delay the arrival of the eight billionth. We should all be able to agree on voluntary family planning as a cost-effective strategy to reduce poverty, conflict and environmental damage. If you think family planning is expensive, you haven't priced babies. How's this for an idea? In an open letter to President Obama, the group urged him to reaffirm U.

Global reproductive rights activists are asking world leaders attending the United Nations in New York this week to deliver on promises made 17 years ago at the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, when they agreed to make contraceptive services available for women all over the world by World population will soon hit 7 billion, and more than million women in the poorest nations of Africa and Asia are in need of the family planning services they would gladly use to delay or space their children, if modern contraceptives were available.

Mary Robinson fought her first political battle in the s as a member of the Irish Senate, pushing for legislation to legalize family planning. Then not even married women could use the contraceptive pill, unless they had cycle regulation problems -- and many married women lied to their doctors saying they had such problems.

While Robinson thought it would be easy to draft a law legalizing contraception, it was a difficult battle, but contraception was finally legalized for married women by the Supreme Court in Every year, more than , women die in the developing regions of the world from pregnancy-related causes.

The failure to support the health needs of developing countries is now a global problem, one with long-term implications for the economic, environmental and political health of the entire world. Women who have access to family planning have fewer children, and the ones they do have are healthier and better educated. Investments in reproductive health are reflected in lower carbon emissions and a reduced likelihood of civil unrest, as smaller families help lift communities out of poverty and reduce pressure on food security, scientists report.

In some countries, including the United States, reproductive health has become a hot-button political issue domestically, and it is often incorrectly associated with support for abortion. Although traditionally family planning services have been funded by donor countries, now the largest increases in money for these services come from developing nations, which have learned that this investment is cost-effective and can provide an immediate dividend in economic development and peace and stability.

We are fighting for the rights of millions of women who have no doctors and no tools with which to prevent unwanted pregnancies -- as many as 75 million of them every year. In those countries, it's a matter of life and death. As we look down the road to sharing the world with 10 billion people -- projected to happen in -- it may someday be a matter of life and death for all of us.

Five countries will receive new funding from Canada for International Planned Parenthood Federation for maternal and child health projects: Planned Parenthood provides abortion services, counselling and training for health providers through local organizations in developing countries, but tailored its request to provide services only in countries where abortion is already illegal, to conform to the Harper government's "no abortion overseas" criteria.

The deep cuts were a result of fears of a new fiscal crisis sparked by a possible U. Eight billion dollars for non-military aid to Iraq and Afghanistan were relatively untouched. The cuts also included U. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The operating budgets for the State Department and the U.

Worthington, president of InterAction, a coalition of nearly U. The subcommittee's bill also imposed stringent conditions on future aid to Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Pakistan, and the Palestine Authority PA and further provided that the Palestine Liberation Organization PLO , which represents the PA in foreign capitals, would be forced to shut down its office here if it pursued its efforts at the U.

The subcommittee's bill will almost certainly face substantial opposition in the Democratic-led Senate and eventually by a veto-wielding Obama later this year. The wide and now-growing disparity between the civilian international affairs budget and the military has provoked complaints in the recent past not only from retired diplomats, but also from senior Pentagon officials.

The latter include its former chief, Robert Gates who, already in , warned of a "creeping militarisation" of U. A high range projection shows that if today's explosive birthrates in developing nations continues, we could have 15 billion people by the end of the century - twice the population of the world today. That won't happen because populations are aging and urbanizing, and that means that today's fertility rates, including those of 5 or 6 children per woman, are bound to recede.

The rate of decline depends significantly on whether women have access to family planning, contraception services, and legalized abortion. The Guttmacher Institute reports that unwanted pregnancies and abortions are declining in countries which have made abortion legal, however, 70, women die each year from illegal, often seriously botched abortions.

While the Green Revolution that started in the s brought new corn, wheat and rice varieties, huge new irrigation systems, synthetic fertilizers and pesticide use, which solved the food problem, more crop gains - especially gains to match the world's population growth - may be seriously limited. Escalating oil prices are partially to blame, since agriculture uses tractors, fertilizers and long-distance transportation, but recent weather disasters are the biggest cause, with fires in Arizona, heat-scorched harvest loss in Russia, deep drought in Australia to record-setting floods in Pakistan and North America.

On the demand side, the world's population plays a major role too. The number of good cropland for each person in the world has shrunk- in China to a quarter acre, a decline compounded by soil degradation.

There is very little U. British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough suggests there's a "bizarre taboo" around population, as if it's "not PC, possibly even racist to mention it. The House of Representatives voted to reinstate the so-called "gag rule" - denying foreign organizations receiving U.

In effect, vast numbers of women worldwide are denied community-based reproductive health counselling, resulting in dangerous abortions by untrained providers. The United States has a predicted million more people by Preparing for an expanded nation needs to be accelerated - right now.

But our best community efforts may be stop-gaps, even cancelled out, until national policy turns from denial to engagement on the pressing global issues of global population, food and climate change - the very basics of life on earth.

I disagree with the part that says population aging causes birth rates to decline. Instead, lowering birth rates quickly causes populations to age. Urbanization does result in lowered birth rates in the long run, but large families are a big factor in urbanization, with adult children fleeing to cities when there isn't enough land or water to support everyone in the family. But birth rates will not lower without access to contraception and that depends on funding from countries like the U.

With the global recession, funding may likely be cut. Despite gains in efficiency by energy providers using nuclear, oil, or coal , energy demand is on the rise. American Jews, at the apex of the greatest fortune and philosemitic tolerance their long diaspora has ever bestowed on their kind, are busy supporting all the ideologies and policies that demolish their safe harbor and build up their Muslim, Black and Third World enemies.

Leftoid masochists and the Christian meek call for returning Hawaii to the Hawaiians and capitulating before a massive Mexican reconquista of one-third of America. The rightful Etruscan landowners are not bearing angry placards in front of the Vatican. The Japanese are not planning to relinquish Hokkaido to its original owners, the Ainu.

The tall, white and fair-haired Chachapoyas of the Andean forest have, alas, no remnants left to sue the Incas for genocide in a Peruvian court of law. However, even that great moral abyss of Western civilization — the Holocausts — stands out more in its industrialized and organizational features than it does either in the quality of its hatefulness or its relative or even absolute volumes.

In relative numbers, in just one year, , the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, killed off a total of one million, in a population of 7 million. Is it more humane to go by a stroke of a blunt machete than by a whiff of Zyklon B?

The Khmer Rouge murdered at least 2 million Cambodians between and Is it more humane to die by wallops from a Cambodian pickaxe handle than by a bullet from a German Mauser? Inscription on the back in German: There is a special horror attached to the Third Reich, because those were 20 th century Europeans, Christians, and in many ways the smartest, most civilized people on Earth. But the Holocausts do not prove that Whites are worse than other people, just that they are no better.

The history of the Third Reich also proves that with the right formula of economic blowup, misery and humiliation, sparked by charismatic evil, no people are immune to such horror, at no time. Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends his translation of an article and interview with two respectable high-profile Muslim leaders in Oslo, who have strongly negative opinions about Jews and the worldwide Jewish conspiracy.

A new trend seems to have developed in the Islamic community in Norway: It should also be pointed out that this is the same mosque that the Norwegian police apologized so profusely to last year for the fact that we have freedom of speech in Norway. The translated article from Dagsavisen:.

Many Norwegians have a negative view on Islam due to Jewish domination of the media. We are visiting Central Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat, the mosque with the largest member base in Norway, to talk to its spiritual leader.

The mosque was founded in and currently has more than 5, members. The Imam begins by explaining that all three heavenly religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are sacred to them. Many people are unaware of this fact, says Sarwar. Both of them believe that the school visits confirms their views that Norwegians in general have an inaccurate impression of Islam and Muslims.

People are ignorant because they get their information from the media, and the media only write negatively about Islam. Only a handful of people were behind the movie about Mohammed in the U.

So who was financing them, who was backing them? A big tip of the Bodissey pickelhaube to our commenter Jolie Rouge, who has provided us with a brand new acronym. Note the aggressor is not named other than by geographical location e.

North Africa, Afghanistan and surprisingly the inclusion of Turkey. I think JIM could have great utility for our enterprise: Who will be the first major Western politician not counting Geert Wilders to break the greatest cultural taboo of our time, and mess around with JIM? Yesterday a group of Al Qaeda terrorists assaulted a natural gas plant in Algeria and killed two foreigners while taking 41 other hostage. Today Algerian special forces staged a helicopter raid on the plant, killing a number of the hostages — between six and 34, depending on whose figures you believe — in the process of taking out the terrorists.

Among the foreign hostages were American, British, French, and Japanese nationals. In other news, Germany has begun repatriating its foreign gold reserves, which are stored in vaults in Paris, London, and the United States. The following article tells a brief tale about immigrant-on-immigrant violence in Cologne, with Muslims of immigrant background dealing it out and Russian immigrants as victims. It shows the attempts by a Turk to protect a Russian family and being killed for his trouble.

The translated article from Quotenqueen:. Two criminal foreigners, free to terrorize their neighbors despite drug-related and violent crimes, killed a Turkish husband and father who tried to get them to behave. It happened in a sector of the city called Bickendorf — a district notorious for years for immigrant violence and bordering on the thoroughly Islamized Ehrenfeld.

But no one was killed. The Spanish government recently revoked his status as a political refugee in Spain, and he is due to be deported to Pakistan, where he will face the death penalty for blasphemy. There is currently a push to persuade the Canadian government to grant him and his family political asylum. Firasat was interviewed recently on Alerta Digital TV. The video below shows the third part of the interview, and includes segments in English of a statement by Terry Jones. Part 1 , Part 2.

Many thanks to our Spanish correspondent Hermes for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:. That means I am watching big, fat flakes accumulating on everything — though the driveway is still clear. Prior to that, we awoke this morning to heavy rains. It is our good fortune that there was never any period of transitional ice. Why am I talking about the weather, you ask? Because this heavy wet snow may well eventuate in a power outage.

Should that happen we would have no way to tell you why when, once again, no one seems to be home. And thanks to the generosity of our donors several years ago, we installed a gas cook stove so we can cook and have — thank heavens, again — hot coffee during the outage.

Yes, we are careful regarding the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning if we were to use the stove for heat. Yesterday we reported on a group of young Muslim men who accost pedestrians in certain parts of east London. The original post included an embedded video taken by the group and posted on their YouTube account.

As you all know by now, our blog was suddenly removed last night between 8 and 9pm EST for no apparent reason. Blogger never provided any explanation before, during, or after the outage. I assume it was an internal technical problem at Google. Below is a portion of a mass email I sent out earlier today to dozens of people who had written to us to ask what happened:.

One second it was there; the next it was gone. If we had violated their terms of service, we should have received an email, according to their own established procedure. But we received no email. And, as you can see, I still have the gmail account. Late last night I began the process that one always goes through with Blogger: We actually received a response, which is unusual with Google. Based on the replies, there seems to have been a major problem with Blogger last night.

Many other blogs disappeared in the same fashion. But we should know for certain within another day or two. If it was a deliberate take-down, we will migrate to another platform with our own domain.

We back up the entire blog frequently, so only a few posts will be missing when we restore. After being taken down twice by Blogger within a single week, we got the message:

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