0First, I must challenge everyone to name a family that is not created by a woman. It is an arrogant comment in some respects, but the facts of Nature cannot be denied. No child can be created without the assistance of a woman, and admittedly, the woman endures the pain in the process. That means that any man seeking the presidency on a platform of family values should not act against women, right?
The Bush administration has backed down from supporting the Cairo Conference on Population, stating that the President will not support a program that promotes abortion. True, the UN program does include abortion issues in its initiative, but only by requiring safe abortions, and a non-criminal status for women who choose abortion. The main goals of the Cairo program are to minimize the spread of HIV (a public health issue), and discrimination against women.
Claiming that promoting abstinence and fidelity are sufficient to prevent the spread of AIDS and increased numbers of unwanted children, Bush advocates have stood firmly against portions of the UN initiative that was created in part to aid in solving world over-population issues. The Vatican, a well-established opponent to many forms of family planning, at least can state that its views are fully based on the wishes of its constituents, since the binding force of the Vatican is its beliefs. Bush is a representative of the American people, a group with anything but homogenous beliefs and values. Beyond the obvious issue of Bush pushing his personal agenda onto the world stage, there is an ominous lack of responsibility in taking this stance.
The Cairo program is meant to assist people in developing nations in obtaining education about family planning and public health as related to sexual activity. It is irresponsible for any world leader to stand against any proposal that promotes the health and safety of any citizen of this world. By splitting hairs over the small issue of abortion, Bush has also denied support to a program that promotes equality for women. Abortion is a small issue in this program because of all of the atrocities, such as female genitalia mutilation, infanticide of female children, disenfranchisement of women, and discrimination, this program seeks to end worldwide.
It was stated by the Zogby Organization that Kerry was supported 2 to 1 by single women in the upcoming election.* Given just this little tidbit of information about the Bush agenda, it is easy to understand why. Kerry, if elected, will undoubtedly pick up where Clinton left off with the Cairo program, and offer unconditional support of this initiative, as well as secure the reproductive rights of women in the U.S. This is of particular importance, since there is little doubt that two vacancies on the Supreme Court will need to be filled during the next presidential term. Roe v. Wade is in jeopardy if Bush would be making Supreme Court appointments.
The question one has to ask is, if Bush is unwilling to stand up for the rights of women worldwide, what does he honestly think about women in the U.S.? As Former European Union Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek stated, "Would it be different if they were men?"** I think Bush already answered that question. On Election Day, all women of the U.S. should thank him accordingly.
* http://www.zogby.com/search/ReadNews.dbm?ID=872 Russell Sage/Zogby Poll of Women Voters.
** http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-4552500,00.html Guardian Unlimited, U.S. Tells UN It Backs Population Agenda