Media bias stories bore me, and thus I discriminate about which bias I cover. This McClatchy story got my attention. It has the perfunctory “It’s all Bush’s fault,” that all media bias must by statute contain, but this story goes further. It actually calls babies a disease, a disease caused by George Bush, a disease caused by George Bush by keeping contraception funding flat. No, not reducing funding for contraception, keeping it flat by choosing to send billions to Africa to fight HIV. The monster.
Promoting birth control in Africa faces a host of obstacles — patriarchal customs, religious taboos, ill-equipped public health systems — but experts also blame a powerful, more distant force: the U.S. government.
Under President George W. Bush, the United States withdrew from its decades-long role as a global leader in supporting family planning, driven by a conservative ideology that favored abstinence and shied away from providing contraceptive devices in developing countries, even to married women.
Bush’s mammoth global anti-AIDS initiative, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, poured billions of dollars into Africa but prohibited groups from spending any of it on family planning services or counseling programs, whose budgets flat-lined.
Got that? While Bush sent billions to Africa to fight HIV, and saved countless lives by doing so, he is to blame for Africa having many more lives. See, many more living Africans equals “bad news.” Not just bad news, it is a disease which Africa must eliminate.
However, researchers, Africa experts and veteran U.S. health officials now think that PEPFAR also contributed to Africa’s epidemic population growth by undermining efforts to help women in some of the world’s poorest countries exercise greater control over their fertility.
Epidemic. Babies are an epidemic, a disease. But no worries, there is a cure.
President Barack Obama has begun to roll back some of the restrictions. In a sharp turnaround, the administration has called family planning “an important component of the preventive-care package of services” for HIV patients.
In March, Congress raised global family-planning funding by 18 percent, to $545 million, the first substantial increase after more than a decade of stagnation. The Obama administration has called for another 9 percent hike in 2010 and issued guidelines encouraging PEPFAR-funded agencies for the first time to link family-planning services with the anti-AIDS effort.
It is sad and telling that the President who did the most to save Africans is maligned for his efforts and the first African-American President who does whatever he can to make sure that there are less actual Africans is lauded.
If anyone ever asks you for banal evidence the culture of death, just point them to this article.