Letters to the Editor Respond to New York Times Editorial About Bush’s International AIDS, Family Planning Policies
The New York Times on Wednesday published two letters to the editor responding to an Oct. 15 Times editorial on the Bush administration's policies on international AIDS prevention and family planning. The editorial said that although the programs can "mean life or death to people who use them," the Bush administration's policies are "increasingly not based on what saves lives, but on what appeals to conservatives at home" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/15). Summaries of the two letters follow:
- Lucille Atkin: President Bush's international family planning policies give evidence of "a dangerous agenda much closer to home," as he and his "ultraconservative allies" wish to "outlaw abortion and emergency contraception" in the United States, oppose sex education that teaches anything but abstinence and oppose HIV prevention programs that advocate condom use, Atkin, director of Planned Parenthood of New York City's International Margaret Sanger Center, says in a Times letter to the editor. She concludes that because the administration's international policies "alig[n] us with the most repressive governments in the world" it should "come as no surprise ... that women in the United States are next in line to be mistreated by this government's anti-woman agenda" (Atkin, New York Times, 10/22).
- Pia de Solenni: The position supported in the Oct. 15 editorial "represents the ultimate bias toward ideology in spite of proven science," de Solenni, director of life and women's issues for the Family Research Council, writes in a Times letter to the editor, adding that the Bush administration "promotes abstinence and monogamy as the best ways to avoid HIV because they are." De Solenni says that suggesting that victims of sex trafficking should be taught how to negotiate condom use "patronizes innocent women and children." She asks, "If we can provide them with a nondefective condom and teach them how to use it, why can't we rescue them?" (de Solenni, New York Times, 10/22).