Fem. Feminist lawer murdered

286/473  13  Apr 90 17:04:00
From: Coeta Mills
Subj: Rosa Cisneros
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Early  on
the morning of Aug. 18, 1981, while leaving for work in  San
Salvador,  Rosa  Cisneros  was  dragged  from  her  car  and
assassinated in front of her home.  Her killers escaped, and
we will never know who sent them or why.

   What we do know is that Rosa was a brilliant lawyer, well
known for her work in defending human rights  and  advancing
the status   of   women.    As  Executive  Director  of  the
International Planned Parenthood Federation affiliate in  El
Salvador,  Rosa  pioneered  health  programs aimed at making
family planning available to every couple.

   Rosa died defending basic human rights  that  you  and  I
take for granted in this country: the right of men and women
to  choose whether or not to have children, and the right of
every child to come into the world a wanted child.

   In the republic of El Salvador, Rosa  Cisneros  was  just
another  victim  of  political  violence  ... but Rosa was a
committed  campaigner  for  family   planning,   who   cared
desperately about the poverty of her country's people.  Rosa
saw  the  anguish  unwanted  pregnancies  can cause, and she
understood the need to give people control  over  their  own
lives  --  to  give  the  poorest  of  the poor the right to
choose.

   The battle which Rosa Cisneros fought is not  limited  to
El Salvador.    In  Latin  America,  Africa  and  Asia, over
400,000 women die every year as a  result  of  pregnancy  or
childbirth ... and the children who survive are condemned to
a future  of  poverty and hunger.  One in five children will
die before their fifth birthday.  Rosa  knew  it  was  wrong
that so many people in the developing world should be denied
a right which fundamentally affects their lives ... she knew
that in campaigning for family planning she risked offending
the  political  parties  in  her country ... and she knew it
could be fatal ... but she continued to fight  ...  and  she
paid   the  ultimate  price  of  giving  her  life  for  her
convictions.

   What price are we prepared to pay?  Our rights are  being
assaulted  here in the U.S. Are we prepared to cast our vote
in relative safety?  Are we prepared to give some  time  and
support?   Are  we  prepared  to  give just a few dollars to
Planned Parenthood to aid in  the  battle  to  overcome  the
zealots who  are  determined to turn the clock back?  Are we
prepared to give of our excess  to  aid  Planned  Parenthood
realize  Rosa's  dream  in 134 countries around the world by
providing family planning services to an estimated 7 million
people every year?  Right now  300  million  men  and  women
worldwide  want  family  planning  services  but do not have
access to them.

   We must fight this battle and we must win.  Contact  your
local Planned Parenthood office or Planned Parenthood, P. O.
Box  4447,  New  York,  NY  10164-0359  or the International
Planned Parenthood Federation,  Western  Hemisphere  Region,
902 Broadway, New York, NY 10010.

From one who is committed -- Coeta Mills


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