The women were awarded the prize in 2005 for their efforts to raise awareness of the treatment of dissenters in Cuba, but were not permitted to leave the country. With the end of an embargo on exit permits in January, the Ladies in White will finally be able to collect their prize.
The Ladies in White began in 2003 when 75 activists were jailed in an attempt to curb opposition to the regime. The women close to the activists decided to dress in white and march silently on the Cuban capital every Sunday for the release of the 75 jailed activists. The Ladies in White often face detention and arrest themselves due to a ban on street demonstrations. Though all 75 activists have been released, the Ladies in White still march to have their sentences overturned as well as to draw attention to other opposition activists still in jail.
Media Resources: BBC 4/23/2013; European Parliament News 4/23/2013; Associated Press 4/17/2013
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .