Conference Seeks to End Self-Immolation in Afghanistan
A conference to find solutions to a growing problem of self-immolation in Afghanistan and other countries began on Tuesday in Kabul, Afghanistan. The conference, hosted by the German womenís rights group Medica Mondiale, includes 400 delegates from nations such as Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, India, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The delegates will hear recent research from Medica Mondiale and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and work to find solutions to the problem. While the number of cases of self-immolation is hard to determine because of lack of proper record-keeping by police and by families hiding the suicide, Medica Mondiale argues that the number is rapidly rising. In Kabul alone, 36 cases of self-immolation have been recorded this year.
While reasons for self-immolation tend to vary, Ancil Adrian-Paul, German program director of Medica Mondiale, believes that most women commit this type of suicide for fear of physical or sexual violence, according to Radio Free Europe. Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Chief Sima Simar said of self-immolation, "It is the final decision for women who donít have any other way to solve their problems," BBC reports.
Adian-Paul said he hopes "the conference will raise awareness and move some toward breaking the collusion of silenceÖ [We want] to demonstrate to Afghans that itís not only a problem of Afghanistan, it happens everywhere but people [in their countries] take steps to deal with it," reported Radio Free Europe.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .