Ten states may have anti-abortion initiatives and five may have anti-affirmative action initiatives on the November state ballots. Women's and civil rights groups are gearing up to fight these initiatives.
Currently, anti-abortion extremists are circulating petitions to add more anti-abortion constitutional amendments on the ballots in Colorado, Montana, and possibly Georgia, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Oregon. These so-called "personhood initiatives" declare that a fertilized egg is a "person" who enjoys "inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of the law." These measures threaten not only abortion itself, but IUDs, emergency contraception, and in vitro fertilization clinics.
In Missouri, a new group called "Stop Forced Abortions" is gathering signatures for a measure that would address what they claim are the long-term physical, psychological and emotional problems caused by abortion. The ballot initiative would require doctors to extensively review any so-called medical literature on abortion and investigate each patient's background and lifestyle. It also would require doctors to certify that the abortion was necessary to avoid a woman's death or prevent permanent disability. The proposal would subject doctors to lawsuits from women who later regretted their decision to terminate a pregnancy, and would offer no exception whatsoever for the victims of rape or incest.
In California and South Dakota, extremists are working to once again place anti-abortion initiatives on their ballots. We defeated these efforts in 2006, but antis are pushing the CA parental notification initiative and the SD abortion ban (with only minor modifications) forward.
Affirmative action opponent Ward Connerly is leading efforts to qualify ballot measures in five states (MO, CO, AZ, NE, and OK) that would ban affirmative action for women and people of color in public education, public employment, and public contracting. An identical measure was approved in CA in 1996 and it is wrecking havoc on educational opportunities for African American and Latinos, as well as dramatically reducing opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses to win state contracts.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .