US Contractors in Afghanistan Accused of Sex Trafficking
Contractors hired to guard the United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan have been accused of sex trafficking. One guard was heard "boasting" about the profit he could turn if he was able to "purchase a girl for $20,000." The same guard claimed to join the force because he "knew someone who owned prostitutes there," according to NPR. These allegations comes after evidence that contracted guards engaged in inappropriate hazing behavior came to light last week.
James Gordon, a former manager for the contracting firm AmorGroup, said this week that guards "routinely frequented brothels" and at one point an employee had to be "forcibly removed" from a brothel. He told CNN that a "United States law known as the Trafficking in Victims Protection Act, prohibits contractors from procuring commercial sex while working on the contract...Many of the prostitutes in Kabul are young Chinese girls who were taken against their will to Kabul for sexual exploitation." Gordon filed a lawsuit in a US District Court yesterday that claims he was illegally forced to leave his job with ArmorGroup after he asked both the US State Department and his employer to investigate contractors' potentially illegal activities in Kabul almost two years ago.
State Department spokesperson P. J. Crowley has declined comment on the new claims of sexual trafficking and involvement in commercial sex, but the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) released pictures early last week that support earlier allegations of contracted embassy guards participating in sexual hazing and intimidation.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .