Afghan Women Concerned about Possibility of Taliban Rule
A survey of approximately 1,000 Afghan women, conducted by Action Aid and Oxfam, revealed that the majority of the women (86 percent) were concerned about the possibility of returning to a Taliban-style government. Seventy-two percent of the women surveyed had experienced improvements and increased rights since the war began in Afghanistan in 2001, and 37 percent expressed apprehension about the withdrawal of international troops, the study found.
According to Action Aid, "Women are [now] free to be educated and to work. They serve as government ministers and MPs and work as doctors, teachers, professors, entrepreneurs and lawyers. These are significant achievements. However, huge challenges remain, with many women still denied basic rights. Action Aid believes that including women in the peace, reconciliation and transition processes is the best means of safeguarding and furthering women's hard-won civil freedoms and human rights."
During Taliban control from 1996 to 2001, women and girls were not permitted to attend work or school and their mobility and access to healthcare were limited.
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. . . .