A United Nations report issued yesterday contends that sexual violence against ethnic Albanian women has increased significantly since NATO began bombing Yugoslavia on March 24.
Dominique Serrano-Fitamant, a woman who interviewed many of the rape survivors for the U.N. Population Fund report, said the incidence of violence has shown "a significant upsurge."
According to reports, Serbian soldiers are targeting young, pretty women and pregnant women for rape. The young women are usually kidnapped in small groups and driven to houses where the soldiers live. They are then locked up for several days or more and repeatedly raped and beaten. "Any resistance is met with threats of being burned alive," said Serrano-Fitamant.
According to her interviewees, young women have not been the sole targets of Serbian soldiers. Kosovar men who tried to stop the rapists were killed and at least one woman who tried to stop the soldiers from torturing her daughters was beaten to death. Another woman was shot in the street as she tried to escape from the house in which she was tortured.
Serrano-Fitamant's interviewees reported that in the border town of Berlenitz, Serbian soldiers had slit the throats of young boys, cut open the stomachs of pregnant women, and skewered the women's fetuses on their knives. Some women said that the trauma they suffered as a result of the soldier's violent acts had rendered them "dead" to their families. Many feared that their families or communities would reject them because they had been raped.
U.N. Population Fund Executive Director Dr. Nafis Sadik said that his and other U.N. agencies will provide counseling training to health workers and Albanian women's groups in order to help survivors "regain their dignity as human beings."
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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. . . .
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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. . . .