Bangladesh: Four Get Death Sentence For Acid Attack
After twenty-year-old Rinku Rani Das rejected his proposal of marriage and instead married another man, Dhrubolal Shil became enraged and wanted revenge.
He enlisted three of his friends to help him throw acid in the faces of Das and her new husband, badly burning both. Although Shil and two of his accomplices are still at large, one man, Ganesh Chandra Shil, was captured. All four have been sentenced to death for the attack.
Acid attacks against women have become increasingly common in Bangladesh, despite a 1983 law that made the crime punishable by death. The sulfuric acid commonly used to burn and disfigure women's faces and bodies is widely available, and enforcement of the law prohibiting such attacks is poor. Only 10 individuals have been convicted in the past four years.
According to UNICEF's office in Dhaka, at least 200 people reported that they had been burned by acid last year, up from 130 in 1997.
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. . . .