The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for an immediate aid package from donor nations of $252 million today, as part of its preparation for the largest humanitarian operation the agency has undertaken since the Kosovo refugee crisis in 1999. Believed to be only a small fraction of what will be needed to provide for the expected 1.5 million Afghan refugees heading for the Pakistan and Iran borders. And some 3.5 million refugees already in Afghanistan and the 1.5 million refugees already in Iran. Other U.N. agencies, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Food Program are also expected to request immediate aid from donor countries in the coming days. The new request may amount to more than $1 billion total. UNHCR will use the requested funds to build camps and shelter. Other named U.N. agencies will coordinate food, medical, and child-related assistance.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has been urging the United States, the largest donor country, to drastically increase its humanitarian aid for refugees, especially women and children, which make up 75% of refugees.
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. . . .