Aware of the harsh Afghan winter rapidly approaching and pre-famine conditions, the Bush administration announced today $100 million in new Afghan relief aid. However, this is only a fraction of the $538 million requested by U.N. agencies to provide emergency assistance for Afghan refugees. To meet the U.N. appeal to donor nations, some 40% must come from the U.S. Currently, there are roughly over 7 million Afghan refugees – 3.5 million in Pakistan, 1.5 million in Iran, and 1 million in other neighboring countries, along with millions more who are displaced within Afghanistan and are likely to attempt to flee. Seventy-five percent of refugees are women and children. U.S. officials are also looking at ways to airlift food and supplies into some of the most remote areas of Afghanistan where it is estimated that millions do not have enough food to last through the winter. Humanitarian aid is essential to save lives, prevent destabilization of Pakistan, and to cause defection from the Taliban.
The Feminist Majority is conducting a massive campaign urging more humanitarian aid, the restoration of women’s rights, and the establishment of democracy as a part of any long-range solution to terrorism. “Remember the young boys and men refugees are supplying the Taliban with soldiers,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. “Desperate conditions breed extremism. Humanitarian aid is needed for people to survive and to stop terrorism.”
To learn more about the Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan and find out how you can help, visit www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.
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. . . .