The U.S. Senate will consider the Afghan Women and Children Relief Act of 2001. The bill, introduced by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and co-sponsored by every woman Senator, would authorize the use of funds for educational and healthcare assistance for Afghan women and children living inside Afghanistan or as refugees in neighboring countries. Acknowledging the efforts of Afghan women to resist the Taliban and its draconian decrees, the bill calls on the President to ensure that assistance is provided through “indigenous institutions and nongovernmental organizations, especially women’s organizations, to the extent possible.”
Under the Taliban, women have been subject to a brutal system of gender apartheid. Women are banned from school, prohibited from working, and forbidden to leave their homes without a close male relative and without wearing the head-to-toe burqa shroud. The Taliban’s decrees have caused a virtual collapse of the educational and healthcare systems in Afghanistan, as women were the vast majority of educators and healthcare workers before the Taliban’s rise. Afghanistan now has one of the highest infant, child, and maternal mortality rates in the world.
The Feminist Majority is leading a massive campaign aimed at increasing humanitarian aid, the restoration of Afghan women’s rights, and the re-establishment of a constitutional democracy in Afghanistan. Find out how you can join the Feminist Majority’s campaign to help Afghan women. Log on to www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.
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. . . .