Unocal Suspends Afghan Pipeline Project, But Makes No Promises on Women
California-based oil company Unocal announced last Friday that it has revised its position regarding a proposed gas pipeline that would run from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and could earn the repressive Taliban regime in excess of $100 million annually.
In its revised statement, UNOCAL announced that it has "suspended all activities involving the proposed pipeline project" and will not invest money in the project "unless and until" the U.N. and the U.S. recognize a legitimize government in Afghanistan. Unocal stated that their participation was also dependent on the country's ability to obtain the capital necessary to begin construction.
No such pre-qualifications were issued concerning the Taliban's harsh abuse of Afghan women. Unocal's revised position statement included only one sentence on the matter, which read, "Unocal recognizes the legitimate concerns regarding the treatment of women in Afghanistan." Unocal made no promise to act on those concerns.
The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that it would ignore protests by human rights activists and remain in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) despite takeover of the country by a military regime that has punished pro-democracy activists and stopped free-elections. Unocal Chairman and CEO Roger Beach said he was proud to by in Myanmar and would do business in Iran if U.S. sanctions didn't prevent it.
Media Resources: Unocal Position Statement - August 21, 1998
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .