The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is asking international donors for $5 million to address the specific needs of women in Iraq for the next six months, the BBC reports. Dr. Thoraya Obaid, head of the UNFPA, has voiced concerns that women’s needs are frequently overlooked when providing relief. Women in Iraq give birth to two thousand babies daily, and pregnancy and birth complications are the leading causes of death for women and girls who are displaced in times of military conflict, according to the UNFPA. Some 150,000 expecting Iraqi women will be displaced or affected negatively by the current war, and over 20,000 women will need urgent assistance with high-risk pregnancies, such as the case of delivering caesareans, BBC reports. Stress derived from military conflict increases the number of miscarriages, and Iraqi women need treatment to avoid later infertility or fatal infections.
The war is already taking a drastic toll on the lives of Iraqi women. On Monday, American troops killed seven women and children in a checkpoint in Najaf, stating that the driver of the vehicle failed to stop after warning shots were fired, the Boston Globe reports. However, a reporter from the Washington Post who was embedded with the unit stated that the commander in charge of the troops criticized his soldiers for not firing a warning shot early enough. Yesterday, US missiles hit a Red Crescent maternity hospital in Baghdad as well as other civilian buildings, killing several people. The Red Crescent told Reutersthat 10 patients and staff were wounded, but that most of the pregnant women had been moved to other hospitals.
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. . . .