US Majority Supports ISAF Expansion in Afghanistan, Survey Finds
Most Americans (67 percent) support expanding UN peacekeeping operations beyond Kabul in Afghanistan, according to a recent survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA). PIPA director Steven Kull explained that despite concurrent deployment of US troops elsewhere, Americans are supportive of efforts in Afghanistan "[p]resumably... prompted by a combination of a feeling of some moral responsibility for the consequences of the US war against the Taliban with a belief that instability and lawlessness can make Afghanistan continue to be a breeding ground for terrorist organizations." Still, results show the situation in Afghanistan is garnering only loose attention, with only 33 percent admitting to following Afghanistan news very or fairly closely. The poll, conducted by Knowledge Networks over a one week period in June, questioned 1,051 respondents and displayed a 3.5 percent margin of error.
Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan remains unstable, with continuing murders of aid workers, attacks on United Nations de-mining operations, Taliban-like restrictions in some provinces, factional fighting, and the bombing of girls' schools. The Feminist Majority continues leading the call for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.
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. . . .