Two schools for girls in northern Afghanistan and one in eastern Afghanistan were burned down by suspected Taliban insurgents. This brings the number of girls' schools attacked in Afghanistan since last fall to over 19.
Two tents that were used as schools in the Charar Bolak district in the Balkh province were set fire late Sunday. Leaflets were left at the site warning people to "not send girls to schools," reports the Associated Press. On Saturday another school for girls was burned down in eastern Afghanistan. The Shaga Primary School in the Dara-e-Norr district of the Nangarhar province was left in ruins, according to the Associated Press. Almost two years after the fall of the Taliban, most girls are still not in school.
These attacks are examples of the mounting insecurity that is taking over Afghanistan. On Wednesday an Afghan aid worker was killed in an ambush in the southern province of Helmand. Meanwhile, at a conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels last week, international experts and aid organizations called for the expansion of ISAF. The Feminist Majority is leading the call for increased reconstruction funding and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.
10/30/2014 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. . . .