Nigeria: Women Receive Death Penalty for Abortion, Sexual Relations
A leading human rights organization released a report stating that the death penalty in Nigeria is often used in a discriminatory way against women. According to the Amnesty International report, the death penalty was used for abortion-related offences and so-called crimes of sexual impropriety that went against sharia (Islamic) law.
In addition, the crime of zina (sexual relations with someone other than a spouse) carries a mandatory death sentence if the accused is married and one hundred lashes if the accused is not married. The most recent case of sharia law being used against a woman for adultery was the case of Amina Lawal, who was sentenced to death by stoning. After great international and national outcry against the sentence, Lawal's sentence was overturned.
Amnesty International is urging the Nigerian government to take steps to abolish the death penalty and practice and to ensure that the rights of girls and women are fully protected against discriminatory laws and practices.
The issue of danger to women's rights by placing family law under the jurisdiction of sharia law has recently come under fire in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, the new constitution includes such a provision and in Iraq, the Iraqi Governing Council has
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. . . .