Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Zieba Shorish-Shamley of the Women's Alliance for Peace and Human Rights in Afghanistan condemned the Taliban's oppression of women and girls at a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs held July 20th. "People living under Taliban rule are subjected to an extreme interpretation of Islam practiced nowhere else in the world. It is especially repressive toward women," remarked Senator Boxer, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. In her questioning of witness Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth, Senator Boxer proposed that special refugee status be granted to Afghan women and girls. Inderfurth responded that the State Department would consider her proposal. More aid to Afghan NGOs and refugees and increased involvement of women in the peace process are necessary to safeguarding women's rights, according to Shorish-Shamley. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), who chaired the hearing, said that the Taliban rule was "suffocating" women and girls in Afghanistan and called upon Congress to take steps to end the atrocities in Afghanistan. The witnesses at the hearing also testified that Afghanistan's terrorism and drug trafficking pose threats to global stability, and that multilateral cooperation will be crucial to ensuring a peaceful transition for Afghanistan. Continued pressure on Pakistan, which is suspected of funding the Taliban regime, will be also be critical to restoring women's rights and human rights in Afghanistan.
Media Resources: Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee Hearing- 21 July 2000
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. The court's decision denied their request to temporarily block the legislation pending a final ruling on its constitutionality, rubber stamping the efforts of Oklahoma politicians to force doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone - one that the medical community and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected in favor of a new standard of care that calls for a significantly lower dosage. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .