Two Afghan women were killed and 13 more were wounded by a bomb that exploded on a bus filled with female election workers. According to the New York Times, a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks and warned Afghans to stop working on the election process. The women on the bus were registration officials who were traveling to Rodat, Afghanistan to register women to vote, reports the New York Times. As a result of the attack, the United Nations has reported that all female registration teams in the eastern, southeastern, and southern regions of Afghanistan were suspended.
In another Taliban-led attack aimed to derail the upcoming Afghan elections, as many as 16 Afghan men were killed in Uruzgan in the southern Afghanistan after Taliban fighters had learned that they had registered to vote. According to the Associated Press, 4.5 million Afghan voters are currently registered, of which only one-third are women. In areas where the militants are most active, such as the southern and eastern parts of the country, women are registering in very low numbers.
Despite the rise of attacks against women in Afghanistan, a recent State Department report says the current “security situation in Afghanistan is better than it has been for 30 years.” Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission, led by Dr. Sima Samar, issued a statement to NATO urging an increase and expansion in the size and scope of peacekeeping troops because the “deteriorating situation and increasing insecurity around the country over the past six months have jeopardized the peace process and protection of human rights in Afghanistan.”
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .