In a vote of 51 to 46 yesterday, the Senate confirmed James Leon Holmes to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Holmes, who once wrote that "...a wife is to subordinate herself to her husband," holds far-right views on reproductive rights, the role of women, and separation of church and state. The confirmation vote had been previously postponed due to possible concerns among some Republican senators, reports People for the American Way. These concerns manifested in a vote that crossed party lines, with 5 Republicans - Chafee (RI), Collins (ME), Hutchison (TX), Snowe (ME), and Warner (VA) - voting against Holmes, and 6 Democrats - Breaux (LA), Landrieu (LA), Lincoln (AR), Miller (GA), Nelson (NE), and Pryor (AR) - voting for confirmation.
Holmes' record reflects his extreme anti-choice views. Holmes believes that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided because they run counter to 'natural law.' He has compared pro-choice advocates to Nazis and abortion to slavery and has indirectly labeled abortion providers 'criminals.' Additionally, Holmes has refused to allow exemptions for abortion to victims of rape. "Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami," Holmes once callously stated. In fact, studies show that 25,000 to 32,000 women become pregnant each year in the US as a result of rape. Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, told the LA Times that he considers Holmes "intolerant" and likely to "pursue an anti-abortion agenda and other conservative causes from the bench."
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .