The first post-Taliban elections that were scheduled to take place in September have been delayed due to slow voter registration and insecurity created by Taliban-like militia and so-called warlords. According to the Associated Press, Afghan officials have said that they are looking at the end of September or October to hold the elections, though no date has been set. The Afghan Ambassador to the United States, Said Tayeb Jawad, stated he is “hoping to be able to have both elections on time as scheduled. But if there will be any delays, that delay will most likely affect the parliamentary election,” reports Voice of America.
This is the second time the elections have been delayed in Afghanistan. The elections were originally set to take place in June. According to Voice of America, over 20 Afghan and three foreign election workers have been killed during the current voter registration process. Another school being used to register voters near Kandahar was attacked by over thirty Taliban fighters earlier this week, reports the Pakistan Tribune and earlier today a female Afghan worker registering voters for the election was killed when her car hit a landmine in Eastern Afghanistan, reports Reuters. In June, three other female election workers were killed when Taliban fighters attacked their bus with a bomb.
Meanwhile, the US Army News Service has reported that women make up fifty percent of the registered voters in the central highland region of Afghanistan. However, 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. Afghan women make up approximately only one-third of those registered to vote.
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. . . .