Report: Afghanistan Could Implode With Terrible Consequences
A recent British Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs report asserts that the improvement of security in Afghanistan is one of the highest priorities in the world. The report concludes that more resources for the current International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are desperately needed. According to the report, “There is a real danger if these resources are not provided soon that Afghanistan – a fragile state in one of the most sensitive and volatile regions of the world – could implode, with terrible consequences.”
According to the report, attacks and assassinations of aid workers, including women working to register women to vote, have been undermining the reconstruction process in Afghanistan. Over 30 aid workers have been killed in Afghanistan since last March, reports BBC News. At least two people were killed, including a member of the Afghan election coordinating body, by an explosion at a polling center last week. In June, three female election workers were killed in Jalalabad, and 16 Afghans were shot dead because they had voter registration cards.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch issued a statement urging for the immediate expansion of NATO forces in Afghanistan to provide security for the elections scheduled to take place in October. According to Sam Zarifi of Human Rights Watch, “Recent experience in Afghanistan shows that the warlords will take power when there is a security vacuum … For the elections scheduled later this year to come off, NATO will need both to provide additional security for vulnerable candidates and voting sites, and to help disarm militia.”
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. . . .