In another deadly attack against civilians, two Afghans working for a German aid agency were killed in southeastern Afghanistan. According to the Associated Press, a field officer and a driver working for the aid group Malester were killed in their car from gunshots.
These murders were the latest in a string of deadly attacks on relief workers, government employees, and private contractors in a Taliban-led movement to derail the democratic elections scheduled for October and to oust the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai. Aid workers, both foreign and Afghan, have been the targets of Taliban-led attacks that have left more than 30 aid workers dead.
Meanwhile, according to IRIN News, 90 percent of eligible voters in Afghanistan have been registered, of which 41 percent are women. However, voter registration is very low in several provinces in the south and southeastern parts of the country. Due to the deteriorating security situation, as little as 9 percent of people have been registered in these areas. Another concern is that there is unbalanced female registration, reports IRIN News, with only 22 percent of women registered in the south compared with the 41 percent as the national average.
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. . . .