Large numbers of Sudanese women are being raped by, or have lost their husbands to, the mostly-Arab militia called the Janjaweed. While refugee camps should offer women safety from more violence, the Globe and Mail reports that more and more women are being raped outside of their refugee camps when they go to gather wood or charcoal to sell or to use to cook food. A sergeant guarding one of the camps asserts “if you go even one kilometer from the camp, you will find problems.” According to the Globe and Mail, the sergeant went on to say that even though his soldiers know about the rapes, they cannot leave their post to patrol or intervene.
As the humanitarian crisis in the country deepens, reports of lost breast milk as a result of trauma and malnourishment in women from the Darfur region of the Sudan have become increasingly common over the last few months. According to the Washington Post, a public health professor who toured the refugee camps in Chad asserted “This is a situation where anxiety and stress is far greater for women, and it adds a particular layer of stress to an already stressed population.” A recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey states that the mortality rate for children is above the emergency threshold, reports the Washington Post.
Reuters reports that the humanitarian crisis in Darfur is worsening and has cost up to 50,000 lives.
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. . . .