As he did in Thursday night’s debate, President Bush repeatedly refers to the number of people registering to vote in Afghanistan for the October 9 Afghan presidential election. Bush said, “Ten million citizens have registered to vote…Forty-one percent of those 10 million are women.” The Feminist Majority is closely following the election process and is now trying to get out the real story of what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan.
In August, the Taliban stepped up its attacks and threats against women, presidential candidates, voters, and aid workers in an attempt to disrupt the elections. Extremist militias are also targeting women and the election. Four women election workers have been killed and ten wounded. Members of the Taliban have been present at registration polls and have been threatening women as they approach to register. Massooda Jalal, the only female candidate running for President, has reported that she has been a target of intimidation and has received death threats as a result of her candidacy.
The violence and intimidation are having a serious impact on the number of women registering to vote as the UN estimates that only 19% of the registered voters in southern Afghanistan are women due to a lack of security. Reports from on the ground reflect that there are areas of the country where not a single woman has registered. The registration process is seriously flawed. Even Afghan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the same individuals are registering over and over again. Underage boys are also registering.
The 10 million reportedly registered to vote is greater than previous UN estimates of the number of eligible voters in the country.
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. . . .