The Bush Administration's withdrawal of funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has negative consequence for the battle against child marriage. Since July 2002, the Bush Administration has withdrawn $34 million annual for the UNFPA, a major played in the fight to eradicate child marriage, based on false allegations that the UNFPA participated in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization in China.
According to the Kaisernetwork, child marriage affects over 51 million girls in developing countries and puts women at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS or developing health complications, such as obstetric fistula, from becoming pregnant at an early age. When girls are married to older men, which is common in places in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the wives are often less able to negotiate the use of condoms due to the lack of a balance of power in the relationship. According to Geeta Rao Gupta of the International Center for Research on Women, child marriage also perpetuates poverty because girls stop going to school after they are married resulting in a loss of economic opportunities.
According to the Chicago Tribune, approximately 100 million girls will be married before the age of 18 worldwide.
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. . . .