Almost Half of All Pregnant Women in Swaziland Have HIV
A new survey shows that 42.6 percent of pregnant women in Swaziland have contracted HIV/AIDS. In 2002, the number of pregnant women with the virus was 38.6 percent.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is urging the country “to act urgently to reverse these rising trends of HIV prevalence among pregnant women, and to protect the unborn children from infection, as well as reach both women and men with care and treatment,” reports IRIN News.
Swaziland has the world’s highest HIV infection rate (39 percent). Experts point to polygamy, rape, sexual violence and legal exploitation as the main causes of the HIV infection rate. Earlier this year, a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative concluded that the quick spread of HIV/AIDS in the country is due to men’s dominance over women and their use of laws, religions, and customs to justify male dominance. The ten countries with the highest percentages of adults living with HIV/AIDS in the world are all in sub-Saharan Africa, where patriarchy and poverty are deeply rooted.
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. . . .