Marla Ruzicka, a 28-year-old American aid worker and activist, was killed by a suicide bomb that was directed towards a convoy of US contractors in Iraq while she was on her way to visit an injured Iraqi girl. Ruzicka is the founder of an organization called Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict (CIVIC) that documents cases of civilians hurt by war and seeks to help the families of civilians killed or injured in war by taking the information to Washington, DC to lobby for reparations.
Ruzicka worked with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to get a special fund in the foreign operations bill of $2.5 million for the victims of war in Afghanistan and $10 million for the victims of war in Iraq. Senator Leahy told the New York Times that Ruzikicka was “someone who at 28 years old did more than most people do in a lifetime.”
“One of the things we can do to honor Marla Ruzicka is to carry on her heartfelt work to build a world without hunger, war and needless suffering,” wrote Medea Benjamin and Kevin Danaher of Global Exchange on Alternet.org in a remembrance of Ruzicka, who worked with the organization at times during her life. “And every time we start to get depressed about the state of the world, we should take inspiration from Marla’s boundless energy and throw ourselves back into the work of global justice with the same kind of passion that was Marla’s most endearing quality.”
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. . . .