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.”
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .