Mixed reports are circulating that an Afghan woman was stoned to death for reportedly committing adultery in the northeastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. According to BBC News, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission stated that that the 29-year-old woman, Amina, was sentenced to death by a decree from a local religious scholar.
A witness told Reuters that Amina was dragged out of her home by local officials and her husband, who then stoned her to death. The man she reportedly committed adultery with was flogged and whipped 100 times and then was freed.
The provincial police chief, Shah Jahan Noori, confirmed to Reuters that Amina had been stoned to death. However, the Associated Press reports that Noori said, “With the fundamentalists and the hardline mullahs who are in that area, these things are not impossible … but I know that in this case, she was not stoned.” The deputy governor of the province, Haji Shamsul Rahman, told the AP that the woman’s father killed his own daughter out of shame. It is still unclear whether Amina was killed by her own father in an “honor killing” or if she was stoned to death by local officials for reportedly committing adultery.
Meanwhile, after pressure by the United States, the United Nations has removed its human right monitor in Afghanistan. An unnamed US official said that the move was in part because the human rights situation in Afghanistan was no longer bad enough to warrant the position, according to the LA Times.
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. . . .