Women Demand Punishment for the Killers of Four Afghan Women
A group of 200 women from 26 Afghan women's groups protested in Kabul on Thursday to demand that the killers of four Afghan women be punished for their crimes. Three women were recently found raped and strangled to death in an attempt to scare women away from working for aid groups in the northern province of Baghlan earlier this week. Another young Afghan woman named Bibi Amena was sentenced to death by stoning by local religious leaders for allegedly committing adultery in the northeastern province on Badakhshan.
The United Nations is urging Afghan authorities to find the killers of the three Afghan women. Three suspects have already been detained. Jean Arnault, special representative for the UN’s Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said, “In a context where violence against women remains too often unprosecuted and unpunished, it is particularly important that the authorities spare no effort to bring swiftly the perpetrators to justice,” reports Reuters. Arnault went on to say that “the seriousness of the crime is compounded by the fact that a note was left at the scene implying that the killing of the three women was linked to their work with a non-governmental organization,” according to Reuters.
Aid workers, particularly women, have been the targets of Taliban-led attacks and some organizations have withdrawn staff due to Taliban threats.
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. . . .