A 25-year-old woman and her three younger stepsisters have been murdered in a brutal "honor killing" in Pakistan. The Associated Press reports that Nazir Ahmed slit the throats of his stepdaughter, Muqadas, and his three young daughters, ages 8, 7, and 4, after Muqadas was accused of adultery by her husband. Ahmed killed the younger children because he thought they “would do what their eldest sister had done, so they should be eliminated,” AP reports.
However, there is no evidence of an affair; it is more likely, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and reported by the AP, that Muqadas was abused by her husband and had decided to leave him. The girls’ mother was present for the slayings; she told the AP, “I was shivering with fear. I did not know how to save my daughters. I begged my husband to spare my daughters but he said, ‘If you make a noise, I will kill you’.”
Ahmed has been arrested and may face the death penalty. However, Kamla Hyat, director of the Human Rights Commission has stated, “Women are treated as property and those committing crimes against them do not get punished. The steps taken by our government have made no real difference,” the AP reports.
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. . . .