Taliban Militants Kill Three Women Aid Workers, Girls School Attacked
Taliban militants killed three women working for Action Aid, a German-funded non-governmental organization, in the Jowzjan province today. Reuters reports that the three women were traveling a car when they were attacked by militants on motorcycles. Their driver also died in the attack.
This attack comes following one of the most violent days since the fall of the Taliban, when a United States military convoy traveling in the capital city of Kabul caused a 12-car traffic accident that killed five Afghan civilians and wounded many others. The accident sparked a riot in Kabul, and witnesses have reported that US troops fired on the crowd, though the US military claims to have only fired warning shots in the air to break up the riot, according to the New York Times. At least 14 people are now dead, and scores were treated at the Khair Khana Hospital with gunshot wounds, the Times reports.
Pent-up grievances in the Afghan population are mounting. Conditions in Kabul are dire. Over a million people are homeless. The city, which had a population of 500,000, has ballooned with refugees returning to around 4 million, with many jobless and homeless.
In addition, another school for girls was arsoned in the past two weeks, bringing the total of schools attacked to more than 300.
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. . . .