Afghanistan's parliament rejected with a vote of 117 to 77 President Hamid Karzai's reappointment of an extreme conservative for chief justice of the Supreme Court. Fazel Hagi Shinwari had held the post of chief justice since shortly after the Taliban fell.
Shinwari was known for ruling against free speech, women’s rights, and human rights. “Shinwari has established a record of ignoring human rights standards on the Supreme Court,” said Sam Zia-Zarifi, head of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division, according to the Associated Press. Under Shinwari, the Supreme Court issued a fatwa against the editor of a women’s rights magazine, tried to declare the candidacy of a woman for president of Afghanistan un-Islamic and illegal, and protested the television broadcast of a woman singing.
Shinwari also demanded that a male candidate for president be expelled from the election in 2004 for speaking out on women’s rights in marriage and divorce.
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. . . .