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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....

10/29/2014 - The Japanese Government is Being Sued for Institutional Sexism
For the first time, the Japanese government is being sued by a civil servant for "institutional sexism." The plaintiff, who asked not to be identified, is alleging that the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry, where she has worked in her current position since 1996, has unlawfully withheld promotions and pay increases - because she is a woman....

10/29/2014 - Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People
A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state. Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations. More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls....

10/29/2014 - North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions
The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately. The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement....

10/28/2014 - Campus Sexual Assault Survey Finds One in Six MIT Women Are Survivors
One in six women at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have experienced some form of sexual assault, but only 5 percent have reported it, according to the results of a survey released Monday. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology emailed its nearly 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students a survey on campus sexual assault in April, only days before the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its first report....

10/28/2014 - Ohio Officials Threaten to Close Cincinnati's Last Remaining Abortion Clinic
Ohio's TRAP law may soon force the last remaining abortion clinic in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area to close, leaving an estimated 2.1 million people without access to a comprehensive reproductive healthcare site. Planned Parenthood's Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center received a notice earlier this week from state health officials threatening to shut down the facility for failure to obtain a transfer agreement with a local private hospital. Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed into law a requirement that abortion clinics obtain a written agreement with a local hospital willing to take patients from the clinic in an emergency, despite the fact that emergencies are extremely rare and hospital emergency rooms must already accept patients....

10/27/2014 - Mullah Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Rape Under Afghanistan's EVAW Law
Judge Mohammad Suliman Rasuli sentenced Mullah Mohammad Amin - a religious leader from Afghanistan - to 20 years in prison Saturday for the rape of a 10-year-old girl in Kunduz province. Mullah Amin admitted to having sex with the girl, whose name has not been released, but claimed that the child had seduced him....

10/27/2014 - Disparities Persist for Women of Color in States with the Smallest Wage Gaps
Newly released US Census data shows the wage gap for African American and Latina women is worse in some areas where the overall gender wage gap is small. The gender wage gap in Washington, DC is overall the smallest in the country - but, according to analysis by the National Women's Law Center, it turns out the wage gap for African American women in the District is the second worst in the entire country....

10/27/2014 - Tennessee OB/GYNs Urge Voters to Reject Amendment 1
A coalition of local doctors is urging Tennesseans to vote no on Amendment 1, an anti-abortion ballot measure that one doctor called "a setback for women's rights." During a press conference at a Planned Parenthood facility in Nashville last week, one obstetrician-gynecologist warned that Amendment 1 would give politicians the right to make medical decisions they aren't qualified to make. "Supporting Amendment 1 will erode a woman's fundamental right to autonomous decision-making and privacy regarding her own health care," Dr....

10/24/2014 - Thousands of Women in Iran Protest Acid Attacks in Wake of Religious Law
On Wednesday, thousands of Iranians in the historic city of Isfahan gathered to protest recent acid attacks on women....

10/24/2014 - Potential Ballot Measure in DC Would Raise Minimum Wage to $15
Low-wage workers in Washington, DC might see a significant increase in their pay, thanks to national labor rights group Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC). This month, the DC Board of Elections approved language submitted by a local chapter of ROC to raise the minimum wage in the District to $15/hour by 2019....

10/23/2014 - All of Tennessee's Major Newspapers Have Urged Voters to Reject Anti-Abortion Amendment 1
All four of Tennessee's major papers have spoken out to oppose Amendment 1, a dangerous anti-abortion measure that will be decided by voters this fall....

10/23/2014 - Instead of Returning Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Boko Haram Reportedly Abducted More Women and Girls
Despite Nigerian military officials announcement last week that they had negotiated with militant group Boko Haram for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped in April, it appears the girls have not be brought home - and residents say more women and girls have been kidnapped since. Last week, in a deal brokered in neighboring country Chad, a ceasefire agreement was supposedly made between Boko Haram and Nigerian military officials....

10/23/2014 - Ferguson October Continues With National Day of Action Against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration
Activists organized actions nationwide yesterday to protest police brutality in cities across the country as part of ongoing Ferguson October events, while outrage grows in Missouri over the the grand jury proceeding on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should face criminal charges in the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown. As part of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration, on-the-ground organizers in Ferguson, Missouri and St....

10/22/2014 - Doctors Warn That Measure 1 Would End In Vitro Fertilization in North Dakota
Doctors at North Dakota's only clinic offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) are speaking out to warn voters that Measure 1, a proposed personhood amendment in the state, would make the practice illegal. Dr....

10/22/2014 - Students Protest Fordham University's Anti-Birth Control Policy
Students at Fordham University are engaged in a battle against the New York City Catholic school's anti-birth control policy. Students for Sex & Gender Equality and Safety (SAGES) has launched a petition drive, calling on Fordham to provide free and confidential access to birth control and STI testing on-campus, free condoms, professional gynecological services at the university, and resources for pregnant women, among other things....

10/21/2014 - Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues
Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President....

10/21/2014 - Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado
Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion. In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67....

10/21/2014 - Obama Administration Issues New Rule to Strengthen Response to Campus Sexual Violence
The Obama Administration announced a new rule last week to more effectively address sexual violence on college campuses by increasing transparency around campus disciplinary proceedings involving sexual violence and establishing rights for survivors within those proceedings. The new rule, announced by the Department of Education, implements changes to the Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid in the United States to publicly report crime information....

10/20/2014 - Jay Leno Receives Mark Twain Prize, Salutes Mavis and Her Work for Women's Rights
Former long-time host of "The Tonight Show" Jay Leno saluted his wife, Mavis, for her work on behalf of women's rights around the world when he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this weekend at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The Mark Twain prize is awarded for comedic achievement, and the event, where Leno performed a monologue and paid tribute to the many comedians he has worked with throughout his career, brought together supporters of the The John F....

10/20/2014 - North Carolina Board of Elections Eliminates On-Campus Voting Sites Across the State
North Carolina will begin state-wide early voting on Thursday, and unlike the 2012 presidential election, many students across the state will have no polling place on-campus, making it more difficult for students to exercise their right to vote. The North Carolina State Board of Elections recently eliminated the only on-campus voting location for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a campus with more than 20,000 students....

10/20/2014 - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Slams Supreme Court for Upholding Voter Suppression in Texas
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a blistering dissent after a ruling by the US Supreme Court this weekend threatened to disqualify more than half a million Texas voters from early voting. In an unsigned order Saturday, a majority of the Supreme Court sided with a Texas law requiring voters to produce specific forms of photo identification in order to cast a ballot in the 2014 election....

10/17/2014 - Boko Haram Claims Kidnapped Chibok Girls Will Be Released Monday
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigeria's military are reportedly negotiating the release of the nearly 300 young women and girls who were abducted by Boko Haram more than six months ago, ostensibly bringing an end to six months of activist efforts calling for their return. An adviser to President Jonathan, Hassan Tukur, told Voice of America that President Jonathan and the self-described "secretary-general of Boko Haram," Danladi Ahmadu, have been in talks in Saudi Arabia regarding the over 270 schoolgirls abducted by the extremist group in April....