There has been outrage since the Nigerian Senate votedon July 16th to allow girls to marry without age restrictions. Social justice and women's rights advocates have decried the decision, arguing that instead of child marriage protections there need to be advancements in girls' education. The United Nations Population Fund notes that 20% of Nigerian girls get married before 15 and 27% of married girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are in polygamous marriages. They also note that "only two per cent of 15-19-year-old married girls are in school." According to Maryan Wais, chairperson of the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, "Child marriage, from available statistics, ultimately happens the efforts of these young adolescents from acquiring an education, as sooner than later, they find it difficult to combine the onerous responsibilities of being a wife and mother, with schooling." Bisi Fayemi, the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, called for support from feminist groups stating, "I am not only disappointed in the decision by the Senate. As a mother, I am ashamed, I am unhappy and I am pained that our senators, who also have female children, will vote for child marriage."
Media Resources: All Africa 7/25/13; Daily Post 7/24/13; All Africa 7/22/13
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. . . .