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7/14/2014 - Study Shows High Rates of Child Marriage and Maternal Death Across Nigeria
The Nigerian Demographic Health Survey of 2013 (NDHS) revealed persistently high child marriage rates and a need for increased family planning resources in Nigeria. Nigeria accounts for 13 percent of global maternal death rates, with 36,000 women dying in pregnancy or child birth each year....

6/25/2014 - House Committee Approves Extending Abortion Coverage to Peace Corps Volunteers
The House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2015 State Department and Foreign Operations appropriations bill yesterday with an amendment to remove a provision banning the Peace Corps from funding abortions for its volunteers, even in cases of rape or incest. Unlike other employees with federal health care plans - including Peace Corps employees - Peace Corps volunteers currently do not have access to abortion coverage even in cases of rape, incest, or endangered health or life....

6/9/2014 - Women's Rights Groups Demand that US Stop Negotiating TPP with Brunei Until the Sultan Revokes New Taliban-Like Laws
WASHINGTON - A coalition of women's rights groups have joined the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) in calling for the Obama Administration to initiate the process of removing Brunei from negotiations on a prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with the United States - or to suspend TPP talks - until Brunei revokes its new Taliban-like penal code. "Women's rights and human rights cannot take a backseat to profit and trade," said FMF President Eleanor Smeal....

6/3/2014 - Canada Pledges $3.5 Billion for Maternal Health Programs Worldwide
At a three-day international maternal health summit in Toronto last week, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, announced that Canada has pledged $3.5 billion for programs aimed at improving maternal and newborn health in developing countries. "There is no better investment in the world's future prosperity than women's and children's health," said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the summit. The funds will add on to previously committed funds for the Millenium Development Goals - goals and strategies agreed to by all the world's countries and leading development institutions to eradicate poverty and hunger, improve maternal health, and reduce child mortality, among other issues, by a target date of 2015....

5/9/2014 - Reports Reveal Decrease in Maternal Mortality, Need for Faster Progress
Two reports by United Nations agencies reveal that there has been significant progress in reducing maternal mortality worldwide over the last decade, but much more can be done to protect women's lives. Maternal deaths have dropped 45 percent since 1990, according to the new UN data....

5/9/2014 - Los Angeles City Council Condemns Brunei's Taliban-Like Penal Code
The City Council of Los Angeles, California approved a resolution this week condemning Brunei's brutal new "kill-a-gay, flog-a-woman" penal code and urging the nation and its Sultan to divest its ownership of the Beverly Hills Hotel, not long after a similar resolution was unanimously approved by the Beverly Hills City Council. "Now, therefore, be it resolved, with the concurrence of the Mayor, that by the adoption of this Resolution, the City of Los Angeles hereby includes in its 2013-2014 Federal Legislative Program support for legislation and/or administrative action which condemns the government of Brunei for adopting laws that impose extreme and inhumane penalties including execution by stoning, flogging and severing of limbs and urges the government of Brunei to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Bel Air Hotel," the resolution says [PDF]. The Brunei Investment Agency owns the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Bel-Air Hotel, and other Dorchester Collection Properties....

5/7/2014 - Beverly Hills City Council Condemns Brunei Penal Code
The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously yesterday to approve a resolution urging Brunei to divest its ownership of the Beverly Hills Hotel and condemning the Southeast Asian nation's brutal new "kill-a-gay" and "flog-a-woman" penal code. "The City of Beverly Hills strongly condemns the government of Brunei as well as other governments which engage in similar policies for adopting laws that impose extreme and inhumane penalties including execution by stoning, flogging and severing of limbs," the resolution says....

5/6/2014 - Vatican Questioned by UN Panel on Child Sex Abuse Scandal
The Vatican came under fire yesterday during questioning by the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which demanded answers from Archbishop Silvano Tomasi - the Vatican's representative in Geneva - on the Holy See's response to widespread sexual violence and abuse by priests. The Committee called on the Archbishop to demonstrate the systems the Holy See has in place to prevent torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment, including rape and sexual abuse....

5/6/2014 - Feminist Majority Rally Brings Together Women's and LGBTQ Groups to Protest Brunei Penal Code
The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which pulled its annual Global Women's Rights Awards from the Beverly Hills Hotel -- owned by the Sultan of Brunei -- held a rally yesterday across from the hotel to urge the Sultan to rescind a new, Taliban-like penal code that includes the stoning to death of gay men and lesbians and the public flogging of women who have abortions. Several groups participated at the rally, including the California Women's Law Center, Equality California, Human Rights Campaign, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Services Center, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)....

5/5/2014 - Celebrities Join Coalition of Women's Rights, LGBT Groups to Protest Brunei's Kill-A-Gay and Flog-A-Woman Penal Code
Los Angeles, CA - Celebrities, including Jay Leno and Frances Fisher, joined Eleanor Smeal, president of Feminist Majority, Mavis Leno, and a host of women's rights and LGBT leaders in a rally today across from the Beverly Hills Hotel to demand the Sultan of Brunei rescind a Taliban-like Brunei penal code, that includes the stoning to death of gay men and lesbians and the public flogging of women who have abortions....

5/1/2014 - Brutal Brunei Penal Code Goes into Effect Today
The Southeast Asian nation of Brunei today adopted the first phase of a brutal penal code that includes the stoning to death of gay men and lesbians, the public flogging of women who have abortions, and the jailing of women who become pregnant outside of marriage. The laws will be introduced in three phases over the course of three years....

4/30/2014 - FMF Pulls Event from Beverly Hills Hotel to Protest Sultan of Brunei Imposing Taliban-Like Rule
LOS ANGELES - The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) announced it is pulling its annual Global Women's Rights Awards, co-chaired by Jay and Mavis Leno, from the Beverly Hills Hotel because the hotel's owner, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is imposing a Taliban-like Brunei penal code, set to go into effect in three stages beginning on May 1, that includes the stoning to death of gay men and lesbians and the public flogging of women who have abortions. Instead of holding its annual event at the hotel on May 5, FMF has joined with gay and lesbian groups in protesting this gross violation of human rights and will hold a rally at noon on May 5 across from the hotel, in the park on Sunset Boulevard, urging the Sultan to rescind the new penal code which has been condemned by human rights groups and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights....

4/25/2014 - Cuba Faces Condom Shortage
A current condom shortage in Cuba is stirring fears of higher STD rates and unplanned pregnancies. Pharmacies in Cuba's central province of Villa Clara began running out of condoms in March, and the suburbs of Havana are now affected as well....

4/11/2014 - Philippines Supreme Court Upholds Law Promoting Reproductive Health Access
The Philippines Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the country's Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, also known as the RH Law, is constitutional....

2/26/2014 - Libya To Compensate Victims of Rape During 2011 Conflict
Libya's cabinet introduced a decree last week that will recognize women raped during the 2011 uprising as war victims and provide them with compensation....

2/24/2014 - Bolivian Court Relaxes Requirements for Women Seeking Abortion
Bolivia's highest court issued a decision last week to remove the requirement that women must obtain judicial authorization in order to have a legal abortion. Bolivia's constitution guarantees equal treatment to all citizens, including women and indigenous peoples....

2/18/2014 - Uganda President To Sign Anti-Gay Legislation
The president of Uganda, Yoweni Museveni, released a statement Saturday saying he planned to sign the sweeping Anti-Homosexuality Bill that passed the nation's parliament in December. The bill was originally introduced in 2009 with a death penalty provision for some "homosexual acts," but it was delayed because of international uproar and the threat of a loss of aid from several nations....

2/6/2014 - Thousands Protest Spain's Plan to Restrict Abortion
Thousands of people marched to Spain's parliament in Madrid on Saturday to protest a potential new law that would severely restrict women's right to have an abortion. The law, which was passed by Spain's cabinet in December 2013, would allow abortion only in cases of rape or if the physical or psychological health of the mother is threatened, effectively banning it in all other circumstances....

1/24/2014 - French National Assembly Passes Abortion Amendment Increasing Access
The French National Assembly Tuesday passed an abortion provision modifying a 1975 law which requires women to prove they are "in distress" to legally terminate a pregnancy....

1/2/2014 - Israel May Fund Abortions For Women Ages 20 to 33
The Israeli government may start funding abortions for women aged 20 to 33 if recommendations recently made by a Health Ministry committee are enacted. Israeli women under the age of 17 and over the ago of 40 already receive subsidized abortion services for personal reasons....

12/6/2013 - Report Explores Impact of Unsafe Abortion on Women and Families in Uganda
Research completed by the Guttmacher Institute and released this week exposes the considerable financial toll taken on Ugandan women and their families when they pursue unsafe abortions....

9/30/2013 - Advocates Around the World Mobilize for Abortion Access
On September 28, advocates mobilized in over 50 countries for the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion....

9/9/2013 - Women Diagnosed with Fetal Abnormalities Denied Abortions in U.K.
Two UK non-profits will testify today that women diagnosed with fetal anomalies are denied abortions and forced to deliver their stillborn babies. Britain's Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) charity and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) will host a conference today, calling for the British health secretary to address this issue....

7/12/2013 - Ireland Passes First Abortion Exception Law
Early Friday morning, Irish lawmakers passed a bill allowing abortions if the mother's life is in danger....

7/8/2013 - 11-Year-Old Chilean Rape Victim in Jeopardy
The life threatening pregnancy of an 11-year-old rape victim is sparking debate around abortion in the socially conservative country of Chile....