I wrote recently about an Afghan human rights activist who ran shelters for abused women but was forced by Taliban advances to flee her home. She is now in hiding in Kabul.

She won kudos from top U.S. officials for her work, including a major prize from the U.S. State Department, back in the days when administrations from both parties touted Afghan women’s gains as proof of U.S. success. But once President Joe Biden announced the final U.S. exit date from Afghanistan (now set for Aug. 31), activist women have become Taliban targets.

Although the Biden team has made some progress in issuing special immigrant visas (SIVs) to former Afghan translators for the U.S. military, no similar effort is being made to rescue endangered female activists.

My friend has secured an invitation from a fine U.S. university as a visiting scholar at risk, but the challenges she faces to get a U.S. visa make climbing Mount Everest look easy. Because of the visa mess, she could be left behind to face the Taliban if they finally take Kabul. Her story reflects the wider peril of Afghan female politicians, health workers, legal rights crusaders, and teachers, who worked with humanitarian organizations we encouraged and funded.

» READ MORE: Biden needs to get real on Afghanistan to prevent Taliban takeover | Trudy Rubin

“This was trumpeted at the time,” says Human Rights Watch’s associate Asia director, Patricia Gossman, “but now at crunch time, everyone washes their hands. These women need our support.”

To be fair, the Biden team, with a bipartisan push from Congress, has been trying to speed up help for around 20,000 former translators (and immediate family) who have started the SIVs application process. The Taliban have killed around 300 translators already, and all are in grave danger.

But the process is moving much too slowly — only 200 interpreters plus families have been admitted to America so far, with a few hundred more scheduled. There are less than four weeks to go before final military exit. The bulk may not make it before it is too late. And human rights workers have no special visa access.

“How long will Kabul be safe?” asks Gossman. “The U.S. has a moral obligation to do more.”

At least the Biden administration appears to recognize the moral aspect. But the speed of the Taliban advance — after Biden’s announcement — seems to have surprised them.

Biden inherited former president Donald Trump’s awful deal with the Taliban that stiffed the Afghan government and gave the Taliban a huge advantage. Trump wanted to exit by May 1, and had made no preparations for helping Afghan translators or women with visas — instead gutting State Department staff.

As a result, says Human Rights Watch’s Asia advocacy director, John Sifton, the State Department has neither the “bureaucracy, bandwidth, or people” to process the necessary visas. “Without a procedural fix, you can’t scale up to address the numbers at stake,” Sifton contends.

So far, the White House has been trying to deal with the problem in a piecemeal fashion. Instead of airlifting tens of thousands of Afghan translators and family members to Guam, where they could be processed, or letting them into America on humanitarian parole, U.S. officials have tried to get neighboring or Gulf countries to each take a few hundred.

As for humanitarian workers, including women, they get short shrift.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Monday that additional at-risk Afghans — including those who worked for humanitarian or media organizations — will be eligible to apply for U.S. resettlement as refugees, but only if they first leave Afghanistan.

This may sound helpful, but applicants could be forced to wait indefinitely in third countries, at their own expense — and then be turned down for a visa.

And getting out of Afghanistan is getting harder and harder to do, as I hear from my friend who is hiding in Kabul. So far she has found no way out.

Many of Afghanistan’s neighbors, like Iran and Pakistan, are unsafe or don’t want more Afghan refugees. Or they only give limited-stay visas, while the wait for U.S. refugee status could go on indefinitely. Turkish visas, say Afghan people, require big bribes and are increasingly difficult to obtain.

Meantime, the U.S. Consulate in Kabul is closed for COVID-19. But inside, staff are only working on visas for translators, full stop.

It is past time for the Biden team to take an Afghanistan reality check.

» READ MORE: Afghan women and girls in grave danger when U.S. troops leave | Trudy Rubin

“Congress and the White House need to agree on some process to scale up,” says Sifton, “and make a decision on priorities and numbers.” That means setting visa quotas for endangered Afghan female activists, human rights workers, and journalists, as well as those who worked for the U.S. government.

And the organization level must match the need for many tens of thousands of visas to be issued.

This will require organizing GOP buy-in. No carping from the sidelines when Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump are as responsible for today’s Afghan tragedy as Presidents Barack Obama or Joe Biden (although I fault Biden’s decision to leave).

Abandoning Afghan translators and women who helped us, and embraced our values, will be an indelible stain on our country — no matter which party you embrace.