Three Irish women are challenging Ireland's abortion ban in the European Court of Human Rights. Ireland has restrictive laws that prevent abortion in almost every circumstance except when a woman's life is in jeopardy. The three women claim in their lawsuit, ABC v. Ireland, that their well-being and health was threatened by the strict ban. Their suit is the first direct challenge of Irish abortion law. Due to the stigma associated with abortion, the women have chosen to remain anonymous and are referred to as A, B, and C in court documents.
All three women traveled to England to have an abortion. Over 7,000 women yearly travel from Ireland to obtain legal and safe abortions, according to RH Reality Check. The Irish Family Planning Association, which represents the women, argue that the necessity to travel to obtain safe and legal abortion is direct discrimination based on sex and financial status. Other violations of the European Convention of Human Rights include right to privacy in all family, home and personal interest and their right to be free from inhumane and degrading treatment.
A decision from the European Court of Human Rights in ABC v. Ireland is expected soon. In 2007, a similar case brought to the same Court by a Polish woman resulted in the court instructing Poland to change its abortion laws, according to the Irish Times. Historically, there has been strong opposition within largely Roman Catholic Ireland to legalizing abortion.
Media Resources: Reality Check 7/9/09; Irish Family Planning Association; Irish Times 4/21/09
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .