Australian Couple Found Not Guilty in Abortion Trial
Late this week, a couple accused of obtaining an illegal abortion in Queensland, Australia, was found not guilty by a District Court jury. According to ABC News, it took the jury under an hour to reach the unanimous verdict. Following the reading of the verdict, applause and cheering broke out in the court's public gallery.
It has been almost 2 years since Tegan Leach took RU486, a drug used to induce an abortion, that had been sent from the Ukraine to her boyfriend, Sergie Brennan according to Feministing. Leach and Brennan, who were facing up to seven and three years in prison respectively, were the first people in 24 years to be tried for obtaining an abortion in Queensland. The law they were accused of breaking has been on the books since 1899.
Kate Marsh from the group Children by Choice told ABC, "they've been through a whole lot over the last 18 months and it's not something they ever should have had to go through in the first place." She added, hopefully this decision "gives the Government a bit of impetus for reform."
Media Resources: ABC News 10/14/10; Feministing 10/14/10
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. . . .