Portugal's parliament voted overwhelmingly to liberalize the country's abortion laws on Thursday. Currently, a woman can obtain an abortion in the first 12 weeks if her health is at risk, in the first 16 weeks if the pregnancy is a result of rape, and at any time during the pregnancy to save a woman's life. The new law will allow all abortions until the 10th week of pregnancy and includes a mandatory three-day "reflection period" before a woman can undergo the procedure.
Advocates of abortion rights hope that the bill will curb the number of back-alley abortions that occur in Portugal; women's rights groups estimate that some 10,000 women are hospitalized for complications after botched, illegal abortions, the Associated Press reports. "Some battles are worth a lifetime," Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who supports the bill, told the Associated Press. "There was nothing more undignified for women than backstreet abortions."
The bill must be signed by the president within 20 days in order to become law.
Media Resources: AP 3/10/07, 3/9/07; Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report 3/12/07; Reuters 3/9/07
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .