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
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .