The Mexico City Legislative Assembly voted yesterday evening to legalize first-trimester abortions in a 46-19 vote, with one abstention. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, has already promised to sign the bill into law, which will likely spark court battles in the predominately Roman Catholic country. The bill, which includes a parental notification requirement for women and girls younger than 18, requires that city hospitals provide abortions in the first trimesters. The new legislation also makes abortion available at a low cost for poor and uninsured women. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Lilian Sepulveda, the Latin American legal advisor for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said of the vote, this "is going to make an enormous difference in the lives of Mexican women� Instead of back alleys, women will be able to go to the doctor's office to get the health services they need," the Miami Herald reports. Pro-choice demonstrators turned out yesterday in support of the City Assembly's vote, the New York Times and the Associated Press report, chanting "Yes, we did it!" and holding signs with slogans including "My body is mine" and "It is my right to decide."
Outside of Mexico City, Mexican law only allows abortion in cases of rape, severe birth defects, or in order to prevent the death of a pregnant woman. Across Latin America, abortions are highly restricted. Only Cuba and Guyana allow women to request the procedure for any reason during the first trimester, and Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Chile all ban abortion completely. Colombia also just liberalized its abortion laws last year, allowing the procedure in cases of rape, incest, when a woman's life or health in endangered, and when a fetus is expected to die.
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. . . .