The Spanish government has appointed an expert panel to explore possible changes to Spanish abortion law. Currently, abortion is legal in Spain, but only in cases of rape, severe fetal abnormalities, or when the mother's mental or physical health is at risk, according to Reuters.
The appointed panel consists of doctors, lawyers, academics, and government representatives. In part, their goal is to bring Spanish law more in line with other European countries and to recommend to the Spanish government how to best amend the current abortion law, which dates to 1985, according to the Associated Press.
Spanish Equality Minister Bibiana Aido plans to present a related bill to Congress early next year that "will protect the fundamental rights of women who freely decide to interrupt their pregnancies and those of the medical staff who assist them," according to the Telegraph. There are approximately 100,000 legal abortions annually in Spain, but activists seek more equal application of current law across Spain and expansion of the law to allow abortion in the first trimester, according to Planetwire.
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. . . .