The Women on Waves ship will arrive in the harbor of Valencia in southern Spain today where it will remain through October 21. According to their Web site, the Dutch non-profit organization Women on Waves was invited by over 30 Spanish organizations in light of confusing, yet strict, Spanish abortion laws.
According to the Times Online, the group will offer free medical abortions in international waters under Dutch abortion laws. Currently, Spanish law only allows abortion up to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape and 22 weeks in cases of fetal malformation. In all other legal abortion cases, there must be a demonstrated risk to the mother's physical or mental health.
Joseph Luis Carbonell, a Spanish gynecologist who will perform abortions on the ship, told the Times Online that Women on Waves is important because it allows "abortions outside Spanish law for the first time in Spain's recent history but without violating it."
This will be Women on Waves' fourth trip to countries with restrictive abortion laws. The organization traveled to Ireland in 2001, Poland in 2003 and Portugal in 2004, according to Agence-France Presse.
Media Resources: Agence-France Presse 10/15/2008, Times Online 10/16/2008, Women on Waves 10/16/2008
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .