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
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. . . .