Petition Filed Against Peru with UN CEDAW Committee
A 16-year-old Peruvian rape survivor filed a petition with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) against Peru yesterday. While abortion is legal in Peru in case of risk to a woman's health or life, the petition alleges that the failure of the Peruvian government to adequately enforce existing laws led to the anonymous survivor's paralysis.
At age 13, the young woman was raped by a 34-year-old man and became pregnant. After discovering the pregnancy, she attempted suicide by jumping off a building. Doctors treated her injuries, but refused to perform necessary spinal surgery when they realized she was pregnant. Ultimately, the young woman had a miscarriage as a result of her injuries, but remained paralyzed after undergoing surgery.
A similar case was filed against Peru by the Center for Reproductive Rights in 2002. In that case, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled in favor of a young woman who was forced to carry to term a fetus with fatal abnormalities. The Committee ruled that access to abortion in the case of threats to maternal health is a human right and Peru was ordered to change their abortion laws.
Peru signed CEDAW on July 23, 1981. CEDAW is the most comprehensive international agreement that seeks women's advancement. It establishes rights for women in areas not previously subject to international standards. Moreover, the Convention establishes a committee to periodically review the progress being made by its adherents. The US is the only industrialized western country that has not ratified CEDAW, which has been ratified by 185 countries.
Media Resources: Center for Reproductive Rights 6/18/09; Feminist Daily News Wire 2/25/04, 4/14/09; United Nations CEDAW
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. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .