Spain's Senate gave final approval on Wednesday to a bill that liberalizes the countries abortion laws. The new law allows abortion up to 14 weeks, which means that Spanish women will no longer risk imprisonment should they choose abortion. It also gives 16 and 17-year-olds the right to have an abortion without parental consent. The bill's passage enraged the Catholic Church and many conservatives, reported the Associated Press.
Carmen Monton, the Spanish Socialist Party's spokeswoman on women's issues, told the Associated Press in December 2009, "The important thing is that the consent comes from women, regardless of age...The parents will be informed and there will be exceptions."
The new law also permits abortion within 22 weeks of pregnancy, pending the recommendation of two physicians that the mother's health is at risk, or if the fetus is malformed. Under previous abortion laws, women could only abort within 12 weeks in the case of rape, or in the first 22 weeks if the mother's life was at risk. Those who violated these restrictions faced possible imprisonment.
The reform of abortion laws is part of the social change program undertaken by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose Socialist government has removed religion from the public education curriculum, reformed divorce laws, and legalized gay marriage since assuming power in 2004. By enacting changes to their abortion laws, Spain's policies come in line with several neighboring European countries, including Germany, Britain and France.
Media Resources: Associated Press 2/24/2010; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/15/2009
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. . . .