Seven women who had been imprisoned in Guanajuato state in Mexico after alleged abortions were freed yesterday. Women's rights activist Veronica Cruz, who has been working on the women's behalf, told the Associated Press that the women were "innocent" and that "they all suffered miscarriages." The state convicted the women under a state law that addressed "homicide against a close relative" by arguing that they had given birth to live infants and that the infants had died due to mistreatment and neglect.
The women's sentences were reduced earlier this week to 3 to 8 years after the state passed a law that still considers abortion "infanticide," but that also found the women's sentences to be "inappropriate, given that they were excessively punitive and ranged from 25 to 35 years," reported the Associated Press. The women were released on account of time already served.
According to Agence France Presse, abortion is punishable by a prison sentence in half of Mexico's 32 states. Currently in Mexico, abortion is legal only in Mexico City. The Mexican Supreme Court ruled 8 to 3 in 2008 Mexico City's law allowing abortion in the first trimester is constitutional. Outside of Mexico City, abortions are allowed only in cases of rape, if a woman's life is in danger, or if there are severe fetal abnormalities. Under the Mexico City law, all public hospitals are required to give patients free abortions, but individual doctors can refuse to carry out the procedure.
Media Resources: Associated Press 9/7/10; Agence France Presse 9/7/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/29/08
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .