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
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .