Irish Government May Face European Court for Abortion Death
On Thursday, Praveen Halappanavar announced that he will take the Irish government to the European Court of Human Relations over his wife's death after she was denied an abortion last month.
According to Gerard O'Donnell, Halappanavar's lawyer, Halappanavar believes the government did not investigate Savita Halappanavar's death in October sufficiently. As a result, he plans to challenge the government under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that "Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law."
Savita Halappanavar died last month in Ireland after she was denied an abortion while miscarrying her pregnancy. She was 17 weeks pregnant when she arrived at University Hospital Galway complaining of severe back pain. Hospital staff determined she was miscarrying, however doctors refused to remove the pregnancy until three days later after the fetal heartbeat had stopped. After the pregnancy was removed, Savita was transferred to intensive care where she died three days later of what was determined to be septicaemia (similar to blood poisoning). During the days before her death, Halappanavar begged to have the pregnancy terminated, but was told she was in "a Catholic country."
Her death has made international headlines and increased external and internal pressure for reforming Ireland's abortion ban. The government has launched two investigations into Halappanavar's death, however both were private investigations and have not satisfied Praveen Halappanavar or Savita's family, according to CNN.
Media Resources: Irish Times 11/30/12; CNN 11/29/12, Feminist Newswire 11/15/12, 11/14/12
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. . . .