El Salvador Supreme Court Hears Arguments to Save Beatriz's Life
Yesterday the Supreme Court of El Salvador heard open arguments in a case where they will determine if doctors can administer a medically necessary abortion for a woman who could die as a result of her pregnancy.
"Beatriz", who is currently 22 and is already the mother of a young infant, was diagnosed with multiple severe illnesses including kidney failure and lupus and is now 23 weeks pregnant. In addition, the fetus will not survive more than a few days outside the womb (if at all) due to a severe fetal abnormality where part of the brain does not develop. Doctors fear that if she continues with the pregnancy, Beatriz could lose her life. However, abortion in any circumstance is illegal in El Salvador and if Beatriz and her doctors proceed with the abortion without approval from the Supreme Court they could face up to 30 years in jail for aggravated homicide.
Yesterday, Beatriz and her mother pleaded before the Supreme Court to allow the abortion. Beatriz reiterated a statement that was released last week, "This baby inside me cannot survive. I am ill. I want to live." Her mother, Delmy, told the court, "My daughter wants to live for her one year old baby. She doesn't want it to be left alone. Therefore I ask you, like the mother that I am, I don't want my daughter to die. My daughter's life is your hands" [Spanish translated by FMF].
Media Resources: Associated Press 5/15/2013; Salon 5/15/2013; El Salvador.com 5/14/2013; Feminist Newswire 5/6/2013
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. . . .