WI Senate Advances Transvaginal Ultrasound, TRAP Bill
After intense but brief debate, the Wisconsin state Senate approved a bill that could mandate transvaginal ultrasounds before an abortion and impose unnecessary regulations on abortion clinics. The bill, SB 206 [PDF] was approved in a vote of 17 to 15 along party lines.
If the bill becomes law, women seeking an abortion will be forced to view an ultrasound and have a physician or ultrasound technician describe the fetus and it's stage of development in detail. For women who are early in a pregnancy, this could mean having to go through a transvaginal ultrasound to even view the fetus. There is also no provisions in the bill about funding for the mandatory ultrasounds, creating a financial barrier for some women. Supporters of the bill argue that women can find clinics that offer free ultrasounds before their procedures. Many of these clinics are Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) which use medically inaccurate information and religious ideology to pressure women to carry their pregnancies to term.
In addition to requiring women to view an ultrasound, SB 206 also requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility. This could close Planned Parenthood of Appleton, which is one of the only four abortion clinics in the entire state. Admitting privileges are not required to transfer a patient to a hospital in case of an emergency.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .