If a new proposal in the Australian state of South Wales becomes law, women who abort a fetus after 20 weeks could be charged with grievous bodily harm.
Australian women's groups are calling this proposal to give a fetus personhood rights the first step toward making abortion illegal in the state. It was set to be debated by the state parliament yesterday, but has been delayed until next week so pro-choice advocates can discuss ramifications of such a law with legislators.
"This bill established personhood for a foetus [sic] and this is a very concerning precedent to be setting," said Melanie Fernandez, chair of the Women's Electoral Lobby Australia. "That kind of precedent has been used as a first starting point to roll back abortion right in other places, such as states in America."
The bill is being called "Zoe's law," named for a 32-week-old unborn fetus that died when the mother was hit by a car in 2009. Because South Wales did not view the fetus as a person, the driver was not charged with its murder. He was charged with driving under the influence and causing "grievous bodily harm."
Media Resources: ABC 9/12/2013; The Guardian 9/12/2013
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .