In Rio de Janeiro this weekend, Pope John Paul II spoke out against divorce, sex outside marriage, birth control, and abortion, calling it "the shame of humanity."
Although Brazil is officially the world's largest Roman Catholic country, only 13% of those baptized Catholic consider themselves "practicing." The Pope's message was seen as old-fashioned in an increasingly liberal country, one where over half the population approves of sex outside marriage and birth control. There is also popular support for a law currently being considered by congress that would permit public hospitals to perform abortion in cases of rape, or to save the mother's life.
"I don't think the church can tell a woman, if she's been raped or her life is in danger, that she is a sinner for having an abortion," said Viviane Correia Andrade, 17. Marcia Fontes Queles, a 29-year-old single mother of three children, said "I am a good Catholic and I love the Pope, but I don't think two people should stay together if they don't love each other anymore," she said.
Media Resources: Washington Post, Reuters, AFP - October 3-6 1997
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. . . .