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
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .