Abortion Controversy in Ireland Provokes Rape Debate
Ireland's Attorney General Michael McDowell claimed on July 30th that women would make false rape accusations if the Irish government allowed survivors of rape to have abortions. Abortions remain illegal in all cases except endangerment of the mother's life in the Republic of Ireland. But little evidence exists to support McDowell's claim, according to Olive Braiden, director of the Rape Crisis Center. In fact, the new focus on false accusations of rape neglects the reality of this pervasive crime, while trivializing the debilitating experiences that rape survivors undergo. "When you consider the time a rape victim has to wait, the trauma, the lengths you have to go to and the low number of convictions, I felt the point he made absolutely jarred with any woman in this situation," Braiden commented.
Recent reports indicate that approximately 6,000 women a year travel to Britain for abortions. Amid recent criticism from the United Nations Human Rights Committee, legislators and religious groups, most prominently from the Catholic Church, are mired in an intense debate over a possible reform of abortion laws.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .