World Health Organization Estimates 4 Million Unsafe Abortions Per Year In Latin America
The World Health Organization estimates that four million unsafe abortions are performed annually in Latin America. Women who cannot afford safe abortion fees ranging from $300 - $600 or who face abortion restrictions are forced to use underground or unsafe abortion facilities. Most Latin American countries impose tight restrictions to abortion access and the procedure itself. In Chile, for example, abortion is illegal and is only permitted in cases where a woman's life is endangered but the country holds one of the highest abortion rate in the region. Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay all impose restrictions to abortions mandating its availability to "preserve a woman's physical or mental health or for rape or incest or fetal impairment." A September 10 Chicago Tribune story tells of Mrs. Marques a Brazilian woman whose infant died within minutes of birth after she was forced by law to carry her pregnancy to full term despite medical tests showing fetal abnormalities. Gilson Marques, the husband of Mrs. Marques commented, "If we were rich and corrupt we could have gone to any clinic and had [an abortion] We tried to do it the legal way, the only way we could, and we were called names and persecuted."
Media Resources: Chicago Tribune September 10 2000, International Planned Parenthood Federation "Reproductive Rights 2000"
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .