July 14th Demonstrations To Call for Vatican's Accountability to Crimes Against Women
The Feminist Majority Foundation, along with over 100 national and international organizations, will participate in demonstrations at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See (Vatican Mission) on July 14, 2001 in New York City and the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C. The demonstration, led by Catholics for Choice, will first begin in New York at 12:30 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (East 47th Street and 1st Avenue) where hundreds of women are scheduled to participate in a march to the Permanent Mission of the Holy See. The day's events will conclude with a 9 p.m. candlelight vigil at the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C. (339 Massachusetts Avenue).
The demonstration is one of many worldwide events planned as part of the Call to Accountability campaign to stop the abuse of nuns by Catholic priests and to hold the Vatican accountable for ensuring the protection of women's human rights within Catholic churches.
The campaign was formed in response to a series of groundbreaking reports published by the National Catholic Reporter, which reveal worldwide sexual abuse of nuns, including rape and transmission of diseases by priests of the Roman Catholic Church. Reports cite incidents in 23 countries, including the United States. Sexual abuse is particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, where priests believe sexual intercourse with nuns is safer because nuns are presumed to be free of the HIV/AIDS virus.
Women's rights organizations are outraged that the Vatican has been silent on the widespread sexual abuse of nuns, which often results in pregnancy, forced abortions and expulsion from their communities. The Feminist Majority Foundation decries the Vatican's hypocrisy in denying women's access to reproductive health services, including abortion and contraceptive devices. The Holy See has been a leading voice of opposition to women's reproductive health rights at all the major United Nations world conferences concerning population control and women's rights.
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. . . .