Seventeen Portugese women accused of having illegal abortions and twenty-six others accused of aiding the illegal abortions have gone to trial and are now facing jail sentences of up to three years. Pro-choice supporters in Portugal, a country heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, have criticized the proceedings claiming that the law encouraged the women to seek out illegal avenues to obtaining abortion services. Under Portugese law, abortion is legal only in the first trimester and only in cases of rape, fetal malformation, or to save the life of the woman. Abortions can only be performed in government-approved clinics. These restrictions on abortion access, according to healthcare workers, make botched abortion the leading cause of maternal mortality in Portugal. In 1998, abortion-rights activists estimated that hospitals in Portugal saw roughly 10,000 women a year suffering from complications from illegal abortions.
Media Resources: The Independent, 10/20/01; Center for Reproductive Law and Policy
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .