The Mexican High Court ruled last Wednesday that women in Mexico City may obtain abortions to preserve their health or in cases of rape. While a very limited victory, abortion rights supporters were encouraged by the Court’s decision, which would make these exceptions constitutional in all 32 Mexican states. Of the ruling, Pedro Marales, counsel for Mexican pro-choice group Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE), commented, “It emphasized that, in specific cases, these rights – that is, liberty, reproductive autonomy, dignity, women’s health – can prevail over the interests of the product of the conception.”
Jesus Zamora Pierce, President of the Mexican Academy of Penal Science, indicated that the ruling may facilitate changes to abortion laws in other Mexican states. It may also increase the availability of abortion services at government-run hospitals, which mainly service the poor. Many poor women are unable to obtain abortions because government-funded hospitals did not offer such services, and these women could not pay for the procedure at private clinics, where many wealthier women obtained abortions.
GIRE estimates that approximately one million Mexican women obtain abortions each year, despite the fact the abortion is illegal in most cases. They also estimate that about 1500 women die from complications related to clandestine abortions.
Media Resources: Women’s Enews 2/7/02; Reuters 9/2001
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .