In a ruling issued last week, US District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein ordered the US Navy to fund an abortion for a Navy spouse carrying an anencephalic fetus. The woman, now 20 weeks pregnant, learned three weeks ago that the fetus—developing without forebrain, cerebellum, or skull—would face imminent death. The US Navy and TRICARE Management Activity, its health contractor in Seattle, refused to terminate the pregnancy; however, the couple could not afford an abortion elsewhere.
The Northwest Women’s Law Center which represented the couple in Jane Doe v. United States, et al., alleged that the Navy violated the US Constitution’s Equal Protection guarantee, which requires that the law apply equally to people who are "similarly situated." In a related case last May, Britell v. United States, a US district court ruled that the government had to pay for the abortion of an anencephalic fetus carried by an Air National Guard officer’s wife. The judge in that case chastised the government for its regulation denying such abortion coverage and forcing women in similar circumstances "to suffer carrying their anencephalic fetuses until they are born to a certain death. This rationale is no rationale at all. It is irrational, and worse yet, it is cruel."
Media Resources: NOW 8/14/02; Northwest Women’s Law Center release 8/9/02; ACLU 2/9/96; Seattle Times 8/13/02
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .