Russia increased its restrictions on abortion for the first time in nearly 50 years. According to the New York Times, while Russia's abortion laws still remain among the most permissive in the world, these new restrictions reflect the current debate in Russia over the morality of abortion and effect abortions have on the demographic future of Russia and women's health.
Before these new restrictions were in place women could receive abortions between the 12th and 22nd weeks of pregnancy if they cited one of 13 special circumstances, including divorce, poverty, unemployment, or being a refugee. Moscow's chief gynecologist told the Times that the government set those special circumstances 40 years ago to address the risks women faced who were seeking illegal and unsafe abortions. The new restrictions have reduced the number of special circumstances down to four - rape, imprisonment, the death or severe disability of a husband, or a court ruling taking away a woman's parental rights. Now being a single mother or a refugee is not a legal reason to abort a pregnancy after the 12th week.
The Russian Orthodox Church has welcomed the change and has said that it will continue fighting for more restrictions, reports the New York Times. However, a poll of Russians shows that 62 percent would not support banning abortion, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .