Women on Waves will set sail for Portugal this afternoon to bring attention to the nation's restrictive abortion policies. According to Women on Waves, between 20,000– 40,000 illegal and unsafe abortions take place in Portugal each year. A Portuguese woman can only receive an abortion up to her 12th week of pregnancy in cases of rape, malformed fetus, or if the woman’s health is in serious danger.
Portugal is the only country in the European Union that actively prosecutes women and their doctors for illegal abortion, reports Women on Waves. Women who are found guilty of undergoing an abortion face up to three years in prison, and a person found guilty of performing the operation faces up to eight years. In July, three Portuguese women stood trial for allegedly undergoing illegal abortions. Earlier this year, 17 people, including seven women, were accused of undergoing illegal abortions and were later acquitted of breaking Portugal's strict abortion laws.
Women on Waves is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands whose mission is to prevent unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions throughout the world. The Dutch organization provides abortion and reproductive health services to women on a specially equipped ship. Dr. Rebecca Gomperts commissioned the construction of a mobile clinic suitable for placement on a ship that sails to countries where abortion is illegal. By sailing out to international waters, she is able to provide essential reproductive services to women legally, including non-surgical abortions, contraception, and counseling. Women on Waves sailed to Ireland in 2001 and Poland in 2003.
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. . . .
6/26/2015 Supreme Court Declares Marriage Equality a Constitutional Right - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that same-sex couples fundamentally have equal protections under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all 50 states to both license a marriage and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. . . .
6/26/2015 President Obama Delivers Moving Eulogy in Charleston - The nation is remembering the nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting this week, as President Obama gave an unforgettable eulogy for State Senate Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
President Obama knew Reverend Pinckney personally, meeting him during his 2008 election campaign. . . .