Women on Waves Sparks Renewed Debate on Abortion in Portugal
As reported earlier this week, Women on Waves set sail on Monday for to bring attention to the nation's restrictive abortion policies. The deputy for Portugal’s Green Party, Isabel Castro, asserted that the ship will show “what cannot be forgotten, a law that is humiliating for women.” In response to the ships departure, Jose Areia de Carvalho, the head of Portugal’s Federation for Life stated that “it would be better for them not to come” because he sees the ship “encouraging the practice of acts that are criminal under Portuguese law,” reports Agence France-Presse.
As the debate between Portuguese officials continues, Women and Waves will carry out their mission off-shore in international waters, legally providing information on abortion, AIDS, and birth control to people during their two week stay in Portugal. In addition, Women on Waves will hand out abortion pills to women who are less than six and half weeks pregnant and have made the decision to terminate their pregnancies, reports Reuters.
Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of the Women on Waves foundation, is hoping that the ship’s trip to Portugal will help break “the terrible taboo” of abortion in the country, according to Agence France-Presse. 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.
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. . . .