A recent poll shows that nearly 77 percent of Portuguese want a new referendum on Portugal's restrictive abortion laws. The poll, conducted by the daily newspaper Diario de Noticias and TSF radio, also shows that three in five people believe that the government should decriminalize abortion, reports Agence France-Presse.
The poll was published a month after the Dutch Women on Waves ship traveled to Portugal to bring attention to the nation’s punitive abortion policies and to provide medical abortions using mifepristone for Portuguese women in international waters off the coast of Portugal. Upon arrival of the ship, the Portuguese Defense Minister, Paulo Portas, went so far as to call the small ship a “threat to national security” and sent navy ships to circle Women on Waves. According to the poll, 56.4 percent of those polled did not agree with the tactics used by the Defense Minister.
In 1998, a referendum that would have allowed abortion on demand up to the first 10 weeks of pregnancy was rejected by a narrow margin of 51 to 49 percent. Currently, abortion is allowed in Portugal only in cases when there are serious health concerns or when a woman has been raped.
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. . . .