Poland's Restrictive Abortion Laws Criticized by UN Committee
The United Nations Human Rights Committee recently criticized Poland's strict abortion laws. According to Kaisernetwork, Poland’s laws “puts women’s lives at risk by encouraging them to seek illegal abortions, sometimes from untrained practitioners.” Women on Waves, the Dutch organization that traveled to Portugal last year to bring attention to the nation's punitive abortion policies, estimates that 200,000 illegal abortions are conducted in Poland every year.
Abortion restrictions were reinstituted in Poland in the early 1990s after decades during which abortion on demand was the policy in the country. Currently, abortion is illegal in Poland except in cases of rape, incest, when the fetus is deformed, or when the woman’s life is in danger and doctors face up to three years in jail for performing illegal abortions. Poland’s Democratic Left Alliance is sponsoring a bill that will allow women to have abortions up to their 12th week of pregnancy, however no date has been set for the parliament to discuss the bill, reports Reuters. Some conservative groups in Poland such as the Polish League of Families, a Catholic opposition party, are working to completely outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape, reports Reuters.
Meanwhile, several European women’s organizations are calling for a major mobilization to protect women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Europe. The Women’s World March will held in Marseille, France, in May 2005 to bring attention to the increasing threats made by anti-abortion lobbies in Europe, including the influence of the Catholic Church and conservative parties in European parliaments, to restrict abortion rights.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .