Brazilís New Family Planning Program Angers Catholic Church
Brazil has launched a new family planning program that distributes free contraceptives through the country's 6,012 hospitals and 63,662 clinics, angering Brazil's Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Rafael Liano Cifuentes denounced the new program, saying that it ďwill promote the sexual perversion of teenagers, which means prostitution. Itís like telling teenage girls, go out and enjoy an active sex life for the government will guarantee that you wonít get pregnant,Ē reports the Associated Press.
Brazilís strict penal code only allows abortions to be performed when the womanís life is endangered or when pregnancy is a result of rape. The chief justice of Brazilís Federal Supreme Court, Nelson Jobim, is warning doctors that if they perform abortions on rape victims without a police report they could be subject to legal prosecution, according to Inter Press Service News Agency. However, Brazilís laws do not stipulate that a police report is necessary for doctors to perform abortions, IPS reports.
IPS reports that an estimated 750,000 to 1.4 million abortions are carried out every year in Brazil, the majority taking place in unsafe conditions. There were only 1.31 million abortions in the United States in 2000, where abortion is legal, despite the fact that the United States is more than twice the size of Brazil. Health care service providers in Brazil treat over 250,000 women who are suffering from complications from the clandestine abortions annually.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .