Iran's Parliament Votes to Liberalize Abortion Laws
In an attempt to end the high numbers of maternal deaths due to backstreet abortions in Iran, Iran's parliament voted to liberalize its restrictive abortion laws to allow pregnancies to be terminated in the first four months if the fetus is mentally or physically handicapped. Under the new bill, both parents must still give their consent for the abortion. Women will also need confirmation from three doctors that the fetus is damaged before an abortion can be performed, reports BBC News.
Currently, Iranian women can terminate a pregnancy legally only if their life is in danger. The mother and the person who performs an illegal abortion can face between three to ten years in jail, reports Agence France Presse.
Local Iranian media reports that at least 80,000 illegal and unsafe abortions are performed annually in Iran. Many believe that that number is much higher due to the high numbers of unreported abortions that take place every year.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .