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.
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .