Portuguese Women Acquitted of Illegal Abortion Charges
Two Portuguese women were acquitted Monday of illegally terminating their pregnancies, in a case that dates back to 1999. The exoneration resulted from the prosecutionís lack of evidence against the women, following the judgeís dismissal of police wiretap evidence, reported Agence France Presse (AFP).
The two women were arrested and charged after paying a nurse $480 each to perform the abortions in her residence, according to the Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report. The nurse is being tried separately, and could face up to eight years in prison.
Abortion is illegal in Portugal, with few exceptions, including endangerment of the motherís life and other specified conditions. Portuguese abortion laws are among the most prohibitive in Europe. Between 20,000 to 40,000 clandestine abortions are performed annually in Portugal, and over 1,000 women were hospitalized in 2003 as a result of complications from back-alley abortions.
A poll conducted late last year by the daily newspaper Diario de Noticias and TSF radio showed that three in five people in Portugal believe that the government should decriminalize abortion.
Media Resources: Agence France Presse 7/11/05; Kaiser Reproductive Health Report 7/13/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 10/4/04
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. . . .