Between 60,000 and 150,000 Italian women marched in Milan on Saturday, demanding that the Italian government maintain its liberal abortion laws. The women accused the government of working with the Vatican in an attempt to reverse a 1978 law that makes abortion legal in Italy during the first trimester, according to the International Herald Tribune.
Pope Benedict XVI met with Italian politicians last week, reiterating his opposition to RU 486 (the abortion pill) and same-sex unions. RU 486 has recently become available in Italy on an experimental basis, and the Italian Bishops Conference has launched a campaign against the pill, according to the Associated Press.
In Rome on Saturday, some 1,000 people held a demonstration in support of same-sex unions. A recent survey conducted by the Italian research institute Eurispes found that 69 percent of Italian Catholics favor legal status for same-sex couples, according to ANSA, an Italian news service.
Media Resources: International Herald Tribune 1/16/06; Associated Press 1/15/06, 1/13/06; ANSA 1/17/06
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. . . .