A proposed law in Nicaragua banning all abortions, even when a woman or girl's life is at risk, is currently under review by the country's judicial commission and may be voted on soon. Current law in Nicaragua permits “therapeutic abortions” for situations in which a woman or girl’s life is endangered by a pregnancy, but remains vague, Spero News reports. Despite the restrictive law, a 1996 study found that about 36,000 abortions are performed every year, and that unsafe, illegal abortions were a leading cause of death for women in the 1980s, according to CBS.
The predominately conservative country engaged in an explosive debate about abortion rights in March 2003 when a 9-year-old rape victim became pregnant and underwent an abortion. Despite medical opinions that the pregnancy was a risk to her health, government officials, Catholic church representatives, and anti-abortion activists opposed the abortion.
Media Resources: BBC 10/13/06, 3/4/03; Spero News 10/11/06; CBS 3/23/03
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. . . .