Moroccan authorities escorted a sailboat from Women on Waves out of the port of Smir on Thursday. The boat is part of the Dutch women's rights group's campaign to spread information about abortion to countries where the medical procedure is banned.
Moroccan authorities shut down the port of Smir when they received word that a ship offering medical abortions up to 6.5 weeks was on its way from Europe after being invited to the country by a local women's rights organization. At that point, Women on Waves announced that they already had a small yacht inside the port. This yacht was advertising an informational hotline for women to get information about medications that can induce an abortion. The yacht was escorted out of the port by police. Anti-choice protesters demonstrated outside the marina, and were blocked by police when they attempted to reach Women on Waves founder Rebecca Gomperts.
Women on Waves has established hotlines in multiple South American and Middle Eastern countries and has visited countries with restrictive abortion laws including Ireland, Poland, and Spain.
Media Resources: Sources: BBC 10/4/12; Washington Post 10/4/12; Ms Blog 10/4/12
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. . . .