Ethiopian Immigrants Given Birth Control Without Consent in Israel
A report released over the weekend reveals that Ethiopian women who migrated to Israel were given contraceptive injections without their consent.
Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, reported that the director general of the Health Ministry of Israel has indirectly acknowledged that Ethiopian immigrants were given Depo-Provera, a contraceptive injection that lasts three months, while in transit camps. In a letter to Israel's four health maintenance organizations, the director general instructed gynecologists "not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment." According to a 2010 report, Ethiopian women account for 57% of the country's Depo-Provera users.
The memo comes a month after the controversy over forced temporary sterilization in Israel was sparked following the airing of a documentary show called "Vacuum." One woman interviewed in "Vacuum" described her experience while immigrating, "We said we won't have the shot...They told us, if you don't you won't go to Israel. And also you won't be allowed into the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) office, you won't get aid or medical care. We were afraid ... We didn't have a choice. Without them and their aid we couldn't leave there. So we accepted the injection. It was only with their permission that we were allowed to leave."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 1/28/2013; LA Times 1/28/2013; Salon 1/28/2013
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. . . .