If a new proposal in the Australian state of South Wales becomes law, women who abort a fetus after 20 weeks could be charged with grievous bodily harm.
Australian women's groups are calling this proposal to give a fetus personhood rights the first step toward making abortion illegal in the state. It was set to be debated by the state parliament yesterday, but has been delayed until next week so pro-choice advocates can discuss ramifications of such a law with legislators.
"This bill established personhood for a foetus [sic] and this is a very concerning precedent to be setting," said Melanie Fernandez, chair of the Women's Electoral Lobby Australia. "That kind of precedent has been used as a first starting point to roll back abortion right in other places, such as states in America."
The bill is being called "Zoe's law," named for a 32-week-old unborn fetus that died when the mother was hit by a car in 2009. Because South Wales did not view the fetus as a person, the driver was not charged with its murder. He was charged with driving under the influence and causing "grievous bodily harm."
Media Resources: ABC 9/12/2013; The Guardian 9/12/2013
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .