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
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .