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
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .