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Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world gathered Saturday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington.

Source: New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Washington in a kind of counterinauguration after President Trump took office on Friday.

• They were joined by crowds in cities across: In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the march that was to follow was canceled for safety. In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a river of pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, even before the gathering crowd stretched itself out to march, it was more than a quarter mile deep on several streets.

• Begun as a Facebook post just after the election, the march is the start of what organizers hope could be a sustained campaign of protest in a polarized America, unifying demonstrators around issues like reproductive rights, immigration and civil rights. The movement has also encountereddivisions.

Source: The New York Times

20-jan-17

Cabinet approval has been sought to legalize abortions in the instances of rape and incest, underage pregnancies (pregnancy occurring in a girl below 16) and serious foetal impairment, it is learnt.

For this purpose, the government is seeking to draft separate legislations as amendments to the Penal Code and to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act to provide for it.

The Justice Ministry has initiated action in this regard in pursuant to the recommendations on decriminalization of abortion by the Committee on GSP plus and another committee headed by Prof. Savitri Goonesekere. In a report submitted to the Cabinet seeking amendments to the existing laws, recommendations have been made in this respect.

The committee has identified that a similar attempt to decriminalize abortions in such cases in 1995 by introducing a bill. However it was withdrawn due to objections and protests. Currently, abortion or termination of pregnancies is criminalized in the Penal Code except in instances where the mental; and physical well-being of a woman concerned is affected.

The Cabinet report says that septic abortions remain a leading cause of maternal deaths. It says 90 per cent of abortions are performed on married women, and 8.9 percent on unmarried women.

Section 303 of the Penal Code says, “Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry shall, if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman , be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine or with both, and if the woman be quick with child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years , and also be liable to fine.”

Source: Daily Mirror

http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Cabinet-approval-sought-to-legalize-abortions-122469.html

19-jan-2017

On Thursday, Iowa’s Republican Representative Steve King introduced a bill in Congress that would constitute a total abortion ban on a federal level, Rewire reports.

H.R. 490 (legislative text found here) would prohibit abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. This can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — a time period before many women know they’re pregnant.

“Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally decided in 1973, nearly 60 million innocent babies’ lives have been ended by the abortion industry, all with a rubber stamp by the federal government,” King said in a Thursday press release from his office. “If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.”

King reportedly worked on the bill with Janet Porter of Faith2Action; per Right Wing Watch, Porter said that “when she recently attended Phyllis Schlafly’s funeral, she was able to speak with King and convince him to introduce a federal version of her bill.”*

H.R. 490 is similar to the Ohio’s “heartbeat bill,” which failed when Governor John Kasich vetoed the portion that would restrict abortion at six weeks (a 20-week ban was still instituted).

As for H.R. 490, it’s unlikely that it will pass in the House and far more unlikely that it would in the Senate. But even the introduction of such extreme legislation points to the increased attempts to dismantle Roe v. Wade we’ll see on a federal level under this administration.

http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/01/new-heartbeat-bill-in-congress-would-constitute-a-total-abortion-ban.html

Source: NY Mag

24-dec

Northern Territory women should be able to get abortions at any stage of their pregnancy, without needing a doctor’s approval, a legal rights advocacy group has said.

The recommendation is one of several made by the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) in its response to the NT Government’s proposed pregnancy termination law reforms.

The Government is proposing changes including making it easier to get medical abortions, and requiring women to get counselling on their choices before accessing terminations.

The HRLC submission is broadly supportive of the changes.

But it said the Government’s changes would not alter the present law that forbids a woman to get an abortion after 23 weeks unless it would save her life.

HRLC legal advocacy director Adrianne Walters said that stipulation should be changed.

“What that means is that a woman who has been told that her foetus has a fatal abnormality and won’t survive, she doesn’t have any option — she has to keep the pregnancy,” Ms Walters said.

“If a woman was raped and she’s 24 weeks pregnant and she’s seeking an abortion — the law as it currently stands wouldn’t let her have that.”

The submission makes clear women should have the right to an abortion at any stage of pregnancy, without needing approval.

But it goes on to recommend that if doctor approval is made mandatory, that limit should not apply before 24 weeks.

It recommended the law should allow doctors the discretion to consider broader factors for abortions after 24 weeks, including a woman’s psychological and social circumstances.

“It’s important to bear in mind abortions after 20 weeks are extremely rare — around 1 to 2 per cent nationally — and they often occur in situations that are highly distressing,” Ms Walters said.

“It’s important that the law is broad and accounts for the all the situations that women might find themselves in.”

She disagreed that lobbying for women’s rights to get an abortion at any stage of their pregnancy risked putting off some who supported smaller changes to widen access.

“There’s a model in the ACT that doesn’t require women to have to justify their decision making,” she said.

“It has abortion regulated as any other medical procedure and that operates effectively in the ACT.”

Source: ABC AU

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-18/calls-for-nt-to-allow-abortion-at-any-stage-of-pregnancy/8192426

17-jan-17

“No man has the right to give his opinion on abortion,” controversial PN candidate Salvu Mallia said on INDEPTH.

Interviewed by The Malta Independent news editor Rachel Attard, Mr Mallia said that, “I should have never pronounced myself against abortion because I am not a woman. The issue of abortion is an issue that only women should speak about.”

Mr Mallia said that abortion is an issue that concerns the woman and the foetus, and the man should have no say in the matter or interfere in the decision. Mr Mallia said that women should stop allowing men to get involved in what is a woman’s right.

Salvu Mallia was confirmed as a PN candidate for the upcoming general elections during a meeting of the Executive Council that was held last October. He will contest the 2nd and 12th electoral districts.

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2017-01-17/blogs-opinions/INDEPTH-Salvu-Mallia-does-not-regret-comparing-Muscat-to-Hitler-6736169001

Source: The Independent MT

16-jan-17

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court permitted a 22-year-old woman in her 24th week of pregnancy to undergo termination of pregnancy after medical reports found the foetus to be without a skull.

The woman had found out about the defect in the 21st week of gestation when she had a sonography done at a private clinic in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, abortion is legal in India only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy provided it involves a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or poses a threat of grave injury to physical or mental health, or involves a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities.

Recently, in a rare judgment, the Supreme Court permitted a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 24 weeks.

The Supreme Court had asked the same committee of doctors from KEM Hospital that had given its opinion in the rape survivor’s case in July 2016, to look into the current case.

An amendment drafted in 2014 to a 1971 Act sought to increase the abortion time limit from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. Additionally, the draft bill also recommends that termination be allowed without a time limit in cases where doctors detect a foetal anomaly.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jan/16/supreme-court-permits-termination-of-pregnancy-at-24-weeks-1560127.html

Source: New Indian Expres