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Liechtenstein: No to Legalized Abortion

(Sept. 27, 2011) On September 18, 2011, the citizens of Liechtenstein voted in a referendum to reject a proposal to legalize abortion in that country, with 52.3% of votes cast against the measure and 47.7% in favor of it. The “Help Instead of Punishment” referendum called for decriminalizing abortion in the first 12 weeks of […]

European Court of Human Rights; Poland: Court Rules for Plaintiff in Abortion Rights Case

(June 1, 2011) On May 26, 2011, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment in an abortion case brought by a Polish woman who had been concerned in 2002 that carrying her pregnancy to full term would result in a child with serious deformities. The ruling was six to one in favor […]

Ireland: Government Response to Loss in European Court Ruling on Abortion Law

(Jan. 4, 2011) On December 16, 2010, the office of the head of the government in Ireland issued a statement indicating that the government would study the issue of what steps the country needs to take in order to comply with a recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that found that […]

Spain: Lower House of Legislature Votes on Abortion Reform Bill

(Jan. 5, 2010) A joint session of Spain's Congreso de los Diputados (Lower House) voted on December 17, 2009, on an abortion reform bill. (Ley sobre Salud Sexual y Reproductiva e Interrupcion Voluntaria del Embarazo, BOLETÍN OFICIAL DE LAS CORTES GENERALES [BOCG], Series A, No. 41-1, Oct. 2, 2009, available at http://www.congreso.es/portal/page/portal/Congreso/PopUpCGI?CMD=VERLST&BASE=puw9&DOCS=1-1&DOCORDER=LIFO&QUERY=%28CDA20091002004101.CODI.%29#(Página1).) The new law, […]

Peru: Congress Debates Legislation Decriminalizing Abortion

(Nov. 6, 2009) On October 7, 2009, Peru's Special Revision Commission on the reform of the Criminal Code approved an amendment that would decriminalize abortions performed in cases of rape or congenital malformations of the fetus. The amendment also permits abortions for pregnancies resulting from unwanted artificial inseminations. Currently, these abortions are penalized with imprisonment […]

Malawi: Legal Action Against Government on Abortion

(May 4, 2009) It was reported on April 29, 2009, that Women in Law in Southern Africa-Malawi (WILSA-Malawi), a women's rights group in Malawi, is bringing a legal action against the Malawian government for prohibiting women from access to safe abortions. According to Seodi White, WILSA-Malawi's executive director, forcing a woman to carry an unwanted […]

Holy See (Vatican City State): Abortion Pill Not Innocent Drug for Health

(Jan. 12, 2009) The Vatican recently condemned the RU486 pill, which was approved by the Italian government in February 2008, because it is intended for abortion. Cardinal Javier Lozano Garragan, the Health Minister of the Holy See, stated: “[t]he Catholic Church understands the personal drama of a young woman who is pregnant against her will, […]

Kenya: Proposed Law to Decriminalize Abortions

(Sept. 30, 2008) It was reported on September 16, 2008, that a new draft bill on women's reproductive health and rights, which seeks to decriminalize abortions, is ready to beintroduced in Kenya's Parliament. Impetus for the bill came from a campaign launched by civil society activists in May, sparking nation-wide debate on the issue, to […]

India: High Court Denial of Abortion Petition Prompts Review of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act

(Sept. 17, 2008) Upon being advised by their physicians that the baby to be born to them would have a congenitally defective heart, an Indian couple, Haresh Mehta and his wife, Niketa, applied for permission to abort the 24-week-old fetus. The Bombay High Court denied permission. India's Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971(MTPA) allows physicians […]

Romania: Abortion Permitted in Rape Case

(July 2, 2008) It was recently reported that Romania is making an exception to its laws to permit an eleven-year-old girl to have an abortion. The girl became pregnant after being raped by her uncle. Romanian law permits abortions only up until the 14th week of a pregnancy. The exception was approved by a government […]