Things That Matter

Alabama Abortion Activists Scored A Major Win As Federal Judge Blocks Near-Total Abortion Ban

A federal judge has temporarily halted a near-total abortion ban from going into effect in Alabama, originally slated for enforcement on November 15. That decision, made by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, blocks all of the near-total abortion bans passed by red states this year. The law would have criminalized both doctors who perform abortions and the women who receive them, with no exception for rape or incest victims. Doctors who performed the procedure would be faced with prison sentences up to 99 years.

While this is all very good news for women, especially the rapidly growing Latino population in Alabama, the decision just brings the question of abortion closer to the Supreme Court, where anti-abortion legislators hope to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“It defies the United States Constitution,” writes U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson.

Credit: @ResistMoveTRM / Twitter

Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act “violates Supreme Court precedent,” because it bans abortion before the fetus is viable, Thompson writes. Thompson goes on to discuss the irreparable harm that enforcement of the ban would cause while awaiting the court to decide on the matter. “Enforcement of the ban would yield serious
and irreparable harm violating the right to privacy and preventing women from obtaining abortions in
Alabama.”

Thompson puts it bluntly: “A near-total ban imposes
substantial costs on women,” he concludes, referring to the financial and emotional cost on women who are unable to obtain an abortion, along with the women who would be so desperate, they may attempt to self-abort at great risk to their own health.

All this to say that Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, and Utah are all still places women can legally exercise their reproductive rights.

Credit: @zeroultra4 / Twitter

As quickly as these states passed their severely restrictive abortion bans, some that were so early in the pregnancy that most women aren’t even aware that they’re pregnant yet, the ACLU filed a lawsuit. As the non-profit announced the news, supporters flooded Twitter with comments like “HELL YEAH” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the work that you do!”

Of course, just as many opponents of the decision have made their opinion heard, too. “The ACLU used to defend free speech. Now they advocate infanticide,” tweets one Richie Angel. Latinas might be the loudest voices yet, because one Maria Florencia Freijo responded to Richie, “Callate pelotudo. Shut UP.”

Abortion restrictions disproportionately affect low-income POC, and legislators know it.

Credit: @globalissuesweb / Twitter

“Many Latinxs understand that these bans only serve to hurt our community,” Maria Elena Perez, Deputy Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) told POPSUGAR. “What we know to be true about these restrictions is that they disproportionately affect low-income people of color who are forced to travel long distances and pay high costs to obtain abortion care. People with means will always seek abortion care somewhere else. And undocumented Latinx immigrants, many of whom cannot travel for fear of detention and deportation, have even fewer options.”

In fact, research shows that the majority of Latinxs, regardless of religious faith, don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

When the Alabama ban was initially passed in March, a #YouKnowMe hashtag was born.

Credit: @gomezb1013 / Twitter

Amidst the initial fury that Alabama lawmakers elected to force any child or adult who was raped by a stranger or family member to carry the baby to full-term, women rallied. They flooded the Alabama statehouse and, if they couldn’t, they shared their abortion stories on social media under the hashtag #YouKnowMe. 

Once again, women must actively humanize themselves and their experiences for the men in power to listen. It shouldn’t matter if it’s your mother, your sister, or your daughter, because we’re full-fledged human beings who deserve rights no matter what we mean to you. For so many women, #YouKnowMe became a way to lift the shame around abortion and empower young women to choose how they want to start a family.

Women across America are celebrating the victory.

Credit: @jess_ez / Twitter

The fight is far from over. “As we have stated before, the State’s objective is to advance our case to the US Supreme Court,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said, “where we intend to submit evidence that supports our argument that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided and that the Constitution does not prohibit states from protecting unborn children from abortion.” That leads many concerned over women’s reproductive rights, given the Supreme Court’s most recent Justice, Brett Kavanaugh.

READ: Google Maps Has Been Directing Women In Search Of Abortion Clinics To Anti-Choice Clinics

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Survey Says Support For Abortion Has Risen In Mexico

Fierce

Survey Says Support For Abortion Has Risen In Mexico

Abortion rights have been long-debated issues for countries across the globe. Always, when it comes to conversations about women’s reproductive rights, is the debate that decisions like these should be decided solely by the people directly affected. You know, the ones with uteruses. Surprisingly, the president of Mexico agrees.

Last Thursday, the president declared that he believed that the decision about whether the country should legalize abortion should be left up to women.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stressed last week that the legality of abortion should be up to Mexico’s women to decide.

While López Obrador avoided revealing his actual position on the issue, he did say that a public consultation should be considered in the decision. In Mexico, the issue of abortion remains controversial and is still rejected by many Mexicans.

“It’s a decision for women,” Lopez Obrador explained one day after the Argentine Senate voted to make abortion legal. “It’s just that matters of this nature should not be decided from above.”

Lopez Obrador’s comments came soon after the Argentine vote was made and journalists in a news conference asked him whether he thought Mexico should take similar action.

Mexico, a majority Roman Catholic nation, is changing in its perception of abortion restrictions.

According to Reuters, “At the end of November, support for abortion stood at 48% in a survey, published by the news organizations El Financiero and Nación321 – a steep rise from the 29% recorded in March. The poll, based on telephone interviews with 410 participants, asked if respondents agreed that “the law should permit a woman the right to abortion.”

While abortion is legal in Mexico City and the state of Oaxaca, it remains illegal in most of the country with the exception of special circumstances.

According to Reuters, a “nationwide poll published in September 2019 by newspaper El Financiero showed that a woman’s right to abortion only had majority support in Mexico City and Baja California state.”

Sixty-three percent of people who took part in the survey said that they were against abortion rights while 32% were in favor. Fifteen thousand adults took part in the survey.

Various nations in Latin American ban abortion in totality. El Salvador, has in the past sentenced women to up to 40 years in prison. Until recently, only Cuba and Uruguay have allowed women to recieve elective abortions.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Argentina Makes History As It Legalizes Abortion In The Majority-Catholic Country

Fierce

Argentina Makes History As It Legalizes Abortion In The Majority-Catholic Country

Argentina has truly made history as it moved to legalize abortion with an early morning vote by the senate. The country’s senate has approved a bill to allow abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy, a ground-breaking move for a region that has some of the world’s most restrictive termination laws.

Argentina’s Congress votes to approve bill allowing abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy.

Argentina has become the largest Latin American country to allow abortion after its senate approved the historic law change by 38 votes in favor to 29 against, with one abstention.

Elated pro-choice campaigners who had been keeping vigil outside Buenos Aires’s neoclassical congressional palace erupted in celebration as the result was announced at just after 4am on Wednesday.

Women screamed with delight, sweeping their friends into tight hugs and jumping in ecstasy. Many wept tears of joy. Victory music kicked in and green smoke filled the air. A triumphant message flashed up on a big screen above the joyful crowd: “We did it!” it said. “ES LEY!” (IT’S LAW!).

Original Story Published December 12, 2020:

Argentina has just taken one massive step closer towards women’s equality. On Friday morning, the lower house of Congress voted to pass a bill that would legalize abortion in the majority-Catholic country. The bill was passed after more than 20 hours of debate.

If passed by the senate, it would make Argentina one of only four Latin American countries that has legalized abortion.

Coincidentally, the move comes just days after a 12-year-old rape victim in Jujuy was forced to give birth to twins after being denied an abortion.

According to reports, local authorities insisted the girl remain pregnant until the twins were mature enough to be delivered via C-section.

The town’s branch of Health Professionals for the Right to Decide released a fiery statement condemning the actions of Jujuy’s local authorities. It read: “Despite the fact that the National Directorate of Sexual Health made an offer to immediately resolve the situation, preserving the physical and emotional health of the girl, the authorities in charge of the local Health portfolio, rejected the proposal and they decided not to guarantee this girl her right to ILE (legal interruption of pregnancy).”

As of now, the unidentified girl is not living back with her parents. Other than that, there is no update on the health or whereabouts of the girl or the babies.

For years, abortion access has been incredibly restricted in Argentina.

The procedure was illegal except in cases where the mother or baby’s lives were in danger. In 2019, the country passed a law that also included rape victims as exceptions. It appears that Jujuy’s local authorities skirted that law.

Otherwise, abortion is considered a criminal offence in Argentina. Women who consent to the procedure face up to four years in prison. Doctors or anyone who otherwise performs abortions could face up to fifteen years in prison.

In Jujuy, childhood motherhood appears to be a crisis. According to TodoJujuy, 685 adolescent births took place in public hospitals this year. Of that number, 20 of the girls were rape victims between the ages of 10 and 14.

The push towards various kinds of gender rights–including abortion rights–has been central to President Alberto Fernández’s administration.

The center-left politician campaigned on a platform that emphasized the rights of women, gay, and trans communities since he was elected in 2019. Even throughout the devastation of the pandemic, Fernández has insisted on keeping his promises towards marginalized communities.

Fernández helped create a quota system that guarantees trans individuals one percent of federal public-sector jobs. He has also reportedly asked his team to “avoid scheduling meetings that include only straight men”.

As of now, the movement towards women’s rights in Argentina seems to be progressing.

“This is a fundamental step and recognition of a long struggle that women’s movements have been carrying out in our country for years,” said Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, Argentina’s Women, Gender and Diversity minister, to Reuters. “We are going to continue working so that the voluntary termination of pregnancy becomes law.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com