Amnesty slams Guatemala bill to punish abortion, gay couples
September 5, 2018
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Amnesty International says a proposed Guatemalan law on abortion providers and gay couples is "absurd."
The Guatemalan congress is debating proposals that would ban recognition for same-sex couples and forbid teaching that homosexuality is acceptable.
Amnesty said Wednesday that the measure known as "The Law for the Protection of Life and the Family" actually threatens lives and families.
Women’s groups drop Guatemala abortion clause over church dissent
Published on Sept 5, 2018
Women’s rights activists were forced into a hasty retreat Tuesday in the face of fierce church-led opposition to proposed legislation to loosen strict abortion laws.
Sponsors of the bill aimed at protecting underage victims of sexual abuse opted to remove a controversial clause that would decriminalize abortion for girls aged 14 or under who have been abused.
The influential Catholic and Evangelical churches organized a massive rally on Sunday to protest against the bill and in support of “life and the family.”
Guatemalan congress to debate contradicting abortion bills
04 September 2018
Guatemalan legislators are to start a confusing debate on Tuesday over two bills proposing changes to the country's strict abortion laws: one looking to loosen them and the other to toughen them.
Currently, abortion is only allowed in the conservative Catholic-majority Central American country if a mother's life is in danger.
A bill sponsored by the leftist Convergencia opposition party wants to expand that to allow underage girls that have been the victims of sexual abuse to abort in the first 12 weeks.
Brazil's Restrictive Abortion Laws Are Being Reconsidered By Its Supreme Court
By Morgan Brinlee
Aug 4, 2018
Under Brazil's current law, obtaining an abortion except in cases of rape, diagnosis of a brain-related birth defect, or in instances where it's necessary to save the woman's life is not only prohibited but also punishable with prison time. But could the law soon change? Brazil's Supreme Court began hearing arguments to decriminalize abortion Friday as part of a rare public hearing.
Brazil's top court has been asked to consider whether or not Brazil's restrictive abortion laws — which date back to the 1940s and punish women who obtain an abortion in any situation outside of the legally allowed exceptions with up to three years in prison — violate protections guaranteed in the country's 1988 constitution. As part of its hearing, the court will also consider a proposal to decriminalize abortion until the 12th week of gestation.
Brazil: Decriminalize Abortion
Court Considering Petition to Expand Access
July 31, 2018
(São Paulo) – Brazil’s abortion laws are incompatible with its human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the issue. Human Rights Watch will speak at a public hearing on August 3 and 6, 2018, as part of a Supreme Court case challenging the criminalization of abortion in Brazil in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Human Rights Watch will urge the court to consider Brazil’s obligations under international law in reaching its ruling.
Abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape, when necessary to save a woman’s life, or when the fetus suffers from anencephaly – a fatal congenital brain disorder. Women and girls who terminate pregnancies under any other circumstances face up to three years in prison.
Argentina’s historic vote to decriminalize abortion, explained
Argentina’s Congress has taken up a bill to decriminalize abortion. It probably won’t pass, but activists say it’s a victory regardless.
By Emily Stewart
Jun 13, 2018
Across Latin America, 97 percent of women live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Argentina’s lower legislative house is debating whether to change that and pass a bill that would decriminalize abortion in the country up to the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The vote is expected to be close, and even if it does pass, it’s unlikely to get through the Argentine Senate. Still, activists see the fact that the issue is being voted on at all as a major step for women’s rights in the country and throughout the region.
Argentina: Decriminalize Abortion
Landmark Opportunity to End Harmful Policy
June 12, 2018
(Washington) –The Argentine Congress should put an end to the country’s criminalization of abortion, which undermines the fundamental rights of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said today. The House of Representatives will vote on a proposal to ease abortion rules on June 13, 2018.
Abortion is illegal in Argentina, except in cases of rape or when the life or health of the woman is at risk. The new legislative proposal would fully decriminalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and allow women and girls to end their pregnancy after that period if the pregnancy is the result of rape, the life and health of the women or girl is at risk, or the fetus suffers severe conditions not compatible with life outside of the womb.
Abortion and Human Rights in El Salvador
José Miguel Vivanco
Executive Director, Americas Division @JMVivancoHRW
April 3, 2018
Last August, I had the opportunity to testify before the Constitutional Tribunal in Chile, my home country, in support of a landmark law that decriminalized abortion in three circumstances. In my testimony before the court, I spoke about how Chile’s total abortion ban, in effect for 28 years, undermined women’s fundamental human rights.
I later was in the packed courtroom to hear arguments from other expert witnesses. Many people have strong, deeply held views on abortion. But the main question before the court was whether Chile’s constitutional protection for the embryo or fetus could be reconciled with allowing women to terminate their pregnancies in certain circumstances—for example, when the life of the woman or girl is at risk, or when the pregnancy resulted from rape. This question is a central part of the debate in El Salvador, where the constitution recognizes the right to life from conception, and the country bans abortion in all circumstances.
What will Pinera's win mean for Chile's abortion law?
by Charlotte Mitchell
Jan 5, 2017
Women's rights groups in Chile are expressing concern over what the election of conservative billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera as president will mean for a landmark abortion bill passed last year.
The bill, approved by Chile's Constitutional Court in August 2017, legalises abortion in exception circumstances.
Continued at source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/pinera-win-chile-abortion-law-171229153202068.html
Brazil: Reject Abortion Ban
Constitutional Amendment Would Endanger Women, Girls; Violate Rights
December 12, 2017
(São Paulo) – Brazilian lawmakers should reject a dangerous constitutional amendment that would prohibit abortion in all circumstances, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed amendment would ban abortion even for pregnancies resulting from rape, or when the life of the woman is in danger.
The proposed abortion ban is part of a constitutional amendment being considered on December 12, 2017, by a special congressional committee of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies. The committee approved the amendment in November, in a controversial vote, with 18 men voting yes and 1 woman voting no.
Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/12/12/brazil-reject-abortion-ban