New Abortion Laws in Texas Place the United States at a Moral Crossroad

Texas’ new abortion laws, which ban abortions six weeks post-conception with no exceptions for rape or incest, were signed into effect by Governor Greg Abbott on September 1, 2021. The laws are setting a dangerous precedent in the U.S., causing other states like Florida to propose increasingly restrictive laws. Meanwhile, Mexico’s laws are prohibiting judges from charging women who receive abortions, even in regions where abortion has not yet been decriminalized. The contrasting approach toward abortion between Mexico and Texas shows a dangerous trend that could lead the U.S. down a rabbit hole of restricting reproductive rights.

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Mexican Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion

Mexico’s Supreme Court has passed a historic adjudication allowing pregnant women to decide their own reproductive destiny without having to face criminal prosecution. According to Jacobin, the court deemed it was unconstitutional for the state of Coahuila to penalize women for performing a voluntary abortion, an action that previously could have led to up to 3 years in prison.

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FOCUS on Afghanistan: Women

Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country, many questions have arisen regarding women’s rights in the country. The Taliban announced that they would lead an inclusive government where women would work “shoulder to shoulder” with men, promising to govern differently than before, says Al Jazeera.

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New Zealand Passes Legislation for Paid Miscarriage Leave

There has long been a positive correlation between employer support and productivity in the workplace. In response to this, Employment New Zealand reports that New Zealand’s parliament  recently passed  legislation that provides a mandated, three-day paid time off policy to women and spouses who have experienced a miscarriage during their pregnancy..

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Turkey Withdraws from the 2011 Istanbul Convention on Women’s Rights

Turkey announced in late March that it has withdrawn from the 2011 Istanbul Convention on women’s rights. The convention was held to promote the protection of women against domestic violence and promote gender equality by signatory states, reports Reuters. Notably, Turkey was the first country to sign on to the convention, which was forged in and is named after the country’s largest city.

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“Burqa Ban” in the Age of COVID-19

Switzerland joined several other European countries in banning burqas, niqabs, and other face coverings in public. This so-called “burqa ban” and those that came before it are highly controversial and inspired debate over religious freedoms and secularism, all of course, complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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The Burden of COVID-19 on Women

Before the coronavirus pandemic took the world by storm, society had begun treating women as equals and regarding women’s rights as human rights. Leading up to 2020, male-dominated fields were becoming more equal, illiteracy rates among women and girls were dropping, and marriage rates for girls under 18 were decreasing dramatically. Slowly, young women were climbing out of the age-old well in which they were drowning. However, COVID-19 erupted, halting progress and, in some cases, threatening its complete reversal.

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