Press review of the Americas
In the headlines: in the United States, the right to abortion is back in court in Texas
Abortion rights protesters at the city council in Denton, Texas, U.S., June 27, 2022. REUTERS - SHELBY TAUBER
By: Aabla Jounaïdi Follow
In this conservative state, any voluntary termination of pregnancy, including in cases of incest or rape, is prohibited, except in cases of danger to death or risk of severe disability for the mother. The problem for the Center for Reproductive Rights, a women's and doctors' organization, is that the legal terms of this medical reality "are too vague." "So much so that hospitals and doctors avoid initiating procedures in almost every circumstance," reports the Dallas Times. Last August, a judge acknowledged that the plaintiffs, now in their 28s, had been "delayed or denied access to abortion because of widespread uncertainty about doctors' room for manoeuvre." The verdict was immediately challenged by the state prosecutor and therefore suspended. It is this debate that the State Supreme Court is scheduled to decide this Tuesday, November 2023, <>. Amanda Zurawski, after whom the case is named, will be in the courtroom with about <> other women. She had to wait "until she got infected before she could get an abortion," according to the Dallas Times.
Not just isolated cases
Seven other women with equally uplifting stories have joined her since the summer. Kaitlyn Kash is one of them. "Two years ago, she was holding her round belly at the Austin airport when unbearable pain gripped her," she told the local newspaper The Austin American Satesman. "Two months later, the diagnosis was made: the foetus was suffering from a serious genetic disorder affecting the bone system (...), a problem that is impossible to detect before thirteen weeks and which can cost the baby its life," the newspaper said. The Texas doctor who made the diagnosis advised her and her husband... to continue the pregnancy, (and therefore to have an abortion) elsewhere than in Texas. Which Katlyne ends up doing. "The number of complaints shows that these are not isolated cases," lawyer Nicolas Kabat told the newspaper. Texas isn't the only state affected, either. About 20 have banned abortion or severely restricted it after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, leaving states free to legislate on the issue. The issue has become a national issue and is at the heart of the presidential campaign. Prosecutors in some 20 states have expressed interest in the case of "Zurawski vs. the State of Texas," according to the Austin American Statesman.
Read alsoUnited States: How the end of the constitutional right to abortion creates a new inequality between women
In neighbouring Canada, there is now an open fight between Alberta's premier and Ottawa over environmental protection. The province's chief executive, Danielle Smith, has unsheathed a weapon, the "Sovereignty Act," "against the federal government and its 'Clean Power' plan," according to The Globe and Mail. This provision allows provincial legislators to rewrite laws made at the federal level. Justin Trudeau's government has set a goal of making Canada's electricity grid carbon neutral by 2035, and the Conservative Party that leads the province of Alberta doesn't see it that way. "We are planning to counter this absurd and illogical interference in our electricity grid," the politician said, invoking her sovereignty law. It "asks the federal government to step back to establish a less early deadline," according to the daily Le Devoir. The Edmonton Journal reported that the premier's resolution is still up for discussion in the local parliament on Tuesday. In Ottawa, it is seen as a political manoeuvre by the Conservatives, reports Le Devoir.
Read alsoEnvironment: Canada will not meet its 2030 climate targets
A political maneuver, this is also what Peruvian President Dina Boluarte thinks of the latest action of the attorney general who filed a homicide complaint against her. At issue: the president's alleged role in the crackdown on protests last year. But the Peruvian press dwells more on the suspicions hanging over the prosecutor herself, Patricia Benavides, and her team. "Earthquake at the Public Prosecutor's Office," headlines El Comercio. El Diario Correo echoes the calls for his resignation from the Public Prosecutor's Office itself. La Republica reveals the details, including text message exchanges between the prosecutor's deputies and at least one unidentified congressman in order to influence appointments. For example, that of the Ombudsman. The prosecutor has no intention of resigning. In its editorial, however, El Comercio believes that this is the conclusion that would prevail. "We are not talking here about right or left," the newspaper argues, "the earthquake that is shaking the public prosecutor's office and whose tremors are affecting other institutions, makes it untenable to remain in one's post," the newspaper said.
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