Amanda Mellet, a 38-year-old Irishwoman, is filing a petition with the United Nations Human Rights Committee to challenge her country’s ban on abortion. In Ireland, a predominantly Catholic country, abortion only recently became legal if it is necessary to save the mother’s life. In November 2011, a pregnant Mellet was devastated to find out that her fetus had Edward’s system, a fatal abnormality that causes mutations to the heart and other organs.
She was told that her daughter may not survive the pregnancy, and that if she did, she’d die shortly after birth. If Mellet carried her to term, she wouldn’t know until delivery whether she was even still alive. She and her husband decided that terminating the pregnancy was the most humane thing to do for her child, who, if born alive, would spend her only few hours on earth in a hopeless struggle for survival.
Her doctors, however, were legally unable to perform the abortion. Keep reading »
March is Women’s History Month, and this Friday is International Women’s Day. (And March is my birth month — so many reasons to celebrate!) Fitting then that this week kicked off the start of the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women: 10 days focused on promoting women’s rights worldwide.
What is this commission all about? Six essential things to know about it after the jump:
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Access to contraception is a universal human right, the United Nations has declared. The annual report “State Of The World Population 2012,” released today by the U.N. Population Fund regarding women and children in the developing world, is the first ever to describe contraception as a human right. By doing so, the Associated Press explains, the UN has declared that preventing a woman from access to family planning services (whether through politics, religion, etc.) is an abuse of her rights. Keep reading »
Yesterday Drew Barrymore appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to announce that she was donating $1 million dollars of her own money to the United Nations’ World Food Program, which is aiming to feed 10 million more children in Africa by Thanksgiving Day. While she was there, she also dished about her new boyfriend, Justin “I’m A Mac” Long, who was in the audience. She said, “This relationship is great. It’s healthy, it’s productive, and it’s supportive. It’s full of humor and a lot of fun.” He said Drew is more than a pretty face, adding, “She’s the most compassionate person I’ve ever met.” Dang, they’re cute. [Oprah.com and WFP] Keep reading »