Cheers and Jeers

Morocco May Allow Abortion; Political Gap Persists

Saturday, January 14, 2012



A top aide to Morocco's prime minister confirmed that the leader would support allowing abortions in the case of rape or incest, The New York Times reported Jan. 11. The aide explained in an interview that such a law would address the high number of illegal abortions in the country, as well as single mothers living in poverty. The new government's position is a sharp change from the party's previous stances on abortion-related issues.

Under current Moroccan law, abortions are only allowed with a husband's consent in order to save a woman's life or maintain her physical or mental health, meaning that unmarried women could legally have an abortion.

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More News to Cheer This Week:

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office says he has decided to give France's highest award -- the Legion of Honor -- to Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reported the Associated Press Jan. 13. Sarkozy praised Suu Kyi's courage while also commending Myanmar's recent release of political prisoners.
  • New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for raising New York's minimum wage in his State of the City address, NY Daily News reported Jan. 12. This follows Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's call for a raise in minimum wage, which at $7.25 per hour lags behind many states, including those such as Montana and Arizona, which have lower costs of living.
  • The number of female directors in British boardrooms has reached its highest ever level, The Guardian reported Jan. 10. Women now comprise 14.9 percent of directors at the 100 largest companies, up from 12.5 percent in 2010, when "radical change" was called for.
  • Minnesota elected the first openly lesbian Native American to a state legislature, the Huffington Post reported Jan. 11. Democrat Susan Allen, an attorney, has stated she plans to fight a proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would ban same-sex marriage.
  • Those still alive who were forcibly sterilized as part of a decades-long eugenics program in North Carolina should receive a one-time payment of $50,000, a state task force recommended Jan. 10, reported CNN. North Carolina sterilized an estimated 7,600 people between 1929 and 1974, many of them against their will. Many states once had eugenics programs, and seven have apologized, but North Carolina is the first to consider paying victims. The payments will need to be approved by North Carolina's legislature.
  • A British woman won a court order to stop sexually explicit photos of herself from being distributed on the web, The Telegraph reported Jan. 11. The judge in the case ruled that the Human Rights Act granted her a "reasonable expectation of privacy" and that the distribution of the explicit pictures violated the Protection from Harassment Act.
  • A Pakistan regional assembly unanimously passed a law making it illegal for parents not to extend property rights to female family members, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Jan. 11. The region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa previously followed strict religious laws, wherein daughters received half as much property as sons.
  • The gender gap related to the impact of divorce on men and women's income has shrunk, accordingly a fact sheet by the Pew Economic Mobility Project, reported Mother Jones Jan. 11. In the 1970s, 63 percent of women experienced income loss following a divorce, while only 30 percent of men did. By 2004, that gap closed significantly, with 49 percent of women and 47 percent of men experiencing income loss after the end of a marriage.
  • The Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest organization working on behalf of homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, announced this week that it has been awarded a two-year matching $500K Challenge Grant from the Calamus Foundation of New York. This grant will make possible the launch of the nation's first 24-hour drop-in services center for homeless LGBT youth, according a press release from the center.

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