Court Rules Texas Can Ban Emergency Abortions
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Texas in a decision that states that doctors and hospitals are not required to perform emergency abortions per the requirements of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA. The Biden Administration invoked the EMTALA, a 1986 law, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. The law mandates that physicians “treat emergency medical conditions or risk fines, civil lawsuits, and being blacklisted from federal health programs.” In response Texas sued, arguing that it interfered with the state’s right to restrict abortion and that all potential conflicts between the health of the mother and unborn child were accounted for in existing medical exceptions. Current laws in Texas prohibit all abortions after the first signs of a heartbeat or after six weeks of pregnancy. Certain exceptions in the case of medical emergency exist, but many doctors fear inadvertently violating the law.
Jenni Hermoso Testifies Against Spanish Football Chief Who Kissed Her Without Consent
Spanish World Cup winner, Jenni Hermoso, testified in court against former Spanish football chief, Luis Rubiales, after he kissed her on the lips without her consent following the team’s win over England at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. In an event captured by cameras, Rubiales grabbed Hermosa and initiated what he has said was “a consensual peck,” despite her claims that it was “unexpected and at no time consensual.” Rubiales ultimately resigned as the president of Spain’s football federation. The court is using her testimony and CCTV footage to decide if the case should continue to try Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion. “All is in the hands of justice, that’s all I can say,” Hermoso told reporters.
Ireland Expands Free Contraceptive Access
Ireland’s Department of Health has expanded a free contraception program launched last year to include women up to the age of thirty-one. The program, initially launched in September 2022, originally covered those between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five but has been expanded. The program makes contraceptives available to all women, girls, transgender, and gender non-confirming residents of Ireland who have a prescription for such medicine by their medical providers. It also covers a wide range of costs related to family planning, consultations, and contraceptives, ranging from oral pills to emergency contraception and long-acting reversible contraception. Thousands of health centers, medical facilities, and community pharmacies have signed up to receive products and services. “Incrementally improving access to contraception is a key priority for this government, supporting positive sexual health and choice in family planning,” said Stephen Donnelly, the Minister for Health.