July 30, 2013 |
LONDON -- Ireland's first law authorizing abortion under certain conditions was signed into law Tuesday after a bruising debate in the predominantly Roman Catholic country over whether it risked opening the doors to abortion on demand. President Michael D. Higgins' office confirmed that he had signed the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill, despite speculation that he might send the controversial measure to the Irish Supreme Court to examine its constitutionality. Higgins' signature came 2½ weeks after a marathon session by lawmakers, who exhaustively discussed and parsed every word of the bill before approving it on a vote of 127-31 . The lopsided tally belied the divisiveness of the debate over abortion in one of the last Western European nations to forbid widespread practice of it. The new law does not permit women to terminate their pregnancies under any circumstance; rather it allows abortions only when two doctors certify that a mother's life would be at “real and substantial risk” if she continues to carry the child.
July 30, 2013 |
LONDON - Ireland's first law authorizing abortion under certain conditions was signed into law Tuesday after a bruising debate in the predominantly Roman Catholic country over whether it risked opening the doors to abortion on demand. President Michael D. Higgins' office confirmed that he had signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, despite speculation that he might send the controversial measure to the Irish Supreme Court to examine its constitutionality. Higgins' signature came 2½ weeks after a marathon session by lawmakers, who exhaustively discussed and parsed every word of the bill before approving it on a vote of 127 to 31. The lopsided tally belied the divisiveness of the debate in one of the remaining European nations to forbid the widespread practice of abortion.
July 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Nationwide public opinion on abortion has remained largely unchanged for the last two decades, but that overall steadiness masks a widened gap between conservative and liberal parts of the country, new polling data indicate. Opposition to legal abortion has significantly increased since the mid-1990s in the most antiabortion part of the country, the south-central swath of states that stretches from Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky west to Texas and Oklahoma, according to new data released by the Pew Research Center.
July 22, 2013 |
A federal judge has temporarily blocked the North Dakota law that bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, the nation's most stringent limit on a women's ability to terminate her pregnancy. Under the law, which had been scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1, a woman could be prevented from seeking an abortion as early as six weeks into her pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat is detected. North Dakota passed the law at the end of March, part of a package of curbs in four laws that passed the Republican-controlled Legislature and were signed by GOP Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
July 18, 2013 |
Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the nation's toughest set of abortion restrictions into law Thursday, declaring a major victory for abortion opponents after weeks of divisive political debate. The bill passed over the strong protests of Democrats and abortion-rights supporters. Abortion-rights activists and clinic operators say the measure will force the closure of all but five of the state's 42 abortion providers. In a signing ceremony at the state Capitol in Austin attended by more than 100 Republican lawmakers, the Republican governor praised the measure as a landmark in protecting unborn children and women's health.
July 16, 2013 |
A spacewalk outside the International Space Station was cut off after water began pouring into astronaut Luca Parmitano's helmet, NASA officials said Tuesday. You can watch a live briefing about what happened at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time in the video above. Parmitano, a European Space Agency astronaut who became Italy's first spacewalker after his first foray on July 9, was little more than an hour into the spacewalk when he reported that his head felt "really wet" and that the feeling was increasing.
July 13, 2013 |
Legal and political challenges are taking shape as abortion-rights supporters prepare to challenge the restrictive abortion bill that passed in the Texas Senate. The bill, among the nation's strictest, passed in a 19-11 vote just before midnight Friday. It now goes to Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who has pledged to sign it. “Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life,” Perry said in a statement. “This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women's health.” The bill, seen as a major victory for antiabortion advocates, would ban the procedure beginning at 20 weeks after conception unless the woman's health was in immediate danger.
July 12, 2013 |
Capping weeks of divisive protests and political drama, the Texas Senate approved one of the nation's strictest abortion bills in a 19-11 vote, following earlier approval by the state House. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Perry, who has pledged to sign it. Passage came during a session that stretched to midnight in the state Capitol in Austin. Before the vote, watched by activists from both sides, lawmakers offered emotional remarks inflected in many cases with religious references.
July 11, 2013 |
LONDON - After exhaustive - and exhausting - debate, lawmakers in Ireland approved a controversial bill early Friday spelling out strict rules under which abortions can be performed, the first time that the Roman Catholic nation has enshrined such permission in law. Legislators voted 127 to 31 in favor of the proposal, which allows an abortion if a woman's life is at risk. The lopsided count masked deep divisions in parliament and in Irish society over a bill that supporters said brought clarity to murky guidelines surrounding medically necessary abortions but that opponents warned would lead to terminations on demand.
July 11, 2013 |
After a pair of a historic arrested landings aboard an aircraft carrier, a U.S. Navy drone aborted a third landing because of a malfunction in one of its three redundant navigation computers. The X-47B drone was four miles out Wednesday, with its landing gear down, when the unmanned vehicle reported to the mission operator that one of its computers had an issue. The landing was called off and the drone returned to shore, as per policy and the drone's pre-planned logic. Navy officials said the anomaly was a great learning moment on a day that they hailed as a landmark in aviation.