Ohio ‘heartbeat bill’ would ban most abortions

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/ohio-heartbeat-bill-ban-abortions/

By Daniel Tencer
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Republican lawmakers in Ohio unveiled legislation Wednesday that would ban abortions of any fetus found to have a heartbeat, a move that could ban most abortions in the state.

Under legislation sponsored by State Representative Lynn Wachtmann, doctors would be forbidden from performing an abortion the moment a heartbeat is detected in the fetus. Fetuses generally develop a heartbeat within six weeks of conception, and in some pregnant women a heartbeat can be detected within 18 days.

The Youngstown Vindicator describes the bill as “the most restrictive abortion ban in the country” and potentially “a precedent for other states eyeing comparable restrictions.”

Robyn Marty at Alternet reports that the “heartbeat bill” amounts to an almost total ban on abortion.

For most women, [the law] would provide a window of two weeks or less in order to learn she was pregnant, make her decision about the pregnancy, arrange for an appointment, gather money for an abortion, obtain the mandatory counseling and sit through the required 24 hour waiting period. For a woman with irregular menstrual cycles, by the time she realizes she is pregnant it likely would already be too late to do anything but continue the pregnancy.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/ohio-heartbeat-bill-ban-abortions/

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Human Rights Act to shield transgender, transsexual Canadians from persecution

From The Vancouver Sun:  http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Human+Rights+shield+transgender+transsexual+Canadians+from+persecution/4254376/story.html

From Amy Minsky, Postmedia News

February 9, 2011

OTTAWA — The House of Commons passed a bill Wednesday that will amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to protect transgender and transsexual Canadians from discrimination.

“It’s a great day,” said the bill’s author, NDP MP Bill Siksay. “It’s been in the works for six years, and it’s great to see people from all parties supporting the bill. This is not a partisan issue, it’s a human rights issue.”

When all heads were counted, 143 MPs voted for Bill C-389 and 135 voted against.

The amendments proposed in the bill prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression through adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in the Canada Human Rights Act, and through adding transgender and transsexual Canadians as identifiable groups in the Criminal Code’s hate crimes law.

The term ‘gender expression’ refers to an individual’s outward expression of their inward sense of gender, Siksay said.

A majority of Conservative members voted against the bill, prompting opposition members to applaud Tory ministers and members Lawrence Cannon, Lisa Raitt, John Baird, John Moore, Shelly Glover and Gerald Keddy when they rose to their feet to support the bill.

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