Argentina’s Women’s Movement Protests for Abortion Rights + More News

by Debra Brown

Argentina’s Women’s Movement

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


Argentina’s Women’s Movement Protests for Abortion Rights

Women across Latin America and the Argentina’s Women’s movement are organizing a wave of protests to force gender politics into the public arena amid staggering rates of femicide and highly restrictive abortion laws.

Across the country, as they did in 2018, the Argentina’s women’s rights movement waved or wore the green handkerchief that has become synonymous with the abortion rights movement.

Thousands of Argentines who demonstrated last week in Buenos Aires for the decriminalization of abortion are part of pan-continental movement that has seen action from Chile and Peru to Mexico. 

In Argentina, a bill to decriminalize abortion passed the lower house in 2018 but was rejected by the senate, which boasts 30 women among its 72 members.

President Alberto Fernández, who took office in December and is expected to put forward a bill that would legalize abortion when he opens the legislative session on March 1.


Dominicans and Allies Protest Electoral Failure

Dominicans and allies have flooded the streets—both in the mainland and the diaspora (including New York, Philadelphia, Madrid, Miami and more)—to raise a collective voice for democracy.

Hundreds joined in a demonstration demanding the resignation of the Dominican Republic’s elections commission, after consecutive days of protests over the failure of municipal elections.

The latest protest came hours after police said they believed the ballot failure was caused by several people tampering with the country’s electronic voting system.

The Dominican government now expects to hold the municipal elections March 15, but with paper ballots. The e-voting failure affected nearly 50% of voting centers.


New York Jury Finds Harvey Weinstein Guilty of Sex Crimes

A New York jury found Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape for an attack in a New York hotel and guilty of a criminal sex act for forcing oral sex on a former television production assistant.

Next, Weinstein is due to face a criminal case in LA, which stems from investigations by law enforcement in southern California into eight allegations.

LA prosecutors have filed charges for two incidents that allegedly occurred within a two-day period. Those charges include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, carrying a potential 28-year prison sentence.

Weinstein could be immediately brought to California after his 11 March sentencing in New York. He could pursue a plea deal in LA after his guilty verdict in Manhattan, or he could end up facing a second trial, said Laurie Levenson, criminal law professor at Loyola Law School.


U.S. Appeals Court Rules Florida Cannot Bar Felons From Voting Over Unpaid Fees

Florida cannot bar felons from voting over unpaid fines and fees related to their convictions, a federal appeals court ruled. 

A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a lower court’s preliminary ruling, which held that Florida cannot implement a law that requires felons to repay outstanding court costs before they regain the right to vote.

Civil rights groups challenged the law in court, alleging that it amounted to the illegal poll taxes that were put in place after the U.S. Civil War by many states as a barrier to prevent black people from voting.

The ruling only applies to the group of 17 felons represented in the lawsuit, it could potentially influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election if applied to other felons who have not paid outstanding fines and fees.

Florida is a critical battleground state with a history of tight elections. Republican President Donald Trump edged Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a margin of 48.6% to 47.4%.


NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson Dies at 101

NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations helped get the first Americans to space and back safely, died at the age of 101. Among her many accomplishments, she completed the trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s 1961 suborbital flight, which was the first time the US sent a human into space.

Johnson’s work over 33 years propelled many of America’s breakthroughs in space exploration, including Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” on the Moon.

Johnson’s groundbreaking contributions were recognized in 2015 when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed on civilians, from President Barack Obama. The bestselling-book-turned-Oscar-nominated-movie Hidden Figures brought Johnson’s legacy to the big screen in 2016, in which she was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson. NASA also named a building in her honor in 2017.


Supreme Court Rules Border Patrol Agents Who Shoot Foreign Nationals Can’t Be Sued

The Supreme Court divided 5 to 4 with its conservative majority ruling against the parents of a teenager, Sergio Hernández Guereca, killed by an American agent shooting across the Mexican border.

The border agent claimed he shot Hernandez because the boy had launched a barrage of rocks at him and he feared for his life. Video footage of the fatal incident contradicts that account.

The shooting drew international attention, and an investigation by the Department of Justice concluded that Mesa had not violated Customs and Border Protection policy or training, and declined to bring charges against him. The Obama administration also denied Mexico’s request for Mesa to be extradited to face criminal charges in Mexico.

In the minority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that regardless of Hernández’s status as a noncitizen, the lawsuit should have been allowed because Mesa was on U.S. soil when he fired the shot.


Related All the Pretty Birds News Posts:

Pro-Choice Activist Jessica Markuson Addresses Abortion Bans

Court Rules in Favor of Dreadlock Hiring Discrimination 

Historic Milestone at the 2020 Oscars


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