Yesterday, the city of Berkeley, California sent wire hangers to some members of Congress who voted for the Stupak Amendment — and across the Atlantic, courts prepare to decide whether an Irish abortion ban violates women's human rights.
The Berkeley City Council approved the motion on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the city sent 20 wire coat hangers to Representatives who had previously supported reproductive rights but voted for Stupak. And while the specter of that amendment, in Latoya's words, "loom[s] like some super villain resurrected for multiple franchises," abortion rights remain a contentious issue worldwide. At the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, three Irish women are challenging their home country's abortion ban. One woman wanted an abortion because of her risk of ectopic pregnancy; the second became pregnant during chemotherapy; the third felt her pregnancy would hamper her efforts to regain custody of her children. Ireland's abortion ban includes an exception when the mother's life is at risk, but the three women in the case feel the ban violated their right to "health and well-being" under the European Convention on Human Rights.