Abortion had been legal in Chile before 1989 in cases of risk to the mother or an unviable fetus before the practice became outlawed. Ever since, Chile has remained one of the few countries in the world not to allow abortion under any circumstances – a measure introduced by ex-dictator General Augusto Pinochet shortly before his departure from power in 1990. The prohibition remained unchanged for more than twenty-five years because of pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and other conservative groups. A touchy subject on many levels An estimated 160,000 clandestine abortions are nevertheless carried out each year in Chile – sometimes under risky circumstances. Polls indicate that 70 percent of Chileans say they support the new bill. Illegal abortions remained accessible mainly to wealthy Chileans only; making the issue both a moral question and an economic one.
Protests across Brazil On Friday, Rousseff called for her supporters to hold mass rallies in more than 30 cities. The largest rallies in support of the government were expected in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, called by Rousseff’s Workers’ Party, the major CUT union and other groups. Hours before the pro-Rousseff demonstrations were due to begin on Friday, riot police used water cannons to break up anti-government demonstrations in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo. Similar measures were enforced on Thursday evening as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to hold back protesters demanding Rousseff’s resignation.
In 1963, only 156 of 15,000 eligible black voters in Selma, Alabama, were registered to vote. Between 1963 and 1965 the federal government filed four lawsuits but the number of black registered voters only increased from 156 to 383 during that time. In 1964 the 24th Amendment prohibited poll taxes in federal elections. At the time, five Southern states still imposed that election requirement. One might accurately say that only in 1965, a century after the Civil War ended did blacks effectively gain the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act sent federal examiners to seven Southern states to help register black voters and required states with a history of voter discrimination to gain pre-approval from the federal government before changing any voting requirements.