The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services removes protections against discrimination within Obamacare for transgender people and women seeking abortions. The move is condemned by civil rights groups and Democratic officials.
The Supreme Court of the UK dismisses a legal challenge by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission of the restrictive Northern Ireland abortion laws, as the court has no jurisdiction in this specific case. Four of seven judges note that these laws are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights "in prohibiting abortion in cases of rape and incest and fatal foetal abnormality", a matter of right to respect for private and family life guaranteed by the Convention.
Chilean lawmakers have approved a bill that would legalize abortion in limited circumstances and end the socially conservative country's status as the last in South America with a blanket ban on the procedure.
In his Christmas Day message, Seán Brady, the controversial head of Ireland's Catholic hierarchy, calls upon his flock to continue their opposition to abortion. In the wake of the death of Savita Halappanavar, the Indian dentist recently denied an abortion of her dying foetus by Ireland's conservative laws, the country's government is once again to attempt to legislate for the 1992 X Case in the coming year, with Ireland the only remaining EU state to outlaw the procedure.
The death of a pregnant woman from septicaemia in an Irish hospital prompts international outrage, protests and condemnation. University College Hospital Galway refused numerous requests from Savita Halappanavar and her family for an abortion on the grounds that "this is a Catholic country."