MADAGASCAR – Attempt to legalise therapeutic abortion sabotaged

  During consideration by the National Assembly of Madagascar of a bill supporting family planning, an amendment to delete Articles 22 and 23, which would have permitted therapeutic abortion, was passed on 13 December 2017. As a result, no grounds for abortion are permitted by the bill, and health professionals are now forbidden to provide an abortion, therapeutic or not, in Madagascar and would be liable to prison and loss of their medical position. This … Continued

ZIMBABWE – Illegal abortion: a major public health concern

When Ms Mapingure was raped during an armed robbery in 2006, she never imagined that events of that fateful night would haunt her for the rest of her life. Soon after the incident she reported the matter to the police so that she could be assisted to get medical assistance to stop her from conceiving. They referred her to the hospital where the medical personnel on duty refused to “drain the sperms from her body”. … Continued

INDIA – Courts and medical reports are not the answer

According to an article in the Lancet of December 2015, 15.6 million abortions occurred in India, of which 73% were sought outside health facilities, despite India having a very liberal abortion law. In 2017, in what was considered a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India ruled that individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right” as part of the right to life and liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution. This judgment should have … Continued

BOLIVIA – Legal abortion access expanded in Bolivia: a national grassroots movement to save women’s lives celebrates success

In a major step forward for reproductive rights in Bolivia, women and girls can now access safe, legal abortion in the first eight weeks of pregnancy under a broad range of circumstances. This historic law change, enacted on 15 December 2017 when Acting President Alvaro Garcia Linera signed the nation’s newly revised Penal Code, which contains specific provisions for legal abortion. This comes after years of advocacy by a grassroots movement representing Bolivia’s diverse population. … Continued

EL SALVADOR – Salvadoran court rejects appeal of Teodora Vasquez

A woman in El Salvador who has an abortion, a stillbirth, or a miscarriage can face up to 50 years in prison, charged with aggravated homicide by police and a judiciary who do not seem to see any difference between these three outcomes of pregnancy. Teodora Vasquez, age 37, has served ten years out of a total 30-year prison sentence, charged with aggravated murder. Vasquez suffered a stillbirth in July 2007 during her ninth month … Continued

POLAND – Disastrous effects of the anti-abortion parliamentary debate about two abortion-related bills

    The disastrous effects of the first Polish anti-abortion law, dating from 1993, are the more so important in the light of the parliamentary debates on 10 January 2018 on two civic bills, the “Save women” bill on women’s rights and conscious parenthood and the “Stop abortion” bill (banning abortion in cases of fetal impairment. The latter, in practice means almost a complete ban on the remaining few legal abortions, as 95% of legal … Continued

IAWG ANNUAL MEETING 2017 – Advocates make progress on access to safe abortion in humanitarian crises

  Advocates campaigning for refugees to have access to safe abortion in humanitarian settings say they have made major progress at a recent high-level meeting – but that “political sensitivities” among countries and some United Nations agencies are holding back efforts to get the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services to those who need them. In early November 2017, representatives from the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG), which includes … Continued

RHM – Reproductive health in humanitarian settings (2 articles)

1. Protecting safe abortion in humanitarian settings: overcoming legal and policy barriers by Akila Radhakrishnan, Elena Sarver, , Grant Shubin Reproductive Health Matters Nov 2017;25(51):40-47 https://doi.org/10.1080/09688080.2017.1400361 Abstract Women and girls are increasingly the direct and targeted victims of armed conflict and studies show that they are disproportionately and differentially affected. However, humanitarian laws, policies, and protocols have yet to be meaningfully interpreted and adapted to respond to their specific needs, including to sexual and reproductive … Continued

IRELAND -Report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution

    The Joint Committee on the 8th Amendment is an Irish parliamentary committee tasked to make recommendations on what should happen next as regards changing the abortion law in Ireland, following the publication of the report of the Citizen’s Assembly in 2017. These are excerpts from the report: The Joint Committee agreed, in principle, at its meeting on 18 October 2017, that Article 40.3.3 should not be retained in full. This decision represented an … Continued

YP Foundation, India – Seen, Not Heard: Youth-led Audit of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Lucknow

The YP Foundation is a youth run and led organisation based in New Delhi, India, that supports and enables young people to create programmes and influence policies in the areas of gender, sexuality, health, education and governance. In the last 13 years, they have worked with 6,500 young people to develop their perspectives and critical thinking on issues of social justice and human rights, and set up over 300 projects in India, reaching out to … Continued

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