EUROPE – An app which advises young women whether they can avoid pregnancy based on daily body temperature leads to… young women GETTING PREGNANT!

A fancy app which was certified as a contraceptive method in Europe by the German medicines agency Tüv Süd, based on its claim to be 93% effective, has been found to be leading to many unintended pregnancies. In January 2018, it was reported for investigation to the Swedish Medical Products Agency after one hospital found 37 cases of pregnancies in women using it among 668 women seeking abortions in a three-month period in late 2017. … Continued

UNITED KINGDOM –  Dramatic decline in teenage pregnancies in the UK

A new report, Social media, SRE and Sensible Drinking: Understanding the dramatic decline in teenage pregnancy, by Bpas, published in July 2018, examined key trends in teenage lifestyles and outlook, as well as young people’s experience of sex and relationships education (SRE) and use of contraception. It is based on qualitative and quantitative research conducted by YouGov and Bpas with four online focus groups and a demographically weighted survey of 1,004 16-18 year olds. The report’s … Continued

MALAWI – Efforts supported by UNICEF to reduce teenage pregnancy in rural Thyolo District in order to reduce stillbirths and newborn deaths

In May 2018, “Rachel” was a Standard 5 pregnant school drop-out. At the age of 15, she is already facing pregnancy complications befitting the age of her mother. It is over three months now since she walked into the maternity ward at Thyolo District Hospital to await her labour. When she arrived, the nurses told her that she would only deliver through caesarean section. The subsequent experience vindicated her fright. Fear haunts her. Discharge of … Continued

NAMIBIA – Consultation on policy to reduce teen pregnancy reveals criticism because it isn’t working

In May 2018, five months into the school calendar year, the Oshana and Ohangwena regions have recorded 232 pregnancies, some in girls as young as age 14. The parliamentary standing committee on gender equality, social development and family affairs released these figures during consultative meetings held in the region, where they sought input from pupils, teachers, parents and other community members on teenage pregnancies. This took place after Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Elma Dienda had … Continued

ETHIOPIA – The new Michu Clinic, Adama Hospital Medical College, Adama

In one room, a line of young women – accompanied by men and in some cases their mothers – await vaccinations for their newborns. In two more rooms down the terrace, midwives provide post-natal care to women who have just given birth. And in a nearby recovery room, six women rest in comfortable beds following safe second trimester abortions. This is another normal day at the recently-opened Michu (which means ‘comfort’ in Amharic) Clinic at … Continued

NIGERIA – Bias in contraceptive provision to young women among private health care providers in South West Nigeria

Provider bias in the provision of contraceptives to adolescent and young adult women in South West Nigeria may affect quality of care and method choice. Interventions to reduce provider bias should go beyond technical training to address the underlying sociocultural beliefs that lead providers to impose restrictions that are not based on evidence.

SOUTH KOREA – A debate, a rally and other activities in support of abortion law reform

Amid what the Korea Times called “heated public discourse inching towards greater rights protection for women’s autonomy”, Dr Yoon Jeong-won, Head of Women’s Affairs of the Association of Physicians for Humanism, said, at a forum at the National Assembly building on 5 July, entitled “From Illegal Abortion to Reproductive Health”, that Korea should legalise abortion and guarantee women’s health rights by widening abortion choices such as approving the abortion pill. The forum was organised by … Continued

ISLE OF MAN – Legislative Council has approved the Abortion Reform Bill: hooray!!!

The Abortion Reform Bill was approved in full by the Legislative Council on 6 July 2018. There were 71 proposed amendments but efforts by the one Council member who was against the bill to add restrictions to the various clauses, a bishop, all failed. Numerous, mainly technical amendments were approved, as well as an amendment to ensure that fetal remains would continue to be treated with respect. The final vote was 8-1 in favour. The … Continued

BELGIUM – Hi-jacked: the minimal changes to the Belgian abortion law due to ‘political compromise’

Commentary by Carine Vrancken, LUNA Abortion Centre, Hasselt, Belgium Since mid-2016, several Belgian opposition political parties have submitted bills to change the abortion law. Some of them have been uncomplicated (take the existing text out of the penal code and put it in a civil law, without changing the content) while others have proposed a substantial change (take abortion out of the penal code, allow abortion on request up to the 20th week of pregnancy … Continued

INDIA – Supreme Court says abortion after 20 weeks amounts to murder – in contradiction of previous judgments

On 13 July, Justices Kurian Joseph and Sanjay Kisan Kaul of the Supreme Court of India denied a 20-year-old woman permission to terminate an over-25-week pregnancy, and suggested that such an abortion would amount to murder. They also told the woman’s advocate, Sneha Mukherjee, who is with the Human Rights Law Network, that the ‘unborn child’ should have been represented in court instead of the woman and that she should have been made to hear … Continued

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