MEDICAL ABORTION – Medical abortion has the potential to change everything: it has made self-help abortion safe

This presentation by Marge Berer is based on the papers on medical abortion published this month in a Special Issue of the journal Contraception (links to all the papers can be found here). The papers are mainly qualitative studies on medical abortion pill use in Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burma-Thailand border, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Nepal, South Africa and UK. There is also a roundtable of health professionals’ views on what would happen if there … Continued

SCANDINAVIA – Dropping the ball or holding the line? Challenges to abortion laws in the Nordic countries

This article examines recent developments regarding the legal regulation of abortion in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Ever since abortion laws in the Nordic countries were overhauled in the 1970s, largely in a response to the feminist movement, abortion has been considered to be largely non-politicised. However, recently all three countries have seen abortion re-emerge repeatedly in the political and legal arena. This article examines the various proposals to amend abortion legislation, asking whether they can be explained with reference to recent international developments in anti-abortion politics. The article argues that although the recent Nordic developments have limited immediate consequences for the availability of abortion as a public service, they suggest, perhaps more importantly, that a long-term struggle is emerging over public opinion supporting universal abortion access.

URUGUAY – Legal barriers to access abortion services through a human rights lens: the Uruguayan experience

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) has increasingly gained importance in the field of international human rights law. The work of the United Nations bodies, in particular the recently adopted General Comment 22 (GC 22), has been instrumental in signalling the importance of the SRH legal framework and in setting clear guidelines to steer countries into enacting/modifying/repealing national laws in order to comply with their international obligations…. Although within the region Uruguay is regarded as a pioneer in terms of women’s status and rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, evidence points to a number of challenges.

EUROPE – Freedom of conscience in Europe? An analysis of three cases of midwives with conscientious objection to abortion

While abortion has been legal in most developed countries for many years, the topic remains controversial. A major area of controversy concerns women’s rights vis-a-vis the right of health professionals to opt out of providing the service on conscience grounds. Although scholars from various disciplines have addressed this issue in the literature, there is a lack of empirical research on the topic. This paper provides a documentary analysis of three examples of conscientious objection on religious grounds to performing abortion-related care by midwives in different Member States of the European Union, two of which have resulted in legal action.

NORTH & SOUTH OF IRELAND – Abortion as a Workplace Issue: A Trade Union Survey North & South of Ireland

With more than 700,000 members in over 40 affiliated unions, the trade union movement is Ireland’s largest civic society body. Over half our membership is women for whom highly repressive abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are an impediment to full equality: without the right to make decisions about their own bodies, women are not truly equal.

We – Unite the Union, Unison, Mandate Trade Union, the CWU Ireland and the GMB – initiated and funded this unique cross-union, all-island survey to explore how such restricted access to abortion affects our working members.

FAKE NEWS – Some facts behind anti-abortion fake news in the UK

  by Goretti Horgan A few days ago, we received a link to an article that made a patently untrue claim that the UK admits hundreds of babies left to die after botched abortions (21-12-17), among several other such claims. By twisting the meaning of factual responses by a spokesman for the Department of Health to questions, this article falsely reported, among other things, that:  “a Department of Health spokesman acknowledged the “poor oversight” over … Continued

CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

  Unite for Reproductive Rights is a new space where advocates from across the globe can come together to learn, engage, and collaborate on victories and challenges within the sexual and reproductive health rights movement. The website has sections for news, upcoming opportunities, and resources. The resources include case law, legislation, and reports/publications focusing on reproductive rights and the law.

CORRECTION: MALAWI – Banja La Mtsogolo has not opened its doors for safe abortion, as we reported on 6 February

On 6 February, we sent out a news report that we discovered afterwards was untrue. In it, we had reported that Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM), a group of clinics providing sexual and reproductive health care services in Malawi, had decided to provide safe abortions in order to contribute to a reduction in unsafe abortion deaths and complications in Malawi. We based our story entirely on a news report of 1 February by Malawi 24. We … Continued

NAMIBIA – “Botched abortion lands woman in handcuffs”

We are quoting this “news” article from New Era in Namibia to give an example of how not to write a news article about an illegal abortion. What’s wrong with this article? 1) The number of weeks the woman was pregnant is unstated. 2) The use of the phrase “fully developed infant” may or may not be accurate. 3) The fact that the report says the nurses claimed to have noticed “a tablet” in the … Continued

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