ARGENTINA – Macri gives a green light to open the debate on abortion law reform

In 2016, 46 women died from unsafe, illegal abortions in Argentina. All of them could have been avoided. Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina, is against abortion, but all around him there is a very strong movement and a new generation that are pushing for Argentina to become a leader in the region on abortion law reform, as they were with gay marriage. The abortion rights movement in Argentina seeks to go well beyond Chile and … Continued

NEW ZEALAND – Labour starts process of reforming the abortion law, as new Prime Minister had promised

On 16 February 2018, Andrew Little, senior Labour Party MP, made public the governing party’s decision to launch reform of New Zealand’s abortion law and invited the two other governing parties, New Zealand First and the Greens, to comment. He said he had received a letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the tripartite coalition was formed, directing him to begin the process. Once the two other parties give feedback, the Law Commission will be … Continued

TASMANIA – The closure of the main clinic providing surgical abortions in Tasmania has sparked a national debate in Australia

Dr Paul Hyland closed the main clinic (a private clinic) providing surgical abortions in Tasmania in May 2016. That is because the telemedicine service he had opened, the Tabbot Foundation, which provides medical abortion pills through telephone counselling, had reduced the clinic’s surgical abortion patients to only a few, too few for the clinic to be financially viable. The only other known (private) clinic charges $2,500. This situation, Buzzfeed reports, has now sparked a national … Continued

CYPRUS – Hide the abortions and then prosecute the doctors who provide them

In Cyprus, the criminal code was amended in 1986 to permit abortion, if two doctors agree, in cases of risk to the woman’s life or health, or serious fetal anomaly, and with police certification also in cases of rape. The law does not specify a time limit, but in the north of Cyprus the limit is 10 weeks. There are many private clinics providing abortion on the island, charging 600€ on average (median income in … Continued

NAMIBIA, EL SALVADOR, USA – Why are so many women being prosecuted for miscarriages and stillbirth?

On 6 February, we reported the case of a woman from Namibia who was charged with murder, allegedly for using abortion pills to induce the termination her pregnancy, which was described as being in the last stage. The original media report said that the woman was taken to hospital because she was in great abdominal pain. It was then noticed that she was in labour. The report goes on: “…the nurses on duty while examining … Continued

FRANCE: CYTOTEC WITHDRAWAL ! – Consequences for African countries close to France of the imminent withdrawal of Cytotec (misoprostol) from the market in France

It seems Pfizer’s decision to withdraw Cytotec (their brand of misoprostol) in France has been ill-thought out. The reason given was that in October 2017 they received reports that its off-label use for induction of labour had caused complications in a few women. We reported at that time that they had the agreement of the French drug regulatory agency ANSM to stop marketing Cytotec in France altogether, even though no problems have ever been reported about … Continued

EL SALVADOR – Supreme Court commutes 30-year sentence of Teodora del Carmen Vásquez 

Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was a cook in a school cafeteria. Nine months pregnant, on 13 July 2007, she was serving lunch when she had sudden terrible pains. She tried to call the emergency services many times, who never came, and finally went to the toilet with blood running down her legs, and fell unconscious. When she awoke, she was surrounded by police, who accused her of asphyxiating the baby she had lost. She was detained … Continued

POLAND – The worsening situation for women in Poland: Responses of human rights bodies

1. Letter from Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe to the Prime Minister of Poland, 19 January 2018   In the letter, the Commissioner regrets that in spite of previous recommendations he has made, new barriers are being created by the Polish government to hinder women’s access to comprehensive sexuality education, emergency contraception and abortion care. He urges the Polish authorities to repeal any retrogressive laws and to reject any … Continued

GLOBAL GAG RULE – US government review of first six months of new Global Gag Rule not meaningful enough

The US government has released its first six-month review of the impact of the current iteration of the Global Gag Rule, which cuts off US funding to international groups unless they promise not to provide or promote abortion. The review claims that so far practically all grantees have agreed to these conditions. But according to PAI’s Washington Memo, the review was not conducted during a meaningful period of time and therefore cannot adequately assess the … Continued

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