Education key to women’s access to abortion

by Sophie Cousins A school physical education textbook in India recently came under fire on social media for defining 36-24-36 as the ‘best body shape for females’, claiming that it was ‘why in Miss World or Miss Universe competitions, such type of shape is also taken into consideration’. While the textbook wasn’t widely circulated (and local media reports say the government will take action against the publisher of the book as it wasn’t approved for use … Continued

Challenges to implementing safe, legal abortion in Rwanda

 by Christopher Sengoga, Human Rights Officer, Health Development Initiative, Rwanda 23 May 2017 The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) is the main legal instrument for the protection of the rights of women and girls in Africa and the most comprehensive on women’s rights globally.[1] The Protocol went into effect in November 2005, after the minimum 15 of the then 53 African Union … Continued

Where are we now? Bit by bit, abortion decriminalization advances in Chile

  By Erin Becker Chile’s Senate voted January 25 to consider the Ley Tres Causales, legislation that would overturn a 1990 law and decriminalize abortion in three limited circumstances: fetal non-viability, to save the life of the pregnant woman; and for pregnancies resulting from rape. Senators were given until early April to suggest modifications (see a recent Safe Abortion Women’s Right newsletter for more details on the Senators’ suggestions). Now, the legislation is being discussed … Continued

Disability, sex selection and the right to choose

Alice Finden International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion 18 April 2017 There have been a number of articles written recently debating ideas of sex selection and disability and their relation to abortion. The first one that may come to many minds in the UK is a recent BBC documentary and article by actor Sally Phillips. Phillips asks us whether we really want a world without Downs syndrome. She worries that a new screening … Continued

Northern Territory Australia’s new abortion law: a great victory despite a few caveats

Marge Berer International Coordinator, International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion 4 April 2017 The new Northern Territory (NT) Australia abortion law was a great victory and its supporters were celebrating their achievement last week. Now, the analysis will begin. Here is mine: The news reports mention that three women members of the NT Parliament who supported the bill all shared stories of deciding to have an abortion during the debate, which was described … Continued

No woman takes the decision to have an abortion dancing and singing

By Diakhoumba Gassama, Vice-President, West African Network of Young Women Leaders This post is a translated transcription of a talk by Diakhoumba Gassama at a debate organised by WATHI, Citizens Think-Tank of West Africa.  You can watch the original in French here. Today, in 2017, there are innumerable reports and studies carried out – by government, by researchers in universities, by the UN, by the African Union – on reproductive health. What does this research … Continued

Media Guidelines for Writing on Abortion

DO use bona fide evidence from the country or region you are covering, so that your publication is grounded in the most accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date statistical information and health data. The best sources of international and country data are the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute. At country level, national health statistics may also be available. Where abortion is legally restricted, statistics are estimates but a lot of work has been done to … Continued

On World Day of Social Justice, why is access to safe abortion a social justice issue?

A socially just society is one where human rights are manifest and in which opportunities, wealth and privilege are equally distributed. The United Nations World Day of Social Justice site says that social justice struggles are those that “remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.” Abortion is a social justice issue in that criminalising, restricting or stigmatising abortion creates barriers that women with unwanted pregnancies face in … Continued

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