EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT – Sexual and reproductive health rights and the implication of conscientious objection

The study aims to provide a comparative overview of the situation in the European Union, with particular focus on six selected Member States – Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden – in terms of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare goods (such as medicines) and services (such as abortion and family planning), from both legal and practical perspectives.

SLOVAKIA – Solidarity statement with Slovakia: We won’t keep quiet!       

As part of the international campaign of 16 days of activism against violence against women civil society in Slovakia gathered at a protest and march across Bratislava to voice their demands and protest against structural gender-based violence, especially any steps limiting access to abortion. The march was called Nebudeme ticho! (We won´t keep quiet!) and was organised by Moznost Volby, ASPEKT, Bratislava bez náckov and Povstanie pokračuje. In May 2018, the far-right political party in … Continued

EASTERN EUROPE / CENTRAL ASIA – Regional Conference on Bringing the WHO Recommendations on Safe Abortion and Family Planning Closer to Women in Countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia

There were 65 participants. The meeting was in Russian with simultaneous translation in English. Participants included health professionals, health policymakers and NGO representatives from 11 counties in the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Russia.

CROATIA – Movement to stop violence against women in hospitals

Ivana Nincevic Lesandric, member of Parliament from the centre-right MOST party shared a personal story in Parliament of having had an abortion after a miscarriage in a Croatian hospital, which revived a public debate on the state of women’s health care. She said doctors had tied her hands and legs before doing an extremely painful curettage to remove tissue from her uterus without anesthesia. She said the conditions were “from the 15th century” and the … Continued

POLAND – The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights

This is a report conducted by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Poland. Over the past three years, new attempts at further restricting women’s already very restrictive right to abortion, expanding the scope of the conscientious objection, and refusing to implement ECtHR rulings, have heightened to the point where it is currently almost impossible for women to undergo a legal and safe abortion in the country.

28 September Reports and Articles in the Media

International Safe Abortion Day 2018 received unprecedented attention from media around the world, from countries as diverse as New Zealand, Venezuela, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Croatia. Some countries, like Ireland, India and South Africa generated more media attention than others – and it’s important to flag that since we collected reports in English, but are missing reports in other languages. This is the second year that we have collected media reports on and about the 28 … Continued

EUROPE / EPF

Restoring the Natural Order”: The religious extremists’ vision to mobilize European societies against human rights on sexuality and reproduction by Neil Datta, EPF, April 2018   This book reveals how a Christian extremist group, Agenda Europe, from the US and Europe, have been organising, fundraising and strategising since 2013 to overturn existing laws on basic human rights related to sexuality and reproduction, including to criminalise same-sex relationships, partnerships and marriages; forbid divorce; ban homosexuals from … Continued

POLAND – Allies or opponents? Medical doctors in the debate on women’s right to abortion in Poland

Why don’t gynaecologists in Poland engage socially and politically in activities that could lead to liberalization of the abortion law? What should happen for this situation to change? These questions were a starting point for formulating the objectives of a project implemented by the Foundation of Equality and Emancipation STER. This report, based on focus group discussions with medical students and residents, members of women’s organisations and groups, and practising doctors, is offered as a … Continued

THE BALKANS – Falling population numbers cannot be reversed by restrictive policy on abortion

Enormous numbers of people are migrating away from the Balkans to seek work elsewhere due to poor salaries, working and living conditions. In Kosovo, for example, in the winter of 2014-15, 100,000 people left within weeks (7% of the total population) when it became possible to enter Serbia with an identity card, and many then went illegally across other borders. In western Bulgaria and southeast Serbia, whole regions are depopulating, as governments have been unable … Continued

POLAND – Widespread opposition and condemnation again stops fundamentalist politicians from punitive law reform

Fundamentalists, led by activist Kaja Godek forced the Social Policy and Family Committee of the Polish parliament to debate the repressive “Stop abortion” bill on 2 July 2018. This bill aimed to criminalise abortions on grounds of fetal impairment, which under the existing narrow law make up 95% of all legal abortions carried out in Polish hospitals. The decision to hold this debate was a surprise, because the Committee had previously said it would not deal … Continued

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