USA – “Fetal heartbeat” law: yet another unconstitutional law to harass women and tie up the courts

Already mired in three lawsuits over abortion restrictions, Kentucky lawmakers are ratcheting up the stakes with a new bill in the Republican-dominated state Senate to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected (± 6 weeks). The American Civil Liberties Union, the state’s adversary in other ongoing court fights, warns the bill is blatantly unconstitutional and will immediately trigger a legal challenge. The legal standard set 45 years ago by the Supreme Court in … Continued

USA – Another kind of abortion ban

I wanted to provide abortions for my patients. My medical school wouldn’t teach me how. “Last year brought one of the toughest moments I’d ever faced as a family doctor. A woman had shown up for her appointment after a three-hour drive to one of our clinics in Arkansas, and we had to turn her away. A state restriction had gone into effect, requiring that abortion providers contract with a physician who has hospital-admitting privileges. … Continued

CANADA – Ottawa to encourage more countries to offer contraception and abortion, International Development Minister says

Canada will continue to encourage other countries to offer more family planning services, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the International Development Minister said on 11 November. She said that reproductive and sexual education and access to contraception, and eventually abortion, are important steps in eliminating poverty, especially among women: “What we want is for each child and each pregnancy to be wanted, and for mothers to have the means, that they be ready to receive that child. To … Continued

CANADA / IRELAND / NORTHERN IRELAND – Crossing Troubled Waters

This book examines and compares the stories of abortion access in Prince Edward Island, Canada, Northern Ireland and Ireland. It is co-edited by Dr Colleen MacQuarrie, Fiona Bloomer, Claire Pierson, and Shannon Stettner. It was launched on 19 November at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). The book considers, for each island, the nature of the discourse of abortion on the island, the impact that restrictions have had, ongoing efforts to improve access, and … Continued

USA – Abortion access is limited, but this travelling doctor is determined to provide care

It’s 11:30 pm in St Louis, and Dr Colleen McNicholas’ flight is delayed. She’s headed to Oklahoma, as she does each month, to work at an abortion clinic that has been closed for a week for lack of a doctor. Now 60 patients are on the next day’s schedule, waiting for her to provide care. Flight delays and travel hiccups aren’t new to McNicholas. She travels an average of 400 miles almost weekly to one … Continued

CANADA – Funding opportunity: New initiative launched

The Options for Pregnancy Termination (OPTions) Innovation Initiative is accepting proposals until 12 February 2019. The goal of the Initiative is to support bold ideas with big impact® on women’s and girls’ access to safe abortion in low- and middle-income countries. The Initiative seeks innovative and transformative approaches that put women and girls in control of where, when and how they terminate a pregnancy. The focus of this call is therefore to support the development … Continued

USA – A new helpline to answer legal questions about self-managed abortion pill use

As abortion access in the USA has become increasingly restricted, more women have turned to self-managed abortions with abortion pills. Self-managed abortions are at risk of becoming increasingly criminalized, which could disproportionately impact people of color, low-income people, immigrants and others who face significant barriers to reproductive health care access. In order to help people concerned about the legality of terminating their pregnancies themselves, a team of lawyers launched an abortion helpline and website in … Continued

USA – Charges against two women, in Indiana and Virginia, dismissed

On September 13, 2018, prosecutors in Chesterfield County, Virginia, finally dropped the criminal charge of “producing an abortion,” a class 4 felony, filed against Michelle Roberts. Almost three years ago, Ms Roberts had experienced a stillbirth at home and placed the fetal remains in the ground behind her house.

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