IRELAND: NORTH AND SOUTH – Women from Northern Ireland to have access to abortion in the South (next year…)

Simon Harris, the Irish Health Minister, has told the main political parties in Northern Ireland that access to abortion won’t stop at the border. He told the Festival of the People, an annual community event in West Belfast, that he was planning to ensure that women in Northern Ireland will be able to access terminations through the Irish health service after the law is reformed. He also called on the Northern Irish political parties to … Continued

EUROPE – An app which advises young women whether they can avoid pregnancy based on daily body temperature leads to… young women GETTING PREGNANT!

A fancy app which was certified as a contraceptive method in Europe by the German medicines agency Tüv Süd, based on its claim to be 93% effective, has been found to be leading to many unintended pregnancies. In January 2018, it was reported for investigation to the Swedish Medical Products Agency after one hospital found 37 cases of pregnancies in women using it among 668 women seeking abortions in a three-month period in late 2017. … Continued

UNITED KINGDOM –  Dramatic decline in teenage pregnancies in the UK

A new report, Social media, SRE and Sensible Drinking: Understanding the dramatic decline in teenage pregnancy, by Bpas, published in July 2018, examined key trends in teenage lifestyles and outlook, as well as young people’s experience of sex and relationships education (SRE) and use of contraception. It is based on qualitative and quantitative research conducted by YouGov and Bpas with four online focus groups and a demographically weighted survey of 1,004 16-18 year olds. The report’s … Continued

ISLE OF MAN – Legislative Council has approved the Abortion Reform Bill: hooray!!!

The Abortion Reform Bill was approved in full by the Legislative Council on 6 July 2018. There were 71 proposed amendments but efforts by the one Council member who was against the bill to add restrictions to the various clauses, a bishop, all failed. Numerous, mainly technical amendments were approved, as well as an amendment to ensure that fetal remains would continue to be treated with respect. The final vote was 8-1 in favour. The … Continued

BELGIUM – Hi-jacked: the minimal changes to the Belgian abortion law due to ‘political compromise’

Commentary by Carine Vrancken, LUNA Abortion Centre, Hasselt, Belgium Since mid-2016, several Belgian opposition political parties have submitted bills to change the abortion law. Some of them have been uncomplicated (take the existing text out of the penal code and put it in a civil law, without changing the content) while others have proposed a substantial change (take abortion out of the penal code, allow abortion on request up to the 20th week of pregnancy … Continued

TWO NEWS SHORTS: ANTI-ABORTION BEHAVIOUR REJECTED  

AUSTRALIA – Safe zones outside abortion clinics are welcome The New South Wales state government recently passed a law imposing a ban on anti-abortion protests outside abortion clinics. A commentary in response defends the ban by saying: “If you live in Victoria or one of the four other [Australian] states with such bans, then you won’t have seen one of these protests for a few years…. Still, I remember what the ‘protests’ looked like. They were … Continued

BELGIUM – Decriminalisation bill debate concludes in the Justice Commission

The debates on taking abortion out of the Penal Code in Belgium are over, at least in the Justice Commission of the Chamber of Representatives. The hearings almost all went in the same direction: that abortion must be removed from the Penal Code. In early July, the Justice Commission will look at the issue once more and then a vote should be taken. For Karine Lalieux, the Socialist MP behind the decriminalisation bill, it would … Continued

EUROPE / SEXUALITY EDUCATION – The Current State of Sexuality Education in Cyprus, Georgia, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands: Insights from a Youth Perspective

Aiming to bring attention to the need for comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and to empower and encourage young leaders to influence their national policies, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality and YouAct initiated the “Europe for CSE” project, with support from ShareNet. Youth advocates from Cyprus, Georgia, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands joined forces, worked online and met in Amsterdam to set-up concrete advocacy plans at national level, including meetings with volunteers, round tables, online campaigns … Continued

IRELAND – Justice for Ms Y – finally

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) of Ireland has acknowledged liability and said it is willing to compensate a young woman known as Ms Y for failing to ensure she was provided with an abortion when she first sought one as a teenager in 2014. Ms Y sought refugee status in Ireland after she was kidnapped, beaten, and repeatedly raped by the head of a paramilitary organisation in her home country. She discovered she was … Continued

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