NORTHERN IRELAND – The domino effect starts here

“I was saying at work yesterday, it’s a bit like when the Berlin Wall came down – just 8 months ago, none of the main parties on the island of Ireland supported abortion rights. Now, the majority do and the rest are trying to catch up.” Goretti Horgan, Northern Ireland Alliance for Choice Following on from the incredible energy generated by the referendum win in Ireland, Labour member of the UK parliament Stella Creasy tabled … Continued

POLAND – Polish abortion rights advocates reported to the police, but no charges were brought (yet)

Dear Abortion Friends, Some time ago we, the Abortion Dream Team (an informal group working on destigmatisation of abortion) and Kobiety w Sieci (community of women with abortion experience who run the online forum and support each other), found out that two anti-choice organizations had filed reports with the police accusing us of committing two kinds of crimes and asking them to press charges against us for our activities. One supposed crime they accused us … Continued

IRELAND – Three great responses to the referendum result and how the future is already being shaped

Journalist Róisín Ingle said: “With the landslide for Yes, I finally felt like I belonged… The referendum result was Ireland confirming that women are equal citizens.” Journalist Una Mullally described what happened as a “collective victory driven by a national movement”. But she felt that with everyone clambering onto the victory wagon, young women were “already being written out of the story of repeal”. What was really remarkable, she said, “was the increase in turnout … Continued

ITALY – Thousands of women march to demand pro-choice laws

This article opens: “Ireland will hold a referendum on 25 May… But tough law is not always needed to actually restrict access to abortion: in some countries where abortion is legal, women face increasing problems to access it because non-objecting gynaecologists are simply not available.” Italy is one of the few countries that keeps a record of doctors who refuse to do abortions, which have been legally guaranteed since 1978. Over the past 20 years, … Continued

GERMANY – Medical Students for Choice call for abortion training in Germany’s medical system

  Abortion providers can be hard to find in Germany. In some cities there are none, and their number appears to be declining, while medical schools often fail to teach the procedure so crucial to women. There were around 101,200 abortions in Germany in 2017. Yet future doctor Alicia B was disturbed to find that abortion played virtually no role in her studies at Berlin’s Charité University Medical School. “In six years of studies… we … Continued

MADAGASCAR – Les discussions publiques autour de l’avortement sont très rares à Madagascar

(Public meetings about abortion are very rare in Madagascar. At this one, the room was full, especially with women. FP2020 is about the need for contraceptive use but its documents also talk about millions of women and young women exposed to the risk of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions globally. Young people are living their sexuality. More than 500 women and adolescents die each year in Madagascar from unsafe abortions. The meeting agreed they need … 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 – “Botched abortion lands woman in handcuffs”

We are quoting this “news” article from New Era in Namibia to give an example of how not to write a news article about an illegal abortion. What’s wrong with this article? 1) The number of weeks the woman was pregnant is unstated. 2) The use of the phrase “fully developed infant” may or may not be accurate. 3) The fact that the report says the nurses claimed to have noticed “a tablet” in the … Continued

COSTA RICA – Therapeutic abortion: a Costa Rican right ensnared in doubts and fears

On 29 November 2017, journalism student Paula Umaña published an in-depth feature for the weekly Semanario Universidad as part of Punto y Aparte, a mentoring programme for young journalists. The Tico Times is proud to translate and publish her original piece with Semanario Universidad about therapeutic abortion in Costa Rica. The following excerpts Part I. Two others will follow. Because of lack of knowledge and fear of legal consequences, health care professionals contribute to the obstacles … Continued

NEW ZEALAND – ALRANZ: Report of 2017

  The Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ had a busy year. They launched a new website, which includes information about doctors who refuse to provide reproductive health services; released the results of a poll commissioned in January that revealed the majority of New Zealanders are pro-choice in all circumstances; organised counter-demonstrations against anti-abortion types who were harassing women outside abortion clinics; appeared on a TV talk show with the then Prime Minister who was … Continued

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