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

FETAL ANOMALY – Ending a pregnancy because of Down’s Syndrome is not a precursor to eugenics

On 19 August, Quartz published a post about the prevalence of Down syndrome in Iceland in which the author Bonnie Rochman writes: “In Iceland, nearly every woman who undergoes prenatal testing and whose fetus receives a diagnosis of Down syndrome decides to end her pregnancy.”

INDIA – Need an abortion: join the long march to the Supreme Court in Delhi

  The Supreme Court on Friday said that a minor rape victim should not be forced to knock the doors of the court for getting permission to terminate her pregnancy arising out of any sexual offence.   On 25 August, the Supreme Court ruled that a rape victim who is a minor should not be forced to knock on the doors of the Court for permission to terminate her pregnancy arising out of any sexual … Continued

POLAND – An anti-abortion group yet again seeks to ban abortions, this time on the ground of fetal anomaly

  A Polish anti-abortion group recently asked the speaker of the lower house of the parliament to register a citizens’ legislative initiative called the Stop Abortion Committee. The group plan to collect signatures supporting legislation to prohibit abortions on the grounds of serious fetal anomaly, one of the few indications for legal abortion left in Poland since 1993, and the reason for almost all the legal abortions women can get. These are, however, only a … Continued

Voice for Choice challenges Equality and Human Rights Commissioner’s Bill, which violates human rights in pregnancy

  Voice for Choice, the UK’s national coalition of pro-choice campaigning organisations, has submitted a complaint to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) regarding one of its Commissioners, Lord Shinkwin. Lord Shinkwin has introduced a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Lords that, if passed, would gravely violate fundamental human rights in pregnancy. Lord Shinkwin was appointed a Commissioner by the Government Equalities Office earlier this year, and has since then been lobbying … Continued

Abortion is in the news and in the courts across India

Perhaps the most important headline is that 10 women die every day in India as a result of unsafe abortion. That some 30,200 abortions take place daily in India, half of which are unsafe, causing some 3,600 women to experience complications resulting in morbidity and mortality on a daily basis. That unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal deaths in India, contributing to 8% of all maternal deaths annually.  In a country that … Continued

Central government has been delaying law reform on abortion for fetal anomaly post-20 weeks since 2014

 Delay in amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act to provide women more time to seek abortion after a diagnosis of serious fetal anomaly is forcing women to go to the Supreme Court for permission to end their pregnancies. The most recent case was a Kolkata-based woman in whom a congenital condition was diagnosed in the fetus on 25 May, when she was beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, which was confirmed a week later. … Continued

Breaking news: New prime minister of Ireland announces an abortion referendum in 2018

Ireland’s new prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has just announced that a referendum will take place in Ireland sometime in 2018 on the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution, which gives equal rights to a pregnant woman and her fetus. He has tasked the Minister of Health, Simon Harris, with the responsibility for bringing forward the legislation and setting a date as soon as possible. Simon Harris said recently to the Irish Times, in response to … Continued

Women’s Link sues the Region of Murcia Health Department in Spain for violating the right to a dignified abortion

Women’s Link is suing the Health Department on behalf of “Ana”, a woman who was denied information by the Health Department about a serious fetal condition for almost six weeks during her pregnancy. She also faced discrimination in the Santa Lucía de Cartagena Public Hospital in Murcia, and was prevented from accessing abortion services in a dignified manner. As a result, she suffered serious physical and psychological harm. On International Women’s Day, 8 March, Women’s … Continued

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