INDIA – Courts and medical reports are not the answer

According to an article in the Lancet of December 2015, 15.6 million abortions occurred in India, of which 73% were sought outside health facilities, despite India having a very liberal abortion law. In 2017, in what was considered a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India ruled that individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right” as part of the right to life and liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution. This judgment should have … Continued

SENEGAL – A young couple, both school students, sent to prison for a month for abortion

  In Senegal, abortion is illegal in all cases except to save the woman’s life; approval for inducing “therapeutic abortions” must come from three doctors, one of whom is independently assigned by the courts. Giving advice on where or how to access abortion is a criminal offence. There were an estimated 51,500 abortions in Senegal in 2012, and virtually all of them were clandestine and unsafe, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Seventy-three per cent of … Continued

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

Challenges to implementing safe, legal abortion in Rwanda

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) is the main legal instrument for the protection of the rights of women and girls in Africa and the most comprehensive on women’s rights globally. Rwanda signed and ratified the  Protocol in 2004 but placed a reservation on Article 14.2.C, which stipulates that countries should “protect the reproductive rights of women by authorizing medical abortion … Continued

The Association of Women Jurists of Senegal Pressure Government

The Association of Women Jurists of Senegal continue to put pressure on the government for abortion to be legalised following rape and incest. Some 250 cases of rape of girls aged 13 to 18 years which led to a pregnancy in 52 cases were reported in the first 11 months of 2016 in Senegal. Of those, at least 25 were cases of incest followed by pregnancy, yet abortion on the grounds of rape and incest is not permitted.

Why don’t humanitarian organizations provide safe abortion services?

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Although sexual and reproductive health services have become more available in humanitarian settings over the last decade, safe abortion services are still rarely provided. The authors’ observations suggest that four reasons are typically given for this gap: ‘There’s no need’; ‘Abortion is too complicated to provide in crises’; ‘Donors don’t fund abortion services’; and ‘Abortion is illegal’.

Ireland: Listener sends a powerful response to a radio talk show discussion on abortion following rape

Founder of the Irish Abortion Survivors Network, Melissa Ohden, on a radio show outlined her belief that abortion should not be allowed in cases of rape. Her comments were met with a passionate reaction from both sides of the issue, as listeners tweeted and texted into the show. Read this response on the importance of choice.

Burundian women in Tanzanian refugee camps women experience pregnancy after rape

Burundian women living in Tanzanian refugee camps have reported fleeing their homes after being raped, but in the refugee camps rape is also alarmingly prevalent. According to interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch, many women do not receive proper post-rape care, and as abortion is only legally available in Tanzania when needed to save a woman’s life, many are forced to have the children.

Activists protest in Buenos Aires after 12-year-old is denied legal abortion

They were demanding the implementation of existing legislation on when abortion is legal and the impeachment of Salta province officials who refused an abortion to the girl, who became pregnant after being raped by a group of five men and three adolescent boys. The abortion would have been legal because her pregnancy was the result of rape, her health was at risk and her mental state also permitted it, but Juana did not receive proper medical care, emergency anti-HIV prophylaxis or an abortion. Her mother filed a complaint before the Judiciary, but even then the provincial government did not allow an immediate pregnancy test nor an abortion.

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