USA – New York state passes law to ensure access to legal abortion

Reproductive rights advocates in New York, Massachusetts and other progressive states are launching campaigns to ensure access to abortion services in their states, in anticipation of further restrictions in conservative states. This is part of a nationwide strategy by Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union, and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts in case the Supreme Court overturns the 46-year-old Roe v Wade ruling that made abortion legal. The New York Reproductive Health Act removes the need for a … Continued

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

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

USA – A letter in response to the podcast: “The Good in the Other, the Doubt in Ourselves”

On 4 October 2018, Hanna Neuschwander wrote to Frances Kissling in response to Frances’ podcast of that title. This is her letter: Hi Frances, You don’t know me, but I felt compelled to write to you after listening to the recent episode of On Being that you recorded (“What Is Good in the Position of the Other?”). I can’t tell you how much this episode meant to me. As I listened to it, I felt … Continued

GLOBAL GAG RULE – Prescribing Chaos in Global Health: The Global Gag Rule from 1984-2018

The Center for Health and Gender Equity: CHANGE has just launched a report that maps the Global Gag Rule from 1984 to 2018, and shows the immediate impacts of Trump’s expanded Global Gag Rule in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. They write: “Trump’s expansion of the Global Gag Rule poses an unprecedented threat to health and human rights across the world and is having a severe effect on countries most in need of global support. This study … Continued

USA – Supreme Court hears case on whether there is a right to access unbiased medical information

On 20 March, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. The case challenges a California law called the Reproductive Freedom Accountability Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act, passed in 2015. The Act requires a disclosure by all reproductive health care facilities in the state. Licensed clinics must post a notice that the state provides low-cost contraception and abortion services to those who qualify. Unlicensed facilities … Continued

NAMIBIA, EL SALVADOR, USA – Why are so many women being prosecuted for miscarriages and stillbirth?

On 6 February, we reported the case of a woman from Namibia who was charged with murder, allegedly for using abortion pills to induce the termination her pregnancy, which was described as being in the last stage. The original media report said that the woman was taken to hospital because she was in great abdominal pain. It was then noticed that she was in labour. The report goes on: “…the nurses on duty while examining … Continued

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