CONCEPT FOUNDATION – Quality-assured mifepristone–misoprostol combi-pack

The Concept Foundation is finalizing the first part of a project with the goal to increase the availability and accessibility of quality-assured, affordable combi-packs of medical abortion pills to all women who seek a safe medical abortion. So far, the groundwork has been laid for work in two regions: Central Asia and Southern Africa. The momentum has led to a second phase of funding to support the longer-term initiatives for increased access to these critical … Continued

ARGENTINA- Constitutional dialogues and abortion law reform in Argentina: what’s next?

In 2018, constitutional dialogue about abortion spread outwards from the agenda of a growing but not massive number of feminist groups; professionalized NGOs; networks of teachers, social workers, journalists, health providers and lawyers. The debate finally reached the most popular TV shows and every media outlet, the tables of millions of households, and the national Congress.

MEXICO – Story Circles and abortion stigma in Mexico: a mixed-methods evaluation of a new intervention for reducing individual level abortion stigma

This study presents the results of an evaluation of a Story Circles intervention to reduce individual level abortion stigma among women who have experienced abortion in Mexico. Using a mixed-methods approach, the study explored whether participation in the intervention reduced 18 women’s experience of stigma one month after having participated.

EUROPEAN UNION: TELEMEDICINE – Abortion by telemedicine in the European Union

This paper analyses an important set of legal issues raised by the telemedical provision of abortion pills. Focusing on the case of European Union (EU) law, it suggests that a properly accredited doctor seeking to treat a patient with abortion pills is entitled, in principle, to rely on EU rules of free movement to protect their access to patients in other member states, and women facing unwanted pregnancies likewise have legal rights to access the services thus offered.

PAKISTAN – Notes from the field: political norm change for abortion in Pakistan

This commentary describes positive political norm change on abortion despite a restrictive abortion law. As we describe it, the approach in Pakistan has involved careful efforts to maintain government ownership, leadership, and accountability for safe abortion care and service delivery by Pakistani health authorities early and throughout, with technical support from civil society as requested. This commentary suggests that careful collaboration and mutual support by NGOs working on expanding access to abortion can have a lasting and efficient impact on improving political norms and government ownership over abortion care.

REFUGEES/MIGRATION: MEDITERRANEAN – “More Than One Million Pains”

Every year since 2014, tens of thousands of refugees and migrants have travelled the central Mediterranean route to Italy, one of the most active and dangerous migration passageways in the world. Along the way, many experience kidnapping, exploitation, extortion, and enslavement. Large numbers die in the desert, are confined to hellish detention centers in Libya, or drown at sea. Sexual violence against refugee and migrant women and girls is rampant throughout the route. Women and girls also face sexual violence, including sexual exploitation and trafficking, in Italy. Less is known about the men and boys who undertake this journey.

JAMAICA – Groups and individuals call for decriminalisation of abortion in Jamaica

On 4 February 2019, in support of the motion tabled in June last year by member of Parliament Julia Cuthbert-Flynn calling for abortion law reform, the Partnership for Women’s Health and Wellbeing published a submission to the Human Resources and Development Committee of Parliament considering the motion with a long, detailed and passionate defence of why safe abortion is crucial for women. It is signed by 50 individuals and five organisations, and opens as follows:

ITALY – 10,000 abortion rights supporters protest against anti-abortion conference

Pro-choice activists took to the streets of Verona on 31 March to protest against a US-funded anti-abortion conference attended by Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, whose coalition partner Luigi Di Maio described anti-abortion rhetoric as medieval. Vice Premier Salvini did say, however, that the question of legalised abortion is not on the government’s agenda. Academics and political liberals came out against the Congress, and a coalition of some 30 civic organisations collected 147,000 signatures to … Continued

KENYA – Statement by 12 civil society organisations on abortion stigma in Kenya

We the undersigned 12 civil society organizations want to sound the alarm regarding women and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health services and information, including on abortion.  We are specifically concerned about irresponsible billboards with misleading information on abortion that recently were posted in Nairobi. The messages on the billboards will fuel the stigma that surrounds abortion. Every day seven women and girls die from unsafe abortion in Kenya, yet these deaths are entirely … Continued

FRANCE – “They could have had a cervical smear strike, non?” Osez le feminisme

In mid-March 2019, a French gynaecologists’ union threatened to stop doing abortions in an attempt to force the Health Minister to meet them to discuss what they called a lack of insurance funds for colleagues convicted of medical errors. The union, Syngof, which represents about a quarter of France’s gynaecologists and obstetricians, wrote to its 1,600 members calling on them to be prepared to stop carrying out abortions to make themselves heard and force the … Continued

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