PHILIPPINES – Statement on women’s organization-led draft bill to decriminalize abortion

On May 28, International Day of Action for Women’s Health, Atty. Clara Rita Padilla of EnGendeRights, a member organization of the Philippine Safe Abortion Network (PINSAN) posted a photo of herself on Facebook holding a copy of the proposed bill to decriminalize abortion in the Philippines. Since then, the Facebook post has gone viral with 7,600 shares and has gotten over 11,000 positive reactions (like, love and care) while getting 2,000 angry reactions. Majority of the 12,000 … Continued

FEATURE: NIGERIA – Reproductive Health Information Hotline: an intervention towards addressing women’s challenges within the Covid-19 outbreak

In Nigeria, where abortion is legally restricted except to save a woman’s life, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to more limited and complicated sexual reproductive health and abortion services. As the spread of the virus increases quite quickly, the number of people who test positive has been increasing daily. Schools, companies and society have implemented the lockdown strategy in both the formal and informal sectors, including the recommendation to work from home (for office workers) to limit the pandemic. Almost 200 million people, 49% of them women, stocked their homes with goods for more than four weeks, as a strategy to prevent the spread of the virus. In this situation, GIWYN has continued to manage the Ms Rosy Hotline, working from home to increase access to reproductive health information and services. Access to information on effective contraception, abortion options and essential medicines is one of the most cost-effective, practical community interventions that will help to reduce unintended pregnancy and deaths that are preventable. For women to have access to the reproductive health services they need, the hotline has become vital, particularly with the health care system overburdened.

AFGHANISTAN – Humanitarian disaster looming

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has warned that Afghanistan faces a humanitarian disaster as Covid-19 spreads undetected. Confirmed cases rose by 684% in May alone. They said that the Health Ministry has the capacity to test 2,000 suspected patients each day, but are receiving between five and ten times as many samples. “That means 80-90% of potential cases are not being tested. Afghanistan has one of the highest test positivity rates (40%) of all the … Continued

FRANCE – Request by women’s rights members of parliament to extend the upper time limit for surgical abortion during the pandemic fails

On 28 May, a request for an extension of the upper time limits for surgical abortion by two weeks, from 14 weeks to 16 weeks LMP, was rejected by the Senate by 156 votes to 143, with 37 abstentions. Proposing the extension was Senator Laurence Rossignol (top left), former Minister of Women’s Rights, Laurence Cohen (top right) of the French Communist Party also involved in women’s rights, and a number of professional organisations. It was … Continued

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