The end of 2016 marked the close of a century since the first silent film in the United States addressed abortion. In these past 100 years, film, television, and our popular culture have addressed abortion in evolving ways: from the pre-code films of the 1920s, to the exploitation films of the 1940s, to television plotlines in support of legal abortion in the 1960s, to the alternately stigmatizing and stigma-busting portrayals of the 1990s and early 21st century.
On 9 December 2016, an Extraordinary Cabinet meeting chaired by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, has pardoned 62 girls and women imprisoned for abortions when they were under the age of 16. Justice Minister, Johnston Busingye, explained to the New Times that the President was exercising his constitutional right under the prerogative of mercy.
On 15 December 2016, CNN reported that the Constitutional Commission of the Chilean Senate had decided that the bill to decriminalise abortion on three grounds – risk to the woman’s life, rape and fatal fetal anomaly – could be sent to the floor of the Senate for a final vote on 10 January 2017. But the vote did not happen that day.
In mid-2016, a Citizens’ Assembly was initiated by the Irish Government to consider the views of the country on the future of the eighth amendment to the Constitution, which gives equal right to life to an embryo/fetus as to the woman carrying it. On 8 January, the Irish Times reports that the group discussed for the first time what their eventual recommendations on possible changes to the law might look like.
Serbian government minister without portfolio responsible for demography and population policy, has claimed that the “uproar” (the term reported by Global Voices) over alleged plans to establish a state body to persuade women to avoid abortions is all “a misunderstanding”.