What’s been happening in Ireland

Introduction In the midst of the continuing shower of news from all over the world that I share with you, I’ve been collecting stories for a feature on Ireland. This is not a definitive piece, that will come from those who have been on the frontlines, but is based primarily on written information from a few key people and what has been in the media. This history describes an almost unique series of events, and … Continued

MALTA – First ever pro-choice movement to launch this weekend

Voice for Choice, Malta’s first ever pro-choice movement is set to launch this weekend to campaign for the legalisation of abortion. The Women’s Rights Foundation and Moviment Graffitti have been sharing an invitation to the upcoming launch on social media: “We are a group of civil society organisations and individuals that together want to work for reproductive rights and justice in Malta. We are grassroots organisations that represent various sectors of our society, as well … Continued

GERMANY – Doctors now allowed to say they provide abortions, but that’s all

On 6 February 2019, the German Cabinet approved a compromise amendment to the Penal Code on “advertisement of abortion” and on 21 February, the Parliament approved the amendment. It allows doctors to state in websites/literature describing their health services that they provide abortion services. But they are still prohibited from providing any further information. The Social Democratic Party and opposition parties had wanted to remove the paragraph from the Penal Code altogether, but Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) … Continued

NORWAY – New Government backsliding on abortion rights

The government of Norway since the last election in 2017 had been led by a coalition of three parties. Last autumn, a fourth (anti-abortion) party was invited to join the coalition in order for the other three parties to obtain a majority of seats. The negotiations with this new party led to a new “regulation of the Norwegian abortion law”. Since 1978, the law had permitted abortion on request up to 12 weeks, with no … Continued

NORTHERN IRELAND – 62,000 people signed a petition supporting legal abortion in Northern Ireland

On 26 February 2019, 28 women walked over Westminster Bridge to the UK Parliament in solidarity with the 28 women who every week have to fly from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK for an abortion. The women included actors Siobhan McSweeney and Nicola Coughlan, stars of the hit television show Derry Girls. The march called for the extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland. Their suitcases contained sheets of paper with the … Continued

UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN -Belgian Minister to take Brussels Declaration ”Right to abortion” to the Commission

Rudy Demotte, Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, is due to go to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, 10-14 March. Demotte’s message is clear: a woman’s right to abortion needs to be hammered home. The trip is with a view to taking the Brussels Declaration, which is calling for legalising abortion, his department reported.  The Declaration gathered more than 2,500 signatures last year (www.droitavortement.com), and champions treating … Continued

ABORTION SUPPORT NETWORK – Expands support to women from Malta and Gibraltar

The Abortion Support Network (ASN), a UK-based charity providing financial assistance, practical information and accommodation to those living in countries with restrictive abortion laws, announced today that they have expanded their services to people resident in Malta and Gibraltar. Anyone in those countries will be able to ring the ASN helpline, visit their website or send an email and receive confidential, non-judgmental information about the least expensive way to arrange abortion, travel to England, Netherlands … Continued

ISLE OF MAN – First place in the British Isles to decriminalise abortion

The Abortion Reform Bill was passed in late 2018 with unanimous support of members of the House of Keys (the parliament) and has now received royal assent. The law allows abortion on request to 14 weeks and in certain circumstances at 15–23 weeks. From 24 weeks, it is permitted when pregnancy is a risk to the woman’s life or if the baby when born would suffer serious impairment or die shortly after birth. The law also obliges … Continued

SPAIN – Court rules in favour of Association of Accredited Abortion Clinics and dismisses all charges

The Association of Christian Lawyers had sued the Association of Accredited Abortion Clinics (ACAI) “for unfair competition and for disseminating misleading information on its website”. The court rejected all the charges against ACAI as having no legitimacy because there was no economic competition between the two nor any commercial activity involved. The judge also considered that the “spiritual interests” of the Christian association could not enter into this lawsuit. In dismissing all the charges against … Continued

Germany: Government law reform proposal maintains abortion stigma

The timing and content of the German government’s proposed way forward to address the use of Penal Code §219a to target physicians providing lawful abortion services has been roundly criticised for failing women and their health care providers.[1] In force since 1933, §219a is entitled “advertisement for termination of pregnancy” and criminalises those who offer abortion services “for material gain or in a grossly inappropriate manner”. In Germany, abortion is a crime, which is not … Continued

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