Malawi – ‘There are times when the whole country runs out of condoms’

'There are times when the whole country runs out of condoms'
Organisations around the world have been badly hit by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the so-called global gag rule. Here’s what’s happening in Malawi.

July 13, 2019
Charlotte Ryan reports from Malawi

ANGELA SOUZA CAREFULLY unwraps a large box of condoms, individually packaged in silver foil. There is no branding on each one, though the red-blue-and-white USAID sticker on the side of the box suggests their origin.

In this context, they appear as valuable as silver coins. Rodney Chalera, the programmes manager at the advocacy group where Angela also works in Lilongwe, Malawi, explains that there are times “when the whole country runs out of condoms”. Indeed, by the close of the afternoon, two women had asked for some for the road. Just in case.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/global-gag-order-malawi-4711902-Jul2019/

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MP fears being ‘ousted’ after voting against decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland

MP fears being ‘ousted’ after voting against decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland
‘It was a free vote, a conscience vote. I didn’t rebel or vote against the party whip. And yet now it’s virtually certain that abusive party activists will make sure I’m deselected and lose the job I love’

Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent
July 13, 2019

An MP for the Scottish National Party has raised concerns she will be deselected by the party after voting against the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.

MPs resoundingly backed the right to abortion in the country in a historic vote earlier in the week. Northern Ireland currently has a ban on abortion in almost all cases – even rape or incest. Women seeking a termination can face life imprisonment.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/northern-ireland-abortion-lisa-cameron-snp-mp-deselection-a9003691.html

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India – A human health project

A human health project
Empowering women to make reproductive choices and opt for quality family planning services can help India not only address the fertility challenge but fulfill the ICPD pledge

Friday, 12 July 2019
Swapna Majumdar

Ever since 1989, July 11 is observed as the World Population Day to draw attention to issues surrounding human population. The urgent need to provide an enabling environment to facilitate women’s autonomy in reproductive decisions was underlined five years later in 1994 at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Here, for the first time, an international agreement, recognising the right to sexual and reproductive health, was signed by 179 countries, including India.

Twenty five years have passed since the historic ICPD Programme of Action. Although India has taken several measures to provide universal access to reproductive health services, including contraceptives, has it really delivered on its promise to give women the right to choose when, if and how many children to have?

Continued: https://www.dailypioneer.com/2019/columnists/a-human-health-project.html

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The informal networks resisting Honduras’s abortion ban

The informal networks resisting Honduras's abortion ban
Through hotlines and clinics, activists and health experts are trying to change the stigma associated with abortion.

Anna-Cat Brigida
July 12, 2019

Tegucigalpa, Honduras - At 22 years old, Ana Padilla was certain of one thing: she did not want to be a mother. So when she found out she was pregnant six years ago, she frantically called a friend to see if she knew how to get an abortion, which is illegal under all circumstances in Honduras. The friend calmed her nerves and gave her the phone number of someone she knew who clandestinely sold mifepristone and misoprostol, pills used for at-home abortions.

"I was desperate in that moment," says Padilla, adding that the experience of buying the pills was "mysterious", like a drug deal.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/informal-networks-resisting-honduras-abortion-ban-190712162754747.html

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USA – Conservatives Are Making Abortion Rights More Popular By Attacking Them

Conservatives Are Making Abortion Rights More Popular By Attacking Them
It seems some people don't know what they have until it's almost gone.

by Marie Solis
Jul 12 2019

Escalating attacks on abortion rights may be contributing to a surge in pro-choice sentiment, according to a new ABC News/ Washington Post poll.

The findings show support for abortion has hit a 24-year high in the U.S., with 60 percent of Americans agreeing that the procedure should be legal “in all or most cases,” and 27 percent saying it should be legal “in all cases.”

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/j5wzag/conservative-attacks-are-making-abortion-rights-more-popular-poll

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The Guardian view on abortion in Northern Ireland: standing up for women’s rights

The Guardian view on abortion in Northern Ireland: standing up for women’s rights
Editorial
With devolution still on hold, the decision by a huge majority of MPs to vote in favour of equal marriage and abortion should be welcomed

Thu 11 Jul 2019

The law on abortion in Northern Ireland is an anomaly that should have been dealt with long ago. The near-total ban, dating back to 1861 and including abortion in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality, is among the most restrictive in the world. It is also an affront to the rights of women – as both the UK supreme court and a United Nations committee ruled separately last year.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/11/the-guardian-view-on-abortion-in-northern-ireland-standing-up-for-womens-rights

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Ireland – ‘What happened in relation to Holles Street was pretty disgusting’ – Simon Harris says exclusion zones will be a priority

'What happened in relation to Holles Street was pretty disgusting' - Simon Harris says exclusion zones will be a priority
“We shouldn’t have to change the law to have a basic understanding of decency,” Harris said.

July 11, 2019

EXCLUSION ZONES OUTSIDE hospitals and GP surgeries will be a “major priority” in the new Dáil term, according to Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Exclusion zones are intended to prevent protesters demonstrating within a certain distance of facilities providing abortion care.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/exclusion-zones-around-hospitals-4720345-Jul2019/

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The Right to an Abortion Is Under Threat. But States Are Stepping Up to Protect It

The Right to an Abortion Is Under Threat. But States Are Stepping Up to Protect It

By Andrea Miller
July 11, 2019

In 2016, candidate Donald Trump said that determining whether abortion is legal should “go back to the individual states.”

Today, states are indeed setting the terms. While hundreds of laws restricting abortion have passed in the states since Roe, creating significant barriers for many, particularly low-income women, women of color, young women and women living in rural communities, this year, a shocking number of states from Alabama to Ohio have acted with exceptional vigor, passing near-total bans in rapid succession.

Continued: https://time.com/5624770/abortion-rights-states-nirh-report/

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Kenya – Guidelines can stop unnecessary abortion deaths

Guidelines can stop unnecessary abortion deaths
Unsafe abortions could be one of the main causes of maternal mortality in Kenya.

By GEORGE MORARA
July 11, 2019

In April 2012, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights released a report on the status of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in Kenya. This was the result of a public inquiry following a complaint by the Federation of Women Lawyers and the Centre for Reproductive Rights that, despite having in place a progressive legal and policy framework, women and girls still face sexual and reproductive health violations.

ARBITRARILY DRAWN

The KNCHR cited several barriers that impede access to quality sexual and reproductive health services — including unavailability of abortion and post-abortion services, lack of accurate and comprehensive information and high cost of services.

Continued: https://mobile.nation.co.ke/blogs/Guidelines-can-stop-unnecessary-abortion-deaths/1949942-5192566-ck62ik/index.html

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The Long Road Ahead For Abortion & Same-Sex Marriage In Northern Ireland

The Long Road Ahead For Abortion & Same-Sex Marriage In Northern Ireland

Emma Gallen, Alliance For Choice
10 July 2019

Last year, when the results of Ireland’s big referenda on same-sex marriage and abortion rights came, people knew what was coming. There had been a build up, and they were ready to celebrate (or commiserate) surrounded by those they had campaigned alongside for decades.

By contrast, last night in Northern Ireland, after MPs in Westminster surprised us all by actually voting in favour of liberalising abortion and extending same-sex marriage to us if our executive – Stormont – isn’t sitting by 21st October (ICYMI they’ve been on hiatus since January 2017), festivities were a bit more last minute.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2019/07/237483/abortion-rights-northern-ireland

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