Polish women to stage all-out strike to protest abortion ban

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Country’s government considering tightening local laws on terminations

by Siobhan Fenton Social Affairs Correspondent
Friday 30 September 2016

Women in Poland are to stage an all-out strike to protest the country’s plan to effectively ban abortions.

Female workers across the predominantly Catholic country will take part in the action on Monday, in an effort to disruptively draw attention to attempts to restrict Poland’s severely limited abortion laws even further.

Those taking part hope the strike will bring Polish society and the economy to a standstill.

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Source: The INdependent

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Russia’s Abortion Debate Is Back

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Sep. 29 2016 — 21:44
By Ola Cichowlas

Abortion rights are on the minds of citizens and officials across Europe this week.

In Ireland, protesters marched through the streets of Dublin in the thousands demanding their government hold a referendum to repeal restrictive abortion laws. The same week, the Polish parliament shocked Europe by voting through a draft law on a total abortion ban in its first reading, spurring protests across the country and even a scheduled national women’s strike next week. On Tuesday, Russia also reopened its own abortion debate.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, endorsed an anti-abortion petition earlier this week. The document, drafted by the religious groups “For Life” and “Orthodox Volunteers,” had been approved by a patriarchal commission on family, motherhood, and children, the church said in a statement.

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Source: Moscow Times

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Chile’s president defiant over abortion changes

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By Reeta Chakrabarti, BBC News
29 September 2016

Chile is one of only six nations in the world where a woman can be prosecuted for having an abortion whatever the circumstances. Its first female president, Michelle Bachelet, is trying to change that, against stiff opposition.

"I believe that women should have legally the possibility of making their own choices. In this country until now this is criminalised - if you interrupt your pregnancy, you will go to jail. And I believe this is not fair," Ms Bachelet told me.

"Women could be in an unhealthy situation because of rape, et cetera, and there might be women who don't want babies in that situation."

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Source: BBC.com

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U.S: The Hyde Amendment on abortion: four decades of injustice

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September 29, 2016 4:17 PM, News & Observer

By David A. Grimes

The Hyde Amendment denies Medicaid funding for poor women seeking abortion, except in rare circumstances. Forty years ago, and every year since, the U.S. Congress has passed it as a budget rider. As a social experiment, the Hyde Amendment has been a singular failure: It codifies social injustice, harms the most vulnerable among us and drives up costs to society. About 7 million Medicaid-eligible women of reproductive age live in the 32 states that do not cover abortion. Regrettably, North Carolina is one of these.

The amendment’s sponsor, the late Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, opposed reproductive rights. Since the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1973 that abortion was a constitutionally protected civil right, Hyde could attack abortion only through the power of the purse. An elderly, affluent and white man, Hyde was candid about his strategy, “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the ... Medicaid bill.” By default, he targeted poor women, the most vulnerable among us.

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Source: The News & Observer

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Zambia must protect women’s right to make free sexual and reproductive choices

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by Louise Carmody & Bob Mwiinga Munyati, Africa 29 Sep 2016 01:08 (South Africa)

As Zambians took to the polls last month they voted not only for their choice of president, but also in a constitutional referendum proposing changes to the bill of rights. While President Edgar Lungu was declared the winner of the election, political figures lamented the outcome of the failed referendum as a missed opportunity for Zambians to advance protection for social and economic rights after it didn’t meet the 50% voter turnout threshold required to make it a supreme law of the country. By LOUISE CARMODY and BOB MWIINGA MUNYATI.

For many women’s rights advocates, Zambia’s failed referendum is a welcome reprieve. The draft included problematic clauses that could have seriously undermined the human rights of women and girls in Zambia.

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Source: Daily Maverick

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Uganda Debates Abortion Bill to Save Lives and Money

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An estimated 300,000 women get illegal, and often unsafe, abortions in Uganda every year, and almost 1,500 die as a result. But a proposed bill to decriminalize the procedure is being stalled by religious leaders and politicians.

Written by William Davies
Published on September 29, 2016, News Deeply

KAMPALA, Uganda – At 17 years old, and four months’ pregnant with twins, Dorothy knew if she gave birth her family would kick her out of the house. So she did what hundreds of Ugandan teenagers do every day and sought out an illegal abortion.

“A friend took me to a health clinic that is hidden away,” she says. “There were lots of girls there, around 15 of them … They were lying on the floor.”

The clinic was clean, she says, but the equipment looked old, and there was just one bed where the operations were carried out. “I was given an injection in my arm that made me go to sleep and it seemed to be over very quickly,” she says. “When I came around, I could see the twins in a basin. I felt like killing myself when I saw them.”

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Source: News Deeply

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U.S.: The dangerous state laws that are punishing pregnant women

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In the past 10 years, arrests and forced interventions of pregnant women have skyrocketed.

By Lynn M. Paltrow and Lisa K. Sangoi
Think Progress

On August 31, 2016, Purvi Patel walked out of the Indiana Women’s Prison, after fighting a conviction and 20-year sentence for attempting to have an abortion. By the time she won her appeal, she had already spent over a year in prison.

While the fight for reproductive rights is generally thought of as one about access to abortion and contraception, it is increasingly clear that attacks on reproductive rights also often involve the use of the criminal legal system.

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Source: Think Progress

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22 million unsafe abortions worldwide

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Cape Times / 29 September 2016, 05:50am
Lisa Isaacs

ABOUT 22 million unsafe abortions are estimated to take place worldwide each year, almost all in developing countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

In light of International Safe Abortions day on Wednesday, the staggering numbers of women who undergo unsafe abortions and are killed have come in to focus, with an estimated 220 deaths recorded for every 100 000 unsafe abortions in developing regions and 520 deaths per 100 000 unsafe abortions in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Source: Cape Times

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South Africa and women’s healthcare rights: One step forward, two steps back?

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by Marelise van der Merwe
29 Sep 2016 12:07 (South Africa), Daily Maverick

As the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council continues in Geneva, delegates have been negotiating a key resolution expected to be deposited on Thursday and voted on by the end of the week – a resolution on maternal mortality and morbidity, which could impact some 830 preventable deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth each day.

On Wednesday September 28, which also marked the Global Day of Action for Safe and Legal Abortion, the UN spoke out against countries that still prohibited termination of pregnancy or had restrictive laws. According to a UN statement issued by the Office of the High Commissioner, in the 21st century, unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. World Health Organisation (WHO) data adds that about 22-million unsafe abortions take place each year worldwide, with an estimated 47,000 women dying annually from complications resulting from the resort to unsafe practices for termination of pregnancy.

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Source: Daily Maverick

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Backstreet Abortion, a Reality in Burundi

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by Diane Uwimana
09-29-2016, IWACU English News

The association of Women fighting against HIV/AIDS and Malaria-SFBLSP Burundi celebrated on 28 September the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. Alarming figures reflect clandestine abortion despite several consequences.
Esperance Ntirampeba: “Banning backstreet abortion is a concern to everybody”

“We have conducted a sample investigation in four provinces including Bubanza, Cibitoke, Bujumbura and Bujumbura city and it reveals that the figures increase year after year,” said Jean Nkeshimana, project coordinator in SFBLSP. He says Bujumbura city comes first among the four provinces where backstreet abortion is carried out.

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Source: IWACU English News

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