Ireland: 1861-2017: the divisive history of abortion

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1861-2017: the divisive history of abortion

December 14 2017

1861: Abortion is made a criminal offence in Ireland under the Offences Against the Person Act.

1983: Referendum on the Eighth Amendment is passed by a two-to-one margin. The resulting Article 40.3.3 in the Constitution guarantees equal status to the lives of a mother and unborn child.

1991: Ireland signs the EU Maastricht Treaty, but gets guarantee its abortion law will not be affected.

Continued at source: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/18612017-the-divisive-history-of-abortion-36407136.html

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Eighth Amendment: a watershed on abortion

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Eighth Amendment: a watershed on abortion
In drawing up a referendum wording and draft legislation, the Government has more scope than many believed

Dec 14, 2017

One of the peculiarities of the Irish debate on abortion in the early 1980s – a debate that was to culminate, but not find resolution, in the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution – was that it was the anti-abortion side that set the terms. In the United States and mainland Europe, the momentum in those years was generated by pro-choice lobbies, but in Ireland the current moved in the opposite direction. Those who sought a more restrictive regime initially did all the running, and in time, by out-organising their opponents on the ground and skilfully playing politicians off against one another, they succeeded in having a ban on abortion written into the Constitution. Their fear was always that future, more liberal judges or politicians could move ahead of public opinion and pave the way for legal abortion.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/eighth-amendment-a-watershed-on-abortion-1.3326263

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The rate of abortion in Australia is lower than you think

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The rate of abortion in Australia is lower than you think
By the National Reporting Team's Alison Branley and medical reporter Sophie Scott

Updated December 13, 2017

An ABC investigation has found that Australia has been following international trends and many of the available statistics point to a marked reduction in terminations across the country to a rate as low as 13.5 per 1,000 women.

Despite the available evidence, key opinion leaders, including the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, academics and family planning clinics, continue to mistakenly suggest Australia has one of the highest rates of abortion in the developed world — even though it is lower than countries like the UK and Canada.

Continued at source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/the-rate-of-abortion-in-australia-is-lower-than-you-think/9250122

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Ireland: Pressure increases on Government after committee votes on abortion

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Pressure increases on Government after committee votes on abortion
Possible dates for referendum on Eighth Amendment are May 14th and June 8th

Dec 14, 2017
Sarah Bardon

The Oireachtas committee on the amendment has concluded that a number of significant changes should to be made to abortion laws in Ireland.

Pressure has increased on the Government to hold a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and provide abortions up to 12 weeks following the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee.

The Oireachtas committee on the amendment has concluded that a number of significant changes should to be made to abortion laws in Ireland.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/pressure-increases-on-government-after-committee-votes-on-abortion-1.3326633

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UK: Pregnant women ‘so distressed by anti-abortion protesters they refused to leave clinic in fire alarm’, MPs told as Government considers buffer zones

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Pregnant women 'so distressed by anti-abortion protesters they refused to leave clinic in fire alarm', MPs told as Government considers buffer zones

MPs met today to consider how to protect women from harassment at abortion clinics

Francesca Gillett
Dec 13, 2017

Pregnant women have been left so distressed by pro-life protesters that they have refused to leave abortion clinics even during a fire alarm, MPs were told.

Women who attend clinics have been filmed or photographed, called “mum” and physically blocked by vocal anti-abortion campaigners in a bid to stop them from terminating a pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/pregnant-women-so-distressed-by-antiabortion-protesters-they-refused-to-leave-clinic-in-fire-alarm-a3717811.html

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Turkish court rules for girl’s abortion, releases rape suspect

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Turkish court rules for girl’s abortion, releases rape suspect
December 13 2017
AFYONKARAHİSAR

Turkish court rules for girl’s abortion, releases rape suspect

An 11-year-old pregnant girl has undergone abortion after a court ruling allowed her in the Central Anatolian province of Afyonkarahisar, Doğan News Agency reported on Dec. 13.

The girl turned out to be two and a half months pregnant when she complained of stomach ache after going to a public hospital on Nov. 7.

The hospital then reported the situation to the police.

Continued at source: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-court-rules-for-girls-abortion-releases-rape-suspect-124051

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Ireland: Standards commission explains why George Soros’ donation to fund Amnesty abortion campaign was illegal

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Standards commission explains why George Soros' donation to fund Amnesty abortion campaign was illegal
The law bans any foreign donations that aren’t from an Irish citizen who resides outside the island.

Dec 13, 2017

THE STANDARDS IN Public Office Commission (SIPO) has explained why it ordered Amnesty International to return a donation made by billionaire George Soros for its My Body My Rights campaign.

Sipo said current legislation governing donations to political groups forces those who receive donations over €100 to register as a third-party. The Electoral Act also bans foreign donations from an individual other than an Irish citizen who resides outside the island of Ireland – meaning Soros’ €137,000 donation did not meet the criteria for an acceptable donation.

Continued at source: http://www.thejournal.ie/george-soros-banned-3748738-Dec2017/

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Isle of Man: Anger at anti-abortion campaigners ‘offensive’ images in protest

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Anger at anti-abortion campaigners 'offensive' images in protest

13 December 2017

Anti-abortion campaigners displaying graphic banners of aborted foetuses have demonstrated outside the Isle of Man parliament.

In January the final draft of a bill proposing reforms to Manx abortion law will be presented to the House of Keys.

Dr Alex Allinson MHK, who has worked on the Abortion Reform Bill 2017, said the images were "deliberately offensive".

Continued at source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-42328116

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Ireland: Mattie McGrath criticised for ‘fat lady sings’ abortion comments

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Mattie McGrath criticised for ‘fat lady sings’ abortion comments
Independent TD contacts Catherine Noone to apologise

Wed, Dec 13, 2017
Sarah Bardon

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has been strongly criticised for comments made about Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone.

Mr McGrath was asked about the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment’s recommendations, which will be voted on today.

In response, Mr McGrath said it was not over “until the fat lady sings and I am not talking about the chairwoman”.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/mattie-mcgrath-criticised-for-fat-lady-sings-abortion-comments-1.3325859

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FEATURE: Report from the Brazilian Abortion Frontline

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FEATURE: Report from the Brazilian Abortion Frontline

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International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
13 December 2017
The turbulence in Brazil continues

by the Abortion Frontline Project, coordinated by Cfemea (Feminist Center for Studies and Advisory), Ipas Brazil and Sexuality Policy Watch

As the turbulence of Brazil's political climate and sexual politics overall continues, the abortion rights debates decidedly intensified in November 2017 (check here for updates in Portuguese). As reported by the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion on 24 November, Amendment No.181, a provision aimed at including right to life from conception into the Constitution, was approved by a Special Commission of the Chamber of Deputies on 8 November. Then, during the debate on the measure, new amendments to the provisional text were presented and were to be voted finally on 12 December. Congresswoman Erika Kokay, whose vote against the amendment was the only one, had proposed on the 8th to withdraw this "Trojan Horse" provision (the right to life from conception) because it was inserted into the text of what was supposed to be a bill for extending maternity leave for women who deliver prematurely.

Continued at source: http://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-report-from-the-brazilian-abortion-frontline-13-december-2017?e=3fa4c971b0

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Brazil: Reject Abortion Ban

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Brazil: Reject Abortion Ban
Constitutional Amendment Would Endanger Women, Girls; Violate Rights

December 12, 2017

(São Paulo) – Brazilian lawmakers should reject a dangerous constitutional amendment that would prohibit abortion in all circumstances, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed amendment would ban abortion even for pregnancies resulting from rape, or when the life of the woman is in danger.

The proposed abortion ban is part of a constitutional amendment being considered on December 12, 2017, by a special congressional committee of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies. The committee approved the amendment in November, in a controversial vote, with 18 men voting yes and 1 woman voting no.

Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/12/12/brazil-reject-abortion-ban

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Ireland: Sinn Féin ‘will not vote against’ free access to abortion up to 12 weeks

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Sinn Féin ‘will not vote against’ free access to abortion up to 12 weeks

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
December 11 2017

Sinn Féin will not vote against free access to abortion up to 12 weeks, its spokeswoman on health has suggested.

Louise O’Reilly said her party would record its dissent if the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment recommends legalising terminations for all women. The committee is holding its final meeting on Wednesday when it will hold a vote on what kind of abortion law would follow the repeal of the state’s constitutional ban on abortion in next year’s referendum.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sinn-fein-will-not-vote-against-free-access-to-abortion-up-to-12-weeks-5jg3ll979

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German doctor lodges petition to change abortion law

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German doctor lodges petition to change abortion law

A doctor fined for "advertising" abortions has presented a petition with 150,000 signatures to Parliament, demanding Germany's law be changed. Kristina Hänel says women have the right to information about the procedure.
Kristina Hänel and her supporters hold a sign with the number of signatures they have collected

Doctor Kristina Hänel handed over the petition with more than 150,000 signatures to members of Germany's Bundestag on Tuesday, urging them to scrap paragraph 219a of the criminal code.

Continued at source: http://www.dw.com/en/german-doctor-lodges-petition-to-change-abortion-law/a-41764640

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1.6 crore abortions occur in India every year; nearly 60% of procedures unsafe

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1.6 crore abortions occur in India every year; nearly 60% of procedures unsafe
Updated: Dec 12, 2017

New Delhi: An alarming report has revealed that a total of 15.6 million (1.56 crore) abortions took place across India in 2015.

The report, which is country’s first large-scale study on abortions, also showed that one in three of all pregnancies were unintended and ended in an abortion. Read: Almost 60% of abortions found unsafe in India

Continued at source: http://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/1-6-crore-abortions-occur-in-india-every-year-nearly-60-of-procedures-unsafe/144825

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UK: MPs call for buffer zones around abortion clinics after women are told they will ‘die of cancer’ by protesters

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MPs call for buffer zones around abortion clinics after women are told they will 'die of cancer' by protesters

Verity Ryan
12 December 2017

Buffer zones must be introduced around abortion clinics, MPs have said, after hearing evidence of sinister intimidation of staff and women by pro-life protestors.

Staff have been followed to their cars and called "murderers" while women having abortions have been told they will "die of cancer", a parliamentary committee was told.

Continued at source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/12/mps-call-buffer-zones-around-abortion-clinics-women-told-will/

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Latin Organizations unite creativity and innovation for health and reproductive rights in Latin America

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Latin Organizations unite creativity and innovation for health and reproductive rights in Latin America

12th December, 2017

The digital gadgets such as social networks, applications and more have helped bring people to all kinds of information and helped communicate in various ways no matter the distance. However, bringing Women in Latin America closer to these technologies by talking about safe abortion and reproductive rights has been a challenge.

For this reason, safe2choose took part of the IDEA initiative, the first forum on Innovation for Reproductive Rights in Latin America. On November 2017, we embarked to Quito, Ecuador, where we met creative and innovative teams from all over the region. What united us was the use of the latest, most advanced technological gadgets for sexual and reproductive health.

Continued at source: https://safe2choose.org/innovation-reproductive-rights/

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USA -The effect of a documentary: Charlotte, NC

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USA -The effect of a documentary: Charlotte, NC
Dec 12, 2017
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

Care in Chaos, a documentary by the US feminist news wire, Rewire, recently received the “Best Documentary Short” award from the Nevada Film Festival. It examines how policing practices and policies in Charlotte, North Carolina and Fargo, North Dakota impede or facilitate access to reproductive health care. Providers throughout the country work every day to serve patients, often under siege from an anti-choice movement driven by ideology and disrespect for women’s lives. As Care in Chaos shows, local authorities can make the difference in whether women can obtain critical care.

Right after the documentary’s release, they write, they saw real policy action. The city of Charlotte revised its sound permits to stop anti-choice protesters harassing patients and staff with loudspeakers and amplifiers. Now it’s easier for women in Charlotte to access comprehensive reproductive healthcare.

Watch the film "Care in Chaos" (21 minutes): https://rewire.news/videos/2017/07/11/care-in-chaos/

Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/usa-the-effect-of-a-documentary-charlotte-nc/

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National Estimate of Abortion in India Released

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National Estimate of Abortion in India Released
Study Finds 15.6 Million Abortions Occur Annually

December 11, 2017
Guttmacher Institute

According to the first national study of the incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in India, an estimated 15.6 million abortions were performed in the country in 2015. This translates to an abortion rate of 47 per 1,000 women aged 15–49, which is similar to the abortion rate in neighboring South Asian countries. The study—published today in The Lancet Global Health—was conducted jointly by researchers at the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai; the Population Council, New Delhi; and the New York–based Guttmacher Institute. It also found that the vast majority of abortions (81%) were achieved using medication abortion (which, in India, is commonly referred to as medical methods of abortion, or MMA) that was obtained either from a health facility or another source. Fourteen percent of abortions were performed surgically in health facilities, and the remaining 5% of abortions were performed outside of health facilities using other, typically unsafe, methods.

Continued at source: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/national-estimate-abortion-india-released

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Ireland: Simon Harris: It would be ‘desirable’ to use Oireachtas abortion committee’s findings for referendum

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Simon Harris: It would be 'desirable' to use Oireachtas abortion committee's findings for referendum

Monday, December 11, 2017
By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

Health Minister Simon Harris has backed calls for the Oireachtas abortion committee's findings to be used as the template for next year's eighth amendment referendum despite claims substantial changes could be made before a vote.

Mr Harris said such a move would be "desirable" and "obviously makes sense", despite noting this is "just my gut answer" and that he will need to wait until the exact recommendations are agreed over the coming days.

Continued at source: http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/simon-harris-it-would-be-desirable-to-use-oireachtas-abortion-committees-findings-for-referendum-818237.html

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Brazilian who pushed abortion debate ends pregnancy abroad

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Brazilian who pushed abortion debate ends pregnancy abroad

By renata brito and sarah dilorenzo, associated press
SAO PAULO — Dec 11, 2017

A woman believed to be the first in Brazil to ask the state for permission to end a pregnancy that did not result from a rape or involve medical issues has had an abortion — in Colombia.

With one request denied by the Supreme Court and fearing that another would languish in the justice system, Rebeca Mendes told The Associated Press on Monday that she decided to have the procedure done abroad so as not to be punished in Brazil.

The decision ends her involvement in a case that garnered national headlines in Latin America's most populous nation and sought to push the limits on restrictive abortion laws.

Continued at source: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/brazilian-pushed-abortion-debate-ends-pregnancy-abroad-51725692

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India: ‘Abortion needed many times to save pregnant women’

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‘Abortion needed many times to save pregnant women’

TNN | Updated: Dec 10, 2017

NAGPUR: Just like institutional delivery, the government needs to equally promote the concept of abortion to curb maternal mortality rate, said Dr Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, the immediate past president of International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

"Abortion is neglected in India and is many times needed to save the lives of pregnant women," he said while talking to TOI on Saturday during the international conference 'Master Class Infertility III' organized by Shrikhande IVF and Surrogacy Centre, in association with Femicare Foundation and Nagpur Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society (NOGS). \

Continued at source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/abortion-needed-many-times-to-save-pregnant-women/articleshow/62000424.cms

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Ireland: Abortion law campaigners ‘preach only to converted’

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Abortion law campaigners ‘preach only to converted’

Colin Coyle
December 10 2017

The abortion debate in Ireland mostly reinforces the opinions of your peer group “rather than convinces the opposite party to change their position”, Finnish academics have concluded.

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland checked parliamentary records and online news sources, including blogs, to analyse how abortion was debated in Ireland and Finland. The abortion law in Finland is more liberal, with terminations available in most circumstances up to 20 weeks.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-law-campaigners-preach-only-to-converted-h37x5g9lq

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Ireland: No restriction on abortion in first 12 weeks, say TDs

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No restriction on abortion in first 12 weeks, say TDs

Stephen O’Brien, Political Editor
December 10 2017

The Oireachtas committee on the eighth amendment is likely to vote in favour of abortion without restriction in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy when it agrees its final report on Wednesday.

Committee sources say there appears to be a majority in favour of accepting the recommendation of the citizens’ assembly that termination of pregnancy, without restriction, should be lawful up to 12 weeks’ gestation.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/no-restriction-on-abortion-in-first-12-weeks-say-tds-vkdrmtlf9

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UK: Women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home, says leading maternity doctor

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Women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home, says leading maternity doctor

Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
10 December 2017

Women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home to avoid them miscarrying on the way home from the clinic, Britain’s leading maternity doctor has said.

Currently, women who ask for an early medical abortion (EMA) in the first nine weeks of pregnancy must take two drugs, one or two days apart. And, by law, both sets must be taken in front of a doctor or nurse.

But Professor Lesley Regan, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said that allowing women to take abortion pills and then leave puts them at risk of suffering bleeding or complications on the way home.

Continued at source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/12/10/women-should-allowed-take-abortion-pills-home-says-leading-maternity/

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N.Ireland: Stormont refuses to update guidance to health workers on abortion referrals

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Stormont refuses to update guidance to health workers on abortion referrals
Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland campaign manager for Amnesty International

Brendan Hughes
09 December, 2017

STORMONT officials have refused to update guidance for health workers following the British government's decision to give Northern Ireland women free access to NHS abortions in England.

Since June, women in the north have been allowed free abortion services in England, while a similar change was introduced last month in Scotland.

Continued at source: https://www.irishnews.com/news/2017/12/09/news/stormont-refuses-to-update-guidance-to-health-workers-on-abortion-referrals-1206417/

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Salvadoran woman jailed for ‘abortion’ pleads for freedom

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Salvadoran woman jailed for 'abortion' pleads for freedom
Carlos Mario Marquez, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 09 2017

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR - A Salvadoran woman jailed for 30 years for a miscarriage deemed to be an illegal abortion on Friday pleaded for her freedom before a court revising her sentence.

"I am paying for a crime I didn't commit," Teodora Vasquez, 34, told the tribunal in San Salvador.

Judges hearing the matter adjourned the hearing until next Wednesday.

Continued at source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/12/09/17/salvadoran-woman-jailed-for-abortion-pleads-for-freedom

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Ireland: Three FF committee members want to make abortion available up to 12 weeks without restriction

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Three FF committee members want to make abortion available up to 12 weeks without restriction
Submission recommends GP-led service up to 12 weeks for terminations without reason

Dec 9, 2017
Sarah Bardon

Three Fianna Fáil members of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment have called for it to support making abortion available up to 12 weeks without restriction.

In a joint submission to the committee, Senator Ned O’Sullivan and TDs Billy Kelleher and Lisa Chambers outline their belief that terminations should be accessible when the life and the health of a mother is at risk. There should be no distinction between the mental or physical health of the mother, they add.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/three-ff-committee-members-want-to-make-abortion-available-up-to-12-weeks-without-restriction-1.3320733

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Large majority favours changing Constitution on abortion

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Large majority favours changing Constitution on abortion
Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI Poll finds support for repeal consistent among supporters of all parties

Sat, Dec 9, 2017
Pat Leahy, Sarah Bardon

A large majority of voters favours changing the Constitution to provide for greater access to abortion, the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll finds.

Asked about the prospect of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment next year, 62 per cent said they would vote in favour of changing the Constitution to allow the Oireachtas to legislate for greater access to abortion, the poll finds.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/large-majority-favours-changing-constitution-on-abortion-1.3320833

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Ireland: Amnesty refuses to pay back cash linked to abortion repeal

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Amnesty refuses to pay back cash linked to abortion repeal

Michael Cogley, Ireland Reporter
December 9 2017, 12:01am, The Times

Amnesty International Ireland may face a criminal investigation for refusing to return money donated by a fund backed by the philanthropist George Soros.

The human rights organisation has been told to pay back €137,000 from Open Society Foundations, to ensure that Ireland’s abortion laws comply with human rights, by the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo). Amnesty has been campaigning for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/amnesty-refuses-to-pay-back-cash-linked-to-abortion-repeal-3fxbxgmrm

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Taboo No More? Abortion in South Korea

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Taboo No More? Abortion in South Korea
Responding to a public petition, the Moon administration will take a close look at the current abortion ban.

By Clint Work
December 09, 2017

In August, the Moon administration announced it would publicly respond to any petition posted to the Blue House website that received more than 200,000 signatures. On September 30, a petition emerged calling for the decriminalization of abortion and legalization of abortion pills, based on a woman’s right to her own body. By late October, the petition surpassed the threshold required for public comment, and (as of this writing) has received a total of 235,372 signatures. In a video posted November 26, Blue House Secretary for Civil Affairs Cho Kuk offered the government’s response.

Cho said the government would conduct a fact-finding study next year to accurately determine the status of abortion in South Korea, gather public opinion data on the issue, and examine the reasons behind the criminal ban on the practice. The last such study, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, occurred in 2010. Although previously carried out at five-year intervals, the funds apparently were unavailable in 2015 under the administration of Park Geun-hye.

Continued at source: https://thediplomat.com/2017/12/taboo-no-more-abortion-in-south-korea/

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15 Chinese Ad Campaigns That Make Abortion Procedures Look Glamorous

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15 Chinese Ad Campaigns That Make Abortion Procedures Look Glamorous
With pink flowers and dreamlike imageries, these prevalent advertisements promise Chinese women a fast and ‘glamorous’ abortion.

Published on December 8, 2017
By Manya Koetse

From bus stops to magazines, advertisements of clinics promising women a ‘fast’ and ‘painless’ abortion are commonplace in China, sending out the message that terminating a pregnancy is as easy as getting your nails done.

When it is rush hour in Beijing, street marketers often pass out flyers to people around busy subway stations. Most of the time, these pamphlets promote a new neighborhood restaurant or an upcoming real estate project.

Often, however, they promote abortion procedures at a local clinic. The pink and shiny ad campaigns advertise their abortion procedures in similar ways as beauty parlors or nail salons would market their services – a phenomenon which would be unimaginable in many western countries.

Continued at source: https://www.whatsonweibo.com/15-chinese-ad-campaigns-make-abortion-procedures-look-glamorous/

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South Africa: Private-member bill set to revive abortion debate

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Private-member bill set to revive abortion debate
Pregnancy termination amendment is intended to tighten conditions for allowing women to have abortions

08 December 2017
Tamar Kahn

The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill has been tabled in Parliament, paving the way for an emotional debate on access to abortion when MPs return to their duties next year.

The draft legislation is a private-member’s bill introduced by African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley, who previously tried to restrict women’s access to abortion by proposing an amendment to the Constitution to include the right to life of the unborn child.

Continued at source: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/health/2017-12-08-private-member-bill-set-to-revive-abortion-debate/

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Malawi: Priest Advocates for Enactment of New Abortion Law

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Malawi: Priest Advocates for Enactment of New Abortion Law

8 December 2017

With over 141,000 women in Malawi inducing abortions annually mostly through unsafe means, an Anglican Church priest has called for enactment of new abortion law. Below is an article by REV. FR. MARTIN KALIMBE published in the column on Sexual and Reproductive Health which Centre for Solutions Journalism is running in The Daily Times of Malawi.

Is the church in support of legalisation of abortion? This is a question which the media posed to me during a recent live debate on Television Malawi.

It was a difficult question to answer because the church is completely divided on the issue of abortion. There are also cases where members of the clergy within the same church are also divided on the issue.

Continued at source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201712080750.html

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Mozambique: ‘Women and girls will die’: Trump’s foreign aid rule on abortion

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'Women and girls will die': Trump's foreign aid rule on abortion
2017-12-08

In the heat of a late September day in Mozambique, southern Africa, we started filming a meeting of young charity volunteers. They had poured heart and soul into an ambitious project aimed at combating HIV and spreading a message about contraception in the province of Gaza.

Then, out of the blue, and as our cameras rolled, came an unexpected announcement: the volunteers' work was to end because of a new policy from the United States.

Continued at source: https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/women-and-girls-will-die-trumps-foreign-aid-rule-on-abortion-20171208

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US: SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation

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SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation
Dec 7, 2017

SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation was a community-engaged research project involving people who work with populations likely to be targeted by law enforcement for ending pregnancies outside the formal healthcare system. Reproductive justice activists, community-based abortion providers, and other advocates who center potentially impacted communities in their work came together to explore the cultural origins of, growing need for, and legal risks associated with supported and self-induced abortion ("SIA") in non-clinical settings. This report captures the hopes, concerns, and recommendations for the RHRJ movement(s) from the critical perspectives of some of the communities that have the most to gain or to lose through advocacy efforts to decriminalize and normalize non-clinical abortion.

A CONVERSATION: SIA IN OUR COMMUNITIES: Read the Report

Continued at source: https://www.sialegalteam.org/sioc

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Ireland: ‘Vital’ that abortion not be a crime, says Zappone

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‘Vital’ that abortion not be a crime, says Zappone
Minister’s vexed remarks come as committee reviewing amendment set to make proposals

Dec 7, 2017
Kitty Holland, Sarah Bardon

Abortion should be legal, safe and freely available to anyone who needs it, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has said.

In her strongest comments to date, Ms Zappone said the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution must be removed and should not be replaced with other constitutional wording.

In a speech delivered at Dublin City University on Thursday evening, the Minister said decriminalisation of abortion was “vital”, while the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act needed to be replaced with a law “under which abortion is safe, legal and available to all who need it”.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/vital-that-abortion-not-be-a-crime-says-zappone-1.3319483

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Uganda/Kenya: Cruel Choices: How Trump’s Global Gag Rule Hurts the Fight Against HIV

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Cruel Choices: How Trump’s Global Gag Rule Hurts the Fight Against HIV

By: skye wheeler
Dec 7, 2017

Pamela was 13 years old when both her parents died in the 1990s as the AIDS pandemic inflicted death across East Africa. She sold sex to keep herself and her three younger siblings fed and alive. When she got pregnant she had no real choice but to get an abortion. Abortion is illegal in most instances in Uganda. Her second of three backstreet abortions almost killed her.

Now 24, Pamela [not her real name] works for a sex worker-led organization, fighting for women’s rights, sex workers’ rights, and access to anti-retroviral drugs and other lifesaving health care for her organization’s members. The job provides her with income, but also the satisfaction of working to increase choices for women and to minimize the risk of harm she knows from personal experience.

Continued at source: http://womensenews.org/2017/12/cruel-choices-how-trumps-global-gag-rule-hurts-the-fight-against-hiv/

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Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

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Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

By Caterina Tani
BRUSSELS, Dec 6, 2017

A backlash against access to abortion in some EU member states in the past few years is "deeply troubling", the Council of Europe warned on Tuesday (5 December).

In the majority of EU countries abortions are legal, but in some states a wave of "retrogressive restrictions" are threatening women's health and well-being, the European human rights organisation's report said.

Continued at source: https://euobserver.com/health/140158

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Bolivia lawmakers vote to ease abortion limits

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Bolivia lawmakers vote to ease abortion limits

The Associated Press
December 6, 2017

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Bolivian lawmakers voted on Wednesday to ease the country’s tight restrictions on abortions, shrugging aside opposition from religious groups.

The Legislative Assembly vote will allow “students, adolescents or girls” to have abortions up to the eighth week of pregnancy. The measure doesn’t specify ages, but it appears to apply to girls up to and including 17 years old and older students who still depend on their parents or guardians.

Continued at source: http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/bolivia-lawmakers-vote-to-ease-abortion-limits

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Ireland: Abortion committee nears conclusion but far from consensus

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Abortion committee nears conclusion but far from consensus
Members agree on holding referendum, but diverge on scrapping Eighth Amendment

Dec 6, 2017
Sarah Bardon

The Oireachtas committee examining the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution is nearing its final conclusions – but a consensus is far from clear.

The 20-member committee has spent the past three months hearing from experts, and will vote on its final report, which must be submitted to the Dáil by December 20th.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-committee-nears-conclusion-but-far-from-consensus-1.3316913

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UN says Canadian funding for reproductive health agency critical after U.S. cuts

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UN says Canadian funding for reproductive health agency critical after U.S. cuts

Michelle Zilio, OTTAWA
December 6, 2017

The head of the UN reproductive health and rights agency says Canada's financial support has been critical to the agency's work after President Donald Trump cut U.S. funding this year.

Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, says the withdrawal of almost $70-million (U.S.) in American funding will put millions of women's lives at risk in the years to come. Dr. Kanem, who was in Ottawa on Wednesday to launch the agency's annual population report, said the Canadian government's renewal of $15.6-million (Canadian) in funding is "lifesaving" for vulnerable women and girls in some of the poorest regions of the world.

Continued at source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/un-says-canadian-funding-for-reproductive-health-agency-critical-after-us-cuts/article37230933/

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Ghana: Traditional leaders rally support for family planning in Central Region

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Traditional leaders rally support for family planning in Central Region
6 December 2017

Traditional leaders in the Central Region have called on stakeholders to intensify and support public education on family planning to drastically reduce the rising population of the region.

They indicated that the reported cases of teenage pregnancies and the incidence of unsafe abortions had necessitated the dire need to collectively deal with the menace to reduce the effects associated with it.

Continued at source: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/regional/Traditional-leaders-rally-support-for-family-planning-in-Central-Region-607209

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UK: Five women at different stages of life but all made the same stark choice: to have an abortion

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Five women at different stages of life but all made the same stark choice: to have an abortion. Here they speak with utter candour about how the decision still haunts them

By Jill Foster for the Daily Mail

Published: 6 December 2017 |

Fifty years ago, the Abortion Act 1967 made it legal for a woman in Britain to terminate a pregnancy. Since then, attitudes have been transformed, with one woman in three now predicted to have a termination during her lifetime.

Yet abortion remains an emotive, rarely discussed subject.

Here, five women who have had abortions bravely tell their stories.

Continued at source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5152843/The-decision-haunts-me.html

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N.Ireland: Abortion rights charity Marie Stopes to shut Belfast clinic

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Abortion rights charity Marie Stopes to shut Belfast clinic
Clinic has been scene of anti-abortion protests since it opened in 2012

Dec 5, 2017
Amanda Ferguson

Marie Stopes UK is closing its independent clinic in Belfast on December 8th, following the British government’s move earlier this year to fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland.

In a statement, it said the decision would enable the charity to “focus its resources so that Northern Irish women can better access funded treatment in England”.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/abortion-rights-charity-marie-stopes-to-shut-belfast-clinic-1.3316902

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Ghana: Unsafe Abortion, An Unforgettable Dilemma

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Unsafe Abortion, An Unforgettable Dilemma
Dennis Peprah
Dec 5, 2017

Yaa Serwaa was 15 years old when she had an unsafe abortion. She became pregnant after two years in a relationship that she "did not take seriously".

Serwaa confides: "I relied on natural contraception, using the calendar method but it was ineffective”.

With the help of a friend Serwaa said she prepared and applied some herbs to terminate the pregnancy. "I drank the concoction behind closed doors, in a small room that no one could see me, not even my biological mother”, she said.

Continued at source: https://www.modernghana.com/news/820735/unsafe-abortion-an-unforgettable-dilemma.html

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SPAIN – Setbacks for abortion and family planning in Madrid

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SPAIN – Setbacks for abortion and family planning in Madrid
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Dec 5, 2017

The Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid has published an “Integrated plan for the consideration of unwanted pregnancies in the Community of Madrid 2017-2010” in which they propose to prioritise the use of medical abortion over the use of vacuum aspiration for abortion because it “causes the least personal, economic and social impact”. ACAI (Assocation of Accredited Abortion Clinics) says medical professionals who provide abortions were not consulted before this document was released on 13 November 2017. ACAI contests the plan and instead calls for both quality of care and a guarantee of freedom of choice for women between the two methods, and the importance of training medical professionals in using both methods.

Secondly, in a case that stretches back to last year and before, the High Court in Spain has rejected the appeal by the Spanish Federation of Family Planning (FPFE) against the decision of the Ministry of the Interior to revoke the FPFE’s declaration of public utility at the request of the right-wing, anti-abortion Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers.

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/spain-setbacks-for-abortion-and-family-planning-in-madrid/

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CYTOTEC – First responses to the intended withdrawal from the market in France

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CYTOTEC – First responses to the intended withdrawal from the market in France
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Dec 5, 2017

Abortion providers in France are mobilising to retain Cytotec for abortion (or an affordable substitute). The decision to withdraw Cytotec from the market in France following complaints that it had caused problems for several women who had been given too high a dose to induce labour has led to an outcry among those who support universal access to safe abortion in France, such as the National Association of Clinics for Abortion and Contraception and the French National College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists.

The group REIVOC, which consists of all the abortion providers in the Occitanie Region in France, including GPs, gynaecologists, midwives, and family planning advocates, called the decision hypocritical: “Cytotec is indispensible for inducing abortion. While there is an alternative, Gymiso, it is 40 times more expensive. Everyone knows Cytotec is used for abortion even if that is not one of its approved indications. Instead of withdrawing it, it is urgent that a generic substitute is found.”

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/cytotec-first-responses-to-the-intended-withdrawal-from-the-market-in-france/

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New report on women’s health criticises Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws

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New report on women’s health criticises Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws
European Commissioner for Human Rights focuses on laws in Republic and North

Dec 5, 2017
Seán Dunne

A new report published by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has questioned Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws.

The report, ‘Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe’, examines women’s health within the EU and looks at abortion services.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/new-report-on-women-s-health-criticises-ireland-s-restrictive-abortion-laws-1.3316324

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Ireland: Committee members must reveal position on abortion law by Friday

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Committee members must reveal position on abortion law by Friday
Politicians due to produce Eighth Amendment report on December 15th

Dec 5, 2017
Sarah Bardon

Members of the Oireachtas committee examining the Eighth Amendment must outline their position on proposed changes to abortion laws by Friday.

The committee has been advised of the decision-making process ahead of the publication of its final report on December 20th.

Members have already recommended Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution should not be retained in full.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/committee-members-must-reveal-position-on-abortion-law-by-friday-1.3316275

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USA: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Secret Abortionist (Exclusive Book Excerpt)

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The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Secret Abortionist (Exclusive Book Excerpt)
by Stephen G. Bloom
December 04, 2017

Before Roe  v.  Wade, Inez  Burns became wealthy performing abortions for movie stars and the poor. Some thought she was doing a public service. But to future Gov.  Pat Brown, she was a menace.

"This case is going farther than anybody thinks," San Francisco District Attorney Edmund G. (Pat) Brown teased reporters at an October 1945 press conference designed to snare as much publicity as publicity-hungry Brown could summon. Ambitious and enterprising, the 40-year-old was going gangbusters to put Inez Burns, one of California's most politically connected women, behind bars.

There was nothing illegal about knowing everyone who was anyone in California, but there was plenty illegal about exactly how millionaire Inez had joined the state's wealthiest women. For two decades, she had owned and operated the largest and most successful abortion clinic in California. Spick-and-span sterile and hygienic, Inez's clinic looked more like an elegant ladies' tearoom than a facility for terminating pregnancies.

Continued at source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/rise-fall-hollywoods-secret-abortionist-book-excerpt-1063239

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Isle of Man: Pro choice abortion ‘Handmaids’ protest

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Pro choice abortion 'Handmaids' protest

Monday, December 4th, 2017

LIFE UK present to Tynwald members inside

The now iconic red cloaked 'Handmaids' made another demonstration to press their case for abortion reform.

The reason they were outside Tynwald at lunchtime? A presentation by LIFE UK inside the building to Tynwald members - you can hear more on this in Mandate on Tuesday morning.

Douglas East MHK Clare Bettison joined them as did Douglas North member Ralph Peake, Bill Shimmins from Middle and Garff MHK Daphne Caine .

John Moss watched the protest:
Podcast (5:13): http://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-news/pro-choice-abortion-handmaids-stage-protest/

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South Korea: Time for reality check on abortion

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[Feature] Time for reality check on abortion
By Jo He-rim
Dec 3, 2017

It is a cliche in Korean soap operas for the vicious and disapproving mother of the male lead to pressure the female lead to “remove” the baby she’s expecting. She soon disappears, struggles through life as a single mom, and later by chance reunites with the man who, after finding out she didn’t give up the baby despite stigma and obstacles, falls back in love with her.

All of this is as if abortion were a valid option for women in South Korea.

But, under the anti-abortion law introduced in 1953, the termination of pregnancy is only permissible when the mother faces serious health risks or in cases of rape, incest or hereditary disorders. Even in those cases, abortion is prohibited after the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Continued at source: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171203000239

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Ireland: Eighth Amendment Committee accused of acting pro-choice

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Eighth Amendment Committee accused of acting pro-choice
Updated / Sunday, 3 Dec 2017

The Pro Life Campaign has accused the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment of acting like a "pro-choice advocate".

The Committee is reviewing the recommendations made by the Citizens' Assembly on changing Ireland's abortion laws.

The Pro Life Campaign held its national conference in Dublin today where speakers from a broad range of backgrounds gave presentations.

Continued at source: https://www.rte.ie/news/dublin/2017/1203/924688-pro-life-conference/

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1st Egyptian Medical Liability draft law to regulate abortion

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1st Egyptian Medical Liability draft law to regulate abortion
By: Egypt Today staff

CAIRO – 3 December 2017: Parliament's Health Affairs Committee will resume on Sunday the discussion of the first Medical Liability draft law, presented by MP Ayman Abul Ela.

This law clarifies under what circumstances abortion procedures can be carried out. Abortions are considered legal in two circumstances – if the mother’s life is at risk because of the pregnancy or if the fetus has a disorder that makes it "incompatible with life." Abortion is illegal in all other circumstances and cannot be opted into.

Under this law, abortion surgery should only be performed by a specialist in gynecology and obstetric and the pregnant woman should receive the consent of the treating doctor that her case requires an abortion.

Continued at source: https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/2/35227/1st-Egyptian-Medical-Liability-draft-law-to-regulate-abortion

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Abortion in Malta at the time of the Knights

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Abortion in Malta at the time of the Knights
Sunday, December 3, 2017
by Giovanni Bonello

It is only during the rule of the Order of St John over Malta that abortion, its practices and its regulation, start being documented. Before that, total silence seems to shroud the subject. With the arrival of the Knights, written records become more systematic and extensive. The fact that civil governance fell under the tutelage of a Christian religious order may help to explain why abortion starts being a subject of interest.

Though no documentary evidence survives, Christianity’s ancient aversion to the termination of unborn life, would, almost certainly, have been reflected in the criminal law of the islands even before the Order’s rule. But the first positive enactment I could trace goes back to Grand Master Jean Paul Lascaris who, in January 1650, by magistral edict, formally criminalised abortion.

Continued at source: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171203/life-features/abortion-in-malta-at-the-time-of-the-knights.664703

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Ireland: Wavering pro-life TDs hold balance in vote to allow free abortion for all

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Wavering pro-life TDs hold balance in vote to allow free abortion for all

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
December 2 2017

Politicians could decide that abortion should be completely decriminalised in Ireland in a vote this month.

The move would mean that an unapproved abortion would no longer be a criminal offence and that the procedure would be covered by the same regulations as other medical procedures. It is understood that there is growing support for decriminalisaiton among Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

At least two TDs who described themselves as “pro-life” have now decided to fully support decriminalisation and free access to the procedure.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/wavering-pro-life-tds-hold-balance-in-vote-to-allow-free-abortion-for-all-06hxl3brz

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Brazil: No Woman Should Need to Beg for An Abortion

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No Woman Should Need to Beg for An Abortion

Margaret Wurth, Researcher, Children's Rights Division
December 1, 2017

Last week, Rebeca Mendes Silva Leite, a 30-year-old woman from São Paulo, Brazil, asked Brazil’s Supreme Court for permission to safely and legally terminate an unplanned pregnancy she does not want to continue.

No woman should find herself in this position. But because Rebeca lives in Brazil, where abortion is illegal in most circumstances, she does not qualify for a legal abortion.

Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/12/01/no-woman-should-need-beg-abortion

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Ireland: Abortion limit of 22 weeks is not enough, says doctor

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Abortion limit of 22 weeks is not enough, says doctor

Ellen Coyne
November 30 2017

Women would be rushed into deciding to terminate a pregnancy because of a foetal abnormality if doctors were working under term limits, a medical expert has said.

Peter Thompson, a consultant in foetal medicine at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s hospital, told the Oireachtas abortion committee that a woman would feel they had only one week to decide if terminations for foetal anomalies were limited to 22 weeks.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-limit-of-22-weeks-is-not-enough-says-doctor-fl8wh2fvj

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How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground

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How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground
A year ago, mass protests in Poland defeated a new abortion ban. But the ruling party, supported by the church, continues to cut reproductive rights – leaving people at the mercy of the black market.

By Alex Cocotas
Thursday 30 November 2017

Barbara Nowacka first had an inkling that something exceptional was happening on the morning of the protests. It was October 2016, and a journalist she knew, a conservative, called to ask how it was looking. She told him she had no idea what was going to happen. The journalist told her that his two daughters had gone to school that morning dressed in black. Perhaps, Nowacka thought, this could be big.

A ban on abortion in Poland had been put forward in parliament six months earlier, and Nowacka, a leftwing politician and long-time social activist, was a leading figure in the movement to oppose it. Nationwide protests had been scheduled for 3 October, but like most people, she had little hope that they would succeed. Perhaps they would get a nice crowd, a little media coverage; but it would ultimately be a gesture. The law would pass.

continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/30/how-polands-far-right-government-is-pushing-abortion-underground

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USA: Roe’s Unfinished Promise

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ROE'S UNFINISHED PROMISE
Nov 29, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade set powerful precedent affirming that the Constitution protects the right to abortion. By striking down criminal abortion laws, Roe created the promise of a future in which anyone who decides to end a pregnancy is able to do so safely, with dignity, and free from arrest. From this case emerged a promise of greater reproductive freedom and an end to the fear and secrecy that had plagued many people’s experiences of ending pregnancies where abortion had been a crime.

Roe's Unfinished Promise: Decriminalizing Abortion Once and For All is the first comprehensive paper about the criminalization of non-clinical abortion in the U.S. and efforts to eliminate threats, while increasing protections, for people who end pregnancies outside the formal healthcare system. It includes a chart listing problematic laws state by state, maps highlighting the places where people who self-induce abortion are most at risk of an unjustified arrest, excerpts from relevant statutes, and case summaries. The report concludes with recommendations for efforts to liberate non-clinical abortion from the constraints of misunderstanding and the restraints of criminalization.

Continued at source: https://www.sialegalteam.org/roes-unfinished-promise

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Brazil’s Abortion Battle

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Brazil’s Abortion Battle

By Sabrina Fernandes
Nov 29, 2017

The Brazilian right's efforts to destroy abortion rights are key to their broader crusade against the Left.

Brazil’s right wing has gotten ahead through a series of dirty tricks. The 2015 impeachment of Workers Party (PT) president Dilma Rousseff, pushed through despite the absence of any “crime of responsibility,” is the most notorious example. Now, through similarly slick manuevers, they’re seeking further restrictions on reproductive rights. This, in a country where already one woman dies from a clandestine abortion procedure every nine minutes.

Currently, abortion is legal only in particular cases, such as when there’s a direct threat to the life of the pregnant person, or when the pregnancy results from rape. It’s these exceptions that the conservative and Evangelical parliamentary front is seeking to destroy. Through a variety of proposed bills and amendments, they may eliminate the right to abortion completely.

Continued at source: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/11/brazil-abortion-rights-cunha-rousseff

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Ireland: GPs may be free to issue abortion pills

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GPs may be free to issue abortion pills
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter

November 29 2017
The Times

The government will review the possibility of GPs offering abortion pills in the event of the law changing next year.

The Department of Health has also confirmed that anti-abortion agencies that refuse to be regulated under new laws could be banned from giving crisis pregnancy advice.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/gps-may-be-free-to-issue-abortion-pills-mwmbmsq7t

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Advocates make progress on access to safe abortion in humanitarian crises

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Advocates make progress on access to safe abortion in humanitarian crises

By Sophie Edwards
29 November 2017

LONDON — Advocates campaigning for refugees to have access to safe abortion in humanitarian settings say they have made major progress at a recent high-level meeting — but they added that “political sensitivities” among countries and some United Nations agencies are holding back efforts to get the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services to those who need them.

Some experts also warned that pushing the abortion agenda could derail efforts to reach refugees in some settings and distract from more immediately urgent obstetric needs.

Continued at source: https://www.devex.com/news/advocates-make-progress-on-access-to-safe-abortion-in-humanitarian-crises-91554

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Ecuador: Congress Boosts Women’s Protection Against Violence

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Ecuador: Congress Boosts Women's Protection Against Violence

Published 29 November 2017

According to the National Institute of Statistics, 244 women have been murdered in Ecuador since 2014.

Ecuadorean lawmakers have approved a bill better protecting women against domestic violence and femicide while guaranteeing free access to public healthcare for those suffering complications during an abortion, a procedure still banned in the Andean country.

The bill was unanimously approved November 25, on the evening of the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, and dispatched to the government waiting for approval. However, Monica Aleman, a lawmaker from the center-left governing party, then made a request to modify the bill.

Continued at source: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Ecuadors-Congress-Approves-Bill-on-Gender-Violence-20171129-0043.html

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Even sex is in crisis in Venezuela, where contraceptives are growing scarce

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Even sex is in crisis in Venezuela, where contraceptives are growing scarce
By Mariana Zuñiga and Anthony Faiola
November 28, 2017

CARACAS, Venezuela — Yorlenis Gutierrez, a 28-year-old mother, spent months vainly scouring pharmacies for a drug whose scarcity is complicating her sex life and those of countless other Venezuelans. In a country beset by shortages, this is one of the most difficult: the disappearance of contraceptives.

When she couldn’t renew her supply of birth-control pills, Gutierrez and her husband made a choice. Long-term abstinence was not an option, they agreed.

Continued at source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/even-sex-is-in-crisis-in-venezuela-where-contraceptives-are-growing-scarce/2017/11/27/5d970d86-b452-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?undefined=&wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

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USA: The long five minutes: Abortion doulas bring comfort during a complicated time

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The long five minutes: Abortion doulas bring comfort during a complicated time
By Monica Hesse
November 28, 2017

“Do you support reproductive choices of all shapes and sizes?” the flier had read, posted online in early April. “Become an abortion doula.”

More than 50 women had seen the flier on Facebook or Twitter and responded to the email address at the bottom, not entirely sure what an abortion doula was. Twenty-five had been selected for a weekend-long training at a Virginia abortion clinic, and now, one Saturday morning in May, they’d arrived to see whether they were right for the work.

Continued at source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-long-five-minutes-abortion-doulas-bring-comfort-during-a-complicated-time/2017/11/27/c63f179c-9f04-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html

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N.Ireland: DUP councillor supports gay marriage and abortion law reform

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DUP councillor supports gay marriage and abortion law reform
John Scott with Arlene Foster, pictured in Co Fermanagh during the Westminster election campaign when unionist parties backed the UUP's Tom Elliott

Brendan Hughes
28 November, 2017

Former Alliance councillor Vasundhara Kamble declined to give her personal view on same-sex marriage

A NEW DUP councillor has voiced his support for same-sex marriage and reforming Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

John Scott, who sits on Antrim and Newtownabbey council, said the law on abortion "should be relaxed".

Continued at source: https://www.irishnews.com/news/2017/11/28/news/dup-councillor-supports-gay-marriage-and-abortion-law-reform-1198415/

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Women can wait up to a month to see an abortion provider in Queensland says doctor

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Women can wait up to a month to see an abortion provider in Queensland says doctor

November 28 2017
Amy Mitchell-Whittington

Women seeking abortions in regional Queensland after often marginalised and can face month-long waiting lists for an often unaffordable procedure that should be considered “essential healthcare”, a Brisbane-based abortion provider says.

Kalama Emanuel considers herself a “fly-in-fly-out worker” providing terminations to women in Rockhampton once a fortnight, where she said the wait-list can stretch to four weeks.

Continued at source: http://www.watoday.com.au/queensland/women-can-wait-up-to-a-month-to-see-an-abortion-provider-in-queensland-says-doctor-20171120-p4yx4d.html

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South Korea Kicks Issue of Abortion Down the Road

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South Korea Kicks Issue of Abortion Down the Road
Government Claims Research Needed, So Women’s Rights Must Wait

November 28, 2017
Heather Barr, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division heatherbarr1

A woman holds a sign at a pro-choice rally at the Cheonggye Plaza in Seoul on August 31, 2010. © 2010 Left 21
Women in South Korea are demanding an immediate end to the country’s restrictive anti-abortion laws, but so far the government isn’t listening. President Moon Jae-In pledged in August his government would publicly respond to any petition posted to the government’s website that received more than 200,000 signatures within one month. In late October, a petition calling for legalization of abortion passed that threshold.

On November 26, the government responded by buying time.

Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/11/28/south-korea-kicks-issue-abortion-down-road

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UK: Men can now buy Viagra over the counter – but women can’t take an abortion pill from a doctor at home

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Men can now buy Viagra over the counter – but women can't take an abortion pill from a doctor at home
A spokesperson from the MHRA was quoted as saying they were glad of the change because it would prevent men from buying unregulated pills illegally on the internet. This is the same agency that does week-long raids every year on abortion pills

Holly Baxter
Tuesday 28 November 2017

Great news for Britain: men with erectile dysfunction can now buy Viagra over the counter, so long as a pharmacist agrees. What a fantastic coup this is for a country which has such a huge commitment to reproductive health – huge enough that our rates of death in childbirth still lag far behind many of our European counterparts, including Poland, Belarus and Greece. Huge enough that we still haven’t fully decriminalised abortion despite the recommendations of GPs, gynaecologists and the British Medical Association. Huge enough that Northern Irish women still can’t access abortion where they live (except in certain, extremely restrictive circumstances), and only won the right to access free abortion services in England this year. Doesn’t it feel great to live in real civilisation?

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/viagra-buy-over-counter-abortion-pill-men-women-compared-a8080851.html

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UK: Supreme Court judge disagreed with abortion ruling

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Supreme Court judge disagreed with abortion ruling

By Vincent Kearney, BBC News NI Home Affairs Correspondent
27 November 2017

The president of the UK's highest court has said she disagreed with its decision to reject an appeal for women from Northern Ireland to receive free abortions on the NHS in England.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal from a mother and daughter by a narrow majority.

One of those who dissented was Lady Hale, the president of the court.

Continued at source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-42135034

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Academic Armchair: Vulva la resistance: Dublin’s sixth march for choice

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Academic Armchair: Vulva la resistance: Dublin’s sixth march for choice
Nov 27, 2017
by Devin Thomas

In this week’s edition of the Academic Armchair we talked with Ben Kasstan, Research Fellow in Social Anthropology at Sussex, about a recent article written for Huffington Post, as well as a follow-up blog post for Sussex’s Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies & Health. Presenting his opinions on the importance of the upcoming 2018 vote over women’s reproductive rights and the protesters on both sides of the issue, Ben explores the context and potential outcomes of the referendum in his article. We talked with him to see why Sussex students should care as much about the issue as he does…

Ben mentions in his article that young voters made up the majority of pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators he saw while in Ireland.

We kicked off our interview by asking him why he feels young people are so active regarding this issue on both sides, and what this might mean.

Continued at source: http://thebadgeronline.com/2017/11/academic-armchair-vulva-la-resistance-dublins-sixth-march-choice/

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No exceptions for health and rights: Women’s movements hold the key to get the world we want

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No exceptions for health and rights: Women’s movements hold the key to get the world we want
November 26, 2017
Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO, Global Fund for Women

In today’s world, women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are being attacked and rolled back by those in positions of power. Take the Mexico City Policy, or Global Gag Rule, for instance, which has been expanded by the U.S. administration. It cuts off billions of dollars in funding for critical health services around the world like access to contraception or STD screenings.

However, women have never been known to sit and wait for change to happen. And while rollbacks threaten women’s health and rights each day, grassroots women’s groups and movements around the world are working to ensure that women and girls not only have access to critical health services that they need in their own communities, but understand their bodies, are aware of their rights and how to access them, and are safe from violence and discrimination.

Continued at source: http://www.thedailystar.net/women-action/no-exceptions-health-and-rights-womens-movements-hold-the-key-get-the-world-we-want

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S. Korean gov’t promises to engage actively in debate on abortion

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S. Korean gov't promises to engage actively in debate on abortion
By Yonhap

Published : Nov 26, 2017

South Korea's government on Sunday promised to give more active consideration to growing public demand to permit artificial abortion.

The presidential office released its position toward a petition, posted on its homepage, whose signatories exceeded 200,000 in late October.

Cho Kuk, the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, said the government will resume a survey on abortion next year and will make efforts to promote public debate to resolve the dispute.

Continued at source: http://nwww.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171126000264

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South Korea May Overturn Longstanding Abortion Ban

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South Korea May Overturn Longstanding Abortion Ban
Grace Carr
11/26/2017

South Korea has long prohibited women from having abortions, but the government may repeal the ban and announced Sunday that it will begin a thorough review of the nation’s abortion policies.

The Sunday announcement from the president’s office comes in response to a petition from a group of South Koreans calling on President Moon Jae-in to amend the law and allow abortions, according to The Economist. “Unwanted pregnancy is a tragedy for all, including the woman, the unborn child and the country,” the petition reads, asking the government to approve the mifepristone abortion pill, which is available in other countries like the United States.

Continued at source: http://dailycaller.com/2017/11/26/south-korea-may-overturn-longstanding-abortion-ban/

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South Korea to review whether or not to abolish anti-abortion law

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South Korea to review whether or not to abolish anti-abortion law

Reuters Staff
Nov 26, 2017

SEOUL (Reuters) - The South Korean president’s office said on Sunday that it will begin a review on the country’s 64-year-old law to ban abortion.

The announcement came after more than 230,000 South Koreans filed a petition calling for the abolishment of the law.

South Korea criminalized abortion in 1953 when its leaders wanted to boost the population and build an army powerful enough to fend off its rival North Korea.

Continued at source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-abortion/south-korea-to-review-whether-or-not-to-abolish-anti-abortion-law-idUSKBN1DQ0C9?il=0

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UK: New powers to stop campaigners intimidating abortion-clinic patients considered by Government

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New powers to stop campaigners intimidating abortion-clinic patients considered by Government

More than 110 MPs wrote to the Home Secretary urging her to consider ‘buffer zones’ around clinics, banning praying, silent vigils and brandishing of pictures of foetuses

Lizzy Buchan Political Correspondent
Nov 26, 2017

New powers are being considered to protect women seeking abortions from intimidation and harassment by demonstrators outside clinics, Amber Rudd has announced.

Anti-abortion campaigners have been known to confront women outside family planning facilities with pictures of foetuses and to host “abortion vigils” where they pray for people to change their minds on seeking a termination.

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/amber-rudd-abortion-clinics-ealing-marie-stopes-bpas-labour-rupa-huq-pro-life-a8076431.html

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UK mulls tougher laws to protect women from abortion clinic protesters

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UK mulls tougher laws to protect women from abortion clinic protesters
Home secretary considers bolstering police and civil powers amid concern about tactics used by some demonstrators outside clinics

Sunday 26 November 2017

New laws could be introduced to protect women from being harassed and intimidated at abortion clinics, the Home Office has said.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has ordered an in-depth assessment of protests outside family planning clinics following concerns about the tactics used by some demonstrators.

The review aims to gather evidence from police forces, healthcare providers and local authorities before considering what action can be taken to protect those using or working in abortion clinics.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/26/abortion-clinics-uk-mulls-tougher-laws-to-protect-women

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Safe abortions: Why India needs more trained providers

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Safe abortions: Why India needs more trained providers
Botched procedures kill 10 women every day; abortion deaths currently account for 8% of India’s 44,000 annual maternal fatalities.

Nov 25, 2017
Sanchita Sharma, Hindustan Times

One in four pregnancies worldwide ends in an abortion, which can be a very risky procedure if botched by an untrained provider. Yet, close to half of all abortions done worldwide are unsafe, killing 47,000 women and disabling another 5 million every year.

Of the 55.7 million abortions that occurred worldwide each year between 2010 and 2014, the most recent period for which data are available, only 30.6 million (54.9%) were safe, found a review of data from 182 countries. Of the 25.1 million unsafe abortions, 17.1 million were less safe and 8 million very unsafe, found a study published in The Lancet in September.

Continued at source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/safe-abortions-why-india-needs-more-trained-providers/story-PVXmYCEeGZiFSDxAdiCwPP.html

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Canada: Indigenous women on the Prairies deserve reproductive freedom

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Indigenous women on the Prairies deserve reproductive freedom
2 women take on Sask. Party leadership candidate's claim 'First Nations don't believe in abortion'

By Erica Violet Lee, Tasha Spillett
CBC News Posted: Nov 25, 2017

An anti-abortion group has quoted Rob Clarke, a former MP for northern Saskatchewan and a Sask. Party leadership candidate, as telling them 'First Nations don't believe in abortion. I'm First Nations and I don't believe in abortion.'

As Indigenous women, we understand why it can feel like a waste of our time to participate in electoral politics with governments that have little to do with our sovereignty as pre-existing nations.

But as Indigenous women in the Prairies, we know how often governments block access to the most basic reproductive health care for which we have always had rights and freedoms.

Continued at source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/opinion-indigenous-women-reproductive-freedom-1.4418787

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UK: Abortion clinics ‘fail obese and diabetic patients’

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Abortion clinics ‘fail obese and diabetic patients’
Kat Lay, Health Correspondent

November 25 2017, The Times

Only three clinics in England are able to provide abortions for women with medical problems later in pregnancy.

Dozens of women a year are forced to continue with unwanted pregnancies because they cannot get an appointment, campaigners have said, while others face long journeys for treatment.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-clinics-fail-obese-and-diabetic-patients-wb9dm3kbv

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How a White House reversal affects a village in Madagascar

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How a White House reversal affects a village in Madagascar
On an island where 10 women a day die from complications from pregnancy and childbirth, the funding cutoff by USAID because of its new abortion rules can have serious consequences.

By Annie Burns-Pieper
Special to the Star
Sat., Nov. 25, 2017

AMPAHO, MADAGASCAR—Ampaho feels like the edge of the world, somewhere most people, even in Madagascar, will never go.

The community of 240 small bamboo huts sits along a slow-moving waterway not far from the shore of the Indian Ocean on Madagascar’s east coast. The trip from the capital, Antananarivo, to Ampaho takes two days by car along the country’s winding roads followed by a meandering voyage on a rustic boat through the Panagalane canal.

On a rainy night five years ago, Marigrety Razafindramiarana’s daughter Marthe ran into trouble giving birth to her eighth child. The family had few options.

Continued at source: https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2017/11/25/how-a-white-house-reversal-affects-a-village-in-madagascar.html

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Ireland: Abortion referendum set for delay if election held before Christmas

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Abortion referendum set for delay if election held before Christmas
Social-welfare increases and public-service pension restoration also hit

Fri, Nov 24, 2017
Marie O'Halloran

The abortion referendum is likely to be delayed if a general election is triggered by next week’s no-confidence motions in the Dáil. The work of the Oireachtas group dealing with abortion, the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, will also fall once an election is triggered.

Social-welfare increases and the restoration of public-service pension payments are set to be delayed as well. But the cuts in the universal social charge, the sugar tax on sweetened drinks, and all the measures in the Finance Bill will go ahead, as the Bill has completed its passage through the Dáil. The Seanad remains in place after the Dáil is dissolved and can deal with the Bill’s measures.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum-set-for-delay-if-election-held-before-christmas-1.3304538

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Australia: When a woman can control when she has children, she can control her future

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When a woman can control when she has children, she can control her future
Chris Turner

In Australia we often take the access to contraception for granted. We have to talk about the right to reproductive choice for women globally

Friday 24 November 2017

With issues of reproductive rights being raised in the senate and abortion law reform on the agenda for the election in Queensland on Saturday, it’s time to stop and think about what it might be like if we had no choice in planning our own families.
Cory Bernardi's provocative motions on abortion divide Coalition
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Earlier this year my wife and I had our first child. She was 37 and I was 39. I couldn’t imagine being better prepared than we were and yet today our house looks like one of the Wiggles exploded inside it and we are both very, very tired. I often asked myself, how would I ever have coped as a teenage father? What would my life be like if I had not one, but 10 children? While I can never know the answer, my job has given me some reliable insight; it would probably be really tough.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/25/when-a-woman-can-control-when-she-has-children-she-can-control-her-future

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German doctor fined for illegally ‘advertising’ abortions

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German doctor fined for illegally 'advertising' abortions
Nov 24, 2017

Pro-life activists have taken a doctor to court over information she provides for her patients online. The case shows how complicated Germany's laws regulating abortion are – and that the issue is highly contentious.

Kristina Hänel, a general practitioner in the central German city of Giessen, received a €6,000 fine in court on Friday because of a single word on her practice's website. On the list of services she offers, Hänel includes family planning, sex counseling — and abortions.

Pro-life activists from the radical "Never again" initiative have sued her for this. They say Hänel is breaking the law, based on a rule stipulated in paragraph 219a of the German criminal code. It states that anyone who publicly "offers, announces [or] advertises" abortion services is to be punished with up to two years in jail or must pay a fine.

Continued at source: http://www.dw.com/en/german-doctor-fined-for-illegally-advertising-abortions/a-40598436

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Germany: Doctor who ‘advertised’ abortion on her website fined €6,000

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Doctor who ‘advertised’ abortion on her website fined €6,000

DPA/The Local
24 November 2017

A doctor who published information for women about abortions on her website has been fined €6,000 for breaking German criminal law.

61-year-old Doctor Kristina Hänel was found guilty by a district court in Gießen on Friday of “advertising” abortion on her website.

“The lawmakers do not want abortion to be talked about in public as if it is a normal thing,” the judge said in her ruling.

Continued at source: https://www.thelocal.de/20171124/doctor-who-advertised-abortion-on-her-website-fined-6000

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The Global Justice Center Applauds Over 90 Organizations for Calling on the European Commission to Provide Abortion Services to Women and Girls in War Zones

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The Global Justice Center Applauds Over 90 Organizations for Calling on the European Commission to Provide Abortion Services to Women and Girls in War Zones
A global coalition urges the European Commission to move their policy on abortion services in war zones from paper to practice.

NEW YORK and GOMA (PRWEB) November 24, 2017

Tomorrow, the world celebrates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In anticipation of this day, a global coalition of ninety civil society organizations calls on the European Commission to ensure that abortion, a medical procedure, is included in the medical care offered to women and girls, particularly in areas where rape is used as a weapon of war.

International humanitarian law mandates that war victims must have access to any medical procedure required by their condition without discrimination. Receiving care in humanitarian settings is often difficult but even where care is available, abortion is often routinely denied as the only necessary medical procedure due to aid restrictions imposed by the United States.

Continued at source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/11/prweb14950703.htm

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Nepal: Irony of choice

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Irony of choice

November 24, 2017
Priyanka Gurung

Discussion of abortion somehow always manages to spark controversies in our society. However, the fact remains that after its legalization, many Nepali couples have been turning to it. What’s intriguing though is that despite the expansion of authorized abortion services, reports of abortion complications are still prevalent.

Priyanka Gurung talks to those who have been responding to these cases to find out where the problem lies.

Continued at source: http://www.myrepublica.com/news/31353/?categoryId=81

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Demanding Access to Abortion in South Korea

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Demanding Access to Abortion in South Korea
235,000 Petitioners Call for South Korean Government to Act

Heather Barr, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division heatherbarr1
November 24, 2017

Abortion is illegal in South Korea. But women are demanding change, and more than 235,000 have signed a petition, posted by a netizen on September 30 on the presidential office website, that calls for the government to legalize abortion, including by providing access to mifepristone, an abortion-inducing drug available in many countries around the world.

This petition mechanism demonstrates a new level of access and participation in South Korea’s government. The way it works is the government allows members of the public to post a petition on its website for 30 days. In August, the new government of president Moon Jae-in reiterated its commitment by pledging to formally respond within 30 days to any petition that gathers more than 200,000 signatures.

Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/11/24/demanding-access-abortion-south-korea

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BRAZIL – Developments regarding Amendment No.181 banning abortion

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BRAZIL – Developments regarding Amendment No.181 banning abortion
Nov 24, 2017

Amendment No.181, a provision to include protection of life from conception to the text of the Constitution of Brazil, was approved by the Special Commission of the Chamber of Deputies on 8 November. It would criminalize abortion under all circumstances. Since it was passed by 18 men to 1 woman, the mobilization against the measure has been intense. A few days ago, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia, declared the amendment would not pass in the Congress. An article in Folha de São Paulo argued that the President intends to keep spirits appeased inside the Chamber, due to his hopes of being re-elected in 2018. Debating abortion could create negative consequences for him. On the other hand, Maia is from a conservative party and has joined with religious groups inside the Chamber many times, under the pro-family/pro-life flags. The stakes are high and even with his strategy of stalling the processing of the amendment, the scenario is frightening and his position remains ambiguous.

Very shortly after the Commission’s vote, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, instead of opposing the measure as regressive, published an editorial proposing to hold a referendum – to resolve the matter via public opinion, thus ignoring the right to abortion as a human rights issue and giving it the status of something that has to pass popular scrutiny. If there were to be a referendum, the odds would not be in favour of women, as the capacity to mobilise public opinion is much greater for conservative religious sectors, who own TV and radio channels and who receive generous international funding and resources in Brazil.

Subsequently, however, members of the Congress have been overwhelmed by a stream of public statements and opinion pieces in the main news and media channels, depicting this measure as absurd. The solidarity letter of the Special Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Santiago, Chile on 9 November 2017 garnered 341 signatures by 18 November.

Then a Joint Note by UN agencies – UNFPA, UN Women, Pan American Health Organization (WHO) and the OHCHR Regional Office for South America – was published on 20 November. It expressed grave concern that the measure, if passed, would create a great risk to the health and lives of women and girls.

The feminist movement has been leading the debate, as political pressure is paramount and it has been expressed and supported on many different fronts: social media, newspapers, the streets, press releases, and more. There were rallies in 24 cities in the country on 13 November, including as many as 7-10,000 people in São Paulo alone. In addition, Amnesty International was able to gather 40,000 signatures in a call to action and Avaaz, with its first petition related to abortion, obtained over 100,000 signatures. This is all the fruit of joint organizing and resistance by progressive sectors of civil society, gathered together in the Frente Nacional Contra a Criminalização das Mulheres e pela Legalização do Aborto (National Front against the Criminalization of Women and for the Legalization of Abortion), who lobbied extensively with parliamentarians in order to bring all our reasons why this amendment must not pass into the public debate.

On 21 November, another demonstration took place in Brasilia, the day the Special Commission was due to start reviewing amendments to the amendment banning abortion. Without hesitation, women went into the streets once more (photos) and reached out to allies and potential allies in both houses of the Congress, as well as its President. Our Congressional allies started to pay more attention and said they would attend the Special Commission in order to dispute the terms of the amendment. This signaled to the Special Commission that this amendment must be discussed thoroughly and cannot be decided by an empty Chamber. The review was postponed until 22 November, and the Commission is expected to return to debating the amendment next week. In the meantime, we will seek to mobilize in the context of the International Days against Violence against Women around 25 November. In a desperate counter-measure, a Republican Party congressman tabled four proposals to curtail feminist advances and to increase the penalty for all parties involved in an abortion procedure. Meanwhile, the feminist movement has been targeted by far-right conservative and religious sectors on social media, but this is not new.

Abortion is a subject at the centre of the tension between conservative and progressive sectors. With the rise in the number of seats occupied by religious legislators, it has become a minefield, widening the terms of the dispute from abortion to embrace any subject related to discrimination and gender equality, such as confessional religious education, and attempts to prohibit discussion of gender identity in schools and elsewhere by evoking “family values” as the basis of opposition.

The risk is that although ideologically the progressive parties agree with and support the right to abortion, the electoral situation may jeopardize their rightist alliances, which are part of their voter base. Further, the rightist parties are being contacted by the right to try to find ways to reach and influence the House President Maia. He is key in the upcoming progress of the amendment as soon as it leaves the Special Commission. While he has declared the amendment will not pass, he is also inclined to the right as he and his party have joined forces with the most religious sectors.

Thanks from the movement in Brazil to everyone who signed the solidarity letter and the petitions! We received 390 signatures, which were sent to allied congressmen and to the Frente Nacional Contra a Criminalização das Mulheres e pela Legalização do Aborto (National Front against the Criminalization of Women and for the Legalization of Abortion).

SOURCE: E-mail/photos from Angela de Freitas and Rajnia Rodrigues, Sexuality Policy Watch, 22 November 2017

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Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/brazil-developments-regarding-amendment-no-181-banning-abortion/

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Germany: Doctor faces up to two years’ jail for ‘advertising’ abortion on her website

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Doctor faces up to two years' jail for 'advertising' abortion on her website
DPA/The Local
23 November 2017

This week a doctor will face court in Gießen on Friday for "advertising abortion," which is illegal under German law, after putting information about the procedure up on her website.

61-year-old Doctor Kristina Hänel could be in a whole lot of trouble because she offered information on her internet site about the abortions she performs.

Continued at source: https://www.thelocal.de/20171123/trial-begins-for-doctor-accused-of-advertising-abortion

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Ireland: Experts challenged at Eighth Amendment committee over Dutch abortion laws

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Experts challenged at Eighth Amendment committee over Dutch abortion laws
Updated / Thursday, 23 Nov 2017

The number of babies born with Down Syndrome in the Netherlands has not decreased with the introduction of prenatal screening, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

That is according to Eva Pajkrt, a Professor of Obstetrics at the University of Amsterdam, who is before the Oireachtas Eighth Amendment Committee.

She was addressing concerns expressed by Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick that screening would result in fewer babies with Down Syndrome being born.

Continued at source: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2017/1123/922355-abortion-committee/

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UK: Remove risk of prison for having an abortion, medics’ group urges Jeremy Hunt

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Remove risk of prison for having an abortion, medics’ group urges Jeremy Hunt
Kat Lay, Health Correspondent
November 23 2017

An influential medics’ group will begin lobbying the government to decriminalise abortion, after a vote by its council today.

The decision, by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), will put pressure on Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, to permit women in England to take termination drugs at home, as they can in Scotland.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/remove-risk-of-prison-for-having-an-abortion-medics-group-urges-jeremy-hunt-health-secretary-faculty-of-sexual-and-reproductive-healthcare-fjqj7g0cn

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Canada: Sask. Party leadership candidate walks back comment on abortion for rape victims

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Sask. Party leadership candidate walks back comment on abortion for rape victims
The Canadian Press
Published November 23, 2017

REGINA — A candidate for premier of Saskatchewan is walking back his anti-abortion comments while some female politicians and women's groups say abortion should no longer be up for political debate.

Saskatchewan Party legislature member Ken Cheveldayoff told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that he believes life begins at conception and that abortions should be restricted only to women whose lives are in jeopardy. He was then asked about victims of sexual assault.

Continued at source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1523300-sask.-party-leadership-candidate-walks-back-comment-on-abortion-for-rape-victims

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UK: Remove risk of jail for having an abortion, demand 16,000 medics

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Remove risk of jail for having an abortion, demand 16,000 medics
Kat Lay Health Correspondent

November 23 2017

Abortion in the UK should be fully decriminalised, a group of medical professionals will say today in a landmark move.

The country faces a “crisis point in abortion provision” and reform of the law is needed, the president of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, which represents 16,000 GPs, specialists, nurses and midwives, will warn.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/remove-risk-of-jail-for-having-an-abortion-demand-16-000-medics-fkvgnnl2x

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Ireland: Claims of bias at abortion committee ‘utter nonsense’

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Claims of bias at abortion committee ‘utter nonsense’
Senator Rónán Mullan says chair Catherine Noone had ‘failed to procure objectivity’

Nov 22, 2017
Colm Keena

Members of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment have criticised colleagues who alleged its work displays bias or who have attacked the committee chair.

Earlier, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said a lot of the contributions to the committee had been factual rather than biased, and the claim that the committee was operating in a biased manner was “utter nonsense”.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/claims-of-bias-at-abortion-committee-utter-nonsense-1.3301054

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Brazil Congress Debates Ban on Abortion in Rape Cases

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Brazil Congress Debates Ban on Abortion in Rape Cases

Published 22 November 2017

Activists say the bill is unconstitutional and a violent act against women in Brazil.

Brazil's Congress is once again debating a proposed full ban on abortion with the aim of securing a unanimous vote in the Senate. Meanwhile, activists are holding protests near the legislative branch and out on the streets.

The project was originally thought to amend constitutional articles PEC 181, extending maternity leave for mothers with premature children. If the law is passed, however, it would ban all abortions, including in cases of rape.

Continued at source: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Brazil-Congress-Debates-Ban-on-Abortion-in-Rape-Cases-20171122-0018.html

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Madagascar – Tribute to Simone Veil launches national discussion on decriminalisation of abortion

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Madagascar – Tribute to Simone Veil launches national discussion on decriminalisation of abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 22, 2017

This is a translation into English of a blog by Mialy Randriamampianina, entitled “Vie de femmes – L’avortement, ce drame sous licence” published in L’express de Madagascar on 6 October 2017.

There are 75,000 clandestine abortions in Madagascar each year, according to data from the Ministry of Public Health, analysed by the University of Ankatso. Behind these figures, women’s lives are at stake. Abortion is still illegal and criminalised, first imposed under French colonial law.

Now, the National Council for Women of Madagascar have launched a discussion about the law on abortion. The discussion was opened on 27 September this year, during a meeting to pay tribute to Simone Veil, the French Minister who changed the abortion law in France.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/madagascar-tribute-to-simone-veil-launches-national-discussion-on-decriminalisation-of-abortion/

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India: 56% Abortions Unsafe Despite Being Legal; Proposed Amendments On Hold

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56% Abortions Unsafe Despite Being Legal; Proposed Amendments On Hold
Shaifali Agrawal, November 22, 2017

Niketa Mehta was in the 24th week of her pregnancy when a test revealed substantial abnormalities in the foetus’ heart that posed a risk to its survival. Mehta decided to abort, but found herself restrained by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, which prohibits abortion of a foetus older than 20 weeks, except when “immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman”.

Mehta’s obstetrician sought judicial authorisation (Nikhil Datar v. Union of India) from the Bombay High Court, saying Mehta did not want to give birth to a severely disabled infant and witness its suffering. The court refused, saying the issue was of future health risks to the unborn child, and not to the mother.

Continued at source: http://www.indiaspend.com/cover-story/56-abortions-unsafe-despite-being-legal-proposed-amendments-on-hold-42620

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Let Irish GPs give out abortion pills, advises UK clinic service

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Let Irish GPs give out abortion pills, advises UK clinic service

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
November 22 2017

Doctors should be allowed to prescribe abortion pills if Ireland is to avoid the “pitfalls” of British abortion law, an Oireachtas committee will be told.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which runs abortion clinics in the UK, will tell 21 members of the abortion committee today that Ireland should not copy certain aspects of the law in Britain if it decides to bring in legislation of its own.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/let-irish-gps-give-out-abortion-pills-advises-uk-clinic-service-gklvqhc62

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