Lower rates in countries where abortion is legal

Readers Blog: Lower rates in countries where abortion is legal

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Repeated international studies have shown that in countries where abortion is legalised there tends to be lower abortion rates than in countries where abortion is illegal or restricted.

An example in practice is Switzerland who has one of the lowest abortion rates in the world, followed closely by Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.

All these countries allow for abortion unrestricted up to 12 weeks. When Portugal legalised abortion in 2007, legal abortions matched illegal abortion rates initially and then declined over time until finally stabilising.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/yourview/readers-blog-lower-rates-in-countries-where-abortion-is-legal-839766.html

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Busting Abortion Stigma with inroads

Busting Abortion Stigma with inroads

Mar 30, 2018
By Camila, YouAct member

Last week I entered a beautiful, stigma-free world: where people have access to legal, safe, and free abortions, where your economic situation, nationality, gender, disability, race, religion or age don’t limit your access to healthcare, where you don’t have to justify your decision to continue or end a pregnancy, where having the right to make your own decisions over your body is a given, where your emotions and feelings are taken seriously, and where diversity is celebrated. This world was the inroads Global Gathering, which took place in Zagreb from the 12th to 16th of March 2018.

I was invited to the inroads Global Gathering to present YouAct’s work on stigma busting through the ‘Speak My Language’ Project: two toolkits that explain abortion stigma with a focus on Eastern Europe and show how storytelling can be an incredibly empowering and effective tool to bust stigma.

Continued: http://youact.org/2018/03/30/busting-abortion-stigma-with-inroads/

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Poland: Conformism, contempt & conceit – voting on abortion-related bills in the Polish Parliament

Conformism, contempt & conceit – voting on abortion-related bills in the Polish Parliament

10/01 will be remembered as another day when Polish women were betrayed by people who were given mandate to represent their citizens. Citizens and their legislative initiative. Polish MPs have rejected the “Save women” bill and referred to the committee the “Stop abortion” bill. We thought we hit rock bottom, then the anti-choice majority knocked from down below.

80 pro-choice organizations have appealed to the MPs for a fact-based, open-minded and genuine debate in the Parliament. They have provided fact-based arguments to encourage the lawmakers to support a bill that guarantees basic standards in education, conscious parenthood and reproductive health (more about the bill). To stand by women whose rights have been since 25 years neglected. 25 years of the highly restrictive law that is in practice even more repressive as it has restricted an access to legal abortion (more about the effects of the anti-abortion law).

Continued at source: http://en.federa.org.pl/voting-on-abortion-related-bills/

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#25YearsOfWomen’sHell – 25th disgraceful anniversary of the Polish anti-abortion law

#25YearsOfWomen’sHell – 25th disgraceful anniversary of the Polish anti-abortion law
Jan 9, 2017
Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning

7th January 1993 Act on Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Legal Pregnancy Termination (later: the Act) has had a detrimental effect on women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights for 25 years. Due to the anniversary and upcoming debates about two abortion-related citizens’ bills[1] in the Parliament, the Federation for Women and Family Planning has launched the #25YearsOfWomen’sHell campaign so as to illustrate the fictional character of the Act and its multiple negative effects. Follow memes with the hashtag to learn and share facts about SRHR in Poland.

80 pro-choice organizations have supported and signed the Federation’s statement concerning the “Save women” bill on women’s rights and conscious parenthood so as to appeal to the MPs for a fact-based, open-minded and genuine debate in the Parliament as well as for a vote in favour of the bill.

Continued at source: http://en.federa.org.pl/25yearsofwomenshell/

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Poland: 25 years of Women’s Hell

25 years of Women’s Hell
7 January 2018
by Wanda Nowicka

25 years ago on January 7th 1993 the Polish Parliament passed the anti-abortion in Poland under the pressure of the Roman Catholic Church despite numerous protests and opposition in the entire country. It ignored 1,5 million of signatures under the initiative of national referendum collected in shops, health centers and in the streets.

After 25 years of restrictive legislation it is evident how damaging this law turned out to be for Polish women. Their life, health and dignity have been in great danger, It deprived them capacity to decide about their life.

Continued at source: http://nowicka-wanda.blog.onet.pl/2018/01/07/25-years-of-womens-hell/

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International law and the provision of abortion services

International law and the provision of abortion services

Kirsten Sjøvoll considers whether the Supreme Court's approach to international law as an aid to interpretation of the ECHR is out of step with Strasbourg, and where this leaves international law as an interpretative aid generally

By Kirsten Sjovoll · On July 28, 2017

In R (A & B) v Secretary of State for Health [2017] UKSC 41 the Supreme Court considered whether the Secretary of State’s failure to exercise his power to require that abortion services be provided through the NHS in England – to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland – was unlawful. The question was whether he failed to discharge his duty under the National Health Service Act 2006, s 3 to “take such steps as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements” for services. It also considered whether the continuing failure to provide such abortion services infringed the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR” of “the Convention”), art 14 in conjunction with 8. In particular, the Supreme Court considered to what extent these rights under the ECHR should be informed by other obligations and principles of international law.

Continued at source: Law of Nations Blog: https://lawofnationsblog.com/2017/07/28/international-law-provision-abortion-services/

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Ireland: Cautious welcome for new Taoiseach’s 2018 Repeal referendum

Cautious welcome for new Taoiseach’s 2018 Repeal referendum

June 16, 2017
Referendum on the 8th Amendment could be a step forward for Ireland

Speaking today in response to the announcement of a referendum to take place in 2018, Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) spokesperson Linda Kavanagh said, “We’d obviously welcome it, however we reserve judgement until the wording of the referendum is revealed. We fear that it will offer only very limited abortion access and repeat the failures of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. We need broad-based legislation so that real and realistic access is given, otherwise thousands will still travel or break the law by importing and taking abortion pills.”

Continued at source: Abortion Rights Campaign: https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2017/06/16/cautious-welcome-for-new-taoiseachs-2018-repeal-referendum/

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What evangelical policy means for women worldwide

What evangelical policy means for women worldwide
May 17, 2017

By Molly Hanson
Editorial Writer
Freedom From Religion Foundation

Earlier this year, President Trump ― circled by a half-dozen men in the Oval Office ― signed an executive order restricting the autonomy of women across the globe. The order, signed back in January, froze foreign aid or federal funding for international health organizations that provide abortions. The administration has just announced that it will be expanding this Global Gag Rule, calling it “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.” Sounds virtuous, right?

Here is the description of the new policy that a White House official gave to “The Brody File” on Christian Broadcasting Network News:

“The pro-life policy will apply to global health assistance funding for international health programs, such as those for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, and family planning and reproductive health.”

Christian broadcaster David Brody called the policy, “yet another evangelical victory under this administration.”

Continued at source: Freedom from Religion Foundation: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freethoughtnow/evangelical-foreign-healthcare-policy-means-women/

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On World Day of Social Justice, why is access to safe abortion a social justice issue?

On World Day of Social Justice, why is access to safe abortion a social justice issue?
by Safe Abortion
Feb 19, 2017

A socially just society is one where human rights are manifest and in which opportunities, wealth and privilege are equally distributed. The United Nations World Day of Social Justice site says that social justice struggles are those that “remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.”

Abortion is a social justice issue in that criminalising, restricting or stigmatising abortion creates barriers that women with unwanted pregnancies face in exercising body autonomy. Often these barriers are even greater for women of colour, young  women and poor women.

Specifically, the human rights outlined in Articles 3,4, and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are denied or violated when access to safe abortion is restricted.

Article 3, “Right to life, liberty and security of person”, is denied to women whose pregnancies present a serious risk to their lives in countries where abortion is illegal with no exceptions. These include El Salvador, Malta, Vatican, Chile, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. Even in countries where abortion is allowed under limited conditions, women’s lives, liberty and security are often placed at risk because the restrictions mean that few legal abortions are in fact provided. Criminalising abortion does not decrease the incidence of abortion; instead, it increases the incidence of unsafe abortion as women are forced to seek services that are extra-legal and may be unsafe. Restrictions on abortion almost always affect poor and young women disproportionately as wealthier women can afford to pay  for safe care.

Article 4 says, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude”. Forcing women to continue pregnancies that they do not want, have children and become mothers is a form of forced labour. The day that was chosen as the international day of action for the decriminalisation of abortion in 1990, 28 September, was historically the Day of the Free Womb, the day on which the children born to slave mothers in Brazil were freed in 1871. The decriminalisation of abortion is still called for every year on 28 September,  as International Safe Abortion Day. While most women do have children at some moment in their lives, it must be up to the individual  to decide whether, when and how many children to have. To force women to have children they do not wish to have is a form of slavery.

Finally denial of access to abortion goes against Article 5, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Report of Juan Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, presented to the Human Rights Council’s 31st session in 2016, included the following:

Where access to abortion is restricted by law, maternal mortality increases as women are forced to undergo clandestine abortions in unsafe and unhygienic conditions. Short- and long-term physical and psychological consequences also arise due to unsafe abortions and when women are forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will (A/66/254). Such restrictive policies disproportionately impact marginalized and disadvantaged women and girls. Highly restrictive abortion laws that prohibit abortions even in cases of incest, rape or fetal impairment or to safeguard the life or health of the woman violate women’s right to be free from torture and ill-treatment (A/HRC/22/53, CEDAW/C/OP.8/PHL/1). 

The denial of safe, legal abortion is denial of human rights. This is why access to abortion is a social justice issue. Every woman with an unwanted pregnancy should have the right to a safe abortion, without discrimination, barriers or restrictions.

Image credit: © Andrea Pippins

To create this piece, Andrea Pippins was inspired by the Tuskuteesh movement and their efforts to break the silence surrounding all kinds of sexual violence against Arab women. Source: AWID

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/blog/world-social-justice-day/

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Trump Vs International Abortion

Trump Vs International Abortion
Feb 7, 2017

Heather Jeffrey, Lecturer in Tourism Studies at the University of Bedfordshire

Donald Trump has been in office for but two weeks and already he is dramatically changing the face of the World as we know it. One of Trump’s first actions was to reinstate the global gag rule, a rule initially devised in 1984 by Ronald Reagan. When initiating this, Reagan drew heavily on the morality of US citizens, suggesting the rule was about removing financial support for abortions around the world. Similarly, the conversation about the gag rule has mostly focused around the subject of abortion. Yet, what the gag rule actually does is reduce funding for organisations that educate and counsel on a whole range of issues, including family planning, maternal health, HIV prevention and testing, contraception and sex education for young people.

In order to better understand how this might affect women in the countries that may see a dramatic reduction in financial aid supporting family planning, I interviewed Dr Bianca Stumbitz, who has extensive experience researching issues related to maternity protection including in both Ghana and Malaysia. Bianca draws primarily on her experiences in Ghana, working on an ILO funded study concerning maternity protection in the workplace, looking especially at informal workers in impoverished areas, where access to health care is a key challenge.

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/heather-jeffrey/trump-v-international-abo_b_14630600.html

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