A helping hand, a listening ear: abortion helpline in India

A helping hand, a listening ear: abortion
helpline in India, where 10 women a day die from unsafe terminations, offers
counselling and access to a safe clinic

Priti Salian
6 Aug, 2020

Yet another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic has been to restrict the
access of millions of women in lockdown to their choice of birth control. India
is seeing millions of unintended pregnancies – and risky abortions.

Zainab Mandlawala will never forget her own experience on a March afternoon in
2018. After waiting for hours, a gynaecologist finally led her into the
operating room and numbed her cervix with a local anaesthetic. She then
performed a “D&C” – dilation and curettage – abortion.

Continued: https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/article/3096082/helping-hand-listening-ear-abortion-helpline-india-where

USA – Abortion Restrictions After June Medical Services

A concurring opinion leaves the standard for determining the constitutionality of abortion restrictions in doubt.

Aug 4, 2020
Rachel Rebouche

At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in June Medical Services v. Russo. At issue was a Louisiana law, the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. Like hundreds of similar state laws across the country, this law would have made abortion services difficult, if not impossible, to obtain in Louisiana.

A majority of the Court struck down the Louisiana law, but five justices did not agree on why the law was unconstitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred only in judgment—and his concurrence may be the key to understanding what regulations the Court will or will not permit in the future.

Continued: https://www.theregreview.org/2020/08/04/rebouche-abortion-restrictions-june-medical/

COVID-19 has “devastating” effect on women and girls

Sophie Cousins, The Lancet
August 01, 2020

Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund, is among experts warning about disrupted health services and a surge in gender-based violence. Sophie Cousins reports.

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, fears are increasing about the effect of the pandemic on women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and their access to care. In response to COVID-19, in March, WHO issued interim guidance for maintaining essential services during an outbreak, which included advice to prioritise services related to reproductive health and make efforts to avert maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31679-2/fulltext

India – The Question of Mother’s safety in Abortion: Is the Indian system progressive?

Dushyant Kishan Kaul
August 1,2020

India is largely seen a progressive regime on right to abortion. However, there have been multiple instances where courts have denied to grant abortion even in medically important cases. The author notes a case where the abortion procedure itself posed risks to the life of the mother. In this context the article analyses Indian courts and laws approach to mothers well being and reproduction rights.


The Supreme Court recently allowed the medical termination of twin pregnancies of a twenty-five-week pregnant woman. In Komal Hiwale v. State of Maharashtra, a bench, comprising of Justice R. Banumathi, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Aniruddha Bose, allowed for the abortion of a fetus which had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Continued: https://theleaflet.in/the-question-of-mothers-safety-in-abortion-is-the-indian-system-progressive/ 

Latin America – Covid-19 hospital beds and abortion

There is hard evidence that the pandemic presents a heightened risk to reproductive health

31 JUL 2020

“Abortion is a public health matter,” scientists say. This notion seems a bit abstract – how can a criminalized practice constitute a public health need? The Covid-19 pandemic is a teachable moment. But it is the teaching of horror: according to the World Health Organization, thousands of women visit health services every month to receive care for incomplete abortions. In Argentina, the figure was 3,330 women; in Chile, 1,522; in Colombia, 7,778; and in Mexico, 18,285, in different years. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 760,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean are treated annually at healthcare services because of complications from unsafe abortions, averaging out to 63,000 beds a month. When a woman goes to a hospital for complications from an unsafe abortion, she might end up needing a bed twice: once, to treat the unsafe abortion and next, to be treated for the Covid-19 she contracted in the hospital.

Continued: https://english.elpais.com/opinion/2020-07-31/covid-19-hospital-beds-and-abortion.html

Progressively Speaking: Abortion laws and police women’s bodies

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild takes a controversial topical issue and looks at a Reform Jewish angle

July 31, 2020

Kanye West recently launched a bid to become US president on an anti-abortion ticket and the issue has since been in the headlines.

Discussion about abortion is necessarily complex and frequently freighted with contextual perspectives. Yet an examination of Jewish sources reveals that certain matters are clear since Biblical times.

Continued: https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/progressively-speaking-abortion-laws-and-police-womens-bodies/

USA: How Brett Kavanaugh tried to sidestep abortion and Trump financial docs cases

By Joan Biskupic, CNN legal analyst & Supreme Court biographer
Wed July 29, 2020

(CNN)Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh urged his colleagues in a series of private memos this spring to consider avoiding decisions in major disputes over abortion and Democratic subpoenas for President Donald Trump's financial records, according to multiple sources familiar with the inner workings of the court.

In the abortion controversy, Kavanaugh wanted the justices to sidestep any ruling on the merits of a Louisiana law that could have closed abortion clinics in the state, CNN has learned. The case marked the first time in four years the justices were taking up the heated subject. Kavanaugh's plan would have ensured the law -- a credentialing mandate for doctors who perform abortions -- would not go into immediate effect but also ensured that the justices would not have to put their own views on the line.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/29/politics/brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-abortion-trump-documents/index.html

Abortion Laws For Women: Why Is The Womb So Heavily Legislated?

July 28, 2020
by Priyanka Chakrabarty

In 2009 the Supreme Court of India gave a landmark judgement in Suchita Srivastava vs Chandigarh Administration case where it was held that right to reproductive autonomy is an integral part of Right to Life under Article 21 of Constitution of India. The Apex Court stressed that a medical procedure of abortion cannot be carried out on a woman if she has not consented to it. Hence, the right to reproductive autonomy was held as a Fundamental Right.

Right to Abortion: The Issue of Accessibility

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 has governed women’s right to access abortion and their reproductive autonomy. SheThePeople reached out to two lawyers who have been litigating on MTP cases to understand the realities of the women who reach out to courts to access their right to abortion. These cases raise important questions on aspects of choice and autonomy. Ultimately, the larger question looms, how free is the womb and the woman who carries it? Please note that the names of the survivors have been changed to respect privacy and anonymity.

Continued: https://www.shethepeople.tv/health/women-reproductive-rights-india-abortion/

USA – Anti-Abortion Protesters Exploit Clinics’ COVID-19 Safety Precautions To Harass Patients

By: Clare Busch
July 17, 2020

On June 29, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to also have the ability to admit and treat patients at a local hospital. The same day, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a new mandatory 24-hour waiting period between consulting with a physician and having an abortion. Other state legislatures are back at work enacting new barriers on accessing abortion.

While abortion clinics prepare to navigate additional legal restrictions on patients’ reproductive rights, workers are also navigating how to safeguard patients’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, anti-abortion activists have flouted CDC guidelines by not wearing masks when they protest clinics and exploit new distancing protocols to increase patient harassment.

Continued: https://therealnews.com/columns/anti-abortion-protesters-exploit-clinics-covid-19-safety-precautions-to-harass-patients

Supreme Court says employers may opt out of Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate over religious, moral objections

Supreme Court ruling may cause tens of thousands to lose birth control coverage

By Robert Barnes

July 8, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration may allow employers and universities to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement to provide contraceptive care because of religious or moral objections.

The issue has been at the heart of an intense legal
battle for nine years — first with the Obama administration sparring with
religious organizations who said offering contraceptive care to their employees
violated their beliefs, and then with the Trump administration broadening an
exemption, angering women’s groups, health organizations and Democratic-led