New Zealand – Big Read: Abortion law reform – what’s at stake?

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Big Read: Abortion law reform - what's at stake?
17 Jun, 2018
20 minutes to read
By: Dawn Picken

Abortion is in the spotlight again, after voters in Ireland voted overwhelmingly late last month to overturn the largely Catholic country's ban by 66.4 per cent to 33.6 per cent. The Emerald Isle's referendum comes as a law commission in New Zealand considers removing abortion from the Crimes Act. Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reporter Dawn Picken spoke with advocates, activists and women who've had or considered abortions about what decriminalising the procedure means to them.

*note: names of women who've had abortions have been changed to protect privacy.
Heartbreaking Pregnancy

Tania and Scott were thrilled when they learned they were pregnant with their second child. Everything was going well when the couple went for their 20-week ultrasound to learn the baby's sex. It was a boy, says Tania.

Continued: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12070558

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From Ireland to Northern Ireland: campaigns for abortion law

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From Ireland to Northern Ireland: campaigns for abortion law

Angel Li
Published: 16 June 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31357-6 |

After Ireland successfully overturned its 8th Amendment using grassroots activism, attention turns to Northern Ireland's abortion laws. Angel Li reports from Dublin.

Sitting in a quiet carriage of a train to Gatwick Airport, my thoughts turned to the women taking this same route back to Ireland after travelling to the UK for abortions. I wondered if anyone was on this train for that very purpose. More than 170 000 women have travelled abroad from Ireland seeking abortions since 1980.

Having arrived at Gatwick Airport, I met two volunteers working with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign who were taking the same flight to Dublin as me.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31357-6/fulltext

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The vote in Argentina: WE’VE WON !!!

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The vote in Argentina: WE'VE WON !!!
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14 June 2018
ARGENTINA

The photos above are of a few of the Deputies in the Argentinian Congress supporting safe, legal, free abortion in the day-long marathon debate on 13 June, with the green scarves of the movement around their necks and on their desks.

The debate started at 11:30am on 13 June, and at that point several of the undecided deputies announced their positions, but it was not yet clear who had the majority of votes. Just after midnight, El Comercio reported that of the 275 deputies, 124 were thought to be against the bill and 126 in favour. Importantly, the report notes, the deputies’ positions for or against the bill, from the first day, were independent of their political affiliations. The bill needs 129 votes of the 257 total to be approved.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/the-vote-in-argentina-weve-won-14-june-2018?e=372dd34034

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Explainer: what are abortion clinic safe-access zones and where do they exist in Australia?

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Explainer: what are abortion clinic safe-access zones and where do they exist in Australia?

June 14, 2018
Tania Penovic

New South Wales recently became the fifth Australian jurisdiction to enact legislation that establishes safe-access zones around abortion clinics.

The legislation is a response to picketing of clinics by anti-abortion protesters for more than two decades. These protesters characterise themselves as “sidewalk counsellors” but their conduct has included verbal abuse, threats, impeding entry to clinics, displaying violent imagery and acts of “disturbing theatre” such as pushing a blood-splattered doll in a pram.

Safe-access zones are sometimes called bubble zones because they create a bubble around an abortion clinic in which certain conduct is prohibited. NSW will now impose safe-access zones of 150 metres around clinics that provide abortions.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-are-abortion-clinic-safe-access-zones-and-where-do-they-exist-in-australia-98175

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Trump’s Ban On Funding For Overseas Abortions Has Some Little-Known Exceptions

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Trump's Ban On Funding For Overseas Abortions Has Some Little-Known Exceptions

June 13, 2018
Nurith Aizenman

It was one of Donald Trump's first acts as President: a Jan. 23, 2017 executive order that cuts off U.S. support to foreign groups unless they promise not to "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning." This includes providing patients with referrals or information about the procedure, even if those activities are funded by non-U.S. government sources.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has adopted a variant of the "Mexico City policy" — so called after the city where it was first announced. And every Democratic successor has reversed it.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/13/616906884/trumps-ban-on-funding-for-overseas-abortions-has-some-little-known-exceptions

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Human Rights Watch: Testimony at the Argentine Congress on decriminalization of abortion

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Testimony at the Argentine Congress on decriminalization of abortion
hHuman Rights Watch
June 12, 2018

Dear Congressmen,

Thank you for the invitation to appear before the Argentine Congress to discuss the decriminalization of abortion in the country.

The purpose of my presentation is to present a review of international human rights standards and comparative law that we hope the Argentine Congress will take into account when deciding on the decriminalization of abortion. Human Rights Watch considers the decriminalization of abortion to be a key advancement for women's human rights and a necessary step for Argentina to comply with its international obligations.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/12/testimony-argentine-congress-decriminalization-abortion

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USA – Title X facilities are already over-regulated

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Title X facilities are already over-regulated

By David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe, Opinion Contributors
June 12, 2018

The Trump administration’s plan to impose a so-called “domestic gag rule”—a prohibition on providing, referring and counseling about abortion—on facilities receiving Title X funding for family planning services has unleashed a storm of criticism. The public comment period is now open, and the backlash promises to be fierce.

Medical groups state that withholding information about medical procedures is a violation of medical ethics. Numerous political observers note that the real intent of this measure is to deliver on Trump’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood, a major recipient of Title X funding. But largely overlooked in these responses to the domestic gag rule is that the current rules governing Title X grantees represent terrible public policy. As the public now weighs in on the proposed regulations, we should not forget that not only is the new gag rule harmful, but that the existing restrictions governing Title X and abortion care should be lifted as well because they are bad for patients and bad for public health.

Continued: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/391712-title-x-facilities-are-already-over-regulated#.Wx_4xsTUmTI.facebook

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How did Northern Ireland lawmakers carve out an anti-abortion ‘ghetto’ within the UK?

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How did Northern Ireland lawmakers carve out an anti-abortion ‘ghetto’ within the UK?
Northern Ireland remains a blind spot for equality for women and members of the LGBTIQ community. Will Ireland’s abortion referendum change this?

Stephanie Williamson
11 June 2018

More than two weeks have passed since Ireland’s historic abortion referendum was won by a groundswell of grassroots feminist activism. A large majority (66.4%) voted to repeal the country’s eighth constitutional amendment, opening the door to proposed legislation to allow abortions up to 12 weeks.

Huge numbers of repeal campaigners and voters were young women – with a staggering 94% increase in the turnout of women aged 18-24, compared to the 2016 general election. The result reflected a frank rejection of decades of misogyny and the suffocating grip of church and state on women’s rights.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/stephanie-williamson/northern-ireland-anti-abortion-ghetto-uk

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Pro-life activists target rural Nepali women

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Pro-life activists target rural Nepali women
Tara Todras-Whitehill, with additional reporting by Rojita Adhikari, CNN
Sat June 09, 2018

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) Pastor Soman Rai and his group of volunteers from Kathmandu walk to a small church in the village of Shilaprabat, in Sindhupalchock, an area left devastated by the deadly earthquakes that shook Nepal three years ago.

The only way to access the area, located some 80km (50 miles) east of the capital, is via a wire footbridge and a narrow dirt path.

Once there, Rai and the group set up a table of pamphlets, and hang a large sign with the colorful handprints of children around the slogan "I Choose Life." At the bottom of the banner is the name of Rai's organization -- Voice of Fetus Nepal.

Continued: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/08/health/nepal-pro-life-abortion-intl/index.html?__twitter_impression=true

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It may still be legal, but women’s access to abortion is under attack in America

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It may still be legal, but women's access to abortion is under attack in America

The restrictive measures put on clinics under the Trap laws are designed to make access to abortion not only more complicated, but also more traumatic, in order to make women think again about their reproductive choices

Reena Aggarwal
June 3, 2018

In the US, the pivotal legal case of Roe v Wade in 1973 legalised abortion, establishing that the decision to terminate a pregnancy was between a woman and her doctor, and was protected under the constitutional right to privacy. Since its inception, there have been over 1000 restrictive state laws to limit these rights afforded to women to make the process of acquiring an abortion more painful, challenging, and in some cases, impossible. There is no murkiness here – women have a right to have an abortion if they wish. Yet, in the US, a woman’s access to abortion is very much decided by where she lives alongside her financial resources and physical capacity.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-america-planned-parenthood-title-x-donald-trump-arkansas-roe-vs-wade-a8381181.html

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