USA – “Whatever’s your darkest question, you can ask me.”

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“Whatever’s your darkest question, you can ask me.”
A secret network of women is working outside the law and the medical establishment to provide safe, cheap home abortions.

March 28, 2018
By Lizzie Presser

On a winter morning, Anna* walked the aisles of an herbal-medicine store, picked up a bottle each of blue cohosh and black cohosh, along with a plastic bag of pennyroyal tea, and drove to the topless bar on the edge of town where she worked. There, she met Jules, another dancer. They performed on a small stage with crystal curtains, the green light of an ATM flashing on their left, until 9 p.m. The women, both in their 20s, then drove to the Motel 6 where Jules lived and entered her dim room on the second floor, which smelled of grape cigars. Anna pulled out the tinctures and tea and explained the plan. She was going to help Jules try to have an abortion.

Continued: https://story.californiasunday.com/abortion-providers

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A Hitler-Era Abortion Law Haunts Merkel, and Germany

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A Hitler-Era Abortion Law Haunts Merkel, and Germany

By MELISSA EDDY
MARCH 27, 2018

BERLIN — She was an obscure gynecologist in a central German town who never intended to stoke a debate that is driving a wedge into Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new government. But faced with a fine under a Nazi-era law for publishing information about abortion on the website of her gynecological practice, Kristina Hänel said she had no choice but to publicize a prohibition that she calls “outdated and unnecessary.”

The law, paragraph 219a of the German criminal code, makes it a crime for doctors to publicly advertise in any way that they perform abortions, even though they are permitted in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. For decades, the advertising ban was largely overlooked. Many gynecologists who listed abortion among their offerings to prospective patients say they were not aware of its existence until they received notice from a prosecutor informing them of legal proceedings against them.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/world/europe/germany-nazi-era-abortion-law.html

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USA – Abortion AMA: Can My OB-GYN Provide An Abortion?

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Abortion AMA: Can My OB-GYN Provide An Abortion?

By Danielle Campoamor
March 26, 2018

I made two phone calls the moment I found out I was pregnant: one to my best friend and one to my OB-GYN's office. I figured if anyone could tolerate me repeatedly saying "no f*cking way,” it would be my BFF. And if anyone knew anything about ending an unwanted pregnancy, it would be my gynecologist. After all, abortion is a common, safe, and legal medical procedure, which is why I never thought to ask, "Can my OB-GYN provide an abortion?"

But, much to my surprise, my doctor couldn't. I am embarrassed to admit I didn't push the issue and ask her why (to be fair, I was pretty distracted at the time). She still gave me plenty of information and a great referral, but it turns out my experience is common.

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/abortion-ama-can-my-ob-gyn-provide-abortion-8538823

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Ireland – Ann Lovett: Death of a ‘strong, kick-ass girl’

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Ann Lovett: Death of a ‘strong, kick-ass girl’
Ann Lovett died aged 15 after giving birth at a grotto in Granard, Co Longford in 1984. Had she lived, she would turn 50 next month

Sat, Mar 24, 2018
Rosita Boland

“I remember being outside the church when the hearse arrived . . . I remember when they were taking the coffin out of the hearse, there was a collective gasp . . . Usually at a removal, you’d hear a mumble of people talking. But apart from that gasp, there was silence. What could anyone say?”

Nuala Ledwith, who lived three miles outside Granard, Co Longford, at the time, is talking about the removal of Ann Lovett and her stillborn son to St Mary’s Church in Granard on Thursday, February 2nd, 1984. Two days previously, Ann Lovett had died after giving birth in the grotto adjoining St Mary’s. She was 15. The repercussions of her death continue to resonate powerfully in Irish society, more than three decades later.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/ann-lovett-death-of-a-strong-kick-ass-girl-1.3429792

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ARROW – #OurStoriesOurselves!

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ARROW – #OurStoriesOurselves!

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
March 22, 2018

On International Women’s Day, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) launched the online version of their publication #OurStoriesOurselves!, which contains stories of women’s experiences of pregnancy, abortion, the consequences of sex, child marriage and more. In addition to the stories of women themselves, the webpage includes podcasts, a photo gallery and images of hand-written journals by women that form the basis of the publication. Here is an excerpt from one of those stories from a Moroccan woman:

Fatima’s story
Five years ago, Fatima (then aged 16 years) was raped in her home by her uncle. Initially, she kept the incident to herself. “Shocked and afraid, I could not talk about it to my family or anyone I knew,” she narrated.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/arrow-ourstoriesourselves/

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USA – How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

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How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

Adam Sonfield,Guttmacher Institute
First published on Health Affairs Blog: March 21, 2018

On January 19, the Trump administration proposed new regulations to interpret and enforce more than 20 federal statutory provisions related to “conscience and religious freedom.” Collectively, as interpreted by the administration, these statutes would grant broad powers to individuals and organizations in the health care field and beyond to refuse to provide or be involved with services, information, and referrals to which they have religious or moral objections. That includes services related to abortion, contraception, end-of-life care, global health care assistance, vaccination, and much more. The proposed regulations and steps to enforce them have real potential to undermine existing legal and ethical protections for patients’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, and other critical care.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2018/03/how-administrations-proposed-conscience-rule-undermines-reproductive-health-and

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The doctor who brought abortion out of the shadows in Ireland

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The doctor who brought abortion out of the shadows in Ireland
Rebecca Gomperts helps women who can’t terminate pregnancies under the law.

by Jillian Deutsch
3/20/18

AMSTERDAM — Abortion may be illegal in Ireland, but it is already a reality for thousands of women in the country because of packets of pills openly smuggled in by a Dutch doctor and activist called Rebecca Gomperts.

So as Ireland gets ready to hold a referendum on May 25 on whether to legalize the termination of pregnancies in one of the last European countries to ban it, there is already broad consensus among the country’s politicians that it’s time to bring abortion out of the shadows.

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/ireland-referendum-abortion-rebecca-gomperts-a-hard-pill-to-swallow-in-ireland/

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Trump’s War on Maternal Health

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Trump’s War on Maternal Health
Mar 19, 2018
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Elizabeth Radin

Around the world, women continue to die from complications arising in childbirth, even though maternal mortality is a problem that we know how to solve. What is missing is not the know-how, but funding and political leaders who are brave enough to put women's health before partisan politics.

WASHINGTON, DC – In December 2014, the cover of Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” issue featured Salome Karwah, a nursing assistant who not only survived the Ebola epidemic in her native Liberia that year, but also helped waves of patients arriving at her Ebola ward. Karwah was a hero who met a tragic end. One year ago, she died from complications in childbirth, a killer that every month takes twice as many lives as the entire Ebola epidemic.

Continued: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-republicans-maternal-mortality-by-anne-marie-slaughter-and-elizabeth-radin-2018-03?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_todayworld

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Concerted attack of the Polish fundamentalists

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Concerted attack of the Polish fundamentalists
March 16, 2018

Since 2015 when the Law and Justice Party has come to power, atmosphere around women’s rights and freedoms, including the right to abortion, is very tense. In January 2018, the MP referred a draft law banning abortion in case of foetal impairment to the committee for a further discussion. Following massive protests, the decision makers seemed to put “Stop abortion” into “a legislative freezer”. The anti-choice group continued to put pressure on the politicians with letters, tweets and pickets in front of the Polish parliament. Without effect, until the Polish bishops intervened. On the March, 14 the Polish Episcopal Conference appealed for the bill to be proceeded. A day later, the Head of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights announced that the opinion on the draft law will be issued on the next Monday (19.03). This illustrates the enormous power of the Church and the strong resistance of the politicians to put human rights over their own interests in the light of the upcoming elections in 2018 (local) and 2019 (national).

Continued: http://en.federa.org.pl/concerted-attack-of-the-polish-fundamentalists/

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Ensuring women’s sexual and reproductive autonomy key to gender equality

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Ensuring women's sexual and reproductive autonomy key to gender equality, writes Amruta Fadnavis

Written By Amruta Fadnavis
Updated: Mar 10, 2018

Women, who constitute 49 per cent of India’s population, are increasingly contributing to the economy and are crucial drivers of the growth and progress we witness today. However, we will not be able to sustain this progress unless their health, specifically sexual and reproductive health issues, are prioritised in the national agenda.

Many women still do not have access to essential sexual and reproductive health services and infrastructure. They face vulnerabilities due to several economic and social barriers – lack of financial resources, skewed cultural norms, lack of information and stigma – that prevent them from accessing timely and life-saving services.

Continued: http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-in-sickness-and-in-health-2592362

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