Norway – Instrumentalising women’s reproductive vulnerability for political gain: where in the world does it stop?

Instrumentalising women’s reproductive vulnerability for political gain: where in the world does it stop?
November 30, 2018

A move to restrict abortion in Norway is a particularly stark example of the readiness with which women’s reproductive vulnerability is traded as a kind of political capital

There is an extraordinary piece of instrumentalisation of women’s health for political gain going on in an unlikely quarter, just now.

Norway has both a relatively good record on women’s rights, and a balanced and popular abortion law with no popular or parliamentary mandate for change. It also has low and falling abortion rates, 80% of which are conducted as a woman’s choice under 9 weeks, and just 4%—far more tightly regulated than, for example, in either Sweden or the UK—in the second trimester.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/11/30/instrumentalising-womens-reproductive-vulnerability-for-political-gain-where-in-the-world-does-it-stop/

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Kenya – EDITORIAL: Closing down Marie Stopes is defeatist

EDITORIAL: Closing down Marie Stopes is defeatist

Nov. 22, 2018
By STAR EDITOR

The government has threatened to close down Marie Stopes clinics if they are found to be conducting abortions — whether at the request of a patient or as permitted by the law.

This move is defeatist as tens of women each day will continue seeking abortion services, whether Marie Stopes is closed down or not.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/11/22/editorial-closing-down-marie-stopes-is-defeatist_c1854340

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Ireland – Abortion: Wait rather than risk a tragedy

Abortion: Wait rather than risk a tragedy

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Government hopes to pass abortion legislation before Christmas and Taoiseach Leo Varadakar has said he is confident the Government’s timeline to have pregnancy termination services available in January 2019 can be met.

Those are both big asks as the process of setting up the service has already met a number of hurdles. In the first instance, there remains a cohort of TDs and senators opposed to introducing abortion services here and they will do anything they can to stop or delay it.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/ourview/abortion-wait-rather-than-risk-a-tragedy-885875.html

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New Zealand – Editorial: Abortion law needs to catch up with real life

Editorial: Abortion law needs to catch up with real life

6 Nov, 2018

Abortion is not a subject most people want to discuss, either as personal experience or as a matter of public policy. New Zealanders who remember our abortion debate of the 1970s probably have no wish to repeat it, but it looks likely the country will need to. The Labour Party wants to remove abortion from the criminal law and treat it as a health matter. Justice Minister Andrew Little has taken the first step, getting advice from the Law Commission on how that might be done.

The debate of 40 years ago ended, as difficult issues often do, in a compromise that satisfied neither side. The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 set out conditions under which abortion could be legally performed in New Zealand. Essentially two doctors had to decide that a pregnancy met one of the conditions under which abortion was permitted on the Crimes Act.

Continued: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12154868

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Jamaica – Editorial | Democratise right to abortion

Editorial | Democratise right to abortion

Published:Sunday | October 28, 2018

As Christopher Tufton, the health minister, suggests, there is no need to reinvent the wheel with regard to the debate on abortion in Jamaica. At least, not totally. Parliament already has sufficient information on which to act.

So, the existing provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act, which make it almost impossible for a woman to terminate a pregnancy under any circumstance, are anachronistic and cruel and should be repealed forthwith.

Continued: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20181028/editorial-democratise-right-abortion

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USA – When It Comes to Abortion Rights, Civil Disobedience Could Be the Only Option

When It Comes to Abortion Rights, Civil Disobedience Could Be the Only Option
Non-violent protest should be on the table ahead of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing.

Erin Matson
Aug 16, 2018

In this op-ed, Erin Matson, co-founder and co-director of Reproaction, explains why civil disobedience should be on the table when it comes to preserving abortion rights.

For abortion opponents, Brett Kavanaugh is — to borrow the parlance of baseball — somewhat of a closing pitcher. While there have been other justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the federal constitutional right to abortion, Kavanaugh’s decisions on reproductive rights have anti-abortion groups strongly supporting his nomination. For that reason, many have noted that he could be the one to shut it all down. Nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had been a swing vote in favor of protecting abortion, Kavanaugh would turn the court into an enduring five-vote majority — an all-male majority — opposed to abortion rights. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 that made outright abortion bans unconstitutional, the threat to maintaining that decision in the United States has never been this pronounced. Congress can’t be counted on to save us, as we’ve seen legislators fail us before, letting laws critical to our health lapse. As the nomination hearings begin, we need to keep that in mind. That’s why strategic, non-violent civil disobedience needs to be on the table.

Continued: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/when-it-comes-to-abortion-rights-civil-disobedience-could-be-the-only-option

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England ‘Out of Step on Home Abortion Pills’

England 'Out of Step on Home Abortion Pills'

Nicky Broyd

July 10, 2018

An early medical abortion (EMA), involves taking two drugs (mifepristone and misoprostol) usually 24 to 48 hours apart.

In October 2017 the Scottish Government gave approval for the second drug, misoprostol, to be taken at home and Wales is following suit. Now England is being urged to do the same.

Continued: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/899098

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Criminalised abortion in UK obstructs reflective choice and best care

Criminalised abortion in UK obstructs reflective choice and best care

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2928
Published 09 July 2018
Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, Abigail Aiken, David Horwell, Oskari Heikinheimo, Ganesh Acharya, editorial board of BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health

Theresa May could seize this opportunity for evidence based reform

The recent decisions to liberalise abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man1 have put pressure on the British prime minister, Theresa May, to consider decriminalising abortion in the UK. Although she believes “that a woman should be able to access safe, legal abortion,”2 she has not yet acted to initiate amendment of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act—perhaps in fear of Northern Ireland's anti-abortion Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on which her minority government depends.

Continued: https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k2928

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The Guardian view on Northern Ireland and abortion: the mounting demand for change

The Guardian view on Northern Ireland and abortion: the mounting demand for change
Editorial
A judgment from the UK’s supreme court adds to the already overwhelming case for reforming oppressive laws

Thu 7 Jun 2018

The moral case for the reform of Northern Ireland’s harsh abortion laws, which forbid terminations even in the case of rape or fatal foetal abnormalities, has long been clear. But the sweeping victory for reform in the Irish abortion referendum last month made it starker than ever. The logical case is obvious: the restrictions do not prevent but displace abortions, with women travelling across the Irish Sea to end their pregnancies. The political case is equally evident: poll after poll has shown that voters in Northern Ireland believe the law must change. Now the supreme court has laid out the legal case.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/07/the-guardian-view-on-northern-ireland-and-abortion-the-mounting-demand-for-change

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The Observer view on the global threat to access to abortion

The Observer view on the global threat to access to abortion
Women’s reproductive rights are under widespread threat, not least in America. This is no time for complacency

Observer editorial
Sun 20 May 2018

During his eight years in the White House, one of the themes President Obama frequently reflected on in speeches was the non-linear nature of social progress. “Progress doesn’t travel in a straight line,” he told Rutgers students in his commencement address in 2016. “It remains uneven and at times for every two steps forward, it feels like we take one step back.”

Those words feel particularly apt in relation to women’s rights. In the last year, the #MeToo movement has seen women globally assert their right to live and work without the threat of sexual assault and harassment. But in the world’s wealthiest democracy, women’s reproductive rights are more imperilled than they have been in 30 years.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/20/observer-view-on-abortion-donald-trump-gag-rule

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