LANCET: We must all support women in the fight for abortion

We must all support women in the fight for abortion

The Lancet
Editorial| Volume 393, ISSUE 10186, P2099, May 25, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31182-1

On May 15, 2019, the Alabama State Senate passed a bill that restricts the right to abortion by criminalising doctors who do the procedure. This was followed the next day by the Missouri State Senate passing a law forbidding abortions after 8 weeks of pregnancy. These two bills are the latest in a rapidly escalating attack on a woman's constitutionally protected right to an abortion. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio have all already successfully passed legislation banning abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy this year.

We reported, in 2017, on the start of the race to deny women their reproductive rights as Texas, Kentucky, and Utah introduced bills fundamentally undermining abortion access. The 2 years since have seen these laws increasing in number and scale to the point where the right to access abortion is now an empty construct in some states in the USA.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)31182-1/fulltext

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The Guardian view on abortion: protecting a human right

The Guardian view on abortion: protecting a human right
Cruel laws risk lives and harm women around the world. Attempts to extend them must be resisted

Editorial
Sun 12 May 2019

No law can end abortions, however severe its restrictions and however harsh its penalties. Each day almost 70,000 unsafe abortions are carried out around the world, and they are vastly more likely to happen in countries with strict laws. What such legislation does do is force some women to continue pregnancies against their wishes, while risking the lives and wellbeing of others. Women in the US have seen their ability to terminate pregnancies dismantled piece by piece. Now states are racing to outlaw or dramatically curb abortions with extreme and unconstitutional bills. The aim is to directly challenge Roe v Wade, the US supreme court ruling that established that abortion is legal before the foetus is viable outside the womb, at around 24 weeks. Last Tuesday, the governor of Georgia signed a bill essentially banning abortions after six weeks from 2020. Some described it as a sign that men who wish to control women’s bodies have no idea of how they actually work. More likely, those who pushed hardest for the change understand all too well that many women will not know they are pregnant until it is too late.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/12/the-guardian-view-on-abortion-protecting-a-human-right

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Trump’s Title X rule will restrict abortion access and obstruct women’s healthcare

Trump's Title X rule will restrict abortion access and obstruct women's healthcare

By The Times Editorial Board
Mar 25, 2019

The Trump administration’s disdain for women’s reproductive rights and reproductive healthcare are well known. Shortly taking office, President Trump reinstituted the “global gag rule” that forbids foreign aid for any overseas healthcare provider that offers abortions or abortion counseling — even if the federal funds are carefully spent only on nonabortion services. Since his election, Trump has regularly threatened to defund Planned Parenthood. He has appointed anti-abortion judges and cut federal grants for family planning research.

Now, he and the officials he has put in place at the Department of Health and Human Services are taking aim at the much-respected Title X Family Planning Program in an effort to further limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion.

Continued: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-trump-title-x-gag-rule-20190323-story.html

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USA – What Happens When Lawmakers Run Out of Abortion Restrictions to Pass

What Happens When Lawmakers Run Out of Abortion Restrictions to Pass
Many states are suddenly considering heartbeat bills, which would make it virtually impossible to get an abortion. That’s no accident.

By The Editorial Board
March 20, 2019

Lost in the anxiety this year over the fate of Roe v. Wade is the reality that state legislatures nationwide are already taking steps to effectively ban all abortions.

Not even three months into 2019, lawmakers in a dozen states have proposed so-called heartbeat bills, which would outlaw abortion at around six weeks of pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and thus make it all but impossible for nearly all women to get the procedure. Six of those bills have passed in at least one legislative chamber, and on Friday Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky signed one into law. Hours later, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Kentucky law, which was to have taken effect immediately.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/20/opinion/abortion-ban-heartbeat-bills.html

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USA – Birth Control Gets Caught Up in the Abortion Wars

Birth Control Gets Caught Up in the Abortion Wars
The Trump administration’s cruel new family planning rule threatens access to contraception and other health care for poor women.

By The Editorial Board
Feb. 26, 2019

In its continuing assault on reproductive rights, the Trump administration has issued potentially devastating changes to the nation’s nearly 50-year-old family planning program, Title X, which allows millions of women each year to afford contraception, cancer screenings and other critical health services.

Health clinics have long been barred from using Title X money, or any federal funds, to pay for abortions, but they have been able to provide abortions and other family planning services under one roof. Under the new rule, unveiled last week by the Department of Health and Human Services after being floated last year, a clinic that provides abortions will have to jump through an absurd series of hoops to continue receiving Title X funding. For instance, it will have to create a separate entrance to the facility for patients seeking abortions, hire separate personnel and establish a separate electronic health records system. Title X facilities will also be barred from referring patients for abortions. The rule gives discretion to the department to decide on a case-by-case basis whether facilities are in compliance.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/opinion/title-x-rule.html

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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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