Nepal – Putting the brakes on COVID-19: Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls

Published: July 11, 2020

KATHMANDU: The COVID-19 pandemic has sickened 16,649 people and left 35 dead in Nepal as of July 10. But the full toll of this catastrophe has been incalculably greater. The health system has been overwhelmed and the economy has been greatly impacted. Women and girls have been disproportionately affected, with sexual and reproductive health services being curtailed and gender-based violence on the rise.

Today, 11 July, is World Population Day, a moment to raise awareness of the sexual and reproductive health needs of people. This year, UNFPA is calling attention to the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls amid the pandemic, and the efforts needed to secure their health and human rights.

Continued: https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/putting-the-brakes-on-covid-19-safeguarding-the-health-and-rights-of-women-and-girls/


New Zealand – Doctor fined for illegally prescribing abortion drugs

10 July 2020

The New Zealand Health Practitioners
Disciplinary Tribunal said the doctor, whose name is suppressed, illegally
prescribed the medicines to two patients.

The move was against the requirements of the Contraception, Sterilisation and
Abortion Act. The charge was laid against "Dr E" by a Professional
Conduct Committee and the matter was heard on 29 January.

In one patient the doctor ought to have known the prescription exceeded the
recommended dose. He also prescribed it in combination with Primolut - an
inappropriate treatment for termination of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/420927/doctor-fined-for-illegally-prescribing-abortion-drugs


Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life splits Namibia

By Southern Times -- Jul 10,2020
Benahzir Majiedt

Windhoek – An emotive Bill seeking to legalise abortion, tabled by the Deputy Health Minister Ester Muinjangue in Parliament, has split Namibian society as the pro-choice and pro-life debate takes centre stage in the Southern African country.

Muinjangue described the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy through to birth (pro-choice) was the hallmark of a “progressive” nation that placed rights above religion and “morality”.

Continued: https://southerntimesafrica.com/site/news/pro-choice-vs-pro-life-splits-namibia


ACLU Orders Full-Page Newspaper Ads Pressing Joe Biden On Abortion Rights

Former Vice President Joe Biden backed ending the Hyde Amendment, and the ACLU is calling on him to keep that commitment.

07/10/2020
By Brooklyn Wayland, HuffPost US

The American Civil Liberties Union has paid for full-page newspaper ads to run on Sunday that call on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to prioritize protecting abortion rights should he be elected. The ads in the Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer ask, “Vice President Biden, will you lead on reproductive rights?”

Continued: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/aclu-runs-full-page-ad-pressuring-joe-biden-on-abortion_n_5f08e40ec5b63a72c341bed5?ri18n=true


Australia – Abortion providers fear telehealth changes

Finbar O'Mallon, Australian Associated Press
9 July 2020

An Australian abortion provider fears telehealth measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic will be rolled back in September but the government says there are no plans to limit the services.

Marie Stopes Australia says women could face higher out-of-pocket costs when they try to access discreet medical abortions if the measures are done away with.

Continued: https://au.news.yahoo.com/abortion-providers-fear-telehealth-changes-140511325--spt.html


USA – New Website Exposes Motives of Anti-Abortion Policymakers

by Center for Reproductive Rights
July 9, 2020     

Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Ibis Reproductive Health released a new interactive map, which shows the number of abortion restrictions in each state compared to the number of policies that support pregnant people, children, and families. The findings reveal a clear trend: states with the most abortion restrictions tend to have the fewest supportive policies for women and their families. Likewise, states with few abortion restrictions tend to have more supportive policies.

This new tool comes on the heels of last week’s Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services v. Russo, which struck down an anti-abortion law in Louisiana designed to close clinics. For now, abortion clinics in Louisiana will remain open. However, state lawmakers continue to pass abortion restrictions at an alarming rate.

Continued: https://yubanet.com/usa/new-website-exposes-motives-of-anti-abortion-policymakers/


US Supreme Court Undercuts Access To Birth Control Under Obamacare

July 8, 2020
Nina Totenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court has made it more difficult for women to get access to birth control as part of their health plans if their employer has religious or moral objections to contraceptives.

The opinion upheld a Trump administration rule that significantly cut back on the Affordable Care Act requirement that insurers provide free birth control coverage as part of almost all health care plans.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2020/07/08/884104509/supreme-court-undercuts-access-to-birth-control-under-obamacare


US anti-abortion groups received millions in federal Covid-19 aid

Planned Parenthood also received funding from Paycheck Protection Program, which some lawmakers demanded it return

Jessica Glenza
Published on Wed 8 Jul 2020

Christian anti-abortion lobbying organizations received millions in taxpayer-backed forgivable loans from the US government’s coronavirus aid program, even as lawmakers demanded the nation’s largest abortion provider return federal loans.

Pro-reproductive
rights groups have also received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program
(PPP). Planned Parenthood, America’s largest network of abortion and sexual
health clinics, received $80m in PPP loans.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/08/anti-abortion-groups-covid-19-ppp-aid


House Democrats move to permanently restore funding for abortion access abroad

By Laura Kelly
07/06/20

House Democrats are working to repeal restrictions imposed by the Trump administration that block U.S. foreign aid from helping fund programs that provide women access to an abortion as part of a $66 billion spending bill.

The proposal, part of the House Appropriations Committee's annual State and Foreign Operations bill, would permanently repeal the Trump administration’s “Global Gag Rule,” also known as the Mexico City Policy, that prevents any U.S. funding from going to any international organization that acknowledges abortion as a possible treatment.

Continued: https://thehill.com/policy/international/506028-house-democrats-move-to-permanently-restore-funding-for-abortion-access


Bangladesh – Increased budget must come with policy changes, utilisation

Experts hail allocation in family planning, but wary of planning

July 06, 2020
Nilima Jahan

The budget allocation in health and family welfare has seen a steady increase in the past few years. This year, the amount increased by 13.66 percent, standing at Tk 29,247 crore.

Although the increased allocation appears to be a step in the right direction, family planning experts believe that the higher budgets are not being utilised in a planned manner.

Continued: https://www.thedailystar.net/city/news/increased-budget-must-come-policy-changes-utilisation-1925709