Opinion: Time to put abortion top of the SRHR agenda
By Anu Kumar
09 December 2019
Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994. The trip was particularly meaningful to me, having been at the Cairo meeting where 179 governments made women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights a priority goal of global development.
The anti-rights opposition movement called it “the abortion summit,” but in truth, it was far from it. In my opinion, that’s a shame, because we — the global health, sexual and reproductive health, and development fields — need an abortion summit.
Slovakia’s Latest Regressive Abortion Bill Rejected: How Can Regressive Measures Against Women’s Reproductive Rights Be Countered?
8 Dec, 2019
by Adrianne Ramirez
Organization for World Peace
On 5th December, the proposed regressive abortion law in Slovakia was rejected following a Parliamentary vote. The draft legislation required women seeking abortion care to undergo a mandatory ultrasound scanning, to view and obtain the embryo or foetus’ ultrasound image, and where technically possible, to listen to its heartbeat. Furthermore, it sought to prohibit abortion advertising as well as imposing a fine of up to 66,400 EU on those who order or disseminate it. Proposed by a centre-right party in the ruling coalition, it was the latest step in a campaign to tighten restrictions on abortion in Slovakia, in wake of the September protests that demanded a total ban. Though rejected, the mere possibility of this legislation being approved depicts tangible hazards on women’s reproductive rights. Beyond its local implications, it consequently contributes to the recent erosion of these rights worldwide.
Fetal Personhood Is Maternal Punishment
When society values the life of a fetus over that of a living person, women pay the steepest price.
By Katha Pollitt
Dec 2, 2019
We often talk about abortion as if it’s a thing unto itself. If we connect it to anything, it’s usually to sex education, contraception, and other contested ways of preventing unwanted births.
What gets much less attention is the removal of everyday rights from willingly pregnant women. For opponents of abortion, who grant personhood to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses, it’s not a stretch to go from saying “You have to have that baby” to “You have to produce a healthy baby, therefore your wishes, needs, and constitutional rights are of no account.” Moreover, if anything goes wrong, they’re going to assume it’s your fault alone.
Abortion should be a medical matter, not a criminal one. The law needs to change
Manifesto promises by Labour and the Liberal Democrats to decriminalise abortion are welcome news for women
Sun 1 Dec 2019
There has been a predictably overwrought response to the election manifesto promises of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats to decriminalise abortion. Rightwing and Catholic commentators alike imagined hordes of heavily pregnant women at abortion clinics, demanding their fully formed foetuses be evacuated from their uteruses. Just because the law said that they now could.
I, unfortunately, know far more than I want to about what utter nonsense this emotive, anti-abortion rhetoric is. On 26 September 2012 I ended the life of my much-wanted daughter, Elodie, at 24 weeks’ gestation. It’s the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever done. One thing I now know, with certainty, following this traumatic experience, is that no woman would choose to terminate a pregnancy that late on unless she felt there wasn’t any other option. And no doctor would countenance it, whatever the law said.
Three cheers for Labour’s plan for abortion reform
Decriminalising abortion is essential for women’s freedom.
Ella Whelan, Columnist
29th November 2019
General Elections should be exciting. Political parties get to try out new policies, push their voters and attempt to gain a mandate for real change. And while it’s true that the key issue of our winter election is Brexit, from spending promises to immigration, there are many other issues at stake.
The Labour Party might be terrible when it comes to Brexit, but one policy in its manifesto is truly radical. In just nine words, Labour promises to change women’s lives dramatically: ‘We will uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions.’
Democratic Candidates Need to Do Better for Abortion Rights Than Promising to Make Roe v. Wade Law
Roe v. Wade already fails the most vulnerable.
By Mia Raven
November 20, 2019
When the Democratic candidates meet in Atlanta on November 20 for the latest debate, 40% of the participating contenders will be female. The historic number of women running for president in 2020 has dramatically changed the policies candidates are asked about, including introducing a nuanced debate question regarding abortion rights in the United States. While this question, asked at the October debate, was a fantastic first step, we were disappointed to see so many candidates state that their primary concern was to "codify Roe v. Wade." While the landmark case making it unconstitutional to outlaw abortion is important, it's not enough for candidates today to promise to make the Supreme Court decision federal law. Roe itself doesn't offer many of the protections we need if we want to make abortion accessible for all people capable of giving birth — especially for black, brown, and other marginalized people.
What Have We Delivered for the World’s Women and Girls Since 1994?
by Latanya Mapp Frett
End poverty. End patriarchy. Could it be that these two goals are more intimately linked than ever before? Last week marked a rubber-hits-the-road moment for those who are interested in doing both.
Government leaders, politicians and civil society activists gathered from November 12 to 14 in Nairobi, Kenya for a United Nations Summit on population and development. I joined those delegates to follow up on commitments made 25 years ago at the original International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)—and to continue to advocate for grassroots women’s voices to be not only present but fully heeded in these global conversations, processes and policies that will help determine our futures.
2020 could see an end to safe, legal abortion anywhere in America
It’s more crucial than ever to have a president in office who won’t just pay the usual lip service to women’s rights
Mon 18 Nov 2019
If you care about the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices, 2020 is the year that matters.
It’s too late to do anything about the current makeup of the court – except, of course, for women and the people who love them to be very, very loud in our support of abortion rights, and signal that there will be a serious cost if the court overturns or scales back Roe.
US must lead the charge on global reproductive rights — not stand in the way
By Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Opinion Contributor
Nov 18, 2019
For women to lead full productive lives, they must have the freedom to make the health care choices that are best for them. And when women and girls are healthy, educated and safe, their countries and the world are more secure and prosperous.
Alarmingly, the Trump administration is taking us in the wrong direction, amplified by recent activity at an important international conference where the U.S. adopted a counter-productive role, rallying countries to oppose internationally-accepted references to sexual and reproductive health and rights. That is why last week, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and I were joined by 36 members of Congress to introduce a resolution that calls on the U.S. to recognize reproductive rights as human rights and celebrates 25 years since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
Scale up sexuality education to address maternal hitches
16th Nov 2019
Exaggeration is the lazy tool of advocates attached to a cause. With it, dies truth and the possibility of common ground. This week’s International Conference on Population and Development attracted its share of half-truths, manipulated facts and lies. What is its significance for the next decade?
Seven thousand delegates attended this week’s conference to reflect how far the world has changed since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, 25 years ago. Rallied by the United Nations Population Fund, 179 governments placed women’s empowerment at the centre of poverty reduction and population control strategies for the first time. Women must have the right to choose the number and timing of their children was part of the quantum leap achieved in 1994. Rather than states controlling women’s fertility, signatories committed to providing universal education, broadening the range of reproductive and sexual health services and reducing infant and maternal mortality and female genital mutilation (FGM).