Domestic political alliances with conservative forces in the US is costing women their health at home and abroad

Domestic political alliances with conservative forces in the US is costing women their health at home and abroad

BMJ Opinion
August 19, 2019

The Trump administration’s ideological commitment to the domestic anti-abortion lobby is endangering women across the Americas, say Hani Serag et al

The history of the “Global Gag Rule” is one of tragic irony and misguided energy from conservative foreign policy elements within the United States. The Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, restricts the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in developing countries that receive USAID family planning from engaging in abortion-related activities, including advocacy, regardless of the funding source for these activities. It is even more ironic that abortion rates increase where the Global Gag Rule disrupts family planning services. [1] Inability to access safe abortions does little to prevent women from seeking unsafe abortions which harm the wellbeing of women. [2] Although this is well-documented, one of the first things that Donald Trump did when he became President was to sign an executive order reinstating the Global Gag Rule. In March 2019, the Trump administration expanded the rule. Previously it only applied to family planning assistance ($575 million in FY2016) but the expanded law includes all “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies”⁠— an estimated $9.5 billion or 16-fold increase in restricted funding. [3] A recent report shows the impact of this rule and the detrimental effect that it is having on women and girls.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/08/19/domestic-political-alliances-with-conservative-forces-in-the-us-is-costing-women-their-health-at-home-and-abroad/

Read more

USA – Abortion Is Our Right To Strike

Abortion Is Our Right To Strike
Abortion isn’t a “cultural” issue. The production of children, and who will pay for it, is a key economic battlefront.

By Jenny Brown
08.18.2019

For decades, we’ve been told that abortion is merely a wedge issue used by Republicans to split working-class Catholics from the Democratic Party and excite a Protestant evangelical base. “Starting in the 1970s,” feminist law professor Joan C. Williams writes, “Republicans have offered support for working-class anti-abortion views in exchange for working-class support for pro-business positions.”

According to this view, politicians and the one percent really don’t care one way or the other about abortion — they’re just using the issue to get votes. This reading of US politics is so common that if you ask a group of feminists today why abortion is under attack, someone will explain that it is a political ploy to capture the support of conservative “values” voters. Thomas Frank even argues that banning abortion would be against the interests of these political forces because they would lose an issue to mobilize around.

Continued: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/08/abortion-rights-strike-economic-battlefront-birth-rates

Read more

UK – What Happens When an Abortion Doesn’t Fully Work

What Happens When an Abortion Doesn't Fully Work
I had an incomplete abortion last year. This is what I wish I'd known about them.

by Rose Stokes
Aug 15 2019

Last year, I had an abortion. My reasons for doing so are deeply personal, painful, and nobody’s business but mine. Once I'd decided to terminate the pregnancy, a woman from British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) asked me over the phone if I wanted a medical abortion—which was still possible at my stage of pregnancy (nine weeks)—or a surgical one. I had no idea.
Advertisement

“What’s the difference?” I asked.

“Well, one you take a pill and the other is more invasive."

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7x5pqz/what-is-incomplete-failed-abortion

Read more

Australia – As a Uniting church minister I think abortion can be a morally good choice

As a Uniting church minister I think abortion can be a morally good choice
In the debate about the NSW abortion law reform we should trust women to make good decisions about whether or not to continue a pregnancy

Margaret Mayman
Mon 12 Aug 2019

The New South Wales parliament is considering whether a 1900 law that criminalised abortion is appropriate for its regulation in 2019.

In 1900 it was widely accepted that women’s bodies and women’s sexuality were appropriately controlled by patriarchal power inherent in government, medicine, religion, and family life. The 1900 legislation was influenced by the racist ideology of eugenics in response to declining birthrates and claims that “selfish” white women were using abortion to control fertility.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/12/as-a-uniting-church-minister-i-think-abortion-can-be-a-morally-good-choice

Read more

Australia – Here’s why there should be no gestational limits for abortion

Here’s why there should be no gestational limits for abortion

August 12, 2019
Erica Millar

Family planning organisation and abortion provider Marie Stopes today warned that Australian women face a confusing patchwork of state-based laws and service shortages that restrict access to abortions, based on where they live.

At the centre of these inconsistent laws is the gestational cut off – the point where the pregnant person is no longer the primary decision-maker and, instead, specific criteria must be met (generally, two doctors must agree that the abortion is necessary on medical and/or social grounds).

Continued: https://theconversation.com/heres-why-there-should-be-no-gestational-limits-for-abortion-121500

Read more

Jamaica – Abortion: whose decision?

Abortion: whose decision?

Yvonne McCalla Sobers
Published: Sunday August 11, 2019

Some church persons are using biblical teachings in an attempt to coerce the State into continuing to treat a woman as a criminal if she chooses to have an abortion. Scare tactics, backed up by horrific footage, have been used to equate abortion with murder.

These advocates have every right to influence the moral choices of their church members in particular, and the society in general. However, laws in a secular state need to apply equally to non-believers and believers (such as Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Revivalists, and Rastafarians).

Continued: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/focus/20190811/yvonne-mccalla-sobers-abortion-whose-decision

Read more

Canada’s marginal ‘Christian right’

Canada’s marginal ‘Christian right’

August 11, 2019
Jonathan Malloy

The political power of the American Christian right naturally leads to interest and speculation about the influence of similar groups in Canada. But social conservatives and evangelical Christians are a marginal force in Canadian politics, even in the Conservative party. And research finds their dynamics here are quite different than in the United States.

Is there a Canadian Christian right at all? Yes and no.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/canadas-marginal-christian-right-121024

Read more

Malaysia – Way to solve baby dumping

Letters: Way to solve baby dumping

Dr SP Choong
Thursday, 08 Aug 2019

I REFER to the report on the high incidence of baby dumping in Malaysia “Baby Dumping: Three a week” (Sunday Star, Aug 3). This comes as no surprise to those dealing with women’s reproductive health in Malaysia.

This problem, together with related issues like teenage pregnancy, child marriage and the decreasing age of sexual debut among teenagers appear regularly as “shocking news” to elicit a response from politicians and policy makers.

We note that the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her deputy Hannah Yeoh have responded to this continuing crisis by launching the “Save a Life Campaign” (pic), where the ministry would strengthen its efforts on reproductive health education for teenagers (focusing only on abstinence) as well as providing a hotline for those needing advice on how to continue their pregnancy. Meanwhile, OrphanCare would facilitate adoptions for mothers who wish to give up their child anonymously. However, we doubt if those measures alone can solve the problem.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/08/08/way-to-solve-baby-dumping#VcgL4FYWo5HDBp6j.99

Continued; https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/08/08/way-to-solve-baby-dumping

Read more

Canada – The pro-choice movement will defeat any threats to abortion rights

The pro-choice movement will defeat any threats to abortion rights

Joyce Arthur
August 8, 2019

Canada's pro-choice movement is in good fighting form, and stronger than ever. That's the undeniable conclusion after living through the roller-coaster ride of anti-choice activity over the last three months.

First, we saw the annual March for Life on Ottawa's Parliament Hill on May 9, as well as anti-choice rallies in cities across Canada including Toronto for the first time. Many anti-choice Parliamentarians attended these events and some spoke out, including Ontario MPP Sam Oosterhoff, with his infamous comment, "We pledge to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime."

Continued: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2019/08/pro-choice-movement-will-defeat-any-threats-abortion-rights

Read more

USA – Abortion Rights in Peril — What Clinicians Need to Know

Abortion Rights in Peril — What Clinicians Need to Know

Elizabeth Nash, M.P.P.
August 8, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 381:497-499
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1906972

This year, 2019, has become a critical time for abortion rights, with an unprecedented surge of abortion bans sweeping across the United States. Through June 1, some 26 abortion bans have been enacted in 12 states, and many more have been introduced by state legislators.

Yet state efforts to undermine abortion rights and access have been under way since the 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. During that time, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the right to abortion while also modifying the legal framework that shapes access to care.

Continued: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1906972

Read more