Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care

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Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care

June 19, 2018
Click here to download the report [PDF]

The global women’s movement has fought for many years to affirm safe and legal abortion as a fundamental right, and the global trend has been the liberalization of abortion laws. Progress is not linear, however, and persistent barriers prevent these laws and policies from increasing women’s access to services. One such obstacle is the growing use of conscience claims to justify refusal of abortion care.

Often called “conscientious objection,” a concept historically associated with the right to refuse to take part in the military or in warfare on religious or moral grounds, the term has recently been co-opted by anti-choice movements. Indeed, accommodations for health care providers to refuse to provide care are often deliberately inserted into policies with the aim of negating the hard-fought right to abortion care.

Existing evidence reveals a worrisome and growing global trend of health care providers who are refusing to deliver abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care. This phenomenon violates the ethical principle of “do no harm,” and has grave consequences for women, especially those who are already more vulnerable and marginalized.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/resources/unconscionable-when-providers-deny-abortion-care/

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USA – Scant abortion-related ER visits suggest there’s no medical basis for restrictive laws, study says

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Scant abortion-related ER visits suggest there's no medical basis for restrictive laws, study says

By Melissa Healy
Jun 15, 2018

Abortions send women to hospital emergency rooms at lower rates than such routine procedures as colonoscopies and surgeries to have wisdom teeth removed, new research has found.

In fact, for every 100,000 abortions provided, about 108 women sought out emergency care for what they thought was a complication of the procedure.

Continued: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-abortion-er-visits-20180615-story.html

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USA – Limiting Abortion Access Contributes to Poor Maternal Health Outcomes

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Limiting Abortion Access Contributes to Poor Maternal Health Outcomes
By Anusha Ravi
Posted on June 13, 2018

Access to abortion is a key component of women’s comprehensive health care. The ability to choose if, when, and how to give birth is linked to women’s economic success, educational attainment, and general health and well-being.

Anti-choice advocates, unfortunately, often use women’s health and maternal mortality as justifications for abortion restrictions. Although abortion has been proven to be one of the safest medical procedures, anti-choice policymakers at state and federal levels continue to use the guise of protecting women’s health to promote restrictions on abortion providers and procedures such as medication abortion; add requirements for women to fulfill in order to receive an abortion; and limit the procedure after an arbitrary number of weeks into a pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2018/06/13/451891/limiting-abortion-access-contributes-poor-maternal-health-outcomes/

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Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion: A Danger to Abortion Access and Better U.S. Health Coverage

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Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion: A Danger to Abortion Access and Better U.S. Health Coverage

Adam Sonfield
Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 6, 2018

HIGHLIGHTS

- Antiabortion conservatives have long sought to eliminate private insurance coverage of abortion, and their main tactic in Congress has been to push for barring health plans from covering abortion if any part of the plan is paid for with federal dollars.
- Abortion coverage is already severely restricted and difficult to obtain in many parts of the United States, and further federal restrictions will make things worse for patients who need abortion care.
- The obsession with banning abortion coverage threatens broader efforts to expand and improve U.S. health insurance coverage and to make it more affordable.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2018/06/restrictions-private-insurance-coverage-abortion-danger-abortion-access-and-better-us

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Reality Check: Year One Impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule

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Reality Check: Year One Impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule
Jun 6, 2018

Click to view the full report [PDF]

Executive Summary

On January 23, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum reinstating and expanding the Mexico City Policy, also known as the “Global Gag Rule.” President Trump’s implementation plan for the expanded policy, called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” was announced in May 2017. The policy states that any foreign nongovernmental organization that takes US global health funds must certify that they do not engage in certain abortion-related activities, including providing abortion services, information, counseling and referrals, and advocating to expand access to safe abortion services. The Global Gag Rule applies to what organizations do with their own non-US government funds and forces health care providers to choose between providing a comprehensive spectrum of reproductive health care and receiving critical US funding. Trump’s Global Gag Rule expands a bad policy enacted by previous Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan, but now implicating almost $9 billion in US foreign assistance and affecting many organizations that had not previously had to comply with it.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/resources/reality-check-year-one-trump-global-gag-rule/

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Some women feel grief after an abortion, but there’s no evidence of serious mental health issues

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Some women feel grief after an abortion, but there’s no evidence of serious mental health issues

Kirsten Black
April 25, 2018

This week, the website Mamamia published, and then quickly removed, an article about the existence of “post-abortion syndrome” – a disorder apparently experienced by many women who have had an abortion. The article claimed this disorder has been concealed from the public and that the trauma of an induced abortion can be comparable to the experience of child sexual abuse or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suffered by war veterans.

Neither the term “post-abortion syndrome”, nor the claims about its characteristics, are supported by any national or international psychological societies. Of course, many women experience emotional responses to an abortion, which are normal reactions to a significant event. The range of normal psychological and emotional responses can include feelings of grief, regret, sadness and relief. These reactions are generally transient.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/some-women-feel-grief-after-an-abortion-but-theres-no-evidence-of-serious-mental-health-issues-95519

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Want to lower the abortion rate? Support pro-choice policies

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Want to lower the abortion rate? Support pro-choice policies
The chief lesson of a new report is that making abortion illegal or hard to get doesn’t end abortion, it just makes it less safe

Jill Filipovic
Sat 24 Mar 2018

Want to lower the abortion rate and prevent maternal deaths worldwide? Support pro-choice policies. That’s the takeaway from a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, which looks at abortion around the world.

The chief lesson of the report is one pro-choice advocates have known for years: that making abortion illegal or hard to get doesn’t end abortion, it just makes it less safe. And opposition to abortion tends to come along with opposition to contraception and women’s rights more broadly – and the limited contraception access that results means a higher abortion rate.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/24/want-to-lower-the-abortion-rate-support-pro-choice-policies

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Ireland – Women feel need for abortion ‘cover stories’ for work, survey author says

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Women feel need for abortion ‘cover stories’ for work, survey author says
Four in five respondents say women’s health should be priority in reform of abortion law

March 23, 2018
Olivia Kelleher

Irish women undergoing abortions feel under pressure to create a “cover story” for the workplace which is adding to their burden and stigma, an author of a survey on abortion has said.

Fiona Bloomer of the University of Ulster said the research, carried out on behalf of the Alliance for Choice, found that women in Ireland feel they have to come up with an excuse for their absence from work when they are taking time off to have an abortion.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/women-feel-need-for-abortion-cover-stories-for-work-survey-author-says-1.3437162

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USA – How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

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How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

Adam Sonfield,Guttmacher Institute
First published on Health Affairs Blog: March 21, 2018

On January 19, the Trump administration proposed new regulations to interpret and enforce more than 20 federal statutory provisions related to “conscience and religious freedom.” Collectively, as interpreted by the administration, these statutes would grant broad powers to individuals and organizations in the health care field and beyond to refuse to provide or be involved with services, information, and referrals to which they have religious or moral objections. That includes services related to abortion, contraception, end-of-life care, global health care assistance, vaccination, and much more. The proposed regulations and steps to enforce them have real potential to undermine existing legal and ethical protections for patients’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, and other critical care.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2018/03/how-administrations-proposed-conscience-rule-undermines-reproductive-health-and

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Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access

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Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access

Susheela Singh,Lisa Remez,Gilda Sedgh,Lorraine KwokandTsuyoshi Onda
March 21, 2018

Published in 2018, Abortion Worldwide: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access provides the most current information on the incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy worldwide, as well as trends since 1990, as women and couples increasingly want smaller families. It examines laws that regulate abortion and how they have evolved, and the current safety of abortion provision. It documents the barriers women face to preventing unintended pregnancies and obtaining safe abortions, and the impacts of unsafe abortion on women’s well-being. This study provides a comprehensive update to findings from the 2009 Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/report/abortion-worldwide-2017

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