Iceland: “What kind of society do you want to live in?”: Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing

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"What kind of society do you want to live in?": Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing

By Julian Quinones, Arijeta Lajka, CBS News
Aug 14, 2017

With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.

Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women -- close to 100 percent -- who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.

Continued at source: CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/

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UK: How has the issue of abortion affected your life?

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How has the issue of abortion affected your life?

14 August 2017
From the section Have Your Say

It's almost 50 years since abortion was legalised in Britain and we would like to hear your experiences surrounding the issue.

The 1967 Abortion Act was a bid to end life-threatening backstreet practices, that were often the only option for many women who wanted a termination.

Around the world abortion remains a personally polarising and politically divisive issue.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/40863335

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UK: Stella Creasy criticises NI Health Department on abortion

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Stella Creasy criticises NI Health Department on abortion
By Mark Devenport BBC News NI Political Editor

8 August 2017

A Labour MP has strongly criticised Northern Ireland's Department of Health for not updating abortion guidance to health professionals.

Stella Creasy played a crucial role in changing government policy on NI women seeking abortions in England.

She told a discussion at the West Belfast Festival she was "absolutely horrified" by the department's stance.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-40867182

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When 343 French ‘Sluts’ Fought for Abortion Rights — and Won

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When 343 French 'Sluts' Fought for Abortion Rights — and Won

By Fiona Zublin

“I declare that I am one of them. I declare that I have had an abortion.” So signed Simone de Beauvoir, Catherine Deneuve, Agnès Varda and other famous French women, bravely adding their names to the “Manifesto of the 343,” a document that could have led to their prosecution, and that raised the profile of French pro-choice activists.

It was April 1971, and hundreds of French women signed their names, swearing they had sought illegal abortions. The manifesto arguably led to the advent of laws favoring a woman’s right to choose in France — a country that while famously liberal in many ways, has often lagged on women’s rights. French women weren’t allowed to vote until 1944, and while Roe v. Wade gave American women the right to an abortion in 1973, in the early 1970s, French women were still traveling to the U.K. — where abortion was legalized in 1967 — whenever they decided that pregnancy and motherhood wasn’t a viable option.

Continued at source: Ozy.com: http://www.ozy.com/flashback/when-343-french-sluts-fought-for-abortion-rights-and-won/79733

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SWEDEN- The case of the anti-abortion Swedish midwives – again

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SWEDEN- The case of the anti-abortion Swedish midwives – again

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
August 8, 2017

On 17 March, 19 April and 31 May, we published three reports from Sweden on the cases of two midwives who sought to keep their jobs in spite of declaring conscientious objection to abortion, which is not recognised under Swedish law, and refusing to provide abortion services, which were a part of their job descriptions. The most recent report said they were considering taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights, as they had failed to win their case in the Swedish courts. It would appear they have done so.

However, on 18 July, we received an e-mail from someone in Sweden which explained that the case the two midwives took to the European Court was not an appeal against the Swedish courts’ rulings, but a new case. The writer said:

“The verdict against Ellinor Grimmark that came out of Sweden’s Labour Court in April cannot be appealed. The other midwife with the same story, Linda Steen, who also sued her county and was ruled against, appealed to the Labour Court, which declined to hear the case. So these cases are, in point of fact, concluded.

“However, the two midwives have sued Sweden before the European Court of Human Rights. This is not an appeal of the verdicts in their respective labour disputes, but a separate suit alleging human rights violations by the Swedish government.

“It should be noted that Sweden has a shortage of midwives. Due to this shortage, many counties offer nurses a salaried position while they go through a tax-funded training programme to become midwives, on the condition that they then work for that county for a certain time after qualifying.

“Grimmark took one of these positions in Jönköping county. She only alerted the county of her refusal to perform certain tasks within a midwife’s job description shortly before completing her training. The county did not sue her for breach of contract, but simply informed her that she was disqualified from employment as a midwife. Steen did the exact same thing, in Södermanland county.

“There are rumours that these two were specifically recruited to carry out this legal assault on Swedish women’s abortion rights, but these are unconfirmed. What is clear is that both these women entered into contracts to receive large sums of taxpayer money, then broke their contracts after receiving the money and launched frivolous lawsuits to further a religious agenda. When the verdicts came down and they were forced to pay the counties’ legal fees, these were covered by funds raised, in part, by the ADF [Alliance Defending Freedom, USA anti-abortion group].”

On 8 June, the ADF published a statement that Ellinor Grimmark’s case to the European Court is that she had to seek work in another country because she refused to participate in abortions. On 16 June, the so-called Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers reported: “On 14 June two Swedish midwives together with the Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers filed a complaint against Sweden to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for violations of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights.” The arguments they put forward are that the women were denied the right to work within their profession, and that most countries in the Council of Europe permit conscientious objection.

SOURCE: E-mail, 18 July 2017. The writer did not give permission to publish his name.

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/sweden-the-case-of-the-anti-abortion-swedish-midwives-again/

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Isle of Man: Statement from Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM)

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Statement from Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM)
August 7, 2017, by LC

The Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM) is delighted that Dr Alex Allinson MHK's draft Abortion Reform Bill was published today, and that the public consultation is now underway.

Throughout our campaign we have emphasised the need for abortions to be available on the Island, particularly in the earliest stages of pregnancy, to avoid woman having to travel across at their own expense resulting in later, more invasive and more expensive procedures.

CALM is also pleased that the need for counselling has been given special mention in the draft legislation.

Our key message now is: reply to this consultation with your views.

"We know CALM's pro-choice message has been heard loud and clear across the Isle of Man," says CALM's Samantha Morris, "and now is your chance to have your say. Please read the draft Bill and respond to the consultation. It's not very long and it's not very complicated, but it really will help to form a unique piece of legislation written to meet the needs of the Island's women. If you don't respond, then you don't have a voice."

The draft Abortion Reform Bill and consultation can be found at: https://consult.gov.im/office-of-the-clerk-of-tynwald/abortion-reform-bill-2017/

Source: Manx.net: https://www.manx.net/isle-of-man-news/83681/statement-from-campaign-for-abortion-law-modernisation-calm-

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Draft Isle of Man abortion bill put out to public consultation

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Draft Isle of Man abortion bill put out to public consultation

7 August 2017

A draft bill which proposes changes to Manx abortion law has been put out to public consultation.

The Abortion Reform Bill would allow women to request an abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and loosen restrictions on having one later.

Abortions on the Isle of Man can only be legally carried out if the pregnancy is the result of rape or because of concerns over a woman's mental health.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-40851323

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UK: Thousands back calls for buffer zone around abortion clinics to stop protesters harassing women

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Thousands back calls for buffer zone around abortion clinics to stop protesters harassing women

Fiona Simpson
Sunday 6 August 2017

Thousands of people have backed calls to ban pro-life protesters from “intimidating and harassing” women outside abortion clinics across the capital.

Campaigners have been pictured kneeling in prayer position outside a Marie Stopes clinic in Brixton Hill.

Women also reported being offered graphic leaflets showing dismembered foetuses outside a British Pregnancy Advisory centre in Richmond.

Continued at source: The Standard: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/thousands-back-calls-for-buffer-zone-around-abortion-clinics-to-stop-protesters-harassing-women-a3604391.html

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Northern Ireland: This anti-abortion hijacking of Black Lives Matter is cynical and offensive

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This anti-abortion hijacking of Black Lives Matter is cynical and offensive
Both Lives Matter has got away with a misleading ad. But using the language of human rights can’t hide its true agenda: subjugating women

Elizabeth Nelson
Friday 4 August 2017

It’s a fairly large number, 100,000, but nice and round. Easy to compute. Most of us could even divide it by 10, at a push. Apparently it is this convenient roundedness that led the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) this week to dismiss complaints about recent claims on a billboard that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws have saved “100,000” lives. In its statement, the ASA said: “We considered that 100,000 was a large, round number that readers would typically associate with estimates” – and was therefore unproblematic.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/04/anti-abortion-hijack-black-lives-matter-both-lives-matter-advert-northern-ireland

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Ireland: ‘Our reproductive health laws have come to the attention of the UN Torture Committee’

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'Our reproductive health laws have come to the attention of the UN Torture Committee'

Ireland’s abortion laws are cruel, inhuman, degrading and discriminatory, writes Niall Behan.

Aug 4, 2017
Niall Behan CEO, Irish Family Planning Association

WHEN THE INTERNATIONAL experts on the United Nations Convention Against Torture reviewed Ireland last week, one of their principal areas of concern was reproductive coercion.

Felice Gaer, the Committee’s Vice-Chair and its longest serving member, grilled the state delegation about Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution—the Eighth Amendment—and the ways in which a woman’s right to informed consent and bodily autonomy during pregnancy and childbirth are affected by this provision.

And she had many questions about what she termed “this serious, difficult subject in Ireland of abortion”.

Continued at link: The Journal: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/our-reproductive-health-laws-have-come-to-the-attention-of-the-un-torture-committee-3526954-Aug2017/

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