How to Give Yourself an Abortion
January 9, 2020
Posted by Arielle Swernoff
Illustrated by Matt Lubchansky
For as long as people have gotten pregnant, people have given themselves abortions. Historically, these methods have varied from the brutal to the toxic to the bizarre.
But history hasn’t always gotten it wrong. From the Bronze Age until the 1st or 2nd century BCE, silphium, a plant native to Libya, was used as a safe and effective contraceptive and abortifacient. It’s said the plant was so popular that it was harvested to extinction. More recently, enslaved black people in the American South devised numerous herbal treatments to terminate unwanted pregnancies, some of which are still used today.
Challenges abound for women’s sexual and reproductive rights
Published 23 December 2019
Rojita Adhikari, freelance journalist
Health leaders gathered at the second International Conference on Population and Development in Nairobi last month to discuss how to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health. At the meeting Rojita Adhikari talked to Herminia Palacio, newly appointed president of the Guttmacher Institute, about the challenges and possibilities
Q: It’s been 25 years since the first ICPD conference was held. How far has the world come towards meeting the goals?
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.
As Abortion Access Dwindles, App Offers Safe and Discreet Options
By Erin Sagen
Published December 5, 2019
Each year, 25 million unsafe abortions are performed around the world. The rate of unsafe abortions is higher where access to skilled providers and effective contraception is limited or unavailable, or where sexual education is lacking.
Accessing medically accurate information about abortion can be a sensitive pursuit for people desperate for answers; it’s particularly dire if they’re pregnant without wanting to be. Decisions based on misinformation can lead to disability — and even death.
International Conference on Population & Development+25
Nairobi, Kenya, 12-13-14 November 2019
Press Release: 22 November 2019
What was it about: some history
This conference has taken place every five years, beginning in 1994. At each follow-up meeting, the overarching purpose has been to measure progress (and the lack of progress) in implementing the 1994 Programme of Action, which was agreed by acclamation by the representatives of 179 countries, and the follow-up actions added at subsequent conferences. An excellent summary of the aims, goals and history of the conference can be found here and a 20th anniversary edition of the Programme of Action can be found here along with a global report on progress published in 2014.
In 1994, UNFPA, the conference convenor, described the Programme of Action as: “a bold new vision about the relationships between population, development and individual well-being… remarkable in its recognition that [sexual and] reproductive health and reproductive rights, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are cornerstones of population and development programmes. The Consensus is rooted in principles of human rights and respect for national sovereignty and various religious and cultural backgrounds.”
There is no link between abortion and women taking their own lives, study finds
Data from over 520,000 women showed no positive correlation
Nov 22, 2019
Having an abortion does not increase women’s risk of suicide, a new study has found.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, links between abortion and suicide have been used by legislatures to push for stricter abortion law.
For example, US state South Dakota, has a provision within its abortion law that states physicians must warn women seeking terminations - in writing - about an increased risk of suicide if they go ahead with the procedure.
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.
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).
These Photos Of Women Affected By Illegal Abortion Are Deeply Moving (NSFW)
Last Updated November 15, 2019
Scotland-based photographer Camila Cavalcante spent the last three years working on a project to push the conversation about abortion and scream for all women to have autonomy over their own bodies, regardless of their circumstances.
In Brazil where she grew up, abortion is only legal if it endangers the mother’s life, if the foetus’ brain doesn’t develop in the womb or in rape cases. Updates to abortion law and the fight for reproductive rights continue all over the world while women are still forced to take dangerous avenues to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Between 2016 and 2019, Camila photographed herself with 50 women from different backgrounds with different stories, all united by having been affected by illegal abortions. The result is an incredibly moving photobook, For The Lives Of All Women, which combines the personal and the political, documenting their individual experiences and why things so desperately need to change for everyone.