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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The big picture: Women around the world are fighting for abortion rights

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The big picture: Women around the world are fighting for abortion rights

Haley Britzky
June 17, 2018

Argentina took a step towards legalizing abortions last week after the lower house of its legislature sent a bill to the Senate that would allow the procedure in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, the BBC reports.

The big picture: Women in countries around the world are fighting for abortion rights, but the Guttmacher Institute reported that 42% of women of reproductive age worldwide still live in countries where abortion is "highly restricted," meaning it's entirely illegal or only allowed to "save a woman's life or protect her health."

Continued: https://www.axios.com/women-worldwide-abortion-rights-ireland-argentina-el-salvador-2d42e9c7-a985-43e4-abaf-cd396632befa.html

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Trump’s Ban On Funding For Overseas Abortions Has Some Little-Known Exceptions

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Trump's Ban On Funding For Overseas Abortions Has Some Little-Known Exceptions

June 13, 2018
Nurith Aizenman

It was one of Donald Trump's first acts as President: a Jan. 23, 2017 executive order that cuts off U.S. support to foreign groups unless they promise not to "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning." This includes providing patients with referrals or information about the procedure, even if those activities are funded by non-U.S. government sources.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has adopted a variant of the "Mexico City policy" — so called after the city where it was first announced. And every Democratic successor has reversed it.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/13/616906884/trumps-ban-on-funding-for-overseas-abortions-has-some-little-known-exceptions

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100 Women: The modern face of the ‘DIY abortion’

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100 Women: The modern face of the 'DIY abortion'

6 June 2018

Global online searches for abortion pills have more than doubled over the last decade, BBC analysis of Google searches shows. The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills.

By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44089526

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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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Report Slams Trump’s Abortion ‘Gag Rule’

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Report Slams Trump’s Abortion ‘Gag Rule’
A rule first imposed by Ronald Reagan and intensified by Donald Trump doesn’t prevent abortions in developing countries and limits other unrelated medical services, according to a new analysis.

By Paul D. Shinkman, Senior National Security Writer
June 5, 2018

President Donald Trump's unprecedented expansion of a rule prohibiting U.S. funds to international aid groups that discuss or perform abortions is having a severe effect on countries most in need of global support, according to a new study, including prior claims the policy leads to millions of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions and tens of thousands of deaths.

The policy – which applies to $9 billion in funds appropriated to multiple government agencies – is having wide-reaching effects, including shutting down funding to some nongovernmental organizations that served as the sole source of health care in developing countries hard-hit by sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies, according to the report "Prescribing Chaos in Global Health: The Global Gag Rule From 1984-2018" conducted by the Center for Health and Gender Equality or CHANGE, released on Tuesday.

Continued: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2018-06-05/report-trumps-foreign-abortion-gag-rule-harms-developing-countries-other-foreign-aid

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What Happens When Abortion Is Banned?

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What Happens When Abortion Is Banned?

By Michelle Oberman
May 31, 2018

The world of illegal abortion today looks nothing like it did 45 years ago.

When I first visited Chile, in 2008, it was one of only a handful of countries in the world that banned abortion in all cases, without exception. Given that hundreds of women a year died from botched illegal abortions in the United States before Roe v. Wade, which legalized the procedure in 1973, I expected to find hospitals in Chile overflowing with dying women. Instead, I found that abortion drugs have dramatically altered the situation.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/opinion/sunday/abortion-banned-latin-america.html

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‘Savita!’: why the Irish abortion vote touched women the world over

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'Savita!': why the Irish abortion vote touched women the world over

Finally, a woman’s death at the hands of an old madness did not mean nothing

Van Badham
Wed 30 May 2018

The photograph from the Irish referendum that brought me undone was of white-haired men in the street holding a yellow banner. It read “Grandfathers for Yes”. It came across my phone as I traversed Melbourne in the 86 tram only a couple of days before the vote, like a lobbed bomb of hope and love, relief and change. I sobbed aloud.

It struck with specific weight because there’d been another photo circulating a week earlier of Irish men the same age in a sadly more familiar scenario. “Vote NO” read their own pink signs, “Support women, protect babies, save lives.” That one had left me not in hot tears but a cold rage.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/30/savita-why-the-irish-abortion-vote-touched-women-the-world-over

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Trump’s ban on global abortion funding has led to more abortions

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Trump's ban on global abortion funding has led to more abortions

By Nima Elbagir, Lillian Leposo, and Eliza Mackintosh
Video by Alex Platt and Fabien Muhire
Graphics by Kara Fox and Henrik Pettersson
May 24, 2018

Nairobi, Kenya — Health worker Elizabeth Wanjiru was walking through the narrow streets of Kenya's largest slum earlier this year when she came across two schoolboys pointing at something in a muddy ditch. As she drew closer she saw it was the remains of an aborted fetus.

Dumped elsewhere in Kibera, the fetus had washed up in a narrow alleyway after a night of rainfall. It's something Wanjiru hasn't seen for years.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/24/health/trump-mexico-city-policy-abortion-ban-kenya-asequals-intl/index.html

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How Trump’s anti-abortion agenda impacts women around the world

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How Trump's anti-abortion agenda impacts women around the world

By Kara Fox and Henrik Pettersson, CNN
May 24, 2018

For more than 50 years, the United States Agency for International Development has been the largest financial supporter of women's reproductive health services in the world's poorest countries, with funding contributing to programs that have lowered maternal mortality rates, unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

But health-care workers in the world's least developed countries have expressed concern that an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump shortly after he took office last year has left women without access to free contraception, with many turning instead to unsafe abortions.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/24/health/contraceptives-abortion-charts-global-gag-rule-asequals-intl/index.html

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