Iran: Rise in MTP Rates

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Rise in MTP Rates
Monday, August 28, 2017

According to data released by the Health Ministry, last year (ended in March), 12,281 women put in applications for the medical termination of their pregnancies. The figure was 23.4% higher compared to the preceding year.

“Permission was granted to 8,537 applicants, which indicates that the number of permits increased by 19.8% compared to the preceding year,” said Ahmad Shojaee, head of the Legal Medicine Organization, ILNA reported.

Continued at source: Financial Tribune: https://financialtribune.com/articles/people/71222/rise-in-mtp-rates

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Abortion in war time: How women break taboos in Yemen

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Abortion in war time: How women break taboos in Yemen
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
May 23, 2017

E ensures that her children prevent anyone from entering the room at her family home. Then, when the door is closed, she begins to speak quietly and nervously about why she had an abortion earlier this year.

At the age of 39, E already has five children, the youngest of whom is 18 months old. Her family, like millions of other Yemenis, have been left destitute by the two-year war…

“My brain told me it was wrong to exhaust myself and make my husband suffer to provide a new baby with its needs,” E says. “We hardly have enough for our current children. If one of them is sick, we try our best to treat their sickness at home, as we cannot pay for hospitals. The economic crisis does not allow us to have more children.”…

Continued at source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/abortion-in-war-time-how-women-break-taboos-in-yemen/

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Women Across the World Will Die Thanks to Trump’s Misguided Abortion Policies

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Women Across the World Will Die Thanks to Trump’s Misguided Abortion Policies

The Jewish concept of pikuach nefesh instructs us to do everything in our power to save a life, even if it means ignoring biblical law. Why, then, should we sit on our hands while women suffer due to the uninformed and cruel decision of a few white men in America?

by Shira Berman
Jan 29, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s first ten days in office were replete with shocking executive orders and fulfilled campaign promises. One action that reverberated across the globe was the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, or the global gag rule as it’s commonly called.

This policy typically prevents international organizations that receive U.S. family planning funds from providing or even discussing abortion, even if done with their own independent funds, since U.S. funds are already prohibited from covering abortion (both domestically and worldwide).

[continued at link]
Source, Haretz.com: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.768304

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Iran: Warning on Unsafe Abortions

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Warning on Unsafe Abortions
Saturday, January 28, 2017

From among the 1.7 million pregnancies in a year, 1.5 million lead to live births while 200,000 end in termination of pregnancy, said Muhammad Esmael Motlaq, director general of the Office for Population, Families, and Schools at the Health Ministry.

“This number is the official estimate since illegal abortions are not registered. However, the rate of illegal abortions has tripled over the past 15 years,” he said on the sidelines of the conference ‘Population Policies and Maternal and Child Health’, at Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Khuzestan Province, Wednesday.

According to the Health Ministry, the annual number of legal medical termination of pregnancies (MTP) is around 6,000. During the first half of the current year, 5,720 women sought MTP of which 4,019 were granted approval.

[continued at link]
Source, Financial Tribune: https://financialtribune.com/articles/people/58292/warning-on-unsafe-abortions

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15,000 illegal abortions performed in Israel each year, activists claim

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Some back-alley procedures called ‘dangerous,’ undertaken by ‘nurses, dentists’; Health Ministry says it has no figures on phenomenon – ‘How are we supposed to know?’

January 3, 2017

by Marissa Newman, The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Some 15,000 illegal abortions are performed in Israel each year, many by doctors who bypass the official approval process but others by unqualified professionals who could place the lives of women in danger, activists alleged on Monday.

The issue of abortions, which are legal but require the okay of a medical termination panel — which approves nearly all cases — rarely captures headlines in Israel. But two lawmakers caused a stir this week when they convened a Knesset committee meeting Monday urging the inclusion of a religious figure on the panels, spotlighting the issue and drawing a furious response from female opposition Knesset members.

[continued at link]
Source: Times of Israel

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How Abortion Became a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Issue in Israeli Politics

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Haaretz - Israel News
Tuesday, January 03, 2017.

Speculative move by two religious lawmakers to change the 40-year status quo regarding abortion has sparked furious backlash.

Allison Kaplan Sommer, Jan 02, 2017

Abortion may be one of the most politically charged issues in the world related to religion – but you’d never know it in Israel. While Israelis are eager to furiously debate nearly anything else involving religion and politics – from kosher standards in the army to buses on Shabbat, to women’s prayer at the Western Wall – there is near-silence on the issue of when life begins in the womb.

The status quo that is clung to so tightly has allowed invasive but relatively permissive abortion laws to remain in place nearly undisturbed for 40 years.

This week, though, in a rare occurrence, a proposal was floated that would invite religious input into abortion decisions – and the reaction was explosive.

[continued at link]
Source: Haaretz

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Israel: Two MKs seek adding clerics to abortion committees

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Rabbi Yehuda Glick and Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya ask Knesset committee to discuss the matter; MK Dr. Aliza Lavie finds the existing legal situation for terminations flawed and is 'baffled' by two men's attempts to further complicate it.

by Amihai Attali
Published: 31.12.16
YnetNews.com

An initiative of two Knesset members from both the coalition and the opposition would add clerics to the termination committee from which a woman seeking to end her pregnancy must attain approval.

On Monday, the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality will consider the subject "the need to add clerics to the termination committee." The matter was submitted recently by two different MKs—Rabbi Yehuda Glick (Likud) and Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya (Joint List)—in separate applications for a "rapid debate."

[continued at link]
Source: Ynetnews.com

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Feature: Doctors who are our role models and our inspiration – Dame Margaret Sparrow, New Zealand, and Prof Mahmoud Fathalla, Egypt

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2 December 2016, by Safe Abortion

"Dame Margaret Sparrow was 21 when she carried out her do-it-yourself abortion. The year was 1956; if you didn't want a baby, there were few ways out. She sent away for an inky-black elixir from a chemist rumoured to know about such things, and it arrived in the post in a brown paper bag.

Professor Mahmoud F Fathalla: "unarguably the greatest women's health rights champion of the last century" at 80-something

[continued at link]
Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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Restricting access to abortion services: Turkish government policy since 2012

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by Safe Abortion
Nov 17, 2016

During the pro-natalist period, the Turkish Penal Code, ratified in 1926, considered induced abortion to be a crime. (1) However, research showed that the practice of abortion continued on a large scale, irrespective of the laws or the penalties. (2) It was estimated at the end of the 1950s that the number of illegally induced abortions approached half a million per year, with around 10,000 deaths annually from complications. (3) Maternal mortality from other causes also remained high. According to a survey in 1959, the estimated maternal mortality ratio in rural areas was 280 deaths per 100,000 live births. It was also estimated that 53% of maternal deaths were abortion-related. (4,5)

In 1965 a “population” law was enacted, allowing the sale and use of contraceptive methods. Abortion was permitted only to save the life or preserve the health of the pregnant woman and in cases of fetal impairment. (6) Abortion was then legalised in Turkey in 1983 up to 10 weeks of pregnancy on the decision of women. The decision has to be confirmed by the husband, however, if the woman is married, or by the parents/legal guardian if the woman is aged under 18. Pregnancies over ten weeks can be terminated only on medical grounds. (7)

After 1983, the numbers of unsafe abortions and their adverse effects decreased sharply. The prevalence of induced abortions rose initially, but started to decline in the 1990s and continues to do so today. According to Turkey Demographic & Health Survey data, the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies dropped from 19.0 in 1983 to 4.7 in 2013. (8)

Since 2012, there has been political opposition to the provision of abortion services. Some hospital clinics that provided both family planning and abortion services had to stop providing abortions. Thus, the availability of safe abortions depends not only on permissive legislation but also on political support and the ability of health professionals to provide it. If restrictions on accessing abortion services continue, the country will again be faced with an increase in women seeking abortions in unsafe conditions, resulting in increases in maternal morbidity and mortality.

SOURCE: S Sinan Ozalp, Emeritus Prof. Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine and Department of OB/GYN, Eskişehir, Turkey, October 2016 [References in Turkish available] ;

PHOTO: PRI, by Bulent Kilic

SEE ALSO: Campaign newsletter, 5th article, 28 October 2016

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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U.S. Policy Prevents Women Who Are Raped By ISIS From Accessing Abortion

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By LISA SHANNON
November 1, 2016, New York Times

Eleven-year-old “Asima” was marked with scars from daily whippings and rapes following her first 20 days as an ISIS sex slave. When ISIS returned her for a few days to her grandmother, also in captivity, she wept and shook, unable to speak.

Then the slavers came back to take Asima again. Her grandmother begged them: She’s so small! Just leave her!

ISIS took her anyway. Asima hasn’t been seen since.

[continued at link]
Source: New York Times

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