FEATURE: The law, trials and imprisonment for abortion in Malaysia

FEATURE: The law, trials and imprisonment for abortion in Malaysia
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11 July 2018

By Nandini Archer
Edited by Marge Berer

Introduction

In spite of sustained advocacy from sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and human rights advocates, and penal code amendments in 1971 and 1989, which opened up more grounds for abortion, access to safe, legal abortion remains heavily restricted in Malaysia. Before these changes, several prosecutions were taken against medical professionals. Since them, only one woman has been prosecuted for abortion – a Nepali migrant worker named Nirmala in 2014, who spent four months in prison and was acquitted on appeal.

This report looks at the abortion law and access to abortion in Malaysia and reviews calls to change the law and access by SRH and human rights advocates. The report ends with a discussion of the cases against medical professionals, prosecutions of women for infanticide and the case of Nirmala.[1]

continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-the-law-trials-and-imprisonment-for-abortion-in-malaysia-11-july-2018?e=372dd34034

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Malaysia – Let’s talk about… abortion

Let’s talk about… abortion
Abortions shouldn't be taken lightly as it can put the life of the pregnant woman at risk if she is not armed with the right facts to make an informed decision.

June 1, 2018

Abortion is a taboo subject in many parts of the world and Malaysia is no exception. It is a topic that provokes much emotion from both sides of the debate and like all ethical debates, the grey areas are more common than the clear cut, black and white answers. The practical implications of the hesitance to discuss this topic gives way to misinformation. Misinformation in the medical field is akin to walking blindfolded through a jungle. One wrong step can put one in danger.

Here in Malaysia, the social stigma of abortion encourages people to seek help in secrecy. In this environment, predatory opportunists seek to make money off desperate people and when things go wrong, the victims have nobody to turn to.

Continued: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2018/06/01/lets-talk-about-abortion/

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Malaysai – Yes! SheDecides: Affirming women’s rights to their own body

Yes! SheDecides: Affirming women’s rights to their own body

Friday March 2, 2018

March 2 — A group of stakeholders and global representatives came together today to express their support for SheDecides — a movement that promotes, provides, protects and enhances the fundamental rights of every girl and woman to freely decide about their sexual lives.

The discussion, organised in conjunction with SheDecides’ first anniversary, saw participations of regional non-profit group Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (Arrow) and representatives from Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland, among others.

Continued: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/yes-shedecides-affirming-womens-rights-to-their-own-body

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The pro-choice movement in Asia: A retrospective

The pro-choice movement in Asia: A retrospective

Posted on 8 February, 2018
by Asia Safe Abortion Partnership
Dr. S. P. Choong. Founding Member, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership

As a founding member of ASAP, I am taken aback to suddenly realize that it’s been 10 years since we adopted the idea of a regional alliance for abortion rights. I guess it has been such an enjoyable and fulfilling ride for me to witness the growth of the pro-choice movement – in different countries, involving different professions and especially different generations.

Starting out as an individual abortion rights activist 50 years was a lonely business – facing stigma from friends and professional colleagues. No matter how strong our own internal convictions, it can still be stressful

Continued: http://asap-asia.org/blog/the-pro-choice-movement-in-asia-a-retrospective/#sthash.L4FEkh7u.dpbs

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Malaysia: Getting the message across

Getting the message across

Letters
Wednesday, 27 Sep 2017

WHEN parents find out that their 17-year-old school-going daughter is pregnant, the reaction would most probably be anger followed by murderous rage, more anger and then a feeling of failure before they finally settle down to decide how to deal with the situation and the stigma that comes with it.

Abortion may be one option they would consider. Some might finally accept the circumstances and try to marry the girl off. In other situations, relatives or others may be brought in to take care of the girl until the baby is born, and it would most probably be given up for adoption.

Continued at source: http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2017/09/27/getting-the-message-across/

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Trump Vs International Abortion

Trump Vs International Abortion
Feb 7, 2017

Heather Jeffrey, Lecturer in Tourism Studies at the University of Bedfordshire

Donald Trump has been in office for but two weeks and already he is dramatically changing the face of the World as we know it. One of Trump’s first actions was to reinstate the global gag rule, a rule initially devised in 1984 by Ronald Reagan. When initiating this, Reagan drew heavily on the morality of US citizens, suggesting the rule was about removing financial support for abortions around the world. Similarly, the conversation about the gag rule has mostly focused around the subject of abortion. Yet, what the gag rule actually does is reduce funding for organisations that educate and counsel on a whole range of issues, including family planning, maternal health, HIV prevention and testing, contraception and sex education for young people.

In order to better understand how this might affect women in the countries that may see a dramatic reduction in financial aid supporting family planning, I interviewed Dr Bianca Stumbitz, who has extensive experience researching issues related to maternity protection including in both Ghana and Malaysia. Bianca draws primarily on her experiences in Ghana, working on an ILO funded study concerning maternity protection in the workplace, looking especially at informal workers in impoverished areas, where access to health care is a key challenge.

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/heather-jeffrey/trump-v-international-abo_b_14630600.html

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A threat to abortion pill access in Malaysia

A threat to abortion pill access in Malaysia
by Safe Abortion, Jan 31, 2017

A statement by the Minister of Health of Malaysia, in which he threatened investigation and prosecution of anyone selling or purchasing medical abortion pills online, was widely reported in the press.

In response, the Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia’s said: “We recognise the proliferation of many unethical sellers of medical abortion pills, but the proposed action by the Minister may also end up threatening the provision of genuine non-profit suppliers such as Women on Web, Women Help Women and Safe2Choose.

“Mifepristone has not been approved in Malaysia. But off-label use of misoprostol for medical abortion and for softening the cervix before manual vacuum aspiration abortion is common.

“Six months ago, the Ministry pressured Pfizer to stop supplying misoprostol in Malaysia, thus preventing abortion providers from using it. We are uncertain how effective  the Customs department will be, but we expect most of the supplies will still get through. But if a prosecution takes place, it will be a real threat to continuing access.”

The newspaper article, published on 16 January, was entitled: “Health Minister concerned over abortion pills”. The Minister, Datuk Seri S Subramaniam, is reported as saying that in Malaysia, these pills require a doctor’s prescription, and are for “specific purposes”. For internet sales domestically, he believed they could be detected and action taken against offenders. However, he is also quoted as saying that it is difficult to detect when orders are placed online for purchases from abroad. He said the Health Ministry was working with the Customs Department and police to detect packages containing such pills and also to establish whether the pills were being sold locally.

The article also states that misoprostol is easily available online and a common discussion topic in certain chatrooms, especially those related to “how to get a safe abortion”.

The Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia’s says: “The only logical and effective step to cut out the demand for online abortion pills… is to fast-track the approval and supply of both these medications to doctors so that they can be legally prescribed to clients after a proper assessment, as proposed by the Minister.”

SOURCES: E-mail, Dr SP Choong, Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM),

23 January 2017 ; Malaymailonline, by Murali Arumugam, 16 January 2017
Source, International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/a-threat-to-abortion-pill-access-in-malaysia/

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