Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

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Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

By Caterina Tani
BRUSSELS, Dec 6, 2017

A backlash against access to abortion in some EU member states in the past few years is "deeply troubling", the Council of Europe warned on Tuesday (5 December).

In the majority of EU countries abortions are legal, but in some states a wave of "retrogressive restrictions" are threatening women's health and well-being, the European human rights organisation's report said.

Continued at source: https://euobserver.com/health/140158

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How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground

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How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground
A year ago, mass protests in Poland defeated a new abortion ban. But the ruling party, supported by the church, continues to cut reproductive rights – leaving people at the mercy of the black market.

By Alex Cocotas
Thursday 30 November 2017

Barbara Nowacka first had an inkling that something exceptional was happening on the morning of the protests. It was October 2016, and a journalist she knew, a conservative, called to ask how it was looking. She told him she had no idea what was going to happen. The journalist told her that his two daughters had gone to school that morning dressed in black. Perhaps, Nowacka thought, this could be big.

A ban on abortion in Poland had been put forward in parliament six months earlier, and Nowacka, a leftwing politician and long-time social activist, was a leading figure in the movement to oppose it. Nationwide protests had been scheduled for 3 October, but like most people, she had little hope that they would succeed. Perhaps they would get a nice crowd, a little media coverage; but it would ultimately be a gesture. The law would pass.

continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/30/how-polands-far-right-government-is-pushing-abortion-underground

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As PiS turns topic taboo, feminists get Poland talking sex

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As PiS turns topic taboo, feminists get Poland talking sex
As Poland shifts sharply to the right on sex education and women's reproductive rights, a feminist organization is fighting back with a campaign to get women talking. It's a start, one of SexEdPl's leaders tells DW.

Date 18.11.2017
Author Jo Harper

Barbara Baran, one of the main organizers of Poland's largest feminist Facebook group, recently launched SexEdPl, an educational campaign to explain safe sex to young Poles.

As the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) government plans to take Poland out of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and education reforms shunt sex education off the curriculum, Baran believes that the time is ripe for a conversation about matters sexual in the deeply Catholic country.

Continued at source: http://www.dw.com/en/as-pis-turns-topic-taboo-feminists-get-poland-talking-sex/a-37643331

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President says abortion laws are abused in Poland

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President says abortion laws are abused in Poland
Nov 7, 2017
Polish abortion laws, which allow for termination of pregnancies when foetuses are severely damaged, are being abused, Polish President Andrzej Duda has told Catholic broadcaster TV Trwam.

Duda said removing deformed and seriously ill foetuses was “eugenic abortion”, adding that “decidedly tougher legal solutions” needed to be introduced.

A group of pro-life activists in September launched a “Stop Abortions” petition to toughen anti-abortion laws so that it would be forbidden to terminate pregnancies when the foetus is deformed.

Continued at source: http://thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/333989,President-says-abortion-laws-are-abused-in-Poland

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Poland against UN standards on abortion and capital punishment

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Poland against UN standards on abortion and capital punishment
Oct 30, 2017

The ongoing battle around fundamental reproductive rights in Poland becomes even more fierce. Government’s attempts to criminalize abortions and make one of the toughest anti-abortion laws even stricter are expressed in its statement delivered to the Human Rights Committee.

Polish non-governmental organizations are deeply concerned about the official remarks to the General Comment No 36 on article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerning the right to life. The General Comments refers to various aspects related to the right to life – from abortion and euthanasia to suicide to capital punishment and genocide. It clarifies how States that have ratified the Covenant are supposed to protect this right. Only two paragraphs – out of 22 pages – pertain to abortion by imposing the duty to provide access to abortion in case of rape, incest and fetal impairment. The document also underlines that “any legal restriction on the ability of women to seek abortion must not, inter alia, jeopardize their life or subject them to physical or mental pain or suffering which violates article 7”.

Continued at source: http://en.federa.org.pl/poland-against-un-standards-on-abortion-and-capital-punishment/

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Pro-choice “Save Women” bill with 500 000 signatures submitted to the Polish Parliament

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Pro-choice “Save Women” bill with 500 000 signatures submitted to the Polish Parliament
Oct 24, 2017

On October, 23 the “Save Women” Civic Committee tabled almost 500 000 signatures collected under the bill on women’s rights and conscious parenthood. The lower chamber has now three months to initiate a debate on the draft legislation. It is now the ruling party’s move to decide whether the draft will be sent to further proceeding – as promised in the election campaign, or if it will be rejected – as the practice up to now shows.

Continued at source: http://www.astra.org.pl/repronews/543-pro-choice-save-women-bill-with-500-000-signatures-submitted-to-the-polish-parliament.html

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How women’s rights have still been hit despite abortion ban climbdown in Poland

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How women’s rights have still been hit despite abortion ban climbdown in Poland
By Chris Harris
Oct 17, 2017

Poland may have kicked a near-total abortion ban into the long grass but women’s sexual and reproductive rights have taken a hit in the last year, campaigners have told Euronews.

Around 100,000 people hit the streets on October 3 last year to protest against moves to outlaw all cases of women terminating their pregnancies.

The civil disobedience – called the Black Protest – forced the government to abandon the proposals

But activists claim women’s rights have still been hit over the last year as the government introduced more subtle changes to discourage abortion.

Continued at source: http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/17/how-women-s-rights-have-still-been-hit-despite-abortion-ban-climbdown-in-poland

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Polish police raid offices of feminist activists after abortion protests

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Polish police raid offices of feminist activists after abortion protests

'They are afraid of women's protest and want to find out all possible methods to devalue the Polish women's solidarity grassroot solidarity movement,' says leading campaigner

Maya Oppenheim
Oct 7, 2017

Women’s rights groups in Poland have had their documents and computers seized in police raids which took place a day after thousands of activists marched against the country’s restrictive abortion law.

The Women’s Rights Centre, which works on a range of women's issues, and Baba, which helps domestic violence victims, had their offices in the cities of Warsaw, Lodz, Gdansk, and Zielona Gora invaded by police.

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/poland-abortion-police-raids-a7987181.html

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Europe: Why we’re marching for reproductive rights

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Why we’re marching for reproductive rights
28 September 2017

Today, on the International Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, Friends of the Earth activists are taking to the streets in Brussels to demand women’s rights and bodily autonomy and the right to abortion for women across all European countries and around the world.

Sign the petition for reproductive rights in Europe

Abortion is still banned in Ireland and Malta, and highly restricted in Hungary and Poland. Elsewhere, even where access to abortion is legally guaranteed, it can still be denied in practice through the closure of abortion providers and funding cuts for expert staff. And in all countries the right to abortion is regularly threatened as right-wing reactionary politicians gain influence and use women’s rights as bargaining chips to win the support of conservative sectors of society.

Continued: Friends of the Earth Europe: http://www.foeeurope.org/women-rights-abortion-march-280917

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Why ‘resist & persist’ is the perfect theme this September 28th, and everyday

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Why ‘resist & persist’ is the perfect theme this September 28th, and everyday

09/28/2017
Musimbi Kanyoro, Contributor

In today’s world, women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including the right to safe, legal, and affordable abortion are being attacked and rolled back by those in positions of power.

In far too many places, abortion remains an unspoken word, loaded with archaic beliefs about female sexuality and gender, wrapped up with stigma, shame, and discrimination. Take the Mexico City Policy, or global gag rule, for instance: it perpetuates shame and rewards silence, as international health providers that even use the word ‘abortion’ in informing women of their options will lose their funding from the U.S. government.

Continued at source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-resist-persist-is-the-perfect-theme-this-september_us_59cd1400e4b095b7ae59d8f4

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