Abortion 'doulas' in Chile risk prison, saying women need their help
“We are doing this because the law is insufficient."
May 28, 2020
By Liam Miller
SANTIAGO, Chile — The woman anxiously removes the SIM card from the cheap cellphone and cuts the chip into pieces before sweeping the fragments into the trash. When her nerves pass, she allows herself a small sigh of relief.
Despite using a "burner" phone like those associated with drug deals in TV crime series, this woman is using it for a different purpose. A college-educated professional, she's one of several women in a group of abortion "doulas," part of a clandestine network willing to break the law and face prison to help women obtain abortions, as long as it's medically safe to do so.
Argentina's abortion campaign launches virtual events to revitalise movement
Activists seemed on the brink of victory when they were stalled by the pandemic and a historic bill wasn’t formally introduced
Natalie Alcoba in Buenos Aires
Published on Thu 28 May 2020
Feminists in Argentina like to say: “la lucha está en la calle” — the battle is in the streets. But with the country under a strict coronavirus lockdown, the women’s movement can no longer flood the streets.
So on Thursday, activists have planned a series of virtual events to mark 15 years of their campaign to legalize abortion – and inject new momentum to campaign which was stalled by the pandemic, just as it seemed on the brink of victory.
From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion
Michaela Kozminova, WORLDCRUNCH
Across the globe, swamped hospitals and shelter-in-place measures have impacted people's access to healthcare for any number of non-COVID-19 issues. One of them is abortion, a time sensitive procedure that is also — even the best of times — both emotionally and politically charged.
Now, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some countries have used emergency decrees to change their policies related to pregnancy terminations. While several have extended access to abortions in an effort to ease pressure on women and guarantee their rights, others have seen the situation as an opportunity to make abortions more difficult to access.
Colombia drops FARC’s mass forced abortion claim after 5 years
by Adriaan Alsema
May 10, 2020
A former guerrilla associate was sentenced to 40 years in prison for carrying out forced abortions on former ELN and ERG guerrillas, according to the prosecution, which had blamed the FARC for years.
In a press release, a judge in the city of Pereira confirmed Hector Albeidis Arboleda carried out forced abortions for demobilized rebel group ERG and the active ELN guerrillas.
Keeping women's health essential despite Covid-19 shortages
Opinion by Anu Kumar
Thu May 7, 2020
(Video: Fear, panic as women navigate pregnancy during a pandemic, 02:59)
(CNN)The world is changing daily as a result of Covid-19. Like millions of people, I now have a virtual workday. I am fortunate -- I'm safe and comfortable at home with my family in North Carolina.
Although living socially distanced and not knowing when life will return to normal is a struggle, I am comforted by the knowledge of the frontline workers I work with around the world working to alleviate some of the harm being inflicted on those living in dense and underserved communities.
How a Network of Activists Are Helping Women Get Abortions in Argentina During Coronavirus Lockdown
By Ciara Nugent
May 1, 2020
These days, Ruth Zurbriggen finds herself having meetings at midnight. A university lecturer in the Argentine province of Neuquén, Zurbriggen spends her spare time helping other women get abortions in a country where the procedure is only legal in a few circumstances. Stuck at home because of a nationwide quarantine order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, women often need to speak at night, when their families or partners are asleep and can’t hear them talking about their decision.
Zurbriggen, 54, is a founding member of the Socorristas en Red (literally, Network of Lifeguards), a group of 504 activists spread across Argentina’s territory. The socorristas help women navigate the country’s health system, which, by law is meant to provide abortion in cases of rape or where the pregnancy is a risk to the health of the mother.
Pandemic further hinders safe abortion in Latin America
By Carlos Christian
April 9, 2020
Calls decreased, but text messages increased. They cannot speak because they hear them. They cannot say in front of their families that they seek help, that they need to abort. Las Comadres, a feminist network in Ecuador that provides information to women who want to terminate their pregnancies with drugs, has had to change its communication channels in recent weeks. Telephone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Isolation, imposed as a mitigation measure by Covid-19, has limited the freedom of those seeking access to an abortion, but not the determination of those who are determined to do so.
Verónica Vera, one of the sixty Ecuadorians who responds to requests for accompaniment, now through platforms such as Telegram, says that in March requests for support increased by 25%. Women who want to abort will do so even in a health emergency, and the public health system in Latin America seems not ready to respond. “The difficulty of mobilizing due to the measures adopted by the pandemic, the collapsed medical services and the lack of privacy within prolonged confinements could lead to a setback in Latin America,” he warns.
#NiñasNoMadres: Argentines protest against the forced pregnancy of young girls
'A pregnant girl is a raped girl'
Translation posted 6 April 2020
The only jurisdictions in Latin America where abortion is legal on request are Cuba, Uruguay, and a few states in Mexico. In Argentina, abortion is legal in only two circumstances: When the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother's life, and when the pregnancy is the result of rape.
On February 19, pro-choice activists demonstrated in front of the Argentine National Congress, in the capital Buenos Aires, calling for the approval of a bill that would make abortion fully legal. Protestors also demanded that the right to abortion in circumstances that are already allowed by Argentine law is also fulfilled.
Lockdown in Colombia will affect the right to abortion, says human rights lawyer
What happens when a woman has to terminate her pregnancy during lockdown?
Translation posted 3 April 2020
Although necessary for the health protection of citizens, measures taken by the Colombian government to contain the COVID-19 infection, including the national lockdown and closing the borders, may hinder the access of Colombian and Venezuelan women to services that are essential to their sexual and reproductive health.
“In times of pandemic, women will still require the services necessary for accessing safe abortions, emergency contraception, and protection from sexual violence and abuse,” Selene Soto, a lawyer from the Women’s Link Worldwide organization in Bogota, told Global Voices.
The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Stalled Argentina’s Historic Effort To Legalize Abortion
President Alberto Fernández promised to make Argentina the largest Latin American country to decriminalize abortion. Then a pandemic
By Travis Waldron, HuffPost US
Three weeks ago, Argentina was on the brink of delivering a massive victory to women’s rights advocates there and across Latin America: New President Alberto Fernández, who won election last year, announced in early March that he planned to make legal abortion the first major priority of his presidency.
With strong majorities in Congress and increasing public support behind the effort, Argentina seemed primed to become just the fourth nation in Latin America to legalize abortion ― and the largest country in the region to enshrine the right into law.