Letters to Pope Francis

FEATURE: Letters to Pope Francis
(three letters at the link, from the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, and Catholics for Choice.)
TO: His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City
c/o Vatican Press Office

14 November 2018

Dear Pope Francis,

We are writing to express our disappointment at two recent pronouncements you made related to abortion, which seemed to contradict statements you had made earlier in your Papacy.

After you became Pope, you made two important statements in relation to women and abortion. First, you said that the Church should stop its obsession with the subject of abortion, and spend more time on its primary roles. We found that very hopeful because we think abortion is a public health and human rights issue, not a religious one, and we hoped your statement was an expression of understanding of the reality of women’s lives. We knew that you would not reverse the formal position the Church has taken since the mid-19th century, but we read your statement as a possibility that you might ever so slowly take the Church in a different direction.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-letters-to-pope-francis-14-november-2018?e=372dd34034

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The pro-abortion crusade in Argentina

The pro-abortion crusade in Argentina

Angello Alcázar
Nov 1, 2018

“’Better’ never means better for everyone… It always means worse for some.” We can find this poignant statement in a passage from Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale. This best-known work of fiction is one of the most enthralling dystopian novels ever written. Just like George Orwell’s 1984 or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the plot revolves around an ill-fated society in which citizens are subject to a totalitarian regime that has deprived them of their fundamental rights, including freedom. In The Handmaid’s Tale, however, there is neither Orwell’s omnipresent Big Brother, nor Bradbury’s “firemen” that burn books. Rather, at the heart of Atwood’s novel, a theocratic and puritan state treats the few fertile women that remain in Gilead territory (the ‘handmaids’) as mere incubators in order to ensure the survival of the nightmarish social regime.

Continued: https://www.mironline.ca/the-pro-abortion-crusade-in-argentina/

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Brazil’s Abortion Rights Push Could Come To A Screeching Halt After Jair Bolsonaro’s Election

Brazil's Abortion Rights Push Could Come To A Screeching Halt After Jair Bolsonaro's Election

By Caitlin Cruz
Oct 29, 2018

Brazil elected Jair Bolsonaro as president on Sunday, marking a momentous shift to the far-right. His extremist policies and outrageous comments about minority groups have had some people refer to him as the Brazilian version of Donald Trump. And of his many troubling stances, Bolsonaro's decidedly anti-abortion views may impact Brazil's push to expand abortion rights.

As a candidate, Bolsonaro suggested that if he won the presidency, Brazil will adopt a policy similar to the Hyde Amendment, which outlaws American government dollars from funding abortion. (There's also a policy that prohibits American government dollars from going to funding abortion abroad called the Helms Amendment.)

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/brazils-abortion-rights-push-could-come-to-a-screeching-halt-after-jair-bolsonaros-election-13026022

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It’s time to talk about what a lack of access to safe abortion means

It’s time to talk about what a lack of access to safe abortion means

Viviana Waisman
18 October 2018

This year, something has changed about the way we talk about abortion. You can feel it on the street, on Twitter, in the media.... Something has changed, and there’s no turning back.

In May, the vote on the Irish referendum to legalize abortion filled me with hope. Thanks to the energy of young Irish people, a major victory was won for women’s rights.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/viviana-waisman/it-s-time-to-talk-about-what-lack-of-access-to-safe-abortion-means

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When Abortion Is Illegal, Women Rarely Die. But They Still Suffer.

When Abortion Is Illegal, Women Rarely Die. But They Still Suffer.
A look at what happens when abortion is forbidden, from countries where it still is

Olga Khazan
Oct 11, 2018

In August, the Argentine Senate rejected a bill that would have decriminalized abortion in the country within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Less than a week later, the newspaper Clairín reported that a 34-year-old woman died from septic shock after attempting to terminate her own pregnancy using parsley.

The woman, referred to only as Elizabeth, became one of the 40-some Argentine women who die each year from unsafe abortions. “Illegality forces the poorest women to use the most desperate practices,” one doctor was quoted as saying.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/how-many-women-die-illegal-abortions/572638/

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‘I was given photos of the foetus’: abortion stigma lingers in pioneering Uruguay

'I was given photos of the foetus': abortion stigma lingers in pioneering Uruguay
The country has much to celebrate as Latin America’s most progressive on reproductive rights, but the process of getting a termination can still be long and stressful

Elizabeth Sulis Kim in Montevideo and Salto
Wed 10 Oct 2018

Juana Fernandez* was a university student and in the first few months of a new relationship when she discovered she was pregnant.

She was not ready to become a mother in her early 20s, so Fernandez, from Montevideo, decided to have an abortion. At that time, abortion was illegal in Uruguay so she was forced to undergo a clandestine termination. It was a stressful time.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/oct/10/uruguay-pioneering-abortion-laws-changed-lives-yet-stigma-lingers

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Supreme Court of Brazil: Public Hearing on the Decriminalization of Abortion, August 3rd & 6th 2018– Antecedents, Content, Meanings

Supreme Court of Brazil: Public Hearing on the Decriminalization of Abortion, August 3rd & 6th 2018– Antecedents, Content, Meanings

9 October 2018
by Sonia Corrêa, Sexuality Policy Watch

On August 3rd and 6th 2018, the Supreme Court of Brazil held a Public Hearing on ADPF 442/2017[1], a juridical instrument that challenges the constitutionality of the articles in the 1940 Penal Code that criminalize abortion. This challenge was presented to the Supreme Court in March 2017. In her opening remarks, the then Chief Justice Carmen Lucia defined the hearing as a space opened by the Court for society to manifest its views on the matter and raise arguments that could contribute to a more just judgment.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-supreme-court-of-brazil-public-hearing-on-the-decriminalization-of-abortion-august-2018?e=372dd34034

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Normalizing Abortion

Normalizing Abortion

Sep 25, 2018
Françoise Girard

On September 28, activists around the world will mark International Safe Abortion Day, a global campaign to repeal laws that deny women the right to reproductive health care. The message is simple: no woman anywhere should have to tolerate restrictions that too often lead to injury or death.

NEW YORK – Last month in Buenos Aires, Elizabeth, a 34-year-old mother of two, died after inserting parsley into her cervix in a desperate attempt to induce an abortion. Days earlier, Argentina’s Senate had narrowly defeated legislation that would have legalized abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. If that bill had passed, Elizabeth might be alive today. Instead, she is a grim statistic: one of more than 40 Argentinian women who will die this year from botched abortions.

Continued: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/international-safe-abortion-day-legalizing-abortion-services-by-francoise-girard-2018-09

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Brazil – Presidential Candidates Need to Heed Abortion Debate

Presidential Candidates Need to Heed Abortion Debate

September 24, 2018
Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher, Children's Rights Division

Activists around the world will mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion on September 28. Like several other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is in the midst of a vigorous public debate around abortion following a recent Supreme Court hearing on the issue. Brazil’s criminal code still severely restricts access to legal abortion. But the fact that the issue is being discussed openly, including in the presidential campaign, and that women are coming forward to share their stories of ending a pregnancy, is already a significant step forward.

Under the criminal code in Brazil, abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, when necessary to save a woman’s life, or when the fetus suffers from anencephaly – a fatal congenital brain disorder. Activists have fought for years to ease the country’s abortion restrictions, citing evidence that criminal penalties do nothing to reduce abortion, but instead lead women to risk their health and lives to terminate pregnancies clandestinely.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/24/presidential-candidates-need-heed-abortion-debate

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Health-Care Providers Must Consider What Role We’ll Play in Harm Reduction if Abortion Is Outlawed

Health-Care Providers Must Consider What Role We’ll Play in Harm Reduction if Abortion Is Outlawed

Sep 17, 2018
Dr. Daniel Grossman

Texas has seen some of the nation’s most regressive abortion restrictions in recent years. This series chronicles the fall-out of those laws, and the litigation that has followed.

As the prospect of losing the constitutional protection to abortion becomes more real, I am struck by how disconnected the political rhetoric is from medical reality. The facts are clear: Making abortion illegal does not make it go away. Yes, some patients will be prevented from getting a wanted abortion, but others will still end their pregnancies, either by traveling for safe and legal care or by taking matters into their own hands.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/09/17/health-care-providers-must-consider-what-role-well-play-in-harm-reduction-if-abortion-is-outlawed/

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