Anti-Abortion Ideology is On the Rise in Europe

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January 2, 2017 by Daria Sukharchuk, Ms. Magazine

As the right-wing parties are on the rise in Europe, one can see a certain turn towards more conservative politics in all spheres of life—including reproductive rights.

To date, Europe has put forth some of the most pro-choice legislation in the world. In most European countries—with the exclusion on Poland, Malta, Northern Ireland and the Vatican—abortion is allowed, without restriction, for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in some countries even longer than that. The procedure is usually carried out in a normal hospital—not a dedicated abortion clinic—and the shouting crowds with harrowing pictures are not as common a sight as they are in the United States.

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Source: Ms. Magazine

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The 9 countries with the most draconian abortion laws in the world

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The 9 countries with the most draconian abortion laws in the world

by Andree Gorman
Dec. 15, 2016, 11:05

LONDON — In November, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would explore offering Northern Irish women a free and legal means to terminate their pregnancy.

Abortion is only legal in Northern Ireland when a pregnant woman's life is at risk, but the NHS has so far refused to pay for the procedure for those who travel to Britain seeking help.

Sturgeon's plan may offer a way around this. In doing so, she also cast light on abortion laws.

Around the world, 58 of 196 countries provide abortions on request, and 134 of 196 countries only allow abortions to preserve a woman's physical health.

Six countries — El Salvador, Malta, the Vatican, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua — still refuse abortions to women under any circumstances, even if it's to save her life. It means that under many circumstances, such as rape, incest, or if the fetus has a severe abnormality, women still must bring a pregnancy to term.

Developing countries, which have the strictest laws around ending a pregnancy, have the highest unsafe abortion rates. It is estimated that around the world, 78,000 deaths result from unsafe abortions every year. These are the countries with the strictest abortion laws around the globe.

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Source: Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-strictest-abortion-laws-2016-12/#in-the-philippines-women-are-technically-allowed-to-have-abortions-to-save-their-own-lives-but-the-law-does-not-explicitly-state-this-8

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Rivals trade blows over Pope and abortion as gloves off in French Right presidential primary battle

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Henry Samuel, Paris, The Telegraph

22 November 2016 • 1:51pm

The Pope and abortion were on Tuesday at the heart of France’s Right-wing primary battle after both finalists claimed they were closer to the Pontiff in a tussle for the key French Catholic vote.

The gloves are off between French prime ministers François Fillon and Alain Juppé in the race to lead their Republicans party in presidential elections next year, with a run-off vote on Sunday.

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Source: The Telegraph

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Pope extends power to forgive abortion to all Roman Catholic priests

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Mon Nov 21, 2016 | 10:53am EST
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis on Monday extended indefinitely to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors in most parts of the world.

Francis, who has made a more inclusive and forgiving Roman Catholic Church a characteristic of his papacy, made the announcement in a document known as an "apostolic letter" after Sunday's close of the Church's "Holy Year of Mercy".

He said he wanted to "restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life" but "there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with (God)".

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Source: Reuters

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Poland abortion ban protests: Women’s rights, conservative gender roles highlighted

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Janka Hrckova Updated: Oct 9, 2016 08:31 IST, FirstPost.com

After a series of protests in the first week of October 2016, the Polish government announced it would not be pushing through a proposed legislation that would effectively ban abortions in the country.

The sudden u-turn of the government came as a surprise to many, yet few perceive defending the shaky status quo as a victory.

The current abortion law has been in place since the early 1990s and counts as one of the most restrictive in Europe. It is widely referred to as a ‘compromise’ between the Catholic Church and the more liberal groups in the society. However, the compromise granted little to the liberal camp, as women’s right to choose was disregarded and exceptions were only granted in cases of rape, incest, when the life of the fetus is under threat or when the mother’s health is in grave danger. And pundits assume that the ruling party will soon attempt to come up with yet another ‘compromise’ solution, further tightening the already strict law and parading it as a concession to the protesters.

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Source FirstPost.com

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Vatican says abortion is ‘illegitimate response’ to Zika virus

International bodies have called for a relaxation of abortion laws in response to the Zika virus. Photograph: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

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Church argues terminating pregnancies would confirm international community’s failure to contain disease

 

 

 

 

 

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent

Thursday 18 February 2016 14.08 GMT

Pregnant women exposed to the Zika virus and who may be carrying foetuses with serious brain defects should not be permitted to have abortions, the Vatican has said.

The Catholic church restated its opposition to abortion in all circumstances as women in South America are frantically trying to terminate pregnancies for fear of giving birth to babies with microcephaly, which gives them unusually small heads.

“Not only is increased access to abortion and abortifacients [abortion-inducing drugs] an illegitimate response to this crisis, but since it terminates the life of a child it is fundamentally not preventative,” the Vatican said.

The Holy See representative to the UN announced the Vatican’s response during the launch of a $65m (£45m) campaign by the World Health Organisation to tackle the spread of the Zika crisis. An estimated 4,000 babies have been born with microcephaly, which has been linked to their mothers becoming infected with the Zika virus by mosquito bites.

“It must be emphasised that a diagnosis of microcephaly in a child should not warrant a death sentence,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN. Such a response would be “the confirmation of a failure of the international community to stop the spread of the disease”, he added.

Abortion is banned or highly restricted in many countries affected by the Zika crisis. Earlier this month, the Catholic church in Brazil – one of the worst affected countries – said it strongly opposed a move to permit abortions for pregnant women exposed to the Zika virus. “There is no justification to defend abortion,” it said.

Governments in several countries have advised women to delay getting pregnant for up to two years, while international bodies have urged a relaxation of abortion bans in the face of the crisis.

A Canadian group which supplies advice and abortion pills to women has reported a big increase in online requests from women in South America. Women on Web said it had received more than 1,000 emails begging for abortion-inducing medication such as mifepristone and misoprostol from women in countries where the drugs are banned.

“Women who are pregnant and suspect that they have had Zika just don’t want to take the risks of having a microcephalic baby. Our worry is that these women will turn to unsafe abortion methods, while we can help them with a safe, medical abortion,” Rebecca Gomperts, the group’s founder, told the Washington Post.

One email said: “I contacted Zika 4 days ago. I just found out I’m about 6 weeks pregnant. Today. Today, I found out I’m pregnant. I have a son I love dearly. I love children. But I dont believe it is a wise decision to keep a baby who will suffer. I need an abortion. I don’t know who to turn to. Please help me ASAP.”

Source: http://www.theguardian.com

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