Amnesty chief calls Latin America’s abortion laws violence against women

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Amnesty chief calls Latin America's abortion laws violence against women
Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general, urges Argentina and others to reform draconian legislation and says human rights have deteriorated across region

Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires
Sun 15 Apr 2018

Latin America’s draconian abortion policies have resulted in the needless deaths of thousands of women, said Amnesty International’s secretary general, Salil Shetty, as he called for a decisive push for legalization of the procedure across the region.

“The criminalization of abortion is an extreme form of violence against women. It doesn’t reduce abortions – it just makes them unsafe,” Shetty told the Guardian in Buenos Aires after a meeting with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/15/latin-america-abortion-laws-violence-against-women-amnesty-international-salil-shetty

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – Body Politics: Criminalization of Sexuality and Reproduction

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – Body Politics: Criminalization of Sexuality and Reproduction

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
March 20, 2018

On 12 March 2018 at the Commission on the Status of Women, Amnesty International launched two reports, a primer and a toolkit, in the series on Body Politics: Criminalization of Sexuality and Reproduction. The series focuses on the human rights impact of criminalizing abortion, sex work, sex outside of marriage, adolescent sexuality, HIV exposure, non-disclosure and transmission, same-sex sexual conduct and pregnancy. It provides both critical analysis and tools for advocacy planning. Training materials will be published soon. This work is the culmination of six years of research, analysis and engagement with key partners.

In the Foreword to the Primer, Anand Grover, Former Special Rapporteur on the right to health, a senior advocate and a founder-member of the Lawyers Collective in India, wrote:

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/amnesty-international-body-politics-criminalization-of-sexuality-and-reproduction/

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Ireland is holding a referendum on abortion – now let’s talk about Australia

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Ireland is holding a referendum on abortion - now let's talk about Australia
The Emerald Isle legalised same-sex marriage before us and looks like they could pip us to the post with reproductive rights too.

Jan 30, 2018
By Kate Wagner

We woke up to the progressive news Ireland will be holding a referendum on abortion. Their constitution as it stands now effectively bans terminations, deeming them illegal except in specific cases when there is a threat to the life of the mother.

Given the country's deeply religious roots, the fact criminalising abortion is enshrined in their constitution may not be shocking, but it is deeply troubling.

Continued: https://www.cosmopolitan.com.au/news/ireland-decriminalise-abortions-what-about-australia-25766

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The Criminalization of Abortion Began as a Business Tactic

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The Criminalization of Abortion Began as a Business Tactic
By Erin Blakemore // January 22, 2018

If you opened up the Leavenworth Times, a Kansas newspaper, in the 1850s, you’d see an ad for Sir James Clarke’s Female Pills. These pills, the advertiser bragged, were ideal for bringing on women’s periods—and were “particularly suited to married ladies.”

Then there was Madame Costello, a “female physician” who took out an ad in the New York Herald in the 1840s. She advertised to women “who wish to be treated for obstruction of the monthly period.”

Continued: http://www.history.com/news/the-criminalization-of-abortion-began-as-a-business-tactic

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N.Ireland: North’s abortion law forcing women to go through ‘torture’ – Supreme Court hears

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North’s abortion law forcing women to go through ‘torture’ – Supreme Court hears
London court told current law discriminates against women and girls on grounds of sex

Tue, Oct 24, 2017
Denis Staunton in London

Northern Ireland’s abortion law is forcing vulnerable women and girls to go through “physical and mental torture”, the supreme court in London has heard.

The court on Tuesday began hearing an application from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), which argues that criminalisation of abortion, even in the case of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality, is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/north-s-abortion-law-forcing-women-to-go-through-torture-supreme-court-hears-1.3267006

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Supreme court to hear challenge to Northern Ireland abortion law

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Supreme court to hear challenge to Northern Ireland abortion law

Amnesty International among organisations and individuals bringing case on human rights grounds

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Monday 23 October 2017

The supreme court will this week hear a case to overturn the restrictions on abortions in Northern Ireland on the grounds that the laws breach human rights.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) failed at the court of appeal in June to convince judges that the rights of victims of sexual assault and women with fatal foetal abnormalities are violated because they cannot terminate their pregnancies in the country.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/23/supreme-court-to-hear-challenge-to-northern-ireland-abortion-law

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SENEGAL – A young couple, both school students, sent to prison for a month for abortion

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SENEGAL – A young couple, both school students, sent to prison for a month for abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 20, 2017

In Senegal, abortion is illegal in all cases except to save the woman’s life; approval for inducing “therapeutic abortions” must come from three doctors, one of whom is independently assigned by the courts. Giving advice on where or how to access abortion is a criminal offence. There were an estimated 51,500 abortions in Senegal in 2012, and virtually all of them were clandestine and unsafe, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Seventy-three per cent of poor, rural women who underwent abortions had complications, compared to a third of non-poor, urban women.

According to the Senegalese Association of Women Lawyers (AJS), 16% of women in prison in Senegal are there for infanticide – including some who got pregnant following rape. One example is Ina, who was working as a domestic at the age of 16 and was raped by a security guard in the neighbourhood where she worked. She delivered alone in her mother’s home and left the dead baby in an unfinished building nearby. The police knocked on her door a few days later. She spent five years in jail.

The AJS recorded 153 cases of women in prison for this reason, with the support of the Regional Office for West Africa of the UN Human Rights Office during joint visits to the five prisons in Senegal that hold the majority of female detainees. According to the Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme (FIDH), another 22% are in prison for illegal abortion. From 2013 to 2014, the Family Child Guidance Centre recorded 420 cases of sexual abuse of girls aged 7 to 14 years. Nearly 30% of them became pregnant and, abortion not being permitted, 10-15% of them had to undergo a caesarean section because of their young age.

Senegal’s President Macky Sall said in 2015 that he may eventually support legalization of abortion in cases of rape or incest.

In September 2017, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Dakar jailed a teenage boy and his girlfriend, both secondary school pupils, for the crimes of abortion and complicity in abortion. Without informing their parents, for fear of reprisal, the two ended their four-month pregnancy in August using a medication called “Sittotem” purchased from a clandestine pharmacy. The girl began to bleed heavily and was taken to hospital. In court, their lawyers asked for clemency so that they could continue in school. They were convicted, however, and given a month in prison each.

SOURCES: Leral.net, by Kady Faty, Ousseynou Wade, 22 September 2017 ; New Yorker, by Allyn Gaestrel & Ricci Shryock, 1 October 2017 ; OHCHR/PHOTO, 13 March 2015 ; FIDH, 28 November 2014

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Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/senegal-a-young-couple-both-school-students-sent-to-prison-for-a-month-for-abortion/

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Ireland: One in five workers has abortion experience – union survey

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One in five workers has abortion experience – union survey
80% of respondents say women’s health should be priority in reform of abortion law

Thu, Oct 19, 2017
Kitty Holland

One fifth of workers have had “direct experience of abortion”, according to a survey conducted by researchers at Ulster University.

The study, in which more than 3,000 union members in the Republic and Northern Ireland participated, highlights workplace issues raised by the prohibition on abortion.

These include costs, time off work, stress and in some cases emotional trauma associated with the stigma and isolation, the authors state.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/one-in-five-workers-has-abortion-experience-union-survey-1.3262241

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Nearly Half Of All Abortions Unsafe In Developing Countries

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Nearly Half Of All Abortions Unsafe In Developing Countries

October 3, 2017
Susan Brink

Of the 56 million annual abortions performed around the world, nearly half, or 25 million, posed some threat to the health or life of the woman. The vast majority of unsafe abortions – 97 percent — were performed in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

And about half of those abortions in poor countries are unsafe, compared with just 12.5 percent in wealthy countries, according to a report in last week's issue of The Lancet, the British medical journal.

Gilda Sedgh, an author of the paper, is a scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive rights research organization. We talked with her about the problem of unsafe abortions in low-income countries. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Continued at source: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/03/555317349/nearly-half-of-all-abortions-unsafe-in-developing-countries

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Why Brazil Should Decriminalize Abortion

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Why Brazil Should Decriminalize Abortion

September 28, 2017
Published in Folha de S.Paulo
Margaret Wurth, Researcher, Children's Rights Division

I met “Mariana,” a 20-year-old woman in Paraíba state, almost a year ago in the waiting area of a public hospital. I was investigating access to reproductive health services for women and girls in northeastern Brazil, and Mariana was one of my first interviews. She told me she had an unplanned pregnancy, and gave birth, when she was 18.

“I cried a lot and I didn’t want it at all,” she said.

But abortion is a crime in Brazil, except in cases of rape, when the life of the woman is at risk, or the fetus has anencephaly—a fatal congenital brain disorder. I asked Mariana if she felt like she had any options other than continuing with the pregnancy. “No,” she said quietly, shaking her head.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/28/why-brazil-should-decriminalize-abortion

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