Why I collect Egyptian women’s stories of abortion

Why I collect Egyptian women’s stories of abortion

By Ghadeer Ahmed
September 28, 2019

On September 28, 2017, International Safe Abortion Day, I published the first part of the “Abortion Tales” series with Mada Masr. The tales narrate real women’s experiences with unsafe abortion in Egypt, in light of its criminalization in the Egyptian penal code. I began to collect and write stories as a starting point to get more involved with women’s experiences with their bodies. This involvement is not only through writing, but also the emotions, bodily memories and affects resulting from direct encounters with the women who offer to share their accounts in the series. Here, I share the story of my journey.

Continued: https://madamasr.com/en/2019/09/28/feature/society/why-i-collect-egyptian-womens-stories-of-abortion/

United Nations: International Safe Abortion Day

International Safe Abortion Day
All states must ensure access to safe and legal abortion as a matter of human rights, say UN experts

28 September 2019

GENEVA (27 September 2019) – As an essential reproductive healthcare service for women and girls, access to safe and legal abortion is critical to ensure their fundamental right to autonomy, equality and to physical and mental health, UN human rights experts* said.

On the occasion of International Safe Abortion Day, the experts issue the following statement:

“Denial of access to safe and legal abortion drives service provision underground into the hands of unqualified practitioners, and exacerbates the risks to the health and safety of the affected women, in the form of pregnancy-related injuries and death. It is estimated that 25 million unsafe abortions take place every year, causing the preventable deaths of about 22,000 women, almost all in developing countries. Additionally, an estimated seven million women and girls experience injuries resulting in impairment and infertility. In contrast, countries where women have the effective right to abortion on request, supported by affordable and effective family planning measures, have the lowest abortion rates.

Continued: https://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25066&LangID=E

Colombia – Unsafe abortion: women at risk

Unsafe abortion: women at risk

Report 25, September 2019
Women's health, Colombia

Colombia decriminalised abortion in some circumstances in 2006 yet only around 10 per cent of terminations of pregnancies are safely performed in health structures. Unsafe abortions are responsible for some 10 per cent of Colombia's maternal deaths. MSF has published a report in Spanish Aborto no seguro, mujeres en riesgo (Unsafe abortion, women at risk), highlighting the barriers women encounter when seeking to terminate their pregnancies. It is based on information collection during the implementation of our safe abortion service in Colombia in 2017 and 2018.

Executive summary

Unsafe abortion is one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide, along with postpartum haemorrhage, sepsis, birth complications and hypertensive disorders. Of all these, unsafe abortion is the only one that is completely avoidable.

Continued: https://www.msf.org/unsafe-abortion-women-risk-colombia-msf-report

D.I.Y. – Self-Managed Abortion

D.I.Y. – Self-Managed Abortion

Conscience Magazine, 2019 issue 2, Abortion
By Susan Yanow, Joanna Erdman and Kinga Jelinska
Posted Sep 19, 2019

The advent of abortion pills as a health technology has deep personal and political consequences for how, when and where abortions happen. The “discovery” of abortion pills occurred in the 1980s in Brazil, when women noticed that the label for misoprostol, a drug registered to treat gastric ulcers, cautioned against its use by pregnant women because the drug caused uterine cramping. Use of misoprostol alone to end unwanted pregnancy spread quickly in Brazil and across Latin America outside the formal health system, as abortion is criminalized in most of the region. 1

The use of pills for abortion entered formal healthcare systems when the French pharmaceutical company Roussel-Uclaf developed mifepristone for use with a prostaglandin like misoprostol to end a pregnancy (with higher effectiveness than misoprostol alone, although the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes both misoprostol alone and the combination mifepristone/misoprostol as highly safe and effective).2

Continued: https://consciencemag.org/2019/09/19/d-i-y/

Honduras strict abortion law: Women judged no matter the verdict

Honduras strict abortion law: Women judged no matter the verdict
Honduran women accused of having abortions - even if not convicted - face years of stigmatisation.

Anna-Cat Brigida
18 Sept 2019

Tegucigalpa, Honduras - On a rainy day two years ago, 26-year-old domestic worker Lucia* was sent outside to shut the gate of her employer's home in a rural area on the outskirts of the Honduran capital. Her employers didn't want the sheep to get out. As Lucia headed back inside, she slipped and fell, hitting her back on the ground, according to court documents. She didn't know it at the time, but she was 24 weeks pregnant.

During the early hours the following morning, Lucia screamed in pain. Another domestic worker informed Lucia's employer, who then took her to a nearby hospital in Tegucigalpa, a 20-minute drive from her home. There Lucia learned that she had been more than five months pregnant and had lost the fetus. But what Lucia could not have known then was that her long journey of trauma was only just beginning.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/honduras-strict-abortion-law-women-judged-matter-verdict-190917221108819.html

Abortion bill faces resistance in Australia’s New South Wales

Abortion bill faces resistance in Australia's New South Wales
State's upper house drags feet in passing law legalising abortion despite an overwhelming 75-percent support by voters.

by Kate Walton
Sep 17, 2019

Canberra, Australia - Debate has begun in the upper house of the state of New South Wales (NSW) to decriminalise abortion, but what was expected to be a straightforward legislative process has triggered a furious backlash from conservative politicians and religious groups.

The Reproductive Health Care Act 2019, which seeks to bring the state in line with the rest of Australia, would allow abortion up to 22 weeks. It was passed by the state lower house in August, with 59 votes in favour and 31 against.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/abortion-bill-faces-resistance-australia-south-wales-190917075212482.html

India – Aborting stigma

Aborting stigma
City-based artist Indu Harikumar talks about illustrating for a social media project that aims to normalise conversations surrounding abortion.

Published : Aug 31, 2019

A girl sits crouched in a turbulent ocean. A huge wave, reminiscent of Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, looms behind her, threatening to crush and drown her. But the girl cannot scream for help, because her lips have been zipped shut. A closer look at the picture reveals the cause for this enforced silence – an ultrasound image peeking out from under the current. The illustration is accompanied by a woman’s haunting words that reveal her abortion ordeal and is part of a crowd-sourced project titled #MyAbortionStory. The project, started by My Body, My Choice India — a social media campaign working towards ending the stigma surrounding abortion —invites people to share their abortion experiences and kick-start a conversation around the medical procedure.

Continued: https://www.asianage.com/life/more-features/310819/aborting-stigma.html

Ghana – Papa Ralph Hotline To Provide Quick Abortion Information

Papa Ralph Hotline To Provide Quick Abortion Information

By Raphael Godlove Ahenu

Global Media Foundation, human rights media advocacy organization will soon introduce safe abortion information telephone hotlines such as Papa Ralph and Maame Esi in Ghana in helping to provide quick and adequate information on abortion and contraceptives to women especially vulnerable and hard-to-reach young girls who may be considering that option. Such measures according to GLOMEF could reduce maternal morbidity and mortality that results from unsafe abortions in Ghana.

The Founder/CEO of GLOMEF, Raphael Godlove Ahenu who made this known to media, said cultural and religious unacceptability of safe abortion as contributing factor to unsafe abortion practices in Ghana making many women especially young girls indulged in unsafe abortions because they feared the stigma that accompanied unwed pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/950511/papa-ralph-hotline-to-provide-quick-abortion-infor.html

USA – Abortion ‘Stigma’ Prevalent in Many Affordable Care Act Plans

Abortion ‘Stigma’ Prevalent in Many Affordable Care Act Plans
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is creating unnecessary administrative burdens for those receiving abortion care through ACA plans.

Aug 15, 2019
Erin Heger

A new report from the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) found a lack of abortion coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) state marketplaces, with plans in Delaware, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, West Virginia, and Wyoming failing to indicate whether they cover abortion beyond circumstances of rape, incest, or life endangerment.

Those plans include wording found in the discriminatory Hyde Amendment.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/08/15/abortion-stigma-prevalent-in-many-affordable-care-act-plans/

Cape Breton women still face barriers and stigma when seeking an abortion

Cape Breton women still face barriers and stigma when seeking an abortion
Many family doctors still don't prescribe so-called abortion pill

Brittany Wentzell - CBC
Aug 8, 2019

There may be less red tape surrounding the so-called abortion pill, but many women in Cape Breton will still make the lengthy drive to Halifax if they want to terminate a pregnancy.

The issue, according to advocates, is the reluctance of many family doctors on the island to prescribe Mifegymiso — the brand name for the combination of two pills used to end a pregnancy of up to nine weeks.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5234425