Ireland: As Oireachtas Committee meets for the first time, Amnesty International calls for access to abortion on request in early pregnancy.

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As Oireachtas Committee meets for the first time, Amnesty International calls for access to abortion on request in early pregnancy.

20th June 2017

Amnesty International has reiterated its call for access to abortion on request in early pregnancy following a news report that two women who had attempted suicide were initially denied access to abortion services in Ireland before finally being deemed eligible. The cases outlined by the Abortion Support Network (ASN) and reported in The Times involved two immigrant women who did not have the required visas to travel to the UK. This report comes just one week after an adolescent girl was detained under mental health legislation rather than provided with an abortion under the suicide ground of the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.ie/distressing-cases-highlight-flaws-grounds-based-abortion-legislation/

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Most of Northern Ireland strongly backs abortion law reform, survey finds

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Most of Northern Ireland strongly backs abortion law reform, survey finds

Three in four people back legal abortions for women pregnant through rape or incest and in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

Friday 16 June 2017

A large majority of Northern Ireland’s population are in favour of reforming the region’s strict anti-abortion laws and back legal terminations for women made pregnant through sexual violence, a new survey has found.

Nearly 80% of the public in the region believe abortion should be legal when a woman has become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, according to the latest Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/16/northern-ireland-strongly-backs-abortion-law-reform-survey

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UN highlights the shame of Ireland’s harsh abortion laws

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UN highlights the shame of Ireland’s harsh abortion laws
13 June 2017

A ruling issued today by the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) that Ireland’s harsh abortion laws violated the human rights of an Irish woman is yet another reminder of the desperate need for reform, Amnesty International said.

The UNHRC ordered that Ireland redress the harm it caused to Siobhán Whelan, who was forced to travel to the UK for an abortion in 2010, including by reforming its abortion laws to prevent similar violations happening to other women.

“This is the second case within a year where the UN has found Ireland’s abortion laws to be grossly out of step with its international human rights obligations. While we welcome this ruling, it is outrageous that women have to go to the UN to have their human rights respected. How many more women will have to suffer before the Irish government opens its eyes?” said Gauri Van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/06/un-highlights-the-shame-of-irelands-harsh-abortion-laws/

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Irish Teenager Who Asked For An Abortion Was Sectioned Under Mental Health Act

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Irish Teenager Who Asked For An Abortion Was Sectioned Under Mental Health Act
She was held in a mental health unit against her will.

June 13, 2017
Sara C Nelson Senior Editor, The Huffington Post UK

An Irish teenager who requested an abortion was instead sectioned and held in a mental health unit against her will.

The girl, whose name has not been released, was seen by a consultant psychiatrist who “was of the opinion that while the child was at risk of self-harm and suicide as a result of the pregnancy, this could be managed by treatment and that termination of the pregnancy was not the solution for all of the child’s problems at that stage.”

The girl and her mother had believed they were being “transferred to Dublin for a termination and she was very agitated when she found that she was being admitted to a mental health unit.”

Continued at source: Huffington Post UK: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/irish-teenager-who-asked-for-an-abortion-is-sectioned-under-mental-health-act_uk_593fd4d7e4b02402687ca82e

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Dominican Republic: Senate faces golden opportunity to decriminalize abortion

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Dominican Republic: Senate faces golden opportunity to decriminalize abortion
31 May 2017

Senators in the Dominican Republic must scrap one of the world’s most restrictive laws on abortion and begin to protect the rights of millions of women and girls, Amnesty International said ahead of a vote that could decriminalize abortion in certain circumstances.

“Senators in the Dominican Republic have a golden opportunity to protect the lives of millions of women and girls. They must seize the moment and scrap one of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws contained in a Criminal Code which dates back to the 19th century,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/dominican-republic-senate-faces-golden-opportunity-to-decriminalize-abortion/

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USA: Health of pregnant women being jeopardized by punitive laws

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USA Health of pregnant women being jeopardized by punitive laws
23 May 2017

A set of US laws which claim to promote maternal and infant health are in fact driving pregnant women away from vital health services, jeopardizing their wellbeing and violating their right to health, according to a new report published by Amnesty International today.

Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA, highlights the impact of pregnancy criminalization laws, especially those which are used to arrest and prosecute women who use drugs based on a belief that they are harming their fetuses. Fear of these laws is deterring pregnant women from accessing healthcare, prenatal care and even drug treatment.

“Across the USA, the heavy-handed policing of pregnant women’s behaviour is shattering patient trust in health services with devastating consequences. These laws put pregnant women in a double bind, forcing them to choose between risking their health and risking punishment,” said Carrie Eisert, Policy Adviser at Amnesty International, who authored the report.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/usa-health-of-pregnant-women-being-jeopardized-by-punitive-laws/

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El Salvador: Critical opportunity to put an end to total criminalization of abortion

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El Salvador: Critical opportunity to put an end to total criminalization of abortion
8 May 2017, 11:19 UTC

The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador has a historic opportunity to reject the criminalization of abortion and protect the health and lives of millions of women throughout the country, said Amnesty International in light of a debate which could result in the first steps being taken towards the end of criminalization of abortion in the country.

“The total ban on abortion is, quite simply, a form of torture which puts the lives of millions of women and girls at risk every day,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/el-salvador-oportunidad-crucial-para-poner-fin-a-la-penalizacion-total-del-aborto/

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UN Urges El Salvador to Decriminalize Abortion in Certain Cases

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UN Urges El Salvador to Decriminalize Abortion in Certain Cases

Published 8 May 2017

The Central American nation upholds a total ban on abortion, which jails women for miscarriages and ends up prioritizing fetuses over women's lives.

A group of experts at the United Nations said Monday El Salvador's Congress should decriminalize abortion in specific circumstances to protect women's rights and bring the country in line with international human rights standards.

The U.N. Working Groups and Special Rapporteurs urged the Central American to "seize an exceptional opportunity to advance the protection of the human rights of women and girls" by reviewing the Article 133 of its penal code which outlines penalties for women who seek or cause an abortion.

Continued at source: Telesurvtv: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/UN-Urges-El-Salvador-to-Decriminalize-Abortion-in-Certain-Cases-20170508-0016.html

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Trump officials say the UN supports coercive abortion in China. But does it?

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Trump officials say the UN supports coercive abortion in China. But does it?

April 28, 2017
By Christina Asquith

In slashing $32 million of funding to the United Nations Populations Fund, also known as the UNFPA, earlier this month, the Trump administration slung a decade-old nefarious charge: The agency supports the coercive abortion of Chinese female fetuses.

To many in China, this came as a surprise.

“We regret this decision because the UNFPA was not helping Chinese women get abortions,” said Mengjun Tang, a Beijing-based fellow with the China Population and Development Research Center and who has worked with the UN. “UNFPA was helping to make sure women were not being pressured to have an abortion.”

Continued at source: Population Research Institute: https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-04-28/trump-officials-say-un-supports-coercive-abortion-china-does-it

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Honduras: Historic opportunity to decriminalize abortion

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Honduras: Historic opportunity to decriminalize abortion
25 April 2017

Ahead of a debate in the Honduran congress today over the country’s criminalization of abortion, Amnesty International’s Americas Director Erika Guevara-Rosas said:

“By criminalizing abortion, the Honduran Penal Code is incompatible with human rights standards and must be modified without delay.”

“Preventing women from exercising their human rights by stopping them from being able to make decisions over their own bodies only puts their health and lives in danger.”

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/04/honduras-oportunidad-historica-de-despenalizar-el-aborto/

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