Protecting Rights of Women
Amnesty International Regional Director for West and Central Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world causing untold suffering and misery. Millions of people, particularly the elderly, have fallen critically ill; and thousands more, including health workers, have died after contracting the deadly virus.
Women, to a large extent, are more adversely affected than men by the crisis due to existing patriarchal norms and deep-rooted inequalities. They bear the heaviest burden of the outbreak because in their traditional roles as mothers and wives, they are responsible for ensuring that life goes on even as everything around them is falling apart.
Why abortion and contraception are essential healthcare
22 April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching healthcare systems around the world to breaking point. As a result, many people are finding it harder than ever to access abortion and contraception.
A health crisis on this scale means governments are having to make difficult decisions about where to target limited health resources. Already, in some countries, including Nepal and South Africa, providers of abortion and contraception have been forced to reduce or suspend their services.
Polish parliament delays decision on new abortion restrictions
Proposal would ban terminations even on grounds of serious foetal abnormalities
Shaun Walker, Central and eastern Europe correspondent
Thu 16 Apr 2020
Poland’s parliament has deferred a final decision on a bill that seeks to tighten the country’s already strict abortion legislation.
The bill would outlaw abortion on the grounds of serious foetal abnormalities, one of a small number of exceptions to a near-total ban on abortion currently in place in the country. It has been sent back to a parliamentary committee for further work.
Poles divided on 'draconian' abortion, sex education bills
Polish lawmakers are set to debate draft laws that would impose a near-total ban on abortion, criminalize school sex education and equate homosexuality with pedophilia despite similar bills getting dropped in the past due to a popular outcry
By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press
15 April 2020
WARSAW, Poland -- Polish lawmakers began debating draft laws Wednesday that would impose a near-total ban on abortion, criminalize sex education in schools and equate homosexuality with pedophilia, revisiting proposals backed by a Catholic group that were shelved after a popular outcry.
Domestic critics and international human rights organizations say Poland's conservative government is playing foul by bringing the controversial proposals to parliament during the coronavirus pandemic. Mass demonstrations thwarted the bills in the past but would be illegal under a current lockdown that limits gatherings to five people.
Continued : https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/poles-divided-draconian-abortion-sex-education-bills-70157013
Northern Irish women told to sail to England for abortions despite pandemic
Amanda Ferguson, Reuters
April 7, 2020
BELFAST — Northern Irish women seeking an abortion have been told they must take an 8-hour ferry to England despite the lockdown, as the regional government resists pressure to offer abortions locally and the coronavirus pandemic stops flights.
Abortion was decriminalized in Northern Ireland last year after the British parliament bypassed opposition from socially conservative Christian politicians in Belfast to bring the region into line with the rest of the United Kingdom, where abortion has been legal for decades.
Argentine filmmaker throws spotlight on abortion amid legalization push
Updated: March 6, 2020
BUENOS AIRES — Amid a renewed push in Argentina to legalize abortion, filmmaker Andrea Testa hopes to spotlight the plight of young women in a country where campaigners say that every three hours a girl between 10 to 14 years old gives birth.
Testa’s new documentary, “Girl Mother,” follows women from socially vulnerable backgrounds who are forced to have children under Argentine law where abortion is illegal, except in cases of rape and when there is danger to life or health.
New Bid to Legalize Abortion in Argentina, With President’s Backing
Activists came close in 2018. This year, President Alberto Fernández is on their side and is expected to present a legalization bill to Congress.
By Daniel Politi
Feb. 22, 2020
BUENOS AIRES — Abortion rights activists in Argentina have formally started the second round in their effort to advance reproductive rights in the land of Pope Francis, buoyed by the hope that the country’s transformed political landscape will put their goal within reach.
Two years ago, activists organized a powerful grass-roots movement that helped persuade the lower house of Congress to vote in favor of legalizing abortion, but the Senate narrowly voted down the bill.
Argentina's new government moves to guarantee access to abortion in rape cases
Hugh Bronstein, Reuters
December 12, 2019
BUENOS AIRES — Women and girls in Argentina seeking to end pregnancies caused by rape will be guaranteed access to abortion under a protocol announced on Thursday aimed at reducing the latitude hospitals have in deciding whether or not to perform the procedure.
Argentine law allows abortion in case of rape or threat to the life or health of the mother. But abortion rights advocates say the law is not always applied across the largely Roman Catholic country and that local hospitals have too much power to decide which cases fall under the legal criteria.
Slovakia’s Latest Regressive Abortion Bill Rejected: How Can Regressive Measures Against Women’s Reproductive Rights Be Countered?
8 Dec, 2019
by Adrianne Ramirez
Organization for World Peace
On 5th December, the proposed regressive abortion law in Slovakia was rejected following a Parliamentary vote. The draft legislation required women seeking abortion care to undergo a mandatory ultrasound scanning, to view and obtain the embryo or foetus’ ultrasound image, and where technically possible, to listen to its heartbeat. Furthermore, it sought to prohibit abortion advertising as well as imposing a fine of up to 66,400 EU on those who order or disseminate it. Proposed by a centre-right party in the ruling coalition, it was the latest step in a campaign to tighten restrictions on abortion in Slovakia, in wake of the September protests that demanded a total ban. Though rejected, the mere possibility of this legislation being approved depicts tangible hazards on women’s reproductive rights. Beyond its local implications, it consequently contributes to the recent erosion of these rights worldwide.
Slovakia - in sixth vote - backs abortion rights
December 5, 2019
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Slovakia narrowly defeated a bill on Thursday that would have forced women seeking an abortion to see images of their unborn child - and hear its heartbeat - in the country’s sixth vote on reproductive rights this year.
The legislation in overwhelmingly Catholic Slovakia would have been the first of its kind in the European Union, raising fears among human rights organizations of setting a precedent in nations pursuing a conservative social agen