Ireland – Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work

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Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work
As Catholics we must now decide on what type of civic society we wish to create

Feb 20, 2018
Brendan Butler

The forthcoming referendum will present me and other committed Catholics with a dilemma. Do I vote to retain the present constitutional ban on abortion – which results in the criminalisation of women who have had abortions – or to recognise a changing reality where the present Irish population, especially the younger generation, are concerned, and who see opposition by the Catholic Church to repeal of the Eighth Amendment as a threat to their moral freedom to act according to their consciences?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/harsh-penalties-by-church-and-state-on-those-who-have-abortions-do-not-work-1.3397839

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World — EXCLUSIVE

By Nancy Northup & Anu Kumar
Feb 19, 2018

Jan. 23 marks one year since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which bans overseas organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own money to provide abortion information, referrals, or to advocate for law reform. The policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, not only harms women and girls around the world, it disproportionately impacts countries home to mainly people of color. It embodies the “America First” ideological imperialism and reliance on strong-arm coercion that have shaped and defined this administration’s first year.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the gag rule, using foreign policy to bully countries on abortion for decades. Since 1973, global health organizations have been working under the Helms Amendment, an egregious policy that bans any U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion services. This policy remains in effect, and the gag rule bolsters it. Despite the Helms Amendment, in recent years the global community has made progress in expanding access to reproductive health care, particularly safe abortion.

Continued: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-global-gag-rule-is-harming-women-around-the-world-exclusive-8245633

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El Salvador Frees Woman Imprisoned for Decade Under Abortion Ban

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El Salvador Frees Woman Imprisoned for Decade Under Abortion Ban

By ELISABETH MALKIN
FEB. 15, 2018

MEXICO CITY — A Salvadoran woman who spent almost 11 years in prison under El Salvador’s ban on abortion was freed Thursday after the country’s Supreme Court commuted her sentence.

The case of the woman, Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, underscores the punishment faced by Salvadoran women convicted of homicide after losing a pregnancy. El Salvador forbids abortion under any circumstances, even to save the life of the mother.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/world/americas/el-salvador-abortion-ban.html

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Brazil could soon outlaw abortion altogether

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Brazil could soon outlaw abortion altogether

February 14, 2018
By Ciara Long

Sabrina has had several abortions, but it's her most recent that still makes her uneasy.

Sabrina isn’t her real name — she agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity since abortion in her country, Brazil, is illegal, except in cases of rape, life-threatening pregnancy or a fatal brain defect in the fetus.

Continued: https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-02-14/brazil-could-soon-outlaw-abortion-altogether

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USA: Family planning advocacy group says R-J shunned ads

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Family planning advocacy group says R-J shunned ads

By Camalot Todd
Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Ads for an advocacy group promoting safe family planning practices and criticizing President Donald Trump ran in newspapers across the country recently but were turned away by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The ads from Population Connection Action Fund were pulled by newspaper management after the content disapproving of Trump’s decision to reinstate and expand the global gag rule was revealed, said Brian Dixon, senior vice president of media and government relations for the group.

Continued: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/feb/14/family-planning-advocacy-group-says-r-j-shunned-ad/

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USA: Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers

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Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers
When users seek facilities for the procedure, Google Maps often presents ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ that discourage abortions

Sam Levin in San Francisco
Tue 13 Feb 2018

Google searches for abortion services direct users to anti-abortion centers across the US, according to a new report that has sparked concerns from reproductive rights’ groups.

In response to the question “Where can I get an abortion near me?”, Google Maps frequently suggests “crisis pregnancy centers”, which are often non-medical facilities that provide counseling meant to discourage women from having abortions.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/13/abortions-near-me-google-search-results-anti-pro-life-groups-promote

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland
Feb 9, 2018

The worsening state of SRHR in Poland has brought multiple reactions from international human rights bodies. Please below find here the most crucial observations and recommendations.

Letter of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Poland, the Commissioner refers to recent developments affecting the independence of the judiciary; women’s access to sexual and reproductive rights; the deteriorating environment for NGOs active in the area of women’s rights and assistance to victims of domestic violence; and attacks against the independence and effectiveness of the Ombudsman.

Regarding women’s rights, the Commissioner regrets that new barriers are being created to hinder women’s access to comprehensive sexuality education, emergency contraception and abortion care. He urges the authorities to repeal any retrogressive laws and to reject any legislative or policy proposals which would weaken women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Here the main fragment related to SRHR:

Continued: http://en.federa.org.pl/international-concerns-about-womens-rights-backsliding-in-poland/

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‘Quacks are killing our women’: Nigeria’s abortion ban pushes women to drastic measures

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'Quacks are killing our women': Nigeria's abortion ban pushes women to drastic measures
By Declan Cooley

Posted Fri Feb 9, 2018

Blessing grew up in a dusty but bustling city in Nigeria's forgotten east, but while she was at school and in love with her boyfriend, she fell pregnant.

Somehow Blessing's mother, and the rest of her neighbourhood, found out she was pregnant and tried to insist she marry her boyfriend and keep the baby.

"Knowing full well I couldn't keep the child I took the risk myself to have an abortion on my own," she says.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-10/nigerias-abortion-ban-pushes-women-to-drastic-measures/9416164

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Kenya:: Bring back ‘safe’ abortion guidelines, say petitioners

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Bring back 'safe' abortion guidelines, say petitioners

by Paul Ogemba
Published Sat, February 3rd 2018

Two civil society organisations championing women rights put up a brave fight to compel the government to put in place guidelines for safe abortions.

Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) and the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR) argued that their petition was not about legalising abortion but fighting for the right of women with unwanted pregnancies and who have a right to life and to procure safe, legal abortion services.

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/health/article/2001268307/ngos-push-for-reintroduction-of-safe-abortion-guidelines

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The Astonishing Numbers Behind the Republican Crusade Against Pregnant Women

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The Astonishing Numbers Behind the Republican Crusade Against Pregnant Women
Alex Henderson
Jan 30, 2018
AlterNet, News & Politics

Forty-five years after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party and far-right Christian fundamentalists remain obsessed with ending safe and legal abortion in the United States. But their opposition to universal health care and attacks on everything from Medicare to school lunch programs demonstrate that their concern for human life ends once a baby is born. If the GOP and its evangelical base truly were pro-life, they might object to the fact the U.S. now has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world—a figure that is especially pronounced in Republican-dominated red states.

In 2016, The Lancet published the results of an international study on maternal mortality that found U.S. women were almost three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications as their counterparts in Germany or the U.K., and almost seven times as likely as women in Finland. According to the medical journal, maternal mortality in the U.S. increased from 16.9 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 26.4 per 100,000 live births in 2015.

Continued: https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/astonishing-numbers-behind-republican-crusade-against-pregnant-womenthe?amp

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