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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USA: Senate Rejects Measure to Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks of Pregnancy

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Senate Rejects Measure to Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks of Pregnancy

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
JAN. 29, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Senate rejected a bill on Monday to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a largely symbolic vote aimed at forcing vulnerable Democrats to take a stand that could hurt their prospects for re-election in states won by President Trump.

By a vote of 51 to 46, the measure fell well short of the 60-vote threshold required for the Senate to break a Democratic filibuster. The outcome was not a surprise, and the vote fell mostly along party lines.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/us/politics/senate-abortion-ban-20-weeks.html

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Unsafe abortions cause high maternal death rate in Sierra Leone

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Unsafe abortions cause high maternal death rate in Sierra Leone

Jan 6, 2017
Sierra Leone has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality and unsafe abortions account for 10 percent of those deaths, says a report by the country's health ministry and a non-profit organisation IPAS.

Women in Sierra Leone are dying from unsafe abortion methods as President Ernest Bai Koroma refused to sign a law legalising abortion in the West African country.

Sierra Leone's parliament has twice passed a bill that would allow women to terminate a pregnancy up to 12 weeks.

But the bill has failed to become a law and it's been held up by religious groups who oppose it.

Continued at source: https://www.trtworld.com/mea/unsafe-abortions-cause-high-maternal-death-rate-in-sierra-leone-13951

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Malta: PD breathes sigh of relief following anti-abortion assurances

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PD breathes sigh of relief following anti-abortion assurances
hFarrugia says AG should draft opinion to confirm government view

Saturday, January 6, 2018
by Philip Leone Ganado

The Democratic Party welcomed yesterday the government’s clarification that a Bill intended to fight domestic violence would not decriminalise abortion under any circumstances.

Godfrey Farrugia, one of the PD’s two members of Parliament, said the Attorney General should nevertheless draft an opinion to confirm the government’s interpretation of the proposed law.

Continued at source: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180106/local/pd-breathes-sigh-of-relief-following-anti-abortion-assurances.667121

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U.S.: Lessons from before Abortion Was Legal

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Lessons from before Abortion Was Legal

Before 1973, abortion in the U.S. was severely restricted. More than 40 years later Roe v. Wade is under attack, and access increasingly depends on a woman's income or zip code

By Rachel Benson Gold, Megan K. Donovan | Scientific American September 2017 Issue
Posted Aug 15, 2017

When she went before the u.s. Supreme Court for the first time in 1971, the 26-year-old Sarah Weddington became the youngest attorney to successfully argue a case before the nine justices—a distinction she still holds today.

Weddington was the attorney for Norma McCorvey, the pseudonymous “Jane Roe” of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized the constitutional right to abortion—one of the most notable decisions ever handed down by the justices.

Continued at source: Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lessons-from-before-abortion-was-legal/

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U.S: Evaluating Priorities: Measuring Women’s and Children’s Health and Well-being against Abortion Restrictions in the States- Volume II

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Evaluating Priorities: Measuring Women's and Children’s Health and Well-being against Abortion Restrictions in the States- Volume II

August 1, 2017

Anti-abortion politicians have quietly passed 391 laws restricting access to abortion since 2010. The politicians that push these laws often claim that they are necessary to protect the health and well-being of women, their pregnancies, and their children. Ample scientific evidence makes clear that restricting abortion is detrimental to women and families’ health.

This second volume of ‘Evaluating Priorities’ updates the Center for Reproductive Rights’ collaboration with Ibis Reproductive Health to explore anti-abortion politicians’ claims. The findings mirror those from the 2014 report: the more abortion restrictions a state has, the worse women and children fare when it comes to their health outcomes, and the fewer evidence-based supportive policies a state has.

The Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt pushed back on politicians’ claims that abortion restrictions protect women’s health and safety, favoring scientific evidence and women’s real life experiences over unproven or false claims. This report bolsters that message, illustrating that legislators should be taking their cues from data and their constituents’ needs to address the real health concerns in their states, and should stop playing politics with women’s reproductive rights and health.

Source: Center for Reproductive Rights: https://www.reproductiverights.org/EvaluatingPriorities

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U.S.: Anti-Choice Legal Attacks Make It Harder to Access Clinics Themselves

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Anti-Choice Legal Attacks Make It Harder to Access Clinics Themselves

Jul 11, 2017, 2:19pm Jessica Mason Pieklo

In addition to helping pass abortion restrictions at the state level, anti-choice activists are challenging those laws that do protect clinics and patients.

Restrictions on abortion rights and access are not limited to the variety pack of legislation advanced by anti-choice lawmakers year after year. In their attempts to obstruct patient access to providers and clinics, the anti-choice movement has gone on the offense at the local and state level. Not only do clinics often have to adhere to arbitrary standards primarily enacted to make it more difficult to provide care; the laws set up to protect their care, and their patients, are under attack.

Continued at source: Rewire: https://rewire.news/article/2017/07/11/anti-choice-legal-attacks-harder-clinics-themselves/

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U.S.: Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

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Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

R. Alta Charo, J.D.
June 14, 2017
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1707107

Human reproduction has become the victim of alternative science, rife with alternative definitions of well-understood medical conditions and characterized by rejection of the scientific method as the standard for generating and evaluating evidence. Alternative science begins with alternative facts of the sort propounded by the Trump administration and its appointees, including Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control on her own (despite the high up-front cost of the most reliable contraceptives). Alternative science is similarly embraced by recent executive-branch appointees Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento.

Continued at source: New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1707107#t=article

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U.S.: Trump picks former anti-abortion leader for health and human services post

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Trump picks former anti-abortion leader for health and human services post

Charmaine Yoest was head of Americans United for Life, which played role in recent wave of anti-abortion laws by feeding model bills to state lawmakers

Molly Redden in New York
Friday 28 April 2017

Donald Trump has appointed the former president of a leading anti-abortion group to the top communications role at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS).

Charmaine Yoest, who for several years was head of Americans United for Life (AUL), will be HHS assistant secretary for public affairs. AUL played an instrumental role in the recent wave of anti-abortion laws by feeding model legislation to state lawmakers.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/28/trump-health-human-services-anti-abortion-charmaine-yoest

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U.S.: Clinton invokes women’s rights around the world as she defends choice

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By Tom Murphy on 20 October 2016, Humanosphere

The contentious issue of abortion came up during the final U.S. presidential debate on Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton affirmed women’s right to abortion while Donald Trump said he would appoint judges to the Supreme Court who oppose it. Clinton countered by looking internationally to the consequences of governments circumventing reproductive rights.

“I’ve had a great honor of traveling across the world on behalf of our country. I’ve been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear children, like they used to do in Romania,” Clinton said.

[continued at link]
Source: Humanosphere

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