The Observer view on the global threat to access to abortion

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The Observer view on the global threat to access to abortion
Women’s reproductive rights are under widespread threat, not least in America. This is no time for complacency

Observer editorial
Sun 20 May 2018

During his eight years in the White House, one of the themes President Obama frequently reflected on in speeches was the non-linear nature of social progress. “Progress doesn’t travel in a straight line,” he told Rutgers students in his commencement address in 2016. “It remains uneven and at times for every two steps forward, it feels like we take one step back.”

Those words feel particularly apt in relation to women’s rights. In the last year, the #MeToo movement has seen women globally assert their right to live and work without the threat of sexual assault and harassment. But in the world’s wealthiest democracy, women’s reproductive rights are more imperilled than they have been in 30 years.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/20/observer-view-on-abortion-donald-trump-gag-rule

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USA – Why the Battle for Reproductive Rights Is Never Over

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Why the Battle for Reproductive Rights Is Never Over
New abortion restrictions mock Roe v. Wade with an oddly ironic effect

By David S. Cohen
May 10, 2018

If you've been following the news surrounding reproductive rights recently, you'd be forgiven for asking yourself whether we're living in a world where Roe v. Wade was never decided. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot make abortion illegal before viability – back then this meant about 28 weeks into pregnancy, now it's about 24 weeks. And yet, in March, Mississippi passed a law banning abortion after 15 weeks. Last week, Iowa one-upped the Magnolia State, passing a law banning abortion after just six weeks. And South Carolina nearly topped both of them, coming close to passing a law banning all abortions except in the case of life threat, rape or incest. The only thing that stopped that law was a rarely successful Democratic filibuster that pushed the legislature too close to the end of its calendar. In other words, if the law had been considered earlier in the year, the state could have banned almost all abortions.

continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/abortion-laws-by-state-w520139

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FFeminist bots vs rightwing trolls: Brazil’s gender justice movements cross new frontiers

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Feminist bots vs rightwing trolls: Brazil’s gender justice movements cross new frontiers

10 April 2018
By Ani Hao

Abortion has long been criminalized in Brazil, and barely figures into the mainstream leftist political agenda. It is an issue that many have all but given up on - but not the feminist movements.

The battle over the criminalization of abortion is revealing of the overall political scenario in Brazil. Criminalizing and controlling gender and sexuality is the moral foundation of the growing right-wing ideology that is driving the country’s political development. With a political system weakened by corruption and collusion, the battle for abortion is now playing out on the internet through individuals, movements, and even web robots (also known as ‘bots’).

Continued: https://www.awid.org/news-and-analysis/feminist-bots-vs-rightwing-trolls-brazils

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ALGERIA – The conservatives have won this round

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ALGERIA – The conservatives have won this round
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Apr 6, 2018

It was not considered a surprise that a bill tabled in the National Popular Assembly (AFN) last November, which aimed to broaden the grounds for legal abortion, failed to pass. This is attributed to a revival of conservatism in the country, confirming the apprehensions of many feminist activists. Three clauses on abortion were tabled as part of the draft law on health and were reviewed by the Commission on Health and Social Affairs of the AFN. All three clauses were related to therapeutic abortion.

The only clause that was not rejected was the one that permitted abortion to save the woman’s life. Even if there is an emergency, that clause does not permit one doctor to take the decision alone, and the abortion must take place only in a public hospital, carried out by a gynaecologist. But as Nadia Chouitem, a doctor and member of the Commission says: “A pregnant woman with a medical emergency can lose her life if she lives in a part of the country where there is no gynaecologist in the public hospital, which is common in Algeria. If the emergency occurs at night or at the weekend, or if there is no gynaecologist on duty, death is the risk a woman takes take if she becomes pregnant.”

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/algeria-the-conservatives-have-won-this-round/

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USA – Restricting Abortion Access Is Class Warfare

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Restricting Abortion Access Is Class Warfare
Onerous anti-abortion laws are designed to make abortion inaccessible — and by design they harm poor women and marginalized populations the most.

Jex Blackmore
Apr 5 2018

Imagine that you’re a 24-year-old woman living in Lubbock County, Texas, and you've just discovered that you’re six weeks pregnant. You know you can’t afford to carry a pregnancy to term at this point in your life, so you decide to get an abortion. However, you make an hourly wage of $13.20—which is 82 percent of what your male counterpart earns—and you’re uninsured, without credit or savings. Like 60 percent of women seeking an abortion, you are also a young mother. The nearest abortion provider is 300 miles away (one way), and you’ll have to visit the clinic twice to comply with Texas’ 24-hour waiting period law.

The clinic tells you that your procedure will cost $600. This is in addition to the cost of gas ($42), hotel accommodations ($160), lost wages ($316), medication and maxi-pads ($50), and childcare ($200), which adds up to a total of $1,368—or 65 percent of your monthly income. Depending on your current financial situation, this may be an inconceivable expense for you, especially if you lack support from a partner or family members, you’ve recently had car trouble, your child is sick, or you’re experiencing any number of hardships that women in poverty face.

Continued: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/9kgddp/restricting-abortion-access-is-class-warfare

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Abortion laws are not ‘pro life’ when they ignore women

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Abortion laws are not ‘pro life’ when they ignore women
Inhuman cases, especially in Latin America, expose the vacuity of claims that they are there for protection

Kenan Malik
Sun 25 Mar 2018

We don’t know her name. She was aged 14 and her rape had led to a pregnancy. Under Paraguay’s savage abortion laws she was denied a termination and died in childbirth. “Her body was not ready for a pregnancy,” said Hernán Martínez, director of the National Hospital of Itauguá.

In Paraguay, as in many Latin American countries, abortion is permitted only when the life of the woman is threatened (and, as this case shows, the threat to the life of a 14-year-old in childbirth doesn’t count). Three years ago, a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after her stepfather allegedly raped her was refused an abortion.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/25/abortion-womens-rights-latin-america

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Polish Women Protest Proposed Abortion Ban (Again)

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Polish Women Protest Proposed Abortion Ban (Again)

By MARC SANTORA and JOANNA BERENDT
MARCH 23, 2018

WARSAW — To Magda, giving birth would have meant inflicting a slow death. Her unborn child had a rare genetic syndrome that causes severe, fatal birth defects.

“I would feed it, hug it, love it, get attached to it, and then, when it would be 3 or 4 months old, it would suffocate while in my arms,” she recalled, explaining her decision a decade ago to have an abortion. “It would scar me for life. I don’t know if I would be capable of giving birth to another child and not look at it as if it were the one that had died in my arms.”

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/world/europe/poland-abortion-women-protest.html

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Poland: Reject Bill to Further Limit Abortion Rights

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Poland: Reject Bill to Further Limit Abortion Rights
Proposed Bill Continues Roll Back on Reproductive Rights

March 22, 2018

(Warsaw) – Poland’s Parliament should listen to the voices of women across Poland and reject a regressive legislative proposal that would erode reproductive rights, more than 200 human and women’s rights groups from across the globe said in a statement issued today.

The Parliament is debating a draft bill entitled “Stop Abortion.” If adopted, this legislation will severely limit the already restricted grounds on which women can lawfully access abortion in Poland. It will place women’s health and lives at risk and violate Poland’s international human rights obligations, the groups said.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/03/22/poland-reject-bill-further-limit-abortion-rights

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UN statement: Poland must not further restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights

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POLAND – UN WORKING GROUP STATEMENT: Poland must not further restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights, say UN experts
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

Geneva (22 March 2018) – A group of United Nations human rights experts has called on the Polish parliament to reject a new draft bill entitled “Stop Abortion” which will be debated this week and which risks causing serious damage to women’s health and lives, and violating Poland’s international human rights obligations.

The United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice has called on the Polish Parliament to reject a draft bill up for consideration this week that would ban abortion in situations where there is a severe fetal anomaly, one of only three legal grounds for termination of pregnancy available in a country that already has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/poland-un-working-group-statement-poland-must-not-further-restrict-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-say-un-experts/

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German Minister Rejects Bill Allowing Doctors to Offer Abortion

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German Minister Rejects Bill Allowing Doctors to Offer Abortion

Published 18 March 2018
by Earl Bousquet

Spahn warned Merkel that he will demand a rightward shift within the Christian Democratic party once he becomes the country's new health minister.

Germany's new Health Minister Jens Spahn caused outrage amongst women's rights groups and opposition parties after he accused pro-abortion activists of better defending living animals than unborn humans.

Continued: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/German-Minister-Rejects-Bill-Allowing-Doctors-to-Offer-Abortion-20180318-0019.html

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