USA – Senate Rejects Bill to Deny Millions of Women Health Care Coverage

Senate Rejects Bill to Deny Millions of Women Health Care Coverage

01.17.19 - (PRESS RELEASE) Today, the U.S. Senate rejected a sweeping ban on insurance coverage of abortion that would have devastated access to reproductive healthcare for millions of women. Failing the 60 vote threshold, the 48-47 procedural vote on S. 109 came just days before the 46th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on January 22.

The bill would have expanded and made permanent the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, an annual appropriations rider that blocks abortion coverage from those who receive health care or insurance through the federal government, such as active duty servicemembers, veterans, and federal government employees, except in extremely limited circumstances—a move that would have ripple effects through the insurance market and threaten access to abortion care for millions of women.

Continued: https://www.reproductiverights.org/press-room/anti-abortion-bill-rejected

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USA – Reproductive Rights at Risk With or Without Roe

Reproductive Rights at Risk With or Without Roe
In much of the country, access to abortion has already been blocked by state governments, especially for women in poverty. And if Roe goes, access will be scarcer still.

Kalena Thomhave
January 11, 2019

Recent discussions of abortion rights have been understandably chock-full of apocalyptic imagery and language. Some protesters at the U.S. Capitol in the Trump era have dressed as handmaids à la The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s story of an ultra-conservative totalitarian government that compels women to have the children of the wealthy and powerful. After Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, many — on both the left and right — assumed that Roe v. Wade was soon to fall. “Roe v. Wade is doomed,”CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin pronounced last June to much media fanfare.

Continued: https://prospect.org/article/reproductive-rights-risk-or-without-roe-0

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USA – Ensuring Access to Abortion at the State Level: Selected Examples and Lessons

Ensuring Access to Abortion at the State Level: Selected Examples and Lessons

Elizabeth Nash,Guttmacher Institute
Megan K. Donovan,Guttmacher Institute
First published online: January 9, 2019

The October 2018 appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has called into question the future of Roe v. Wade and abortion access in the United States. Just one month after Justice Kavanaugh took his seat on the bench, voters in Alabama and West Virginia approved state constitutional amendments intended to allow for additional abortion restrictions or even pave the way for outright bans on abortion in the event Roe is undermined or overturned.1

Although the changing composition of the Supreme Court has heightened the risks, efforts to restrict abortion are not new. Policymakers hostile to abortion have been working to undermine abortion care since Roe was decided. As a result, access to abortion already looks very different from state to state, and a person’s access to timely, affordable abortion care can be profoundly impacted by her race, socioeconomic status and available resources.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2019/01/ensuring-access-abortion-state-level-selected-examples-and-lessons

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Kenya lifts ban on Marie Stopes abortion services after warning lives are at risk

Kenya lifts ban on Marie Stopes abortion services after warning lives are at risk
Clinics reopen in country where backstreet abortions kill seven women a day and hospitalise 320

Rebecca Ratcliffe
Fri 21 Dec 2018

The Kenyan government has lifted a ban preventing the international charity Marie Stopes from providing any abortion services, following warnings the ruling endangered the lives of thousands of women.

The Kenyan ministry of health said on Thursday that an audit of Marie Stopes’ clinics had been completed and that the charity could resume post-abortion care services under “regular supervision”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/dec/21/kenya-lifts-ban-marie-stopes-abortion-services-after-warning-lives-are-at-risk

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USA – A New Bill Seeks to Enshrine Women’s Reproductive Rights as Human Rights, Period

A New Bill Seeks to Enshrine Women’s Reproductive Rights as Human Rights, Period

Kylie Cheung
Dec 12, 2018

On Monday, five Democrat Congress members celebrated International Human Rights Day by introducing the Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act to mandate that the US State Department recognize reproductive rights as global human rights.

The bill, introduced on the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comes after the Trump State Department last year removed findings about reproductive rights from its annual report on global human rights. In introducing this bill, Congress members Barbara Lee, Katherine Clark, Nita Lowey, Lois Frankel, and Eliot Engel aim to make it clear that reproductive rights are human rights and, as such, should be included in all state reports concerning human rights.

Continued: https://www.brit.co/a-new-bill-seeks-to-enshrine-womens-reproductive-rights-as-human-rights-period/

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Kenya – Abortion: Rights group sues ministry, officials over Marie Stopes ban

Abortion: Rights group sues ministry, officials over Marie Stopes ban

Dec. 01, 2018
By LILLIAN MUTAVI

The Centre for Reproductive Rights on Friday sued the Ministry of Health and other state officials over the recent ban on Marie Stopes over safe abortions.

The lobby group filed a suit against the CS for Health, the Director of Medical Services, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, the Kenya Film and Classification Board and its CEO Ezekiel Mutua.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/12/01/abortion-rights-group-sues-ministry-officials-over-marie-stopes-ban_c1859353

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Campaigners in Kenya challenge Marie Stopes abortion ban in court

Campaigners in Kenya challenge Marie Stopes abortion ban in court

30 November 2018
By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

NAIROBI - A human rights group on Friday challenged the Kenyan government in court over banning international charity Marie Stopes from providing abortion services, saying the move would drive thousands of women and girls to backstreet clinics.

Kenyan authorities directed Marie Stopes to suspend offering abortions and post-abortion care on Nov. 14, after complaints its media campaign was promoting the termination of unwanted pregnancies - a charge the charity denies.

Continued: https://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/campaigners-in-kenya-challenge-marie-stopes-abortion-ban-in-court-18336919

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Kenya – How conmen are minting millions in risky abortion procedures

How conmen are minting millions in risky abortion procedures

The Nairobian
By Jeckonia Otieno
Nov 11, 2018

Carol paid Sh10, 000 and was given four pills and instructed to swallow two [Photo: Courtesy]

Carol, 20, almost became a static because of an orgasm. “I had to get rid of the pregnancy. I am still waiting to join college and my parents would have been mad had they known,” Carol revealed.

A friend advised her to visit a private doctor within the Nairobi CBD, where she was charged a consultation fee of Sh3, 000.

Continued: https://www.sde.co.ke/thenairobian/article/2001302295/how-conmen-are-minting-millions-in-risky-abortion-procedures

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USA – With Kavanaugh on Court, Abortion Rights Groups Sharpen Their Focus on the States

With Kavanaugh on Court, Abortion Rights Groups Sharpen Their Focus on the States

By Emily Cochrane
Oct. 19, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Abortion rights groups, bracing for an assault on federal legal protections under a Supreme Court moved to the right by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, are pouring millions into a state-level fight to preserve services — an echo of the localized strategy used successfully by their opponents for years.

The new initiatives, by groups like Planned Parenthood and Naral Pro-Choice America, have two primary goals: to challenge severely restrictive measures advanced by emboldened state legislatures, and to bolster clinics in places friendlier to abortion rights that may become a fallback if access elsewhere is restricted.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/us/politics/kavanaugh-abortion-states-rights.html

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USA – Hundreds of Lawmakers and Organizations Demand State Dept. Stop Excluding Women’s Rights From Human Rights Reports

Hundreds of Lawmakers and Organizations Demand State Dept. Stop Excluding Women's Rights From Human Rights Reports
Nearly 100 civil society organizations, 129 members of Congress sent letters to Secretary of State Pompeo this week

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams
Friday, October 05, 2018

Trump's State Department this week is facing backlash and calls to reverse course on its decision to omit from its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices the entire reproductive rights section and to weaken its reporting on gender-based violence—a decision critics said amounted to showing that women and girls' "rights don't matter" to the current administration.

With their eyes on preventing the upcoming 2018 reports from containing the same "highly problematic" omissions as the 2017 ones, nearly 100 civil society organizations (pdf) and 129 members of Congress (pdf) sent letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding the inclusion of information on denials of these fundamental human rights, including lack of access to contraception, unsafe abortion, and violence in accessing healthcare services.

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/05/hundreds-lawmakers-and-organizations-demand-state-dept-stop-excluding-womens-rights

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