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USA – Justice Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court, announces his retirement

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Justice Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court, announces his retirement
What Justice Kennedy's retirement means for the Supreme Court

by Robert Barnes June 27, 2018

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the Supreme Court, a move that will give President Trump a chance to replace the pivotal justice and solidify a more conservative majority on the court that plays a crucial role in American life.

“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy, 81, said in a statement released in the afternoon of the last day of the term. He said his final day will be July 31.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/justice-kennedy-the-pivotal-swing-vote-on-the-supreme-court-announces-retirement/2018/06/27/a40a8c64-5932-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.2e7c4ab3a380

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100 Women: The modern face of the ‘DIY abortion’

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100 Women: The modern face of the 'DIY abortion'

6 June 2018

Global online searches for abortion pills have more than doubled over the last decade, BBC analysis of Google searches shows. The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills.

By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44089526

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Africans are searching for abortion pills online more than anyone else in the world

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Africans are searching for abortion pills online more than anyone else in the world

by Bridget Boakye
June 06, 2018

Women’s health is an especially big concern in Sub-Saharan Africa, and safe pregnancy and abortion top the list as one of many women’s most pressing health concern.

According to the UNICEF, global maternal mortality ratio declined by 44 per cent between 1990 to 2015 but it remains unacceptably high in sub-Saharan Africa. The region accounted for 62% (179 000) of global maternity-related deaths in 2013. One of the major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths is unsafe abortions (WHO).

Continued: https://face2faceafrica.com/article/africans-are-searching-for-abortion-pills-online-more-than-anyone-else-in-the-world

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Report Slams Trump’s Abortion ‘Gag Rule’

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Report Slams Trump’s Abortion ‘Gag Rule’
A rule first imposed by Ronald Reagan and intensified by Donald Trump doesn’t prevent abortions in developing countries and limits other unrelated medical services, according to a new analysis.

By Paul D. Shinkman, Senior National Security Writer
June 5, 2018

President Donald Trump's unprecedented expansion of a rule prohibiting U.S. funds to international aid groups that discuss or perform abortions is having a severe effect on countries most in need of global support, according to a new study, including prior claims the policy leads to millions of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions and tens of thousands of deaths.

The policy – which applies to $9 billion in funds appropriated to multiple government agencies – is having wide-reaching effects, including shutting down funding to some nongovernmental organizations that served as the sole source of health care in developing countries hard-hit by sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies, according to the report "Prescribing Chaos in Global Health: The Global Gag Rule From 1984-2018" conducted by the Center for Health and Gender Equality or CHANGE, released on Tuesday.

Continued: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2018-06-05/report-trumps-foreign-abortion-gag-rule-harms-developing-countries-other-foreign-aid

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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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USA – State Department removes reproductive rights indicators from annual country reporting

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State Department removes reproductive rights indicators from annual country reporting

By Nancy Northup, opinion contributor
04/26/18

Last Friday’s release of the U.S. Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has a gaping hole: the “Reproductive Rights” section has disappeared. This section was previously included for each one of the 195 countries covered by this comprehensive assessment of the state of human rights around the world With his confirmation now settled, Secretary of State Pompeo should understand — and reverse — his predecessor’s dramatic about-face in U.S. efforts to protect the rights of women.

The country reports form a critical body of evidence for capturing human rights conditions. They provide narrative evidence of compliance with human rights norms — an established part of international law — incorporating rights to free press, association, religion, fair trials and conditions of confinement, as well freedom from racial, ethnic and gender-based discrimination.

Continued: http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/385077-state-department-removes-reproductive-rights-indicators-from-annual

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Senegal’s harsh abortion law imprisons women and girls

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Senegal’s harsh abortion law imprisons women and girls

By News Ghana
Apr 26, 2018

Senegal’s criminal code completely prohibits abortion, while the Code of Medical Ethics allows an abortion if three doctors agree that the procedure is necessary to save the woman’s life. This is so stringent that the possibility of a legal abortion is very rare.[1] Ultimately, almost no one succeeds, forcing women to turn to unsafe options – carrying risks of complications, imprisonment, and social stigma.

Fatou Kiné Camara, President of the Association des Juristes Sénégalaises (Association of Women Jurists/AJS), who work to promote and extend the legal rights of Senegalese women,[2] stresses: “Poor people in Senegal are lucky if they see one doctor in their lifetime, let alone three.”[3]

Continued: https://www.newsghana.com.gh/senegals-harsh-abortion-law-imprisons-women-and-girls/

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More women may die as Trump creates $600m gap in funding, Nigerian activists cry out

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More women may die as Trump creates $600m gap in funding, Nigerian activists cry out

On March 17, 2018
By Josephine Agbonkhese

One year after US President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, otherwise known as the Global Gag Rule, women’s rights activists in Nigeria have decried the policy’s effect on disadvantaged women and girls in the country.

The document, which prohibits the use of US aid money for abortions, prevents NGOs from using private funds for abortion services, from referring women to groups that provide abortions, and even from offering information on services such as contraceptives, has, in effect, created a $600m funding gap on maternal health services’ delivery worldwide.

Continued: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/women-may-die-trump-creates-600m-gap-funding-nigerian-activists-cry/

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Salvadoran Woman, One of ‘Las 17,’ Freed After Spending 15 Years Behind Bars Following a Miscarriage

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Salvadoran Woman, One of ‘Las 17,’ Freed After Spending 15 Years Behind Bars Following a Miscarriage
"I'm so happy to be free and with my family. We need to keep fighting so all the other women can be freed, too," Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquin told Rewire.News on Wednesday.

Mar 14, 2018
Kathy Bougher

Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín, who was convicted of aggravated homicide after a miscarriage in 2003, was freed from prison in El Salvador on Tuesday after her 30-year sentence was commuted to 15 years. Figueroa is one of the “Las 17,” a group of Salvadoran women imprisoned following obstetric emergencies with sentences of up to 40 years.

“I’m so happy to be free and with my family. We need to keep fighting so all the other women can be freed, too,” Figueroa told Rewire.News on Wednesday.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/03/14/salvadoran-woman-one-las-17-freed-spending-15-years-behind-bars-following-miscarriage/

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‘Immoral sentence’: Salvadoran woman jailed for stillbirth set free after 14 years

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'Immoral sentence': Salvadoran woman jailed for stillbirth set free after 14 years
Supreme court commutes Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín’s 30-year sentence for murder, calling it immoral and excessive

Liz Ford
Tue 13 Mar 2018

A woman convicted of aggravated murder in El Salvador after suffering a stillbirth has been freed from prison, the second such release in the space of a month.

Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín, 34, had her sentence commuted by the ministry of justice and was released on Tuesday after serving almost 15 years of a 30-year sentence.

The court said it considered the sentence to be excessive and immoral.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/mar/13/el-salvador-woman-jailed-stillbirth-set-free-maira-veronica-figueroa-marroquin

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