Hong Kong: Jail for elderly abortion clinic operators


Jail for elderly abortion clinic operators
Phoebe Ng
22 Aug 2017

Two elderly women were sentenced yesterday to jail terms of 10 and 17 months for operating an illegal abortion clinic.

Lo Wun-yi, 65, a Chinese medicine practitioner, and unemployed Li Shuk- fan, 75, were convicted of two counts of conspiracy to use an instrument with intent to procure a miscarriage.

Though sympathetic to their "traumatic and difficult" background, deputy High Court Judge Andrew Bruce, said the defendants' conduct amounted to "gross medical negligence."

Continued at source: The Standard: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=186535&sid=4

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Kenya: What it is like to have unsafe abortion


What it is like to have unsafe abortion

Aug. 09, 2017

Close to 21,000 Kenyan women end up in hospitals every year, with complications of unsafe abortions.

Some of them succumb. But apart from physical injuries, survivors endure years of emotional and psychological trauma, yet they cannot talk about it.

Talk on abortion remains highly emotive and stigmatised, but counsellors say silence is not golden. It can kill.

Which is why some community groups in Western Kenya now encourage women — and men — to freely share their unsafe abortion experiences.

Continued at source: The Star: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/08/09/what-it-is-like-to-have-unsafe-abortion_c1610203

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South Africa: No Fetus Scan, No Abortion. Really?


South Africa: No Fetus Scan, No Abortion. Really?

Aug 8, 2017

Draft bill would, for instance, undo clauses in SA law that provide for abortions in some cases of extreme birth defects.

A proposed amendment to the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act would require that anyone seeking an abortion first undergo an ultrasound scan. In its draft bill, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) argues making this type of scan mandatory for abortion seekers will assist people to make "an informed choice".

Continued at source: All Africa: http://allafrica.com/stories/201708080318.html

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Ghana: ‘Black market’ abortion is killing our women – MP cries for liberalised laws


‘Black market’ abortion is killing our women - MP cries for liberalised laws

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: August 3, 2017

Member of Parliament for Binduri in the Upper East Region is advocating for the liberalization of Ghana’s laws to allow for abortion.

Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem is worried that the current laws which prohibit abortion is causing the death of thousands of women in the country, as some resort to unorthodox means referred to as the ‘black market’ to get pregnancies terminated.

Continued: Joy Online: http://www.myjoyonline.com/lifestyle/2017/August-3rd/black-market-abortion-is-killing-our-women-mp-cries-for-liberalised-laws.php

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South Africa: The Place Where You Can Get An Abortion At 8 ½ Months


The Place Where You Can Get An Abortion At 8 ½ Months
Kerrie Simon-Lawrence
July 24, 2017

In South Africa, the illegal termination trade is flourishing.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world. Photo: Stocksy

There’s something that stands out at most traffic intersections in South Africa’s Johannesburg. It’s not the purple bursts of Jacaranda blooms that punctuate the sidewalks; nor is it the men and women who tap on your window to sell you knock-off Louis Vuitton phone cases. It’s the signs. Sticky-taped to telegraph poles, electricity boxes, even bus stops. “Pain-free abortion. Success guaranteed. Cheap.” The signs aren’t intended to shock, but rather to service an ever-growing market.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in South Africa. Government clinics offer safe abortion free-of-charge to women who are less than 20 weeks’ pregnant. If that’s the case though, then why are the backyard-style posters not only growing in numbers, but also in demand?

Continued at source: WHIMN: http://www.whimn.com.au/talk/news/the-place-where-you-can-get-an-abortion-at-8-months-warning-graphic-content/news-story/c5ffb9d7f5d8131f2f8270e54926a334

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Abortion in Kosovo, an almost impossible mission


L’avortement au Kosovo, une mission quasi impossible
(Abortion in Kosovo, an almost impossible mission)
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
July 18, 2017

In Kosovo, the law allows women to have abortions up to the 10th week of pregnancy, and abortion remains a difficult journey. But some are ready to take all the risks.

“Attitudes do not change. In Kosovo, an abortion is always seen as very bad.”These words of Iliriana Gashi, director of Women for Women Kosovo, leave no doubt as to the image of abortion in Kosovo. Still taboo, abortion is rejected by the public authorities and the majority religions of the country – Islam and Christianity.

Yet abortion has always been legal in Kosovo. Before 1999, it was legal under Serbian law. In April 2006, more or less the same grounds for legal abortion were enshrined in the new laws of Kosovo, then under United Nations administration.

The law says that a woman over 18 years of age and pregnant less than ten weeks may have an abortion. This is two weeks less than in France, where one can have an abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy (or 14 weeks of amenorrhoea). After this, abortion can only be considered in “cases of danger to the woman and/or the fetus”. A minor must get the authorization of her parents.

But the reality is even worse. Of the 122 gynaecological clinics in Kosovo, only five are permitted by the Ministry of Health to provide abortions, according to a report by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) published at the end of 2006. And only one of those clinics is a public clinic, that is, where the services are free. That is the University Clinical Center of Kosovo, in Pristina. But even there, posters against abortion can be found on the walls, as reported by Le Courrier des Balkans et Prishtina Insight in 2016. The posters say: “Abortion is a crime committed by the mother. ”

Even so, according to UNFPA estimates, there are between 28 and 50 abortions for every 100 live births in Kosovo. In France, there are 26.4 abortions per 100 live births. Many women have abortions because they live in poverty, but this is not the only reason. “They do not want to have many children, because they wish to give their children more education they themselves have received,” Iliriana Gashi told Kosovox.

For those that exceed the legal limit, one solution remains: the backstreets. Private clinics, not licensed by the Ministry of Health, illegally providing abortions. Here, the operation costs between 20 and 50 €, according to the President of Women for Women Kosovo. A large sum of money, since the average salary in Kosovo is 300€ per month. The conditions are precarious and women are likely to suffer complications: infections, bleeding, problems during subsequent pregnancies… even death in the most extreme cases.

Another solution, that costs less, also exists. Pills of misoprostol, available on sale in pharmacies, called Cytotec. But the public authorities are not interested in this problem.

“Our leaders are conservative for the most part,” explains Iliriana Gashi. The subject of abortion and, more generally, of the rights of women, is an uncomfortable one. This is also the view of Dejona Mihali, from the opposition party Vetevendosjë (Self-Determination). “In Kosovo, in the face of fear of blame by the family and society, abortions are most of the time conducted in secret in private clinics where the Ministry of Health has no entry. “In Kosovo, a woman’s right to decide freely about her body is still far from being respected.”

SOURCE: Kosovo Vox, by Manon Gayet, 1 Juillet 2017 (Translated from the French) ; PHOTO

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/lavortement-au-kosovo-une-mission-quasi-impossible/

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Madagascar: Ne touche pas à mon utérus (Don’t touch my uterus)


Ne touche pas à mon utérus (Don’t touch my uterus)
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
July 18, 2017

In Madagascar, our senators have preferred to evade the request to reform the law to allow the use of family planning by women.

Even in 2017, it is still difficult to address the subject of family planning freely. That is because one has to speak of sexuality and moreover “the sexuality of the woman”. Thanks to family planning, women have the ability to choose the number of children they wish to have and especially when they are ready to have them. The Demographic & Health Survey confirms a growing expressed need for access to contraceptive methods: 70% of women surveyed said they wanted to use a contraceptive method. Yet only 32.5% confirmed they did use one.

This is because between wishing to and being able to, there is a gap. First, family planning services are non-existent, there is an absence of methods, but there is also a lack of knowledge and the non-acceptance of partners. Those who wish to plan their childbearing are seen as bad, dangerous for married men and for society in general.

Yet 17% of young girls in Madagascar have had their first sexual intercourse before the age of 17 years, whether on a voluntary basis or as a result of forced sex. In some regions, such as Ihorombe, 52% of young girls have even had their first sexual relations before the age of 15, according to the Demographic & Health Survey of 2009. Yet motherhood is not always the intention of a sexual relationship. Hence, research has shown that most of these girls have had at least one clandestine abortion before the age of 18 years.

Clandestine abortion is a common practice among young Malagasy women. 53.5% of young women aged 15 to 24 years in urban areas have reported that they had at least one abortion during the year 2007. So this is not a new problem. About 50% of women in the Quarantaine said they have had at least one abortion before the age of 25 years. Many women choose abortion at these young ages, particularly those in rural areas, according to a study by the Institut National de Santé Publique et Communautaire (INSPC) in 2013, entitled “Voluntary termination of clandestine pregnancies”.

The challenges posed by the law, which penalises abortion, as well as the strong pressures exerted by religious and societal beliefs against abortion, are forcing women to resort to clandestine abortions. Generally, clandestine abortion, unassisted by qualified persons, is a traumatic experience for women who have chosen this path. In addition to the possible physical consequences, such as haemorrhage or infertility due to infection, complications may cause death. Women have also reported psychological sequelae. In the Malagasy culture, to get married and then have a child is a sign of an accomplished and successful life, and must happen strictly in this order. Throughout their lives, boys and girls are educated to become “fathers” and “mothers”, based on stereotypes. Male partners exercise control and put considerable pressure on women, whether to have an abortion or to carry a pregnancy to term. The fear of being abandoned by the partner dictates the behaviour of women in either case. In addition, Malagasy society does not tolerate single motherhood.

It is high time to review the Law of 17 April 1920 which governs the family planning programme in Madagascar, in order to promote universal access to contraceptive methods, including for women who are victims of sexual abuse, and including emergency contraception, and especially a comprehensive sexuality education programme adapted to the different age groups and culture of the target populations.

A woman who has been raped and subsequently is forced by society and the law to keep and raise the child who is the product of the rape knows that this child will suffer serious handicaps. Another may have a child whose life is in a vegetative state. Still another knows that she does not have the means to raise a child alone whose father has abandoned her. To reach a point where the choice is not to have the child is complex, but the right to choose is fundamental. A woman’s body belongs to her. This must be understood and accepted, because the suppression of her wishes is not a solution.

SOURCE: L’Express de Madagascar, by Mbolatiana Raveloarimisa, 1 July 2017 (Translated from the French) ; PHOTO

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/ne-touche-pas-a-mon-uterus-dont-touch-my-uterus/

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Canada: Trudeau government unveils reproductive health projects


Trudeau government unveils reproductive health projects

Geoffrey York
JOHANNESBURG — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2017

Less than three years after legalizing abortion, Mozambique is getting a new aid package from the Canadian government: More than $18-million to support abortion and family-planning services.

The project, announced on Tuesday, is the first specific example of how the Trudeau government is venturing into foreign-aid policies not permitted under the previous Conservative government – or the Trump administration in Washington.

Continued at source: Globe & Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/trudeau-government-unveils-reproductive-health-projects/article35652268/

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Ghana: Youth in Bukom sensitised on dangers of unsafe abortion


Youth in Bukom sensitised on dangers of unsafe abortion

Bukom Youtg
24 June 2017

Over 100 youth living in Israel, a fishing community located within Bukom, a suburb of Accra, has been vigorously sensitised on the dangers of illegal abortion under a project dubbed ‘Abortion 360’.

They were also advised to always adopt the practice of comprehensive abortion care (CAC) to stay out of danger.

Continued at source: Ghana Web: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/health/Youth-in-Bukom-sensitised-on-dangers-of-unsafe-abortion-552093

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The Zimbabwe Herald publishes a series of articles on abortion, homosexuality and condoms to prevent HIV


The Zimbabwe Herald publishes a series of articles on abortion, homosexuality and condoms to prevent HIV
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
June 23, 2017

In a series of three articles, the Zimbabwe Herald has reported widely differing views on the subject of abortion as an issue for Zimbabwe’s parliament, as a public health issue, as an issue of religion and morality, and as a source of suffering for women.

The first article was prompted by Hon Dr Ruth Labode, MP for Matabeleland North province and chairwoman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care, calling for safe abortions to be allowed for unwanted pregnancies, in response to findings that 16% of maternal deaths in Zimbabwe were due to unsafe abortions and over half the deaths were among adolescents. According to the 2016 national adolescent fertility study, 9% of adolescents aged 10 to 19 years have ever been pregnant, the majority of whom were from rural areas. Dr Labode criticised government policy for only allowing post-abortion care as a “corrective procedure” when abortions could be made safe in the first place, as in other countries.

Continued at source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/the-zimbabwe-herald-publishes-a-series-of-articles-on-abortion-condoms-to-prevent-hiv-and-homosexuality/

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