Catholic and conservative groups are slowly chipping away at abortion rights in Italy, where abortion has been legal since 1978.
November 11, 2020
By Lucía Benavides
A recently discovered cemetery of aborted fetuses where the names of the women who had had abortions appeared on crosses has sparked outrage across Italy.
Retired gynecologist Silvana Agatone says the cemetery discovery renewed a conversation about growing anti-abortion sentiments in Italy, despite the practice being legal since 1978. Although every public hospital is required to provide abortions, she says only about 64% of them do.
By Alicja Ptak
OCTOBER 19, 2020
WARSAW (Reuters) - In April, in the midst of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Poland, Katarzyna found out that the baby she was carrying had a severe genetic disorder and would probably die before birth or shortly after.
She immediately decided to terminate the pregnancy. When she finally managed to, five weeks later and after meeting some 10 doctors, securing a fallback plan in Germany and researching home methods, she knew she would not try to get pregnant again.
Riccardo Antoniucci and Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2020
ROME -- Italian prosecutors and the government's privacy watchdog are investigating how the names of women who miscarried or had abortions ended up on crosses over graves for the fetuses in a Rome cemetery.
Rights groups have denounced the grave markings as a gross violation of the women's privacy, which is protected by the 1978 law that legalized abortion in Italy. While regulations require burial of a fetus after 20 weeks, women who have complained said they never knowingly consented to the burials, much less to having their names put on crosses.
Discovery of burials women did not authorise highlights issues of stigma, Catholic groups’ influence and medical community’s failure.
By Virginia Pietromarchi
16 Oct 2020
Rome, Italy – The words on the crucifix read Francesca Rossi*. Yet Francesca Rossi was standing right in front of it, alive.
Many other wooden crosses bearing only a female name and a date were also stuck in the ground nearby, some dating back as far as 2004.
The pandemic put anticipated legislative progress on Argentina’s abortion reform on hold, but activists are determined to keep up the momentum.
Cora Fernández Anderson
July 9, 2020
Early in 2020, it appeared that the legalization of abortion was, at last, imminent in Argentina. After a long struggle by activists, the elements of a strong movement, favorable public opinion, and sympathetic allies in power all aligned in favor of finally reforming the 1921 criminal code that allows a legal abortion only under the narrow circumstances of rape or a threat to a woman’s life and health. Following last year’s general elections, support permeated the halls of power: a multi-party coalition in Congress, the presidents of the Senate and lower house, the heads of the congressional commissions charged with discussing the bill, and even the president of the country all supported reform.
But then, in early March, Covid-19 reached Argentina. The government declared a lockdown, and everything stopped—including the prospects of abortion reform.
How a Network of Activists Are Helping Women Get Abortions in Argentina During Coronavirus Lockdown
By Ciara Nugent
May 1, 2020
These days, Ruth Zurbriggen finds herself having meetings at midnight. A university lecturer in the Argentine province of Neuquén, Zurbriggen spends her spare time helping other women get abortions in a country where the procedure is only legal in a few circumstances. Stuck at home because of a nationwide quarantine order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, women often need to speak at night, when their families or partners are asleep and can’t hear them talking about their decision.
Zurbriggen, 54, is a founding member of the Socorristas en Red (literally, Network of Lifeguards), a group of 504 activists spread across Argentina’s territory. The socorristas help women navigate the country’s health system, which, by law is meant to provide abortion in cases of rape or where the pregnancy is a risk to the health of the mother.
Inside Italian public hospitals, I saw how a US-linked anti-abortion network is ‘humiliating’ women
An Italian federation of anti-abortion activists, linked to the US religious right, is “infiltrating” hospitals to stop abortions. I saw them in action. (In Italiano).
9 March 2020
At 8am on a winter Friday morning, the road to the San Pio hospital in Benevento, a small city in southern Italy, is covered by mist. The hospital’s corridors are quiet, except on the second floor, where abortion-related visits are scheduled to start.
More than forty years after abortions were legalised in Italy, they remain hard for women to access – especially in the south, where most doctors refuse to perform them. In 2017, the entire Benevento province was briefly left with no abortion provider after the only non-refuser at the San Pio hospital retired.
Pro-choice protestors to rally around NZ for abortion law reform
Feb 18, 2020
Pro-choice protestors are set to rally around New Zealand today in support of abortion law reform.
“Now is the time for people who care about women and pregnant people to come out to the National Day of Action and show the politicians we need change," said Terry Bellamak, National President of the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ).
The Abortion Legislation Bill, which passed its first reading last year at 94 votes to 23, is under a conscience vote, meaning MPs will vote in the next reading on what they individually believe, rather than along party lines.
Alberta’s doctors say they worry about the effects of a conscience rights bill
Published January 17, 2020
Dr. Jillian Demontigny keeps a rainbow bracelet wrapped around the stethoscope that she drapes across her neck. It’s her signal to any LGBTQ patient who arrives at her clinic: you are welcome here.
Dr. Demontigny is one of 13 physicians working at the Taber Clinic, a family medicine clinic in a southern Alberta town of 8,500 people. Over her 14 years in Taber, she has expanded her practice to offer extra supports for patients looking for the kind of health care that can be hard to access in this rural, conservative region, where anti-abortion billboards are posted along the highway.
Northern Irish GPs face ‘legal uncertainty’ as abortion decriminalised
Doctor says abortion services not deregulated and abortions up to 28 weeks not allowed
Oct 22, 2019
Freya McClements, Gerry Moriarty
Doctors in Northern Ireland must be given clarification about the rules now governing abortion laws following the decriminalisation of abortion this week, professional bodies representing GPs and midwives have warned.
GPs continue “to face uncertainty about where they stand legally”, warned Dr Gráinne Doran, the chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners Northern Ireland.