Europe – Even where abortion is legal, access is not granted

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Even where abortion is legal, access is not granted
In several European countries tough abortion laws are not necessary, as the lack of available gynecologists makes it almost impossible for women to access abortion.

Thursday 24 May 2018
Paola Tamma

Ireland will hold a referendum on 25 May, asking voters whether they want or not to repeal the so-called Eight amendment to the Irish Constitution, guaranteeing the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, and prohibiting abortion in almost all cases, making it one of the world’s toughest abortion laws in the world.

But tough law is not always needed to actually restrict access to abortion: in some countries where abortion is legal, women face increasing problems to access it because non-objecting gynecologists are simply not available.

continued: https://www.europeandatajournalism.eu/eng/News/Data-news/Even-where-abortion-is-legal-access-is-not-granted

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Poland abortion: Protests against bill imposing new limits

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Poland abortion: Protests against bill imposing new limits

March 23, 2018

Thousands of people have taken to streets across Poland against plans to further tighten the abortion laws, already among Europe's strictest.

A bill in parliament seeks to ban abortions in cases of foetal abnormality - one of the few exceptions allowed under the current law.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43514965

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Mass protests in Poland against tightening of abortion law

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Mass protests in Poland against tightening of abortion law
Thousands join demonstrations against government’s new effort to restrict access

Staff and agencies in Warsaw
Fri 23 Mar 2018

Thousands of people have joined protests in Warsaw and other Polish cities against the latest attempt by the conservative government to restrict access to abortion.

In Warsaw on Friday, people held banners that read “Free choice” and “A woman is a human being”, and chanted slogans demanding reproductive freedom.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/23/abortion-poland-mass-protests-against-tightening-of-law

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Thousands join ‘Black Friday’ marches against Polish abortion restrictions

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Thousands join 'Black Friday' marches against Polish abortion restrictions

March 23, 2018
Anna Koper, Marcin Goettig

WARSAW (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Poles dressed in black protested across the country on Friday against an attempt by the ruling conservatives and the powerful Catholic Church to ban most abortions.

The “Stop Abortion” draft bill, opposed by numerous rights groups, would remove the main legal recourse Polish women have for getting a termination in a country that already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the European Union.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-abortion/thousands-join-black-friday-marches-against-polish-abortion-restrictions-idUSKBN1GZ2LP

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Malta needs to reform laws against abortion, Council of Europe’s Rights Commissioner insists

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Malta needs to reform laws against abortion, Council of Europe’s Rights Commissioner insists
New legislation is required to provide abortion care to women who request it

Monday, February 26, 2018

Malta should ensure its ban on abortion does not deprive women of “a range of fundamental human rights”, according to the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, Nils Muižnieks.

“From a thorough analysis of human rights standards and jurisprudence applicable to Council of Europe Member States, it is clear to me that women’s human rights cannot be protected without ensuring their effective access to safe and legal abortion care,” Mr Muižnieks writes in the Times of Malta.

Continued: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180226/local/malta-needs-to-reform-laws-against-abortion-council-of-europes-rights.671775

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland
Feb 9, 2018

The worsening state of SRHR in Poland has brought multiple reactions from international human rights bodies. Please below find here the most crucial observations and recommendations.

Letter of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Poland, the Commissioner refers to recent developments affecting the independence of the judiciary; women’s access to sexual and reproductive rights; the deteriorating environment for NGOs active in the area of women’s rights and assistance to victims of domestic violence; and attacks against the independence and effectiveness of the Ombudsman.

Regarding women’s rights, the Commissioner regrets that new barriers are being created to hinder women’s access to comprehensive sexuality education, emergency contraception and abortion care. He urges the authorities to repeal any retrogressive laws and to reject any legislative or policy proposals which would weaken women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Here the main fragment related to SRHR:

Continued: http://en.federa.org.pl/international-concerns-about-womens-rights-backsliding-in-poland/

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Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

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Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

By Caterina Tani
BRUSSELS, Dec 6, 2017

A backlash against access to abortion in some EU member states in the past few years is "deeply troubling", the Council of Europe warned on Tuesday (5 December).

In the majority of EU countries abortions are legal, but in some states a wave of "retrogressive restrictions" are threatening women's health and well-being, the European human rights organisation's report said.

Continued at source: https://euobserver.com/health/140158

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New report on women’s health criticises Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws

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New report on women’s health criticises Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws
European Commissioner for Human Rights focuses on laws in Republic and North

Dec 5, 2017
Seán Dunne

A new report published by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has questioned Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws.

The report, ‘Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe’, examines women’s health within the EU and looks at abortion services.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/new-report-on-women-s-health-criticises-ireland-s-restrictive-abortion-laws-1.3316324

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Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged

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Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged

By ILARIA MARIA SALA
NOV. 13, 2017

Late last month, Cosimo Borraccino, a left-wing member of the regional council for Apulia, in southern Italy, proposed passing a local law to require the enforcement of national legislation granting women access to abortion. His opponents on the council, mostly from center-right parties, said the bill was unnecessary and that Mr. Borraccino was “slamming into a wall of self-evidence.”

Yet when it comes to reproductive rights in Italy, respect of the law is anything but self-evident. In fact, 9 out of 10 gynecologists in Apulia refuse to perform abortions, even though the right to obtain one has been legal since 1978. Nationwide statistics are only slightly less staggering: Seven out of 10 gynecologists in Italy won’t terminate a pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/abortion-italy-conscientious-objectors.html

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LITHUANIA- Lithuanian Parliament to discuss restricting access to abortion

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LITHUANIA- Lithuanian Parliament to discuss restricting access to abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 23, 2017

The Lithuanian Parliament is due to discuss a draft law that would strongly restrict women’s access to legal abortion leaving only two options for accessing the procedure: when women’s life and health are in danger and in cases of rape. The text was proposed by the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania who have since 2005 unsuccessfully tried to submit bills to criminalise abortion.

In response, the ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights sent letters to the Lithuanian President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Seimas, calling for rejection of this bill.

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/lithuania-lithuanian-parliament-to-discuss-restricting-access-to-abortion/

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