USA – Women Have Always Had Abortions

Women Have Always Had Abortions

By Lauren MacIvor Thompson
Dec. 13, 2019

Over the course of American history, women of all classes, races, ages and statuses have ended their pregnancies, both before there were any laws about abortion and after a raft of 19th-century laws restricted it. Our ignorance of this history, however, equips those in the anti-abortion movement with the power to create dangerous narratives. They peddle myths about the past where wayward women sought abortions out of desperation, pathetic victims of predatory abortionists. They wrongly argue that we have long thought about fetuses as people with rights. And they improperly frame Roe v. Wade as an anomaly, saying it liberalized a practice that Americans had always opposed.

But the historical record shows a far different set of conclusions.


USA – The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate

The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate
Why we need to face the best arguments from the other side

Story by Caitlin Flanagan
December 2019 Issue
(Posted Nov 11, 2019)

In 1956, two American physicians, J. A. Presley and W. E. Brown, colleagues at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, decided that four recent admissions to their hospital were significant enough to warrant a published report. “Lysol-Induced Criminal Abortion” appeared in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. It describes four women who were admitted to the hospital in extreme distress, all of them having had “criminal abortions” with what the doctors believed to be an unusual agent: Lysol. The powerful cleaner had been pumped into their wombs. Three of them survived, and one of them died.


Madagascar’s ‘angel makers’ flourish in ban on abortion

Madagascar's 'angel makers' flourish in ban on abortion

01 Sep 2019

ANTANANARIVO: Volatiana keeps her secret behind a flimsy wooden gate, tucked along a red brick wall at the back of her vegetable garden in Madagascar's Antananarivo.

"There are around eight foetuses buried here," said the Malagasy mother of six, standing on a narrow patch of land hidden behind a corrugated metal sheet.


MALTA – Throwing out the bathwater with the baby | Mara Clarke

Throwing out the bathwater with the baby | Mara Clarke
Malta is among the last European countries to have a total abortion ban in all circumstances. MARA CLARKE, founder of Abortion Support Network, argues that banning abortion doesn’t save babies… it just drives poor people to desperation

5 August 2019
by Raphael Vassallo

Your organisation, Abortion Support Network, offers help to women seeking termination services in (among others) countries where abortion is illegal, like Malta. What sort of service do you provide?

First of all, it’s important to note that Abortion Support Network is a non-political organisation, in the sense that… we don’t tell people how to vote. The groups that campaign for legislative change are the ‘cure’… we’re the ‘band-aid’. We receive calls from women who need assistance, and we explain to them what their options really are. Because most of the time, they wouldn’t know. These are not things they can talk about at home, or even with a doctor…


USA – How did women get abortions when they were illegal? A 1966 Post series reveals the answer

How did women get abortions when they were illegal? A 1966 Post series reveals the answer
Before Roe v. Wade, women died trying to end their pregnancies

The Lily News
June 13, 2019

Original story by Elisabeth Stevens for The Washington Post.

As new abortion restrictions are being imposed in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Utah and other states, nearly a half-century after Roe v. Wade, The Washington Post is looking back at a four-part series that ran in January 1966 on how women in the Washington area obtained abortions. At the time, abortion was illegal with few exceptions in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Below is an abridged version of The Post’s four-part series, edited to highlight personal experiences. The original headlines of the series are now subheads for each section.


Lack of safe abortion provision a global health issue

Lack of safe abortion provision a global health issue
At least 22,000 women and girls die each year from unsafe abortions

Thu, Mar 7, 2019
Claire Fotheringham

Setting foot in the busy maternity hospital in West Africa in September 2011 , I was completely unprepared for what I found: women arriving on death’s door, with complications such as heavy bleeding and septic shock.

In the operating theatre, examining many of these women, I found trauma marks on the cervix, caused by objects such as sticks that had been inserted to terminate their pregnancies. Examples of unsafe abortion that had resulted in horrific injury.


It is time that Jamaica decriminalises abortion

It is time that Jamaica decriminalises abortion

By Staff Writer
Mar 6, 2019

Dear Editor,

We, the undersigned social justice and women’s organisations and individual advocates, note the parliamentary consultations on the law on abortion in Jamaica.

Within CARICOM, Barbados (1983) and Guyana (1995) have led the way with legislation that decriminalizes the termination of pregnancy. Belize, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have expanded the exceptions that allow for abortion under the criminal law.


Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal: report

Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal: report
Countries with stricter abortion laws have higher abortion rates

by Maggie Fox

Abortion rates have fallen over the past 25 years, even as more countries have made the procedure legal and easier to get, according to a new report released Tuesday.

Countries with the most restrictive abortion laws also have the highest rates of abortion, the study by the Guttmacher Institute found. Easier access to birth control drives down abortion rates, the report also finds.


16-year-old girl dies from unsafe abortion in Kenya: emergency treatment couldn’t save her

16-year-old girl dies from unsafe abortion in Kenya: emergency treatment couldn’t save her
March 14, 2017
by Safe Abortion

Residents of Nyalenda in Kisumu County are still recovering from a very traumatic incident in which a 16-year-old girl was found by her mother lying in the corridor of her home half dead, vomiting and bleeding profusely from complications of an unsafe abortion.

“Elizabeth” was rushed to the hospital and eventually was able to receive emergency treatment. However, it was too late – her uterus had to be removed because infection had damaged it completely. She later died in the hospital while still undergoing treatment.

This case is just a drop in the ocean of unsafe abortion cases reported in Kisumu County, Kenya.

According to the African Population and Health Research Centre, unsafe abortion remains one of the five leading causes of maternal morbidity and mortality in Kenya, with 464,690 women having unsafe abortions yearly. More than half of them are unsafe, carried out with herbs, coat hangers, spoons, knitting needles and harmful pharmaceuticals. Some 40-45% of all pregnancies in Kenya are unplanned and almost half of them end in an abortion. Of the country’s eight regions, Nyanza – where “Elizabeth” lived and died – recorded the second highest number of abortion cases at 36,842, with Rift Valley leading at 38,687. The majority of those who have unsafe abortions are young and poor and end up with serious complications or die.

The article calls on the Ministry of Health to take decisive action to protect the health, lives, families, and future of Kenyan women and asks the Government of Kenya to lift its reservations on international laws, such as Section 14(2C) of the Maputo Protocol, that champion protection of women’s reproductive health and rights by authorising safe abortion.

SOURCE: Africa Alive Kenya Chapter, by Michael Okun Oliech , 13 March 2017


Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: