The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Posted on 30 January, 2020
by Suchitra Dalvie, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership
Many of us greeted the news with cautious optimism when we heard that yesterday the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister had approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing session of the Parliament. But on reading the details of the amendments proposed one is forced to wonder if this is just fussing around over minor details while continuing to ignore the larger issues of women’s autonomy and agency?
For these amendments to truly bring about wide ranging change we must remember one crucial thing about true change—it happens only with a shift in power. Until the archaic patriarchal notions of the need to criminalize various sexual and reproductive aspects of our lives (such as Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code) are done away with, any legislation like the MTP Act which is mainly meant to protect the doctors and not the women involved, is not likely to result in genuine change.
Alberto Fernández vows to send bill to decriminalise abortion to Congress
Though the exact timeline remains unclear, the president-elect says decriminalisation will be a legislative priority early in his term.
Nov 18, 2019
President-elect Alberto Fernández announced Sunday he will send a proposal to decriminalise abortion to Congress ‘as soon as possible’ once he becomes president. “I would like that the debate is not one between progressives and conservatives, revolutionaries and traditionalists. It’s a problem of public health that we should resolve,” he said.
Asked in an interview with the local Pagina 12 daily if Argentina could expect to see the proposed legislation’s arrival in Congress before the end of the year, Fernández said he intends to do it ‘as soon as possible,’ pointing out timing doesn't depend only on him. Though he did say he is an “advocate for putting an end to the criminalisation of abortion.”
CAMPAIGNERS WELCOME HISTORIC DAY AS ABORTION DECRIMINALISED IN NORTHERN IRELAND
21st October 2019
For immediate release
Today is a landmark moment for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, and for women and girls who have been living under one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. At midnight tonight, abortion will be decriminalised, and we will be one step closer to free, safe, legal and local abortion in Northern Ireland. Women and girls in Northern Ireland have been left behind for too long - and today marks a historic step in bringing this cruel injustice to an end.
In July 2019, the UK Parliament voted in favour of an amendment proposed by Stella Creasy MP and supported by pro-choice groups across the UK. Section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Bill 2019 passed by 332-99 votes in the House of Commons and 182-37 in the House of Lords. Section 9 states that decriminalisation of abortion would take effect if no Executive was formed in Northern Ireland by October 21st.
MEXICO – The Oaxaca Congress makes history: legalising abortion in the first trimester
Oct 4, 2019
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
On 25 September 2019 Oaxaca became the second state government in Mexico to decriminalise abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. The Federal District of Mexico was the first, in 2007. Previously, abortion was legal in Oaxaca only in cases of rape, fetal malformation, risk of death for the woman or if artificial insemination was not by consent.
The vote was 24 in favour and 10 against. The outcome of the vote was apparently uncertain until the last minute, because even though the legislature has a majority of leftist Morena party members, not all of them supported the bill. But working closely with allies in Oaxaca over the past year, the bill’s supporters never gave up.
Activists in Germany demand legalization of abortion
Abortion in Germany, while pratically possible for most women, technically remains a criminal offence in all cases. Opponents of the laws want a full legalization, but that alone won't improve access, some activists say.
There, in the German Criminal Code, between the laws on murder and abandonment, sit paragraphs 218 and 219. They pertain to — and criminalize — abortion in Germany. On Saturday, activists will be taking to the streets to demand the paragraphs' removal as part of a global abortion rights demonstration.
Sarah Thibol, activist with the feminist organization Frauen*Kollektiv in Cologne, is one of many planning to protest. Her personal goal is "that women realize abortions are not legal in German. So many people are surprised the first time they hear that."
Abortion decriminalized in Sydney after Australian lawmakers overturn 119-year-old law
By Julia Hollingsworth, CNN
Thu September 26, 2019
(CNN)Abortion has now been decriminalized in almost all of Australia after the country's most populous state voted to overturn a 119-year-old law.
On Thursday, lawmakers in New South Wales -- which is home to Sydney -- voted to pass a bill that decriminalizes abortion and makes terminations available to people who are less than 22 weeks pregnant.
Mexico's Oaxaca becomes second state to decriminalise abortion
More than 9,000 women in the impoverished southern state undergo clandestine abortions every year.
Sept 26, 2019
The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has decriminalised abortion, making it the second jurisdiction in the country to allow terminations for women who are up to 12 weeks pregnant.
The state legislature passed the bill with 24 votes in favour and 10 against on Wednesday.
Las Comadres Is Fighting to Make Abortion Safe in Ecuador — Even While It’s Illegal
The group represents a new tactic in abortion-rights activism, which skirts legal restrictions and the often risky surgical procedures that defined clandestine abortions in the past.
By Zoë Carpenter
May 2, 2019
Quito, Ecuador — The first time Tamia Maldonado accompanied a woman through an abortion, she was just 18. They met at a lush, quiet park near the center of the city. There, Maldonado explained how to order the pills online, through a Dutch NGO that provides them cheaply and safely. Maldonado told the woman how to take them, what to expect afterwards, and what symptoms might indicate that something had gone awry. She gave her a pamphlet with instructions and the number for a lawyer, just in case.
Trump Administration Expands Assault on Global Abortion Access
April 18, 2019
Nina Besser Doorley
In March, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced two significant escalations in the Trump administration’s attacks on sexual and reproductive rights globally: a new expansion to the already-devastating Global Gag Rule and the unprecedented use of the Siljander Amendment to attack funding for a multilateral organization, the Organization of American States.
While the latest expansion to the Global Gag Rule has been well publicized, the use of the Siljander Amendment—an obscure legislative provision that prohibits the use of US funds for abortion-related lobbying—to cut more than $200,000 in US funding to the Organization of American States (OAS) has received less attention. Nonetheless, the use of this provision sets a dangerous precedent by attempting to force global human rights bodies to bow to US political pressure.
Self-managed Abortion Highlights Need to Decriminalize Abortion Worldwide
Most of the world's decades-old abortion laws don't reflect the advent of the abortion pill, and they permit the punishment of people who end their own pregnancies and nonmedical providers.
Nov 12, 2018
Patty Skuster, Kinga Jelinska & Susan Yanow
In countries with a range of laws regulating abortion, there is growing evidence that people are safely self-managing their abortions outside a clinical context—sourcing and using misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone, on their own and with the help of family and friends, or with community-based support.
Recognizing the potential of abortion pills to expand access to safe abortion, feminist collectives across the world have mobilized to create reliable resources about self-managed abortion. Activists run telephone hotlines, email help desks, and groups to provide information about self-management. Women often obtain the medicines through online services, community distribution networks, or pharmacies.