Colombia was close to legalizing abortion. Instead, a top court kept restrictions in place.
By Miriam Berger
March 3, 2020
Colombia’s constitutional court ruled Monday to keep the country’s abortion restrictions in place, dashing the hopes of activists pushing for a decision that could have made it the first and most populous state in Latin America to legalize abortions during the first 16 weeks of a pregnancy.
The decision “was a missed opportunity to stand on the right side of history to provide Colombian women and girls safe access to abortion,” human rights lawyer Paula Avila-Guillen said in a statement. She described the current law as “poorly regulated and rarely implemented,” such that for “women who have been victims of sexual abuse or face economic barriers, access to abortion is almost impossible, which puts their lives at risk.
Colombia to decide on historic abortion ruling
February 16, 2020
Fourteen years after Colombia's landmark decision to legalize abortions in some cases, the country is once more bracing itself for a historic vote.
The Colombian Constitutional Court has until Feb. 19th to decide whether it will legalize abortion for pregnancies up to 12 weeks. The current law allows for abortion in only three instances: if the mother's life is at risk, if a fetus is malformed or if the pregnancy is a result of rape.
This is the "first real opportunity to actually advance reproductive rights," according to Paula Avila-Guillen, the director of Latin America Initiatives for the Women's Equality Center.
There's a New Website That Teaches People How to Do Abortions
A series of how-to videos shows providers how to do abortions with pills. But they can also help people who want to do it themselves.
by Marie Solis
Jan 28 2020
In the same amount of time it takes you to boil an egg, or answer an email, a new online video will show you how to end a pregnancy with pills.
Animated figures, accompanied by voice-over narration, take viewers through the process step by step: When to take the mifepristone, the first part of the two-part drug regimen for medication abortion; how long after that to take the misoprostol, how to place those pills under the tongue; and when to expect the cramping and bleeding, which signal that the passing of the pregnancy has begun. The 11-minute video also provides instructions on how to relieve pain or discomfort, and when to seek medical help. At the very beginning, it tells viewers how safe and effective this abortion method is, and how low the rate of complication.
Safe abortion access for all who need it
MSF and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have created an online training course
Jan 23, 2020
Doctors Without Borders
Talking about abortion is not a crime. These days, however, health care providers and humanitarian workers who receive US funding overseas risk being shut down if they do just that.
The Global Gag Rule—which President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded on January 23, 2017—prohibits doctors, nurses, and other health workers around the world from even speaking about abortion. If they do, they could lose their US government funding. Health workers are relied upon to provide thorough, evidence-based medical information, and now they’ve been silenced in the places where that information is needed the most.
“These are basic women’s needs”: Treating Venezuelan women in Colombia
Report from Médecins Sans Frontières
Published on 27 Sep 2019
Mirla Milagro remembers when she and her children ate three meals a day in Venezuela. She gave manicures and cleaned houses, and they got by. Their medical needs were all covered by the Venezuelan health system.
When the clinics started experiencing stock-outs of medicines and supplies, volunteer doctors from Cuba stepped in. But after a while, there seemed to be no medicine anywhere, and if they were available, they were too expensive. Milagro’s income also dried up. Food became difficult to get. “If we had breakfast, we’d have nothing for lunch,” she said. “If we had lunch, there would be no dinner. Sometimes we’d eat something at noon and leave a little for later. It really got bad.”
Unsafe abortion: women at risk
Report 25, September 2019
Women's health, Colombia
Colombia decriminalised abortion in some circumstances in 2006 yet only around 10 per cent of terminations of pregnancies are safely performed in health structures. Unsafe abortions are responsible for some 10 per cent of Colombia's maternal deaths. MSF has published a report in Spanish Aborto no seguro, mujeres en riesgo (Unsafe abortion, women at risk), highlighting the barriers women encounter when seeking to terminate their pregnancies. It is based on information collection during the implementation of our safe abortion service in Colombia in 2017 and 2018.
Unsafe abortion is one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide, along with postpartum haemorrhage, sepsis, birth complications and hypertensive disorders. Of all these, unsafe abortion is the only one that is completely avoidable.
Abortion service providers face judgment from colleagues
Aug 15, 2019
Lack of support for termination of pregnancy (TOP) service providers in the public health sector has led to an exodus of qualified people who can perform abortion services. Stigma and judgement from their colleagues make their working conditions so difficult that many opt to leave the service rather than continue to work in hostile environments.
According to Kgaladi Mphahlele, the Doctors Without Borders’ Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Manager in Rustenburg, North West, part of their work has been to train nurses and doctors who perform abortions, especially for women wanting them late in their pregnancy.
Decoder: Why abortion is more than a political debate
Abortion is wrapped up in politics in many nations including the U.S. But one in four pregnancies ends in abortion, making it a global health issue.
July 3, 2019
By Maggie Fox
Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures globally.
It is grist for a raging political debate in the United States, nearly half a century after the highest court in the country ruled that women have the right to choose whether or not to end a pregnancy.
‘I Can No Longer Continue to Live Here’
What’s driving so many Honduran women to the U.S. border? The reality is worse than you’ve heard.
By JILL FILIPOVIC
June 07, 2019
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — In a small town tucked in the hills outside Tegucigalpa, there is a stuffed gray bunny rabbit that knows a little girl’s secrets. “I tell him all my things,” she says. “About how I’m doing, and when I feel sad.” She feels sad a lot lately. “I start thinking about things that I shouldn’t be thinking,” she says.
There are a lot of things she shouldn’t be thinking. She is 12 years old and just weeks away from giving birth to a baby.
South Africa’s Liberal Abortion Laws Affected by Public Disapproval
March 31, 2019
“Precious” is 26-years-old and 16 weeks pregnant. She asked VOA to call her by that name to protect her identity.
Her best friend is also pregnant by the same man – a man Precious once considered her boyfriend. This information led her to the difficult decision to seek an abortion