The British territory with Europe’s harshest abortion laws

0

The British territory with Europe's harshest abortion laws

By John Owen
9 May 2018

The tiny British territory of Gibraltar has the harshest anti-abortion laws anywhere in Europe - the penalty for breaching the law is life imprisonment. But with Brexit looming and the Irish abortion referendum just weeks away, campaigners are hoping for change.

Gibraltar's residents, who live on a two-mile strip of land at the tip of Spain, are British citizens, and many feel a deep affinity with the UK.

But in one respect they are very different.

continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44008790

Read more

Fianna Fáil leader criticises ‘offensive’ anti-abortion claims

0

Fianna Fáil leader criticises ‘offensive’ anti-abortion claims
Micheál Martin says Eighth Amendment ‘cruelly insensitive’ to women of Ireland

May 9, 2018
Sarah Bardon

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has criticised “dishonest and offensive” campaigning by some anti-abortion groups, claiming they are deliberately spreading inaccuracies about what a Yes vote in the May 25th referendum will mean.

Mr Martin rejected the suggestion that repealing the Eighth Amendment would lead to unlimited abortions or late-term terminations.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/fianna-f%C3%A1il-leader-criticises-offensive-anti-abortion-claims-1.3489596

Read more

Exporting Censorship: How U.S. Restrictions on Abortion Speech and Funding Violate International Law, Part 1

0

Exporting Censorship: How U.S. Restrictions on Abortion Speech and Funding Violate International Law, Part 1
May 7, 2018
Akila Radhakrishnan & Kristin Smith

Part 1: The Helms Amendment and Freedom of Speech

This is the first of a two-part post exploring how U.S. restrictions on abortion-related speech, activities, and funding violate U.S. human rights obligations under the ICCPR. Although much attention is rightfully paid to the devastating impact of the reimposed Global Gag Rule, the Helms and Siljander Amendments (which have been permanently in place since the 1970s) often command less consideration. These restrictions are discussed separately here in order to illustrate their unique effects on freedoms of speech and association. However, Helms, Siljander and the Global Gag Rule all fall short of the ICCPR’s requirements and therefore violate freedoms of speech and association in complex ways, as examined in more detail in the Global Justice Center’s recent brief. This post explores how the Helms and Siljander Amendments fail to meet the ICCPR’s standards for lawful restrictions on the freedom of speech. Part Two will focus on the Global Gag Rule and its violation of the freedom of association.

Continued: https://ilg2.org/2018/05/07/exporting-censorship-how-u-s-restrictions-on-abortion-speech-and-funding-violate-international-law-part-1/

Read more

Malta – Need to reform abortion law – Nils Muižnieks

0

Need to reform abortion law - Nils Muižnieks

Monday, February 26, 2018
Nils Muižnieks

When I visited Malta last November, I noted how the very restrictive legislation on abortion jeopardised women’s rights. I was also particularly struck by the lack of an open debate about this issue. It is, therefore, encouraging that some voices are now starting to challenge the taboo that still surrounds discussions on abortion. To increase the chances of this debate leading to positive change for all women, it is necessary that discussions be well informed and avoid misconceptions.

Some argue that access to abortion care is not a matter of women’s human rights. Others, in Malta and elsewhere, question whether this is a human right at all.

Continued: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180226/opinion/need-to-reform-abortion-law-nils-muiznieks.671761

Read more

International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland

0

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/

Read more

#25YearsOfWomen’sHell – 25th disgraceful anniversary of the Polish anti-abortion law

0

#25YearsOfWomen’sHell – 25th disgraceful anniversary of the Polish anti-abortion law
Jan 9, 2017
Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning

7th January 1993 Act on Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Legal Pregnancy Termination (later: the Act) has had a detrimental effect on women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights for 25 years. Due to the anniversary and upcoming debates about two abortion-related citizens’ bills[1] in the Parliament, the Federation for Women and Family Planning has launched the #25YearsOfWomen’sHell campaign so as to illustrate the fictional character of the Act and its multiple negative effects. Follow memes with the hashtag to learn and share facts about SRHR in Poland.

80 pro-choice organizations have supported and signed the Federation’s statement concerning the “Save women” bill on women’s rights and conscious parenthood so as to appeal to the MPs for a fact-based, open-minded and genuine debate in the Parliament as well as for a vote in favour of the bill.

Continued at source: http://en.federa.org.pl/25yearsofwomenshell/

Read more

German doctor fined for illegally ‘advertising’ abortions

0

German doctor fined for illegally 'advertising' abortions
Nov 24, 2017

Pro-life activists have taken a doctor to court over information she provides for her patients online. The case shows how complicated Germany's laws regulating abortion are – and that the issue is highly contentious.

Kristina Hänel, a general practitioner in the central German city of Giessen, received a €6,000 fine in court on Friday because of a single word on her practice's website. On the list of services she offers, Hänel includes family planning, sex counseling — and abortions.

Pro-life activists from the radical "Never again" initiative have sued her for this. They say Hänel is breaking the law, based on a rule stipulated in paragraph 219a of the German criminal code. It states that anyone who publicly "offers, announces [or] advertises" abortion services is to be punished with up to two years in jail or must pay a fine.

Continued at source: http://www.dw.com/en/german-doctor-fined-for-illegally-advertising-abortions/a-40598436

Read more

SWEDEN- The case of the anti-abortion Swedish midwives – again

0

SWEDEN- The case of the anti-abortion Swedish midwives – again

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
August 8, 2017

On 17 March, 19 April and 31 May, we published three reports from Sweden on the cases of two midwives who sought to keep their jobs in spite of declaring conscientious objection to abortion, which is not recognised under Swedish law, and refusing to provide abortion services, which were a part of their job descriptions. The most recent report said they were considering taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights, as they had failed to win their case in the Swedish courts. It would appear they have done so.

However, on 18 July, we received an e-mail from someone in Sweden which explained that the case the two midwives took to the European Court was not an appeal against the Swedish courts’ rulings, but a new case. The writer said:

“The verdict against Ellinor Grimmark that came out of Sweden’s Labour Court in April cannot be appealed. The other midwife with the same story, Linda Steen, who also sued her county and was ruled against, appealed to the Labour Court, which declined to hear the case. So these cases are, in point of fact, concluded.

“However, the two midwives have sued Sweden before the European Court of Human Rights. This is not an appeal of the verdicts in their respective labour disputes, but a separate suit alleging human rights violations by the Swedish government.

“It should be noted that Sweden has a shortage of midwives. Due to this shortage, many counties offer nurses a salaried position while they go through a tax-funded training programme to become midwives, on the condition that they then work for that county for a certain time after qualifying.

“Grimmark took one of these positions in Jönköping county. She only alerted the county of her refusal to perform certain tasks within a midwife’s job description shortly before completing her training. The county did not sue her for breach of contract, but simply informed her that she was disqualified from employment as a midwife. Steen did the exact same thing, in Södermanland county.

“There are rumours that these two were specifically recruited to carry out this legal assault on Swedish women’s abortion rights, but these are unconfirmed. What is clear is that both these women entered into contracts to receive large sums of taxpayer money, then broke their contracts after receiving the money and launched frivolous lawsuits to further a religious agenda. When the verdicts came down and they were forced to pay the counties’ legal fees, these were covered by funds raised, in part, by the ADF [Alliance Defending Freedom, USA anti-abortion group].”

On 8 June, the ADF published a statement that Ellinor Grimmark’s case to the European Court is that she had to seek work in another country because she refused to participate in abortions. On 16 June, the so-called Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers reported: “On 14 June two Swedish midwives together with the Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers filed a complaint against Sweden to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for violations of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights.” The arguments they put forward are that the women were denied the right to work within their profession, and that most countries in the Council of Europe permit conscientious objection.

SOURCE: E-mail, 18 July 2017. The writer did not give permission to publish his name.

--------------------------------

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/sweden-the-case-of-the-anti-abortion-swedish-midwives-again/

Read more

Two Brave Women Are At The Centre Of The Fight For Abortion Rights In Northern Ireland, And They Need Your Help

0

Two Brave Women Are At The Centre Of The Fight For Abortion Rights In Northern Ireland, And They Need Your Help

July 24, 2017
Barbara Davidson Writer, campaigner, mother-of-two.

Northern Ireland women's rights have suddenly become a major political issue, after being ignored or misunderstood by many people in the rest of the UK for years. In light of the DUP-Conservative partnership, many people are waking up to the harsh realities of life for women in Northern Ireland, where having an abortion is a criminal offence in almost all circumstances.

Northern Ireland's abortion laws have recently been hotly debated everywhere from the House of Commons to news bulletins across the country. But behind the dramatic debates, two women from Northern Ireland are at the centre of the fight for reproductive rights in the region.

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/barbara-davidson/ireland-abortion-rights_b_17551822.html

Read more

Northern Irish duo press for abortion ruling despite parliament win

0

Northern Irish duo press for abortion ruling despite parliament win

The Brief team
Jul 03, 2017

Two women campaigning for NHS abortions in England to be available to residents of Northern Ireland are to press on with their claim at the European Court of Human Rights despite the British government climbing down over the issue last week.

Lawyers for the mother and daughter, who are known only as A and B, recently lost an appeal before the Supreme Court that would have forced ministers to allow women from the province to have abortions in England funded by the NHS. The ruling was a majority decision of three to two, with the justices expressing sympathy for the women’s claim.

Continued at source: The Times: https://www.thetimesbrief.co.uk/users/39175-the-brief-team/posts/18242-northern-irish-duo-press-for-abortion-ruling-despite-parliament-win

Read more