(Podcast, 13 minutes) How The US Went From Advocate to Obstructionist
March 6, 2020
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in one of the most consequential abortion cases in decades. Meanwhile, next week brings world leaders to the United Nations — if coronavirus doesn’t intervene — to mark 25 years since reproductive rights were enshrined in international law. It happened in 1995 at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Since then, the US has exchanged its role as a prominent advocate for women’s rights for one that aims to obstruct international agreements that uphold them. Jessica Glenza, who covers health for The Guardian, has the story of how the Trump administration is seeking to re-write international norms about “women’s health,” “women’s rights,” and “gender equality” by seeking to erase those very words. She speaks with Françoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Sigrid Kaag, minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Netherlands, about what the changes mean for human rights and health outcomes around the world.
Trump's 'global gag rule' killing women by depriving them of crucial abortion advice, report finds
'Global gag rule reduces access to contraceptives and abortion care, leading to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and preventable deaths,' says campaigner
Jun 6, 2019
The Trump administration’s global gag rule is depriving women of vital information about healthcare, medical treatment and effectively killing them, a damning new report has found.
Donald Trump reinstated a policy known as the Mexico City Policy – also known as the global gag rule – on his fourth day in office which dates back to the Reagan administration. It requires foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that receive US family planning funds to certify they do not provide abortions or give abortion advice.
New report details the devastating impact of President Trump’s Global Gag Rule
Wednesday, 5 June 2019
Experts at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference discuss the impact of US funding restrictions and the need for data-driven programs and policies to increase access to safe abortion
(Vancouver, Canada) – A new report released today at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference reveals that the Global Gag Rule is reducing the quality and availability of care, particularly for marginalized communities, in four countries studied. Advocates, researchers and implementing partners discussed the findings from the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) detailing the effects of the expanded US Global Gag Rule, as well as a new evidence-gathering initiative by several partner organizations designed to increase access to safe abortion.
US global gag rule abortion policy 'killing women': IWHC
5 Jun 2019
Report highlights 'devastating impact' of Trump's reinstatement of ban on foreign aid to groups that discuss abortion.
The Trump administration's reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule has "deprived women of essential healthcare" and is "ultimately killing" women worldwide, the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) said in a report released on Wednesday.
"This deadly policy violates the rights of patients and ties the hands of providers," IWHC President Francoise Girard said in a statement. "After two years of implementation, the impact is clear: The Global Gag Rule reduces access to contraceptives and abortion care, leading to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and preventable deaths."
U.S. investigates spam barrage on UN diplomat at women's rights conference
Vice-chair of UN conference inundated with 3,000 anti-abortion text messages in 12 languages, disrupting event
Melissa Kent · CBC News
Posted: May 05, 2019
U.S. officials have opened an investigation after a female diplomat faced a barrage of anti-abortion text messages from an advocacy group, disrupting a major UN summit on women's rights.
Koki Muli Grignon, Kenya's deputy ambassador to the UN, received about 3,000 anti-abortion text messages in 12 languages during meetings at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March.
Abortion Pills Are No Post-Roe Panacea
Yes, they are revolutionary. But price and legal barriers to access mean that coat hangers aren’t safely back in the closet for good just yet.
By Françoise Girard
Nov. 25, 2018
As abortion rights have come under increasing attack in the United States, commentators have held up self-administered abortion pills as a backup plan for a post-Roe world. They point to the millions of pregnant women worldwide who are using pills to self-manage abortion, citing them as an example of what reproductive health care might look like should in-clinic abortions be made illegal.
There’s no question that abortion pills are revolutionary. In the hands of women, the pills have transformed self-induced abortion from a once-dangerous endeavor into a safe procedure. Abortion help lines have walked women through the process of self-management, sometimes remotely or even over the internet. Where abortion is illegal, black market access to the drugs has resulted in significant decreases in complications and deaths.
(Podcast: 23:39 minutes)
Oct 9, 2018
Abortion is a polarizing issue, but it's also a fact of life in all countries and among all socioeconomic groups. The sooner the world normalizes the practice, says Françoise Girard of the International Women’s Health Coalition, the better off every woman will be.
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Sep 25, 2018
On September 28, activists around the world will mark International Safe Abortion Day, a global campaign to repeal laws that deny women the right to reproductive health care. The message is simple: no woman anywhere should have to tolerate restrictions that too often lead to injury or death.
NEW YORK – Last month in Buenos Aires, Elizabeth, a 34-year-old mother of two, died after inserting parsley into her cervix in a desperate attempt to induce an abortion. Days earlier, Argentina’s Senate had narrowly defeated legislation that would have legalized abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. If that bill had passed, Elizabeth might be alive today. Instead, she is a grim statistic: one of more than 40 Argentinian women who will die this year from botched abortions.
Ipas’s Bia Galli attended Brazil’s historic Supreme Court hearing on abortion
In this Q&A, she shares why it was so important and what comes next
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
In an historic two-day hearing before Brazil’s Supreme Court last week, experts presented arguments and evidence regarding the question of whether abortion should be made legal up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Currently abortion is a crime in Brazil—except after rape, if a woman’s life is in danger, or if the fetus has a fatal brain condition called anencephaly. As a result, thousands of women and girls each year resort to clandestine, often unsafe abortions that risk their health and lives.
Bia Galli, Ipas’s senior policy and advocacy consultant based in Brazil, attended the two-day hearing. Here she talks about its historic significance, the rise of the conservative opposition movement in Brazil, and what’s next for abortion rights advocates.
They Lost Argentina’s Abortion Vote, but Advocates Started a Movement
By Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño
Aug. 9, 2018
BUENOS AIRES — They narrowly lost the vote. But as supporters of a bill to legalize abortion in Argentina began to shake off a stinging defeat in the Senate on Thursday, they took consolation in having galvanized a reproductive-rights movement across Latin America and began to consider how to redirect their activism.
A coalition of young female lawmakers who stunned the political establishment by putting abortion rights at the top of the legislative agenda this year seemed to be on the verge of a historic victory with the bill. But intense lobbying by Catholic Church leaders and staunch opposition in conservative northern provinces persuaded enough senators to vote against it.