Secret abortions spike in Nigeria with Boko Haram chaos
October 14, 2019
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kellu became pregnant after a Nigerian soldier offered her food and shelter in exchange for sex. But the destitute teenager - who lost her family when Boko Haram militants attacked her village two years earlier - did not want to have the baby.
After moving to a camp for displaced people in northeastern Borno state, where she relied on neighbours for food, 18-year-old Kellu wanted an abortion but did not know where to go - like a growing number of women since the Islamist insurgency began.
UK announce £600m aid for family planning as US ramps up anti-abortion stance
Sarah Newey, Global Health Security Correspondent
23 September 2019
Britain announced a £600 million aid package for women's sexual and reproductive health and rights at the United Nations on Monday in the face of opposition from the United States.
Alok Sharma, the UK’s International Development Secretary, told delegates the UK would promote and defend “women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights” – despite the Trump administration circulating a letter calling for the phrase to be dropped on the grounds that it was being interpreted as a new international right to abortion.
How US government restrictions on foreign aid for abortion services backfired
Sep 2019, Policy Brief
By Grant Miller, Eran Bendavid, and Nina Brooks
Abortion is an issue that stirs up deeply felt passions and seems to offer little basis for compromise. But there is one thing that both sides of the debate agree on — fewer abortions are better. The pro-life side opposes abortion in principle, while pro-choice advocates generally hold that preventing unwanted pregnancies is preferable to terminating them.
That shared outlook could provide common ground on one of the most important federal initiatives concerning abortion — the Mexico City Policy. This executive order, announced in 1984 by the Reagan administration at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, requires all foreign nongovernmental organizations that get U.S. family planning assistance to certify they will not perform abortions or provide counseling about the procedure.
How billionaire philanthropy provides reproductive health care when politicians won’t
How philanthropists brought us modern contraception — and where we’d be without them.
By Kelsey Piper
Sep 17, 2019
There’s a new backlash against billionaire philanthropy. Some of its leading voices have argued that “every billionaire is a policy failure” and that it’d be better if billionaires didn’t exist at all — even if that meant the disappearance of philanthropy by billionaires.
The conversation has done a lot of valuable work, encouraging more scrutiny of charitable activity, pointing out where philanthropy is a fig leaf for misconduct, and forcing institutions to grapple with when it’s wrong to accept money that was unethically acquired.
The Democratic debate ignored abortion. That’s a loss for voters.
Reproductive rights are key for a lot of Democratic voters. They didn’t get a mention Thursday night.
By Anna North
Sep 13, 2019
Abortion rights are shaping up to be a key issue for Democratic voters going into 2020.
But you wouldn’t know it from the third Democratic debate on Thursday night.
The moderators didn’t ask a single question about abortion or reproductive health more generally, and candidates didn’t bring it up. At least one candidate complained about the absence: Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted Thursday night that the debate “was three hours long and not one question about abortion or reproductive rights.”
Why the domestic gag rule is bad news
By Meredeth Turshen and Yana van der Meulen Rodgers
On July 15, the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the Title X family planning program went into effect – and one month later, Planned Parenthood clinics, which together serve about 40 percent of all Title X patients, withdrew from the program en masse. The new rules prohibit providers and staff in Title X-funded clinics like Planned Parenthood from performing some of their core functions: referring patients for abortion, and receiving funds to provide services like cancer and STI screenings while using non-federal funds to finance abortion. Instead, the rule mandates referral for prenatal care and social services like infant or foster care or adoption – effectively denying patients comprehensive counseling about pregnancy options.
The impact of U.S.’s abortion policies on international diplomacy
On August 29, 2019
WIIS Blog, Women Peace & Security
By Hannah Proctor, Research Fellow, WIIS Global
Throughout 2019, conservative states in the U.S. have been adopting increasingly restrictive abortion laws in an effort to undermine, and eventually abolish, the Roe v. Wade decision, which guaranteed the right to abortion based on the right to privacy. These laws and the mindsets that accompany them have far-reaching consequences that go beyond U.S. borders.
Historically, conservative U.S. administrations have relied on two main pieces of legislation to enforce their anti-abortion positions globally:
Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding
Reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates say the Helms Amendment's ban on using foreign assistance funds for abortion deserves more attention.
Aug 23, 2019
Abortion rights are a high-profile issue for Democrats on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. Candidates have stated their opposition to abortion funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment and the Trump administration’s expanded global “gag rule.” But little attention has been paid in the race or the media to the Helms Amendment, a ban on foreign assistance funding for abortion.
Rewire.News asked the 2020 candidates about their stance on the anti-choice policy; ten thus far say they oppose it. The Helms Amendment—named for its sponsor, the late-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)—states, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” The abortion funding ban was passed as part of the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in the United States.
Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central
August 22, 2019
By Melvine P. Ouyo
In 2013, Kenya’s Ministry of Health made the devastating decision to withdraw the Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion. This caused a huge influx in untrained back street abortions, immense suffering, and the loss of countless lives. After six years of irreversible damage from this decision, Kenya’s High Court issued a clear ruling this summer: the government had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by withdrawing the Standards and Guidelines. It was a revolutionary moment for Kenyan communities.
The worldwide movement to give women freedom to choices first culminated at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. The conference brought diverse views of human rights, population, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development. It marked a global consensus that placed human dignity and human rights—including the right to plan a family—at the heart of development.
How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia
August 21, 2019
As the abortion decriminalisation bill gradually makes its way through the NSW parliament, opponents have been increasingly drawing on their long relationship with the right-to-life movement in the United States to lobby against the measure and try to push for more restrictive amendments.
This has been a trend in the anti-abortion movement in Australia for a while now. Activists have adopted some of the most successful elements of the US movement’s rhetoric and tactics in recent years in an effort to influence the debate in Australia.