Indian Women Are Fighting Stigma by Sharing Their Personal Abortion Stories

Indian Women Are Fighting Stigma by Sharing Their Personal Abortion Stories
The My Body My Choice campaign is creating a safe space through which abortion can be discussed and understood openly by women in India.

by Meera Navlakha
20 November 2019

“I had just turned 26, my partner was without a job [and] I was struggling to figure out life,” said one anonymous woman in a post released on Instagram by the My Body My Choice campaign. She explains how she found out she was pregnant, after days of feeling dizzy. “What began after that was an excruciating process of figuring out how, when and where to seek an abortion.”

“My stomach would cramp all of a sudden and I’d feel the deepest sense of loss,” said another woman, describing her abortion story.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/vb5aaj/indian-women-are-fighting-stigma-by-sharing-their-personal-abortion-stories


Kenya – ‘Dumped babies are just the tip of the iceberg’: The deadly consequences of curbing reproductive rights

‘Dumped babies are just the tip of the iceberg’: The deadly consequences of curbing reproductive rights

Louise Donovan and Nasibo Kabale, in Nairobi
13 November 2019

It’s a hot mid-August morning, and Lydia Wambui’s bright green overalls are soaked. She’s standing knee-deep in Nairobi River, using a metal rod to catch rubbish lazily flowing down its murky waters.

“Sewage, bottle-tops, needles – people chuck everything in here,” she says, wiping sweat off her forehead before adding: “We also keep finding babies.”

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/women-and-girls/dumped-babies-just-tip-iceberg-deadly-consequences-curbing-reproductive/


USA – Abortion After the Clinic

Abortion After the Clinic
As Republican lawmakers try to legislate it out of existence, the future of reproductive healthcare may be at home.

By Irin Carmon
Nov 11, 2019

When Leana Wen introduced herself to America as the new president of Planned Parenthood last fall, she had a story she liked to tell — one that showed exactly why abortion access mattered. It was a sad tale of “a young woman lying on a stretcher, pulseless and unresponsive, because of a home abortion.” Wen, an emergency physician who had been plucked from Baltimore’s Health Department to take over the century-old institution, said the young woman had arrived at her ER in “a pool of blood” because “she didn’t have access to health care, so she had her cousin attempt an abortion on her at home. We did everything we could to resuscitate her, but she died.”

Wen was talking about a time when abortion was technically legal, yet the story rhymed with the pre-Roe era, when doctors and lawyers spoke of being radicalized by women filling their wards with blood and desperation, the same nightmare the familiar pro-choice rhetoric warns will soon be upon us. Behind the scenes, however, a vanguard of the abortion-rights movement implored Wen, directly and through intermediaries, to stop talking about “home abortion” in such dire terms.

Continued: https://www.thecut.com/2019/11/future-abortion-access-america.html


USA – Self-Managed Abortion May Be On The Rise, But Probably Not A Significant Driver Of The Overall Decline In Abortion

Self-Managed Abortion May Be On The Rise, But Probably Not A Significant Driver Of The Overall Decline In Abortion

Rachel K. Jones,Guttmacher Institute
Megan K. Donovan,Guttmacher Institute

First published on Health Affairs Blog: November 7, 2019

The U.S. abortion landscape is changing rapidly. Large swaths of the country are enacting ever more extreme abortion restrictions, while a number of states are racing to protect or even expand access. In 2020, the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court will consider its first major abortion rights case since Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed, and additional cases are at the Court’s doorstep. And all the while, the U.S. abortion rate continues to decline: According to a September report from the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate has reached a record low, with concurrent declines in birthrates suggesting that fewer people are becoming pregnant in the first place.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2019/11/self-managed-abortion-may-be-rise-probably-not-significant-driver-overall-decline


Tanzania – Maternal health: Life of a mother matters

Maternal health: Life of a mother matters

By Elizabeth Tungaraza
Friday November 1 2019

Debates and discussions by health stakeholders on how to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in Tanzania have been continuing, reflecting at the toll of unsafe abortion and related maternal mortality.

Despite some promising progress recorded so far, reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity in Tanzania is still a challenge. Key findings of the 2015-16 Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey (TDHS-MIS) shows that the estimated mortality and morbidity rate (MMR) of 556 deaths is “lower” than that recorded in the 2004-05 TDHS (578), but is higher than the ratios reported in the 2010 TDHS (454) and in the 2012 Population and Housing Census (432).

Continued: https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/magazine/Maternal-health--Life-of-a-mother-matters/1840564-5333370-b7fkdn/index.html


The war on African women is supported by foreign activists, with no regard for our lives

The war on African women is supported by foreign activists, with no regard for our lives
I know what life is like when access to sexual and reproductive services is limited. In Nigeria and across the continent, this must end now.

Olutimehin Adegbeye
1 November 2019

In May, police officers raided a Marie Stopes clinic in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital. Witnesses said the officers harassed patients and accused them of illegally accessing confidential documents. It was the latest in a string of attacks against groups that support women’s reproductive rights. Nigerian feminists, women’s rights campaigners and LGBTIQ+ activists came together on social media to ask, “what is going on?”. A consensus was reached: there is a strategic effort to undermine our sexual and reproductive health and rights, with women’s bodies a key battleground.

Nigeria’s patriarchal conservatism is hardly news; women, girls and queer folks in this country are regularly and legally denied autonomy, the rate of sexual violence is high, while sexual and reproductive healthcare is extremely limited. Nigeria accounts for more than 10% of global maternal deaths, despite representing only 2.5% of the global population, and a 2013 study showed that only 16% of Nigerian women of reproductive age (15-49) have access to, and use, contraception.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/war-african-women-supported-foreign-activists-no-regard-our-lives/


USA – Sex-selective abortions: Reproductive rights are being pitted against gender equality

Sex-selective abortions: Reproductive rights are being pitted against gender equality
Critics say the bans are "anti-abortion ruses" rooted in an effort to racially profile Asian American and Pacific Islander women.

Oct. 27, 2019
By Safia Samee Ali

When Dr. Colleen McNicholas treats a woman seeking an abortion in Missouri, she must, under penalty of law, ask a series of uncomfortable questions probing why the woman wants the procedure, including if it’s because of the fetus's gender.

That question, which she said patients find “absurd” and “completely inappropriate,” is a requirement that was left intact by a Missouri federal judge who halted several other restrictive measures, such as a ban on abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, in May in an effort to block abortion access.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sex-selective-abortions-reproductive-rights-are-being-pitted-against-gender-n1067886


USA – The Abortion Rate Is the Lowest It’s Ever Been—Here’s Why

The Abortion Rate Is the Lowest It’s Ever Been—Here’s Why

October 23, 2019
By Anna Borges

Staying on top of what’s going on with abortion in the United States can feel like being on a freaking roller coaster. Every new headline broadcasting an attack on abortion access leaves us scrambling to understand what it really means for people who might need abortions. Witnessing all these debates about whether or not we should have autonomy over our own bodies is also exhausting. Despite the ever-changing abortion landscape, one thing has remained constant: the steady decline of the abortion rate over the years.

Last month the Guttmacher Institute released a study showing that in 2017 there were 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. This marked an 8% decline since 2014 and a 54% decline since 1980, when the U.S. abortion rate peaked at 29.3 procedures per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. It’s the lowest abortion rate recorded since the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide.

Continued: https://www.self.com/story/low-abortion-rate


New Illinois Abortion Clinic Anticipates Post-Roe World

New Illinois Abortion Clinic Anticipates Post-Roe World
A regional clinic across the river from Missouri reflects how both sides of the abortion divide are looking toward a landscape in which some states might ban abortions outright.

by Sabrina Tavernise
Oct. 22, 2019

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — When it opens just across the river from St. Louis this week, the new Planned Parenthood clinic in Illinois will be one of the largest abortion clinics in the Midwest, set up to serve around 11,000 women a year with various health services, double the capacity of the clinic it is replacing.

Its size says as much about the future as the present: With the Supreme Court’s shift to the right, activists on both sides of the abortion divide are adjusting their strategy, anticipating that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that extended federal protections to abortion, might eventually be overturned and that some states would jump at the chance to ban abortions.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/us/missouri-illinois-planned-parenthood.html


USA – The states with the most online requests for abortion medications

The states with the most online requests for abortion medications

By Jen Christensen, CNN
Thu October 17, 2019

(CNN) Women who live in states with strict and punitive abortion laws account for the majority of requests made to a website that supplies abortion medications, a new study has found.

The website, Women on Web (WoW), has been run by an international non-profit since 2006 and provides abortion medications -- under doctor supervision -- to women who have submitted medical paperwork prior to 10 weeks of gestation.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/17/health/abortion-medication-requests-study/index.html