England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access
Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow
March 31, 2020
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division
The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – and governments across Europe – should swiftly follow suit.
The welcome decision follows outrage and confusion last week after the government announced the change only to reverse it hours later.
Colombia: Uphold Women’s Rights in Abortion Case
Human Rights Watch Submits Brief to Constitutional Court
Jan 31, 2020
(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s Constitutional Court should uphold women’s rights in deciding a case regarding access to abortion, Human Rights Watch today. Human Rights Watch submitted an amicus brief in the case to the court on January 30, 2020.
In 2006, the Constitutional Court issued a landmark ruling that decriminalized abortion when the life or health of the pregnant woman is at risk, when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, and when the fetus has a serious condition incompatible with life outside the womb. But today, access to legal abortion still faces many barriers. The case currently pending before the court seeks to prohibit abortion altogether.
Slovakia rejects bill requiring ultrasound before abortion
Lawmakers in Slovakia have rejected a proposed bill that would have made it obligatory for women seeking abortions to first have an ultrasound and obtain the consent of the father before having the procedure
By The Associated Press
5 December 2019
Lawmakers in Slovakia have rejected a proposed bill that would have made it obligatory for women seeking abortions to first have an ultrasound and obtain the consent of the father before having the procedure.
The bill was submitted by three members of the conservative Slovak National Party. In its initial draft, the bill made it mandatory for women to listen to the fetal heartbeat where possible. After being debated earlier this week, the bill was rejected on Thursday.
Last month, more than 30 organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, wrote to Slovak parliamentarians expressing their “deep concern” about the proposed law. They warned that if the legislation was adopted, Slovakia would be the only European Union country to impose such requirements on women in countries with legalized abortion.
Slovakia may force women to get pre-abortion ultrasound
By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer
Nov. 29, 2019
LONDON (AP) — Lawmakers in Slovakia are scheduled to debate a proposed law Friday that would compel women seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat of the embryo or fetus, a move many groups have decried as a backward step for women’s rights.
The bill was submitted by three members of the conservative Slovak National Party, who wrote that it is intended “to ensure that women are informed about the current stage of their pregnancy” before having an abortion.
Slovakia set to pass law forcing women to view images of embryo or foetus before abortion
The country's parliament will consider the law
Jon Stone, Europe Correspondent
Nov 28, 2019
Slovakian woman seeking an abortion would be forced to view pictures of their embryo or foetus under plans for a new law being considered by the country's parliament.
The draft law, to be voted on on Friday, would also require women to listen to the "foetal heartbeat" where technically possible before they could proceed with a termination.
SLOVAKIA – Punitive abortion regulations tabled in parliament
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 19, 2019
The Slovak Parliament has just tabled a bill whose intention is to complicate access to abortion, in the wake of a widely reported anti-abortion march in the country in late September 2019, which attracted 50,000 marchers. Amnesty International reports: “Women and girls who need an abortion will now be forced to have an ultrasound scan, see images of the embryo or fetus from the scan, and listen to the heartbeat of the fetus. If passed, this bill risks exposing women and girls to degrading treatment and will make it more difficult for them to obtain legal services.” The bill would also prohibit “advertising” on abortion and impose a fine as high as € 66,400 on those who do so. These are punitive and coercive measures, imitating anti-abortion laws exported to Slovakia from several states in the USA.
Moroccan Journalist Jailed For Abortion Freed After Royal Pardon
By Sophie Pons
Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni who was sentenced to one year in jail for an "illegal abortion" and sexual relations outside marriage walked free on Wednesday, shortly after being granted a royal pardon.
In a case that had provoked a storm of protests from rights groups, the justice ministry said the 28-year-old woman was released on a pardon issued by King Mohammed VI.
Teen Girls Need Access to Safe and Legal Abortion
On International Day of the Girl, Imagine Life with Reproductive Rights Guaranteed
Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher, Children's Rights Division MargaretWurth
October 11, 2019
Today, on International Day of the Girl, we have an opportunity to reflect on what life could be like if girls around the world had access to safe and legal abortion. I’ve done research in countries with some of the world’s harshest abortion laws. I’ve met girls and young women whose lives were derailed by an unplanned pregnancy during adolescence.
“Lucely,” from the Dominican Republic, became pregnant at age 16. “Everything ended right there,” she said. Abortion is banned in all circumstances in the country, so she couldn’t get a safe and legal abortion. She tried using a home remedy to end the pregnancy, but it didn’t work. She gave birth, and without a support network to help her, she dropped out of school.
Moroccan Journalist Jailed for an Abortion She Says She Never Had
By Amanda Arnold
Oct. 1, 2019
On Monday, a 28-year-old Moroccan journalist was sentenced to a year in prison for an abortion that she denies ever getting, in a case that critics have condemned as part of a concerted effort to suppress journalists’ critical coverage of the government, the Guardian reports.
Over the past month, the prosecution of Hajar Raissouni — as well as of her fiancé, Rifaat al-Amin — has sparked nationwide outrage. On August 31, Raissouni and al-Amin were arrested after leaving a gynecologist’s office in the capital of Morocco, where abortion is illegal in nearly all cases. Raissouni claims she wasn’t there to terminate a pregnancy; instead, she says she was visiting the doctor to get a blood clot removed. During the trial, a lawyer for her doctor provided medical evidence regarding Raissouni’s hormone levels that further demonstrated she had not undergone an abortion.
Moroccan Journalist Sentenced to Prison for Abortion and Premarital Sex
By Aida Alami
Sept. 30, 2019
RABAT, Morocco — A Moroccan judge on Monday found a journalist and her fiancé guilty of having premarital sex and obtaining an abortion, and imposed prison sentences on them and a doctor convicted of performing the abortion, in a case that critics have denounced as a thinly veiled bid to suppress critical coverage of the government.
The journalist, Hajar Raissouni, 28, who works for the independent daily newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum, and her fiancé, Rifaat al-Amin, were arrested on Aug. 31 as they were leaving a gynecologist’s office in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.