GABON – Therapeutic abortion legalised in Gabon, especially for girls, but criminal sanctions retained

GABON – Therapeutic abortion legalised in Gabon, especially for girls, but criminal sanctions retained

International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 12, 2019

This is a summary of a report, in French, by Gabon Media Time. As part of reforms in the Penal Code, Law No. 042/2018 of 5 July 2019 in the Penal Code says that voluntary interruption of pregnancy is authorised in Gabon on the following grounds: “when it has been proved that the fetus will be born with serious or incurable physical malformations, when the pregnancy seriously compromises the mother’s life, or when the conception has taken place as a result rape or incest, or where a minor is in a state of serious distress”. The state of serious distress can be likened here to the incapacity or the impossibility for the minor to take care of her pregnancy and the child.

The legislation insists on the therapeutic character of the abortion, as provided by Article 378, and must be done “within a period of ten weeks, by a doctor and in a hospital”.

Illegal abortion “is punishable by imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of 1,000,000 plus, or both, and if the woman has obtained an abortion for herself or has attempted to obtain it or has consented to the use of any means provided or administered for this purpose”.

The article concludes: “While welcoming the will of the Parliament to legalise abortion under certain conditions, the fact remains that the provisions of the third paragraph of Article 377, paragraph 2, create a breach of equality between minors and adult women. It grants the right to abortion to girls who are in a “state of serious distress” but not to women.

SOURCE: Gabon Media Time, by Pharel Boukika, 5 November 2019 (en français) ; PHOTO: UNFPA, 2 July 2018


USA – The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate

The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate
Why we need to face the best arguments from the other side

Story by Caitlin Flanagan
December 2019 Issue
(Posted Nov 11, 2019)

In 1956, two American physicians, J. A. Presley and W. E. Brown, colleagues at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, decided that four recent admissions to their hospital were significant enough to warrant a published report. “Lysol-Induced Criminal Abortion” appeared in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. It describes four women who were admitted to the hospital in extreme distress, all of them having had “criminal abortions” with what the doctors believed to be an unusual agent: Lysol. The powerful cleaner had been pumped into their wombs. Three of them survived, and one of them died.


Morocco – New Evidence Emerges in Journalist Hajar Raissouni’s Abortion Case

New Evidence Emerges in Journalist Hajar Raissouni’s Abortion Case
Hajar Raissouni was arrested for allegedly undergoing an illegal abortion procedure.

By Yahia Hatim
Sep 5, 2019

Rabat – Five days after Hajar Raissouni’s arrest, on August 31, new evidence has emerged causing more controversy around the case. A medical report, signed by Dr. Samir Bargach from Rabat’s Ibn-Sina Hospital, confirms that Raissouni underwent an abortion.

Additionally, the medical report claims that this pregnancy and abortion was not Raissouni’s first. According to the report she had undergone a previous abortion six months prior to the alleged procedure that prompted her arrest.


Madagascar’s ‘angel makers’ flourish in ban on abortion

Madagascar's 'angel makers' flourish in ban on abortion

01 Sep 2019

ANTANANARIVO: Volatiana keeps her secret behind a flimsy wooden gate, tucked along a red brick wall at the back of her vegetable garden in Madagascar's Antananarivo.

"There are around eight foetuses buried here," said the Malagasy mother of six, standing on a narrow patch of land hidden behind a corrugated metal sheet.


Canada – Death and the abortion doctor: The story of Dr. W.H. Dudley

Death and the abortion doctor: The story of Dr. W.H. Dudley
This edition of Remember This is the first of three stories recounting the status of abortion in the 1920, and the downfall of a prominent local doctor

Aug 25, 2019

From the archives of the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library:

In 1928, doctors were called to a local hotel to find a woman – the wife of the owner – dead. And with that was launched an inquest into the nature of her death, and the activities of Doctor William Howard Dudley, who had been treating her prior to her death.

The woman’s autopsy revealed a perforated uterus and indicated that she had died of peritonitis, an infection of the abdomen’s inner wall. As a result of these findings and witness testimony, Doctor William Howard Dudley was arrested. His bail was set at $10,000 – over $145,000 by today’s standards – and he was charged with manslaughter in the woman’s death.


USA – Not Your Grandmother’s Illegal Abortion

Not Your Grandmother’s Illegal Abortion

By Jennifer Block
Book excerpt
July 1, 2019

The sola variety of papaya resembles a pregnant uterus, so much so that around the world, humans use the fruit to learn one method of modern reproductive health care: manual vacuum aspiration, or MVA, a low-risk, low-tech method of first-trimester abortion that requires little or no anesthesia. As one doctor remarked at a conference in 1973, where the technology was introduced to physicians from around the world, “it’s something we will be able to bring practically into the rice paddy.”

This, too, is the fruit I have been given to practice on. I’ve placed it on a table across from me, and I’m focused on the neck, where its stem grew, which evokes the cervical os. The tool I’m using is a large plastic syringe with a bendable plastic strawlike thing, called a cannula, where the needle would be. At the top of the syringe is a bivalve to create one-way suction.


USA – How did women get abortions when they were illegal? A 1966 Post series reveals the answer

How did women get abortions when they were illegal? A 1966 Post series reveals the answer
Before Roe v. Wade, women died trying to end their pregnancies

The Lily News
June 13, 2019

Original story by Elisabeth Stevens for The Washington Post.

As new abortion restrictions are being imposed in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Utah and other states, nearly a half-century after Roe v. Wade, The Washington Post is looking back at a four-part series that ran in January 1966 on how women in the Washington area obtained abortions. At the time, abortion was illegal with few exceptions in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Below is an abridged version of The Post’s four-part series, edited to highlight personal experiences. The original headlines of the series are now subheads for each section.


Honduras abortion misery a ‘frightening preview’ of America’s future – study

Honduras abortion misery a 'frightening preview' of America's future – study
Reproductive rights pushback could leave American women facing same life-or-death choices as Hondurans, say researchers

Karen McVeigh
Fri 7 Jun 2019

One woman handcuffed by police after suffering a miscarriage, another forced to bear her rapist’s child. A doctor who risks imprisonment to end pregnancies that threaten the lives of patients. The reality of healthcare in Honduras provides a “frightening preview” of what could happen in America if the pushback on reproductive rights continues, Human Rights Watch has warned.

Researchers from the organisation spoke of the “enormous suffering” of women and girls in Honduras, where there is a total ban on abortion in all circumstances.


Honduras: Abortion Ban’s Dire Consequences

Honduras: Abortion Ban’s Dire Consequences
Arrests, Criminal Charges, Health Issues, Bearing Rapist’s Child

June 6, 2019

(New York) – Honduras’ total ban on abortion in all circumstances puts women and girls in danger and violates their rights, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a web feature on the topic. Abortion in Honduras is illegal in all circumstances, including rape and incest, when a woman’s life is in danger, and when the fetus will not survive outside the womb.

The web feature, “Life or Death Choices for Women Living Under Honduras’ Abortion Ban,” shares stories of Honduran women confronting the cruel effects of the abortion law. They include a woman forced to bear her rapist’s child; a woman facing jail after having a miscarriage; women who experienced complications from clandestine abortions; a pro-choice pastor who has faced death threats for her activism; a doctor who cannot always act in her patients’ best interests; and women who share information about safe abortion in secret through an anonymous phone line.


Ghana – Illegal Abortion Death High Among Teenagers In Doryumu

Illegal Abortion Death High Among Teenagers In Doryumu

Staff Writer
MAY 15, 2019

The high rate of unsafe abortion at Doryumu, a deprived community in the Shai-Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, is purportedly killing teenagers who resort to unorthodox means to get unwanted pregnancies terminated.

The rate at which the community has been invaded by foreigners from neighbouring countries such as Benin, Mali and Niger with unlicensed Chinese medicines and concoctions for terminating pregnancy is alarming.