EXPERT VIEWS: How coronavirus is affecting abortion access
What experts from sexual health organisations and rights groups are saying about how COVID-19 is affecting sexual healthcare - and what should be done about it
by Sonia Elks | @SoniaElks | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Sunday, 5 April 2020
Women from Nepal to the United States are struggling to get abortions during the COVID-19 outbreak as lockdowns and medical shortages create barriers to care.
Sexual health organisations and women's rights groups have called on authorities to recognise access to abortion as a human right that must be protected during the pandemic.
Inside Italian public hospitals, I saw how a US-linked anti-abortion network is ‘humiliating’ women
An Italian federation of anti-abortion activists, linked to the US religious right, is “infiltrating” hospitals to stop abortions. I saw them in action. (In Italiano).
9 March 2020
At 8am on a winter Friday morning, the road to the San Pio hospital in Benevento, a small city in southern Italy, is covered by mist. The hospital’s corridors are quiet, except on the second floor, where abortion-related visits are scheduled to start.
More than forty years after abortions were legalised in Italy, they remain hard for women to access – especially in the south, where most doctors refuse to perform them. In 2017, the entire Benevento province was briefly left with no abortion provider after the only non-refuser at the San Pio hospital retired.
Win or Lose, Trump’s Policies on Women’s Health Inflict Damage
February 25, 2020
by Barbara Crossette
Whether or not Donald Trump will be re-elected president on Nov. 3, a tough debate is likely to begin soon in the United States Congress over the national budget for the unpredictable year ahead. Reproductive health issues rank high on the agenda for women’s rights advocates.
Trump’s proposed budget would continue to restrict funds for reproductive health sharply, including family planning, to suit the antichoice crowd that is apparently considered an important vote bank. These funds, moreover, would be limited to bilateral aid to allies and other supportive nations. These “friends of Trump” are expected to be active in the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women, beginning on March 9 at the United Nations in New York. They include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, some diplomats say.
U.S. President’s Global Gag Rule is Having Negative Impact on the Health of Malawians: Report
By Samira Sadeque
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 19 2020 (IPS) - A report released last week has detailed the complex ways in which President Donald Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’ (GGR), that blocks U.S. global health assistance to foreign non-governmental facilities providing abortion or abortion-related services, is affecting the population in Malawi, a country already hard hit with numerous climate change disasters.
The report, titled ‘A Powerful Force: U.S. Global Health Assistance and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Malawi’ was released on Feb. 10 by Washington, D.C.-based sexual and reproductive health rights organisation CHANGE, the Center for Health and Gender Equity.
European lawmakers demand action on anti-abortion misinformation
openDemocracy investigation sparks cross-party European legislators' call for action on “deliberate disinformation” of vulnerable pregnant women.
Peter Geoghegan and Francesca Visser
12 February 2020
A growing number of European lawmakers from across the political spectrum are calling for action against “deliberate disinformation” targeted at vulnerable women following an openDemocracy special investigation.
This week, openDemocracy revealed that some ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ around the world discourage women from using contraception and say, incorrectly, that abortions increase risks of getting cancer or becoming abusive towards children.
Exclusive: Trump-linked religious ‘extremists’ target women with disinformation worldwide
Lawmakers demand action as openDemocracy reveals global spread of false and “manipulative” activities, posing “grave risks” to women and democracy.
Claire Provost and Nandini Archer
10 February 2020
A global network of ‘crisis pregnancy centres’, backed by US anti-abortion groups linked to the Trump White House, has been condemned by lawmakers, doctors and rights advocates for targeting vulnerable women with “disinformation, emotional manipulation and outright deceit”.
There are thousands of such centres in the US. Many have been criticised for posing as neutral health facilities for women with crisis pregnancies while hiding their anti-abortion and religious agendas. But the global scale of these controversial activities has not been mapped until now.
FPA unveils book on sexual and reproductive health
Monday, 16 December 2019
The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPA Sri Lanka), the foremost Sri Lankan non-governmental organisation which deals with issues concerning family planning, sexual and reproductive health and welfare in the country, launched a book titled ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Research in Sri Lanka: Current Status, Challenges and Directions (2010-2019)’ on 13 December at the FPA Sri Lanka Auditorium.
This is a milestone publication for FPA Sri Lanka, a prominent member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in South Asia as it has been a long-term institutional objective. It includes selected landmark abstracts presented and published by FPA Sri Lanka in national and international journals and conferences for the period 2010-2019. In addition, it also compiles several review articles by proficient authors with competence and experience in multifarious subject areas such as sexual and reproductive health, demography and sociology. A focus on data and evidence is particularly useful as it helps fill a void besides giving a much-needed fillip to evidence-based programming and service delivery.
Slovakia - in sixth vote - backs abortion rights
December 5, 2019
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Slovakia narrowly defeated a bill on Thursday that would have forced women seeking an abortion to see images of their unborn child - and hear its heartbeat - in the country’s sixth vote on reproductive rights this year.
The legislation in overwhelmingly Catholic Slovakia would have been the first of its kind in the European Union, raising fears among human rights organizations of setting a precedent in nations pursuing a conservative social agen
Debate on legalising abortion stokes passions
By The Standard
14th Nov 2019
Pro-choice advocates want abortion legalised to reduce maternal mortality.
Several advocacy groups, among them International Campaign for Women Rights to Safe Abortion, argued that religious and cultural norms should not be a hindrance for countries to enact laws on safe abortion.
“If people want to be bound by religious norms it is okay. If you have a law on safe abortion, it does not mean every woman will be forced to do it,” said Dr Shilpa Shroff, the director of International Campaign for Women Rights to Safe Abortion.
Pregnant Women Overseas Lose Access to Pre-Natal Care Due to Trump's 'Global Gag Rule'
By Brian Padden
July 18, 2019
WASHINGTON - Medical providers say some pregnant women in developing countries have lost access to prenatal health care because of the Trump administration’s expanded “global gag rule” that cut aid to international organizations involved in abortion-related activities.
A recent study in the Lancet Global Health journal also reports that abortions actually increased in Africa when these aid restrictions were enacted in the past.