India – Safe And Legal Abortion: Conceive Choice, Terminate Myths

Safe And Legal Abortion: Conceive Choice, Terminate Myths
The YP Foundation in Health and Life, Sexual Health, Staff Picks

Sept 10, 2019
By Souvik Pyne

Abortion is a word that holds the massive weight of social pressure. Many people also believe that abortion in India is illegal. However, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP), abortion services can be availed. But despite their being a law in place, it hasn’t been easy for abortion-seekers to access safe and legal abortion services due to the taboo around it.

Safe abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is an important reproductive health need for individuals seeking it of all ages, educational levels, racial and ethnic groups, social and economic classes and religions. The need to make safe abortion services available has also been upheld in many international platforms and intergovernmental agreements on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).


ANDORRA – Member of Parliament calls on France to pressure Andorra re abortion

ANDORRA – Member of Parliament calls on France to pressure Andorra re abortion

Andorra is one of the last States in Europe, with Malta, San Marino and the Vatican, to prohibit abortion, including in cases of rape, incest, fetal anomaly and risk to the life of the woman. Women from Andorra access abortion either in Spain or France, or by unsafe or clandestine methods.

Laurence Gayte is a Deputy in France for Pyrénées-Orientales, which borders with Andorra, a member of President Macron’s party En Marche, and a member of the delegation on the rights of women in the National Assembly. She asked the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to clarify the government’s position on the criminalisation of abortion in Andorra. President Macron is a co-prince of the principality. Even giving patients information or the address of a clinic abroad is against the law, Dr Eric Sylvestre Dolsa told Agence France Presse, one of a few Andorran doctors openly backing legalisation, “no matter the reason” for ending the pregnancy.

For 28 September 2018, International Safe Abortion Day, women in Andorra “marched through the streets to demand the decriminalisation of abortion in their country and would like to know the position of France on this question”. The Spanish Bishop of Andorra, Urgell Mgr Joan-Enric Vives, is staunchly opposed to abortion and has threatened to abdicate if abortion is legalised, reported Elisa Muxella, head of Andorra’s Human Rights Institute. “The government is hiding behind this excuse, saying it would put our institutions in peril.”

The Vatican is also putting pressure on Andorra to stop abortion from being legalised. According to the Andorran press, Pope Francis phoned the head of government, Antoni Martí, to deliver a clear message – threatening to demand the abdication of the co-prince.

SOURCES: FranceBleu, 31 October 2018 ; FranceBleu, 8 November 2018

SEE ALSO: France24, 28 September 2018 ; Le Figaro, by AFP, 31 October 2018


MADAGASCAR: We can prevent women dying

MADAGASCAR: 28 SEPTEMBER REPORT – Nous pouvons éviter que des femmes meurent (We can prevent women dying)

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 30, 2018

by Lovatiana Andriamboavonjy, Nifin’akanga, Madagascar

In Madagascar, the Minister of Public Health announced that an estimated 75,000 abortions take place per year in the country, that there is one abortion per ten live births and based on data from East Africa, there are about 575 deaths from complications of unsafe abortion on the Madagascar mainland per year. Complications of unsafe abortion are the second highest cause of maternal deaths registered in the health system, after antenatal and post-partum haemorrhage. In a study at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Gynécologie-Obstétrique Befelatanana in 2012-13, there were 360 cases of complications of unsafe abortion, with a fatality rate of 4.16%. According to another study in this same hospital in 2011-12, the majority of those treated for complications were aged 15-24 years, with the age range being 15-43 years of age. 70% of cases were due to haemorrhage, and 30% due to sepsis. But these data do not reflect the reality outside of hospital clinics, where many women never seek treatment and die of post-abortion complications. These problems are all due to abortions being prohibited in the law, and take place clandestinely, using unsafe, often traditional methods.


Mexico – Bill presented to legalize abortion via constitutional amendment

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 30, 2018

A few days after thousands of women took to the streets of Mexico City to demand the decriminalisation of abortion on International Safe Abortion Day, the party PRD put the issue on the table of the Mexica Congress. Senator Leonor Noyola, with support from her caucus, presented a bill that seeks to add three new paragraphs to Article 1 of the Mexican Constitution. Article 1 currently recognises the human rights of all Mexicans and the obligation of the State to protect them. These new rights would be:

- The right to self-determination and the free development of personality, so that all people can freely exercise their abilities to live in a dignified manner.
- The right to a free and dignified death, as well as the obligation of the institutions involved to guarantee the exercise of this right.
- Free access to the termination of pregnancy before 12 weeks of gestation, and the obligation of health institutions to ensure the care and protection of women who want to exercise it.


Supreme Court of Brazil: Public Hearing on the Decriminalization of Abortion, August 3rd & 6th 2018– Antecedents, Content, Meanings

Supreme Court of Brazil: Public Hearing on the Decriminalization of Abortion, August 3rd & 6th 2018– Antecedents, Content, Meanings

9 October 2018
by Sonia Corrêa, Sexuality Policy Watch

On August 3rd and 6th 2018, the Supreme Court of Brazil held a Public Hearing on ADPF 442/2017[1], a juridical instrument that challenges the constitutionality of the articles in the 1940 Penal Code that criminalize abortion. This challenge was presented to the Supreme Court in March 2017. In her opening remarks, the then Chief Justice Carmen Lucia defined the hearing as a space opened by the Court for society to manifest its views on the matter and raise arguments that could contribute to a more just judgment.


South Africa – #MyBodyMyChoice: The Right To Safe Abortion Is Protected By Law

#MyBodyMyChoice: The Right To Safe Abortion Is Protected By Law

Shaazia Ebrahim
On Oct 1, 2018

Cries of “my body, my choice”, “my vagina my choice” and “phansi unsafe abortions” rang in the air in the name of the campaign #MyBodyMyChoice. A group of people marched from Theatre Park in Braamfontein to Newtown Park in the name of access to quality reproductive healthcare services on Friday. There, an event featuring speeches from experts in the field, panel discussions, personal stories of women, and a musical performance was staged. Friday September 28 also marked International Safe Abortion Day.

The aim of the digital campaign #MyBodyMyChoice is to break the silence around abortion by connecting key audiences and create conversations around sexual and reproductive health and rights and abortion. It also aimed to emphasise that abortion is legal in South Africa and inform women about their rights and how to realise them.


Uganda – Activists commemorate victims of unsafe abortion

Activists commemorate victims of unsafe abortion

Monday October 1 2018

In Summary
- The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey indicates that 25 percent of the adolescent girls and young women aged 15-19 in Uganda is pregnant or a mother, which is one of the highest teenage rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- In Uganda teenage pregnancy has drastic and far-reaching health, developmental and economic effects at the individual, family, community and national levels.


KAMPALA. A network of civil society organizations over the weekend, joined the rest of world to mark the International Day of Safe Abortion by lighting candles in memory of thousands of women and girls who have died after undergoing unsafe abortion.


South Africa – Activists call for improved access to safe abortions

Activists call for improved access to safe abortions

By Zoë Postman‚ Groundup
30 September 2018

On Friday morning‚ hundreds of people from various civil society organisations marched from Braamfontein to Newtown to raise awareness about reproductive rights and unsafe abortions in South Africa.

The march was held on international safe abortion day. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)‚ Sonke Gender Justice‚ Amnesty International‚ Right2Know‚ Amandla.Mobi‚ Gender Links and other organisations participated.


Andorra, one of Europe’s last abortion holdouts

Andorra, one of Europe's last abortion holdouts

28 September 2018

Andorra is best known as a ski destination and tax haven -- but it's the tiny principality's status as one of Europe's last countries with an abortion ban that activists want to highlight on International Safe Abortion Day.

Even in cases of rape or when their lives are in danger, women in the country of 85,500 people nestled in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, have no right to an abortion.


Access to legal abortion services needed, to prevent 47,000 women dying each year – UN rights experts

Access to legal abortion services needed, to prevent 47,000 women dying each year - UN rights experts

28 September 2018

States across the world should act now to decriminalise abortion and make every effort to ensure women and girls have the right to make their own decisions about pregnancy, said a group of United Nations human rights experts on Friday, in a statement marking International Safe Abortion Day.

“Unsafe abortions cause the deaths of some 47,000 women each year and a further five million suffer some form of temporary or permanent disability,” said the UN Human Rights Council Working group, on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.