Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care

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Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care

June 19, 2018
Click here to download the report [PDF]

The global women’s movement has fought for many years to affirm safe and legal abortion as a fundamental right, and the global trend has been the liberalization of abortion laws. Progress is not linear, however, and persistent barriers prevent these laws and policies from increasing women’s access to services. One such obstacle is the growing use of conscience claims to justify refusal of abortion care.

Often called “conscientious objection,” a concept historically associated with the right to refuse to take part in the military or in warfare on religious or moral grounds, the term has recently been co-opted by anti-choice movements. Indeed, accommodations for health care providers to refuse to provide care are often deliberately inserted into policies with the aim of negating the hard-fought right to abortion care.

Existing evidence reveals a worrisome and growing global trend of health care providers who are refusing to deliver abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care. This phenomenon violates the ethical principle of “do no harm,” and has grave consequences for women, especially those who are already more vulnerable and marginalized.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/resources/unconscionable-when-providers-deny-abortion-care/

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Argentina’s historic vote to decriminalize abortion, explained

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Argentina’s historic vote to decriminalize abortion, explained
Argentina’s Congress has taken up a bill to decriminalize abortion. It probably won’t pass, but activists say it’s a victory regardless.

By Emily Stewart
Jun 13, 2018

Across Latin America, 97 percent of women live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Argentina’s lower legislative house is debating whether to change that and pass a bill that would decriminalize abortion in the country up to the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The vote is expected to be close, and even if it does pass, it’s unlikely to get through the Argentine Senate. Still, activists see the fact that the issue is being voted on at all as a major step for women’s rights in the country and throughout the region.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/2018/6/13/17460824/argentina-abortion-bill-ni-una-menos

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Reality Check: Year One Impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule

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Reality Check: Year One Impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule
Jun 6, 2018

Click to view the full report [PDF]

Executive Summary

On January 23, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum reinstating and expanding the Mexico City Policy, also known as the “Global Gag Rule.” President Trump’s implementation plan for the expanded policy, called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” was announced in May 2017. The policy states that any foreign nongovernmental organization that takes US global health funds must certify that they do not engage in certain abortion-related activities, including providing abortion services, information, counseling and referrals, and advocating to expand access to safe abortion services. The Global Gag Rule applies to what organizations do with their own non-US government funds and forces health care providers to choose between providing a comprehensive spectrum of reproductive health care and receiving critical US funding. Trump’s Global Gag Rule expands a bad policy enacted by previous Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan, but now implicating almost $9 billion in US foreign assistance and affecting many organizations that had not previously had to comply with it.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/resources/reality-check-year-one-trump-global-gag-rule/

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In Closed-Door UN Meetings, Trump Administration Officials Pushed Abstinence For International Women’s Health Programs

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In Closed-Door UN Meetings, Trump Administration Officials Pushed Abstinence For International Women’s Health Programs

Members of HHS, USAID, and the US Mission to the UN asked for references to contraception, abortion, and comprehensive sex education to be struck from a document on international gender equality, calling the US a "pro-life nation."

April 17, 2018
Ema O'Connor, BuzzFeed News Reporter

In closed-door meetings at the United Nations in March, Trump administration officials pushed socially conservative views on women’s rights issues — including abstinence-based policies over information about contraception — that were further to the right than those expressed by most other countries present, including Russia and the representative for the Arab states, UN officials who attended the meetings told BuzzFeed News.

The Trump officials’ approach at the UN meeting makes it clear that the administration intends to extend its views on abortion, contraception, and sexual education beyond US borders to an extent that is unusual even for Republican administrations.

continued: https://www.buzzfeed.com/emaoconnor/un-meeting-trump-administration-abstinence?utm_term=.nyJLW2dpq#.qy9Yw78QE

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Trump-Pence Administration’s Neocolonial Assault on Reproductive Freedom Is Killing African Women and Girls

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Trump-Pence Administration’s Neocolonial Assault on Reproductive Freedom Is Killing African Women and Girls
Jan 23, 2018
Hayley Farless

As advocates and researchers have seen, it is African women and girls who are suffering because of the United States’ interference with reproductive autonomy globally.

Just three days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum to reinstate and expand the “global gag rule,” a Reagan-era, anti-abortion, foreign policy directive, with the backing of Vice President Mike Pence. Because of this policy, any nongovernmental organization (NGO) outside of the United States that provides abortion procedures, participates in pro-choice advocacy, supplies information about abortion, or offers referrals to abortion providers has been forced to choose between forfeiting U.S. foreign assistance funding or ceasing to provide the basic reproductive health services that its patients need.

The global gag rule, also known as the “Mexico City Policy,” goes beyond just blocking U.S. funding for critical reproductive health services. A Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) research report notes that this policy also restricts what groups receiving U.S. funds can do with money from all other sources; organizations must subject all their funds to the same restrictions or lose U.S. funding.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/01/23/trump-pence-administrations-neocolonial-assault-reproductive-freedom-killing-african-women-girls/

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UN Special Rapporteurs Call for Strong Action on International Safe Abortion Day

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UN Special Rapporteurs Call for Strong Action on International Safe Abortion Day
September 28, 2017

The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) welcomes the unprecedented call to action on women’s rights by United Nations human rights experts marking International Safe Abortion Day.

In a statement, the independent experts, who cover areas of health, law, discrimination, human rights and extrajudicial killings, urged “all States to end the criminalization of abortion and to ensure that all women are able to access all necessary health services, including sexual and reproductive health care, in a manner that is safe, affordable and consistent with their human rights.”

The experts rightly denounced the denial of essential health services caused by criminalization and stigma as a violation of women’s human rights.

Continued at source: International Women’s Health Coalition: https://iwhc.org/press-releases/un-rapporteurs-action-international-safe-abortion-day-2017/

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The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

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The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Nomtika

All roads led to Uruguay last week, between July 31st and August 4th, as 5 SRJC members took to Montevideo for the International Convention on Conscientious Objection.

The meeting, co-hosted by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), featured policymakers, academics, health professionals, legal experts, and feminist activists who collectively established that objecting to the provision of voluntary abortion services on religious or moral grounds, is a chief barrier to safe abortion and endangers the lives of women.

Continued at source: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition: http://srjc.org.za/2017/08/10/the-discussion-on-conscientious-objection/

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Global Experts Prioritize Tackling Conscientious Objection to Abortion

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Global Experts Prioritize Tackling Conscientious Objection to Abortion
Montevideo, August 4, 2017

Fifty experts from 20 countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe, gathered at the first international convening on conscientious objection to abortion have concluded that the refusal to provide legal abortion services is hurting women all over the world and must be tackled.

The meeting, co-hosted by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), featured policymakers, academics, health professionals, legal experts, and feminist activists who collectively established that objecting to the provision of voluntary abortion services on religious or moral grounds, is a chief barrier to safe abortion and endangers the lives of women.

Continued at source: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition: http://srjc.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Uruguay-English-Declaration.pdf

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Pro-Life? Trump Administration is Endangering Women’s Lives

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Pro-Life? Trump Administration is Endangering Women’s Lives
By Nina Besser Doorley
7/25/17

Last Wednesday night, the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee finalized a foreign assistance bill that guts funding for women’s health around the world. During a debate over the proposal, which would likely increase unsafe abortions and maternal deaths, Republican legislators boasted on Twitter that their legislation “protects the sanctity of life.” In reality, the funding package does exactly the opposite: It undermines global health priorities and endangers women’s lives.

Continued at source: Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/trump-administration-pro-life-endangers-women-641520

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Trump administration halts money to UN population fund over abortion rules

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Trump administration halts money to UN population fund over abortion rules

International family planning agency, which will lose all future US funding, rejects state department claims it supports ‘coercive abortion’ in China

Liz Ford and Nadia Khomami
Tuesday 4 April 2017

The US state department said on Monday it was ending funding for the UN population fund (UNFPA) – the first concrete move in what activists describe as President Donald Trump’s “crusade against the health and rights of women and girls globally”.

Following weeks of speculation, a letter to Bob Corker, the chairman of the US Senate foreign relations committee, announced the state department was dropping the funding because the UNFPA “supports, or participates in the management of, a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation”.

Continued at link: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/apr/04/trump-administration-un-population-fund-abortion

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