They Lost Argentina’s Abortion Vote, but Advocates Started a Movement

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They Lost Argentina’s Abortion Vote, but Advocates Started a Movement

By Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño
Aug. 9, 2018

BUENOS AIRES — They narrowly lost the vote. But as supporters of a bill to legalize abortion in Argentina began to shake off a stinging defeat in the Senate on Thursday, they took consolation in having galvanized a reproductive-rights movement across Latin America and began to consider how to redirect their activism.

A coalition of young female lawmakers who stunned the political establishment by putting abortion rights at the top of the legislative agenda this year seemed to be on the verge of a historic victory with the bill. But intense lobbying by Catholic Church leaders and staunch opposition in conservative northern provinces persuaded enough senators to vote against it.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/world/americas/argentina-abortion-laws-south-america.html

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How ‘conscientious objectors’ threaten women’s newly-won abortion rights in Latin America

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How ‘conscientious objectors’ threaten women’s newly-won abortion rights in Latin America
From Uruguay to Chile, medical staff are refusing to provide abortion services even after their legalisation.

Diana Cariboni
18 July 2018

Women’s rights to legal abortion have increased in Latin America – but so have campaigns and policies for medical staff to be able to ‘conscientiously object’ and refuse to participate in these procedures.

“We didn’t see it coming,” said feminist activist Lilián Abracinskas in Uruguay, a secular country where abortion, same-sex marriage and the marijuana market were each legalised in the last decade.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/diana-cariboni/conscientious-objectors-threaten-abortion-rights-latin-america

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

July 13, 2018
By Shannon Kowalski and Susan Wood

For years, Irish women have been forced to travel abroad or seek underground abortion services. But, a historic vote in May delivered a landslide rebuke that rescinded the country’s constitutional provision recognizing the equal rights to life of both a woman and a fetus, opening the door to expanded reproductive autonomy. The euphoria over this victory has barely settled, and already steps are being taken to curb Irish women’s hard-won right. The new front of resistance to women’s rights emerges from those who seek to allow medical professionals to deny women abortion services based on their own religious or moral beliefs. It would be a mistake for Ireland’s legislators to allow such refusals, which ultimately endanger and discriminate against women.

Since 2000, 28 countries have liberalized their abortion laws. In response to this progress, anti-choice advocates and policy makers have mounted a deliberate campaign to undermine women’s access to legal abortion services. A primary tactic has been establishing laws and policies that allow doctors to opt out of fulfilling their professional obligation to provide health care services on the basis of their personal beliefs. The use of these so-called “conscience” claims is on the rise worldwide.

Continued: http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/13/why-the-fight-for-legal-abortion-is-only-half-the-battle-view

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Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under ‘conscientious objection’

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Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under 'conscientious objection'

Joyce Arthur
July 5, 2018

For the first time ever, an expert group has arrived at a majority consensus that the practice of so-called "conscientious objection" by health-care professionals should not be allowed. The experts agreed that the practice of refusing to provide legal and essential health care due to a doctor's personal or religious beliefs is a violation of medical ethics and of patients' right to health care. Abortion and other reproductive health care are the most commonly refused services.

Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care is the title of the expert group's just-released report with recommendations. It is a product of the first global meeting on the topic of "conscientious objection," which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in August 2017 because the refusal to treat is a major barrier to abortion access in many Latin American countries.

Continued: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/expert-group-denounces-refusal-treat-under-conscientious-objection

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South Africa – ‘Conscientious objection’: when doctors’ beliefs are a barrier to abortion

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'Conscientious objection': when doctors' beliefs are a barrier to abortion
As a report highlights the ruinous impact of denying abortion, two medics offer opposing views on the role of personal belief

Hannah Summers
Fri 22 Jun 2018

A rise in the number of healthcare providers who refuse to provide abortion services based on their personal beliefs is having a devastating impact on women and girls around the world, a new study has claimed.

Over the past two decades, at least 30 countries – including, most recently, Ireland, Chile and Argentina – have taken steps to improve access to abortion through legislative changes.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jun/22/should-doctors-be-free-to-refuse-patients-an-abortion-on-personal-grounds

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Unconscionable: Health workers’ right to refuse abortions vs women’s right to choose

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Unconscionable: Health workers' right to refuse abortions vs women's right to choose
When religion trumps science in medicine, women's bodies and Constitutional rights may be caught in the crossfire.

21 Jun 2018
Marion Stevens, Mandi Mudarikwa

South Africa‘s Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act legalises voluntary abortion at different stages of pregnancy. Although viewed as a generally liberal law, the Act has not effectively enabled broad and consistent access for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies.

One of the reasons has been some health providers’ and facilities’ refusal to treat women who need abortion care.

Continued: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-06-21-00-unconscionable-a-doctors-right-to-refuse-abortions-versus-a-womens-right-to-choose

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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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