The Global Gag Rule Has Put Women in Danger for Decades. Here’s How We Can Stop It.

The Global Gag Rule Has Put Women in Danger for Decades. Here’s How We Can Stop It.
The Global HER Act would remove reckless restrictions on international recipients of U.S. funding.

Feb 7, 2019
Vanessa Rios & Nina Besser Doorley

On January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated the “global gag rule,” singlehandedly undermining women’s health worldwide with a stroke of his pen. The policy prohibits any U.S. global health funding to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that provide, counsel, refer, or advocate for abortion—even with their own funds—resulting in life-threatening consequences.

While previous iterations of the global gag rule covered only family planning spending, President Trump expanded it to cover all global health funds—a staggering $9 billion per year to NGOs that cover a range of health needs, from maternal and child health to malaria treatment. Even in its more limited forms, the policy backfired, increasing unintended pregnancies, maternal mortality, and unsafe abortions. Evidence suggests that the current version is producing a similar effect on an even larger scale.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/02/07/the-global-gag-rule-has-put-women-in-danger-for-decades-heres-how-we-can-stop-it/

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Kenya – Why government lifted Marie Stopes abortion ban

Why government lifted Marie Stopes abortion ban

Dec. 24, 2018
By GORDON OUKO

Marie Stopes clinics has complied with conditions set by the government for it to provide abortion services in the country.

The conditions, which are aimed at stiffening the regulation of reproductive health services in the country, were issued by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board on November 14.

Citing safety risks, the board imposed a ban restricting the reproductive health clinic from conducting abortions in the country.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/12/24/why-government-lifted-marie-stopes-abortion-ban_c1869632

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Kenya lifts ban on Marie Stopes abortion services after warning lives are at risk

Kenya lifts ban on Marie Stopes abortion services after warning lives are at risk
Clinics reopen in country where backstreet abortions kill seven women a day and hospitalise 320

Rebecca Ratcliffe
Fri 21 Dec 2018

The Kenyan government has lifted a ban preventing the international charity Marie Stopes from providing any abortion services, following warnings the ruling endangered the lives of thousands of women.

The Kenyan ministry of health said on Thursday that an audit of Marie Stopes’ clinics had been completed and that the charity could resume post-abortion care services under “regular supervision”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/dec/21/kenya-lifts-ban-marie-stopes-abortion-services-after-warning-lives-are-at-risk

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USA – Abortion Pills Are No Post-Roe Panacea

Abortion Pills Are No Post-Roe Panacea
Yes, they are revolutionary. But price and legal barriers to access mean that coat hangers aren’t safely back in the closet for good just yet.

By Françoise Girard
Nov. 25, 2018

As abortion rights have come under increasing attack in the United States, commentators have held up self-administered abortion pills as a backup plan for a post-Roe world. They point to the millions of pregnant women worldwide who are using pills to self-manage abortion, citing them as an example of what reproductive health care might look like should in-clinic abortions be made illegal.

There’s no question that abortion pills are revolutionary. In the hands of women, the pills have transformed self-induced abortion from a once-dangerous endeavor into a safe procedure. Abortion help lines have walked women through the process of self-management, sometimes remotely or even over the internet. Where abortion is illegal, black market access to the drugs has resulted in significant decreases in complications and deaths.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/25/opinion/medication-abortion-roe.html

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Building Support for Safe Abortion in Asia, One Network at a Time

Building Support for Safe Abortion in Asia, One Network at a Time

November 9, 2018
Liza Kane-Hartnett

In Asia, approximately 27 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. This is a key reason why, for 10 years, the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP) has sought to reframe abortion as a human right and build a regional movement to improve access to safe and legal abortion services.

Asia is home to 50 countries, diverse in culture, gender norms, and abortion policies. Seventeen of the 50 countries allow for abortion without restriction of reason, though they may require parental or spousal permission and employ gestational limits.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/2018/11/building-support-safe-abortion-asia-one-network-time/

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New Zealand – Abortion law change at last in sight

Abortion law change at last in sight

by Liz Beddoe
Oct 30, 2018

In her second opinion piece on the need for change to New Zealand’s abortion law, Associate Professor Liz Beddoe talks through the options proposed in the Law Commission’s briefing paper, Alternative Approaches to Abortion Law, released last Friday.

After many decades of calls for reform of our outdated abortion law, change is finally in our sights. The Law Commission’s briefing paper Alternative Approaches to Abortion Law, commissioned by Justice Minister Andrew Little in February, provides three alternative legal models for consideration.

Continued: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/29/297669/abortion-law-change-at-last-in-sight

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Let’s call ‘conscientious objection’ by its name: Obstruction of access to care and abortion in South Africa

Let’s call ‘conscientious objection’ by its name: Obstruction of access to care and abortion in South Africa

Satang Nabaneh, Marion Stevens and Lucia Berro Pizzarossa
24th October 2018

South Africa has one of the most liberal laws on abortion and constitutionally recognizes reproductive rights as human rights. However, data shows important difficulties translating the legal norms into effective access to services. One of the key challenges is physicians’ refusal to perform abortions invoking an “ad hoc, unregulated and at times incorrect” conscientious objection. The Department of Health is now spearheading a reform of the abortion guidelines aiming to bring them in line with human rights standards and reframing the refusal as “obstruction of access to care”.

Continued: http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/lets-call-conscientious-objection-by-its-name-obstruction-of-access-to-care-and-abortion-in-south-africa/

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Normalizing Abortion

Normalizing Abortion
(Podcast: 23:39 minutes)

Oct 9, 2018
Françoise Girard

Abortion is a polarizing issue, but it's also a fact of life in all countries and among all socioeconomic groups. The sooner the world normalizes the practice, says Françoise Girard of the International Women’s Health Coalition, the better off every woman will be.

Listen to all episodes from your favorite podcast app, and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, or RSS Feed.

Continued: https://www.project-syndicate.org/podcasts/normalizing-abortion

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Beyond Abortion: A Podcast on All Things SRHR

Beyond Abortion: A Podcast on All Things SRHR

October 3, 2018
IWHC Staff

Abortion rights. Contraception. Child, early, and forced marriage. Gender-based violence. Comprehensive sexuality education. Access to screenings and care for reproductive cancers. These are just a few of the critical issues that fall under the umbrella of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Yet, too many people live under restrictions that limit their knowledge of and access to crucial sexual and reproductive rights and health services. Moreover, there are still fundamental misunderstandings about what SRHR comprises, who it serves, and why it is a core human right

IWHC senior program officer, Nina Besser Doorley recently joined the RePROS Fight Back podcast to answer pressing questions about what defines these rights, how they are restricted, and what we can do to protect and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

Audio Player
This podcast was originally published by RePROS Fight Back.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/2018/10/beyond-abortion-podcast-things-srhr/

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Normalizing Abortion

Normalizing Abortion

Sep 25, 2018
Françoise Girard

On September 28, activists around the world will mark International Safe Abortion Day, a global campaign to repeal laws that deny women the right to reproductive health care. The message is simple: no woman anywhere should have to tolerate restrictions that too often lead to injury or death.

NEW YORK – Last month in Buenos Aires, Elizabeth, a 34-year-old mother of two, died after inserting parsley into her cervix in a desperate attempt to induce an abortion. Days earlier, Argentina’s Senate had narrowly defeated legislation that would have legalized abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. If that bill had passed, Elizabeth might be alive today. Instead, she is a grim statistic: one of more than 40 Argentinian women who will die this year from botched abortions.

Continued: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/international-safe-abortion-day-legalizing-abortion-services-by-francoise-girard-2018-09

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