African countries are trying to liberalize their abortion laws. Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ is making that difficult.
Activists say the policy has forced some countries to take a step backward
March 5, 2020
In 2016, churches in the small southeastern African country of Malawi did something surprising: They backed a law to expand abortion access.
At the time, Reverend Alex Benson Maulana, chair of the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), said that abortion was still a sin. But Malawi was also facing a crisis: In a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, 18 percent of those deaths were due to unsafe abortions.
Nigeria has 2.8m abortions annually
NGO calls for the review of existing laws on Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health
January 25, 2020
By Emma ELEKWA, Onitsha
Nigeria has a reported case of 2.8 million abortions and 760,000 self-induced abortions annually. This was disclosed by a reproductive health expert, who is also the Executive Director Women, Law and Development Initiative, Mrs. Hauwa Shekarau.
Shekarau was delivering a lecture in Owerri at a media capacity building workshop on Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (WSRHR) for journalists drawn from Abia, Imo and Anambra states.
Group calls for review of abortion law to save women
January 24, 2020
By Joe Chukindi
Ipas, an international organisation that champions the reproductive health and rights of women has called on the federal government to consider a review of the restrictive laws on Abortion, saying that the law is costing women their lives in large number in the country.
The interim country’s Director of Ipas, Mr Lucky Palmer stated this on Thursday in Owerri, Imo State, during a training workshop organised by the organisation for journalists in Anambra and Abia States.
Why universal health coverage must include abortion
Friday, January 24, 2020
Abortion is health care, and health care is a human right. That’s why efforts to advance universal health coverage (UHC)—an international effort to guarantee that all people, regardless of where they live, have access to essential, quality health services without financial hardship—must include strong language defining sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion care, as an integral part of health and well-being. Ipas is committed to working with the World Health Organization, governments and other partners to attain the Sustainable Development Goal targets, which include achieving UHC.
“The world still has far to go to achieve gender equality,” said Ipas Senior Technical Manager for Community Engagement Tanvi Monga in a recent opinion for Global Health Now. “Women shoulder the burden of child care, elder care, household care, family health and health-care costs—and for poor or near-poor women anywhere in the world, health-care costs can cause irrevocable financial strain.” Plus, health-care services labeled as “for women” are frequently separated from other services—and are harder to access or more expensive.
Opinion: Time to put abortion top of the SRHR agenda
By Anu Kumar
09 December 2019
Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994. The trip was particularly meaningful to me, having been at the Cairo meeting where 179 governments made women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights a priority goal of global development.
The anti-rights opposition movement called it “the abortion summit,” but in truth, it was far from it. In my opinion, that’s a shame, because we — the global health, sexual and reproductive health, and development fields — need an abortion summit.
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.
Gynaecologists call for safe abortion as part of essential health package for women
By DAVID MAFABI | PML Daily Senior Staff Writer
Posted on October 3, 2019
KAMPALA – “When the doctor told me that we needed to discuss the results of my pregnancy test, I already knew I was pregnant; because I was just recovering from rape,”
Oliver tested for pregnancy and the result was positive. It was hard for her to accept the news, since she saw this as an end to her dream of becoming a teacher.
Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding
Reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates say the Helms Amendment's ban on using foreign assistance funds for abortion deserves more attention.
Aug 23, 2019
Abortion rights are a high-profile issue for Democrats on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. Candidates have stated their opposition to abortion funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment and the Trump administration’s expanded global “gag rule.” But little attention has been paid in the race or the media to the Helms Amendment, a ban on foreign assistance funding for abortion.
Rewire.News asked the 2020 candidates about their stance on the anti-choice policy; ten thus far say they oppose it. The Helms Amendment—named for its sponsor, the late-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)—states, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” The abortion funding ban was passed as part of the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in the United States.
Abortion Has Been Illegal in El Salvador for Two Decades. Here’s What Activists Say U.S. Feminists Should Know.
"It’s vulnerable women who are criminalized. It’s exactly the same thing that will happen in the United States.”
Jul 16, 2019
Legislatures around the United States have passed increasingly tight restrictions on abortion in the past few years. As the overturning of Roe v. Wade becomes a more realistic possibility, some activists have looked to those in other countries with abortion bans for guidance.
In El Salvador, where abortion has been banned in all circumstances since 1998, activists drew similarities between the two countries’ situations—and told Rewire.News that those concerned about reproductive rights should look to unite with allies beyond their own borders.
New report details the devastating impact of President Trump’s Global Gag Rule
Wednesday, 5 June 2019
Experts at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference discuss the impact of US funding restrictions and the need for data-driven programs and policies to increase access to safe abortion
(Vancouver, Canada) – A new report released today at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference reveals that the Global Gag Rule is reducing the quality and availability of care, particularly for marginalized communities, in four countries studied. Advocates, researchers and implementing partners discussed the findings from the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) detailing the effects of the expanded US Global Gag Rule, as well as a new evidence-gathering initiative by several partner organizations designed to increase access to safe abortion.