Poland's election features a confident right-wing ruling party despite abortion, LGBT debates
Political opposition is fractured, while strong church influence dominates campaign
Sarah Lawrynuik · CBC News
Posted: Oct 06, 2019
Poles will cast their ballots in the national parliamentary election next Sunday, and the world is watching to see if they will deliver another decisive victory for the populist, right-wing Law and Justice Party.
Law and Justice formed Poland's first outright majority government in 2015 since the fall of communism. In the ensuing years, Poland has been seen to be following in the political footsteps of fellow-EU member state Hungary, in a turn toward conservative policies, control of the media and breaking down some of the country's checks and balances on power.
Antigender politics from May to August 2019
11 Sep 2019
Sexuality Policy Watch
We start this announcement recalling that, before May 2019, two major antigender events have taken place that are worth revisiting because of their potential subsequent ripple effects in Europe and Latin America.
The World Congress of Families – The 2019 edition of the World Family Congress (WCF) was held in Verona (Italy) in the last week of March. The event was attended by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, senior Hungarian officials and other well-known names of conservative religious and lay circles in Europe and the United States. The event faced protest, as Feminist and LGTBI marches took to the streets of Verona to contest the event’s agenda (see a compilation). It is also worth noting that the Vatican and members of the Five Star Movement — whose coalition with Salvini’s Lega Nord governs Italy — have publicly distanced themselves from the conference. Amongst the vast record of information published on Verona, we draw attention to the report published by openDemocracy on the large flow of money — more than 50 million euros — transferred between lay and religious conservatives in the United States and European far-right movements. Another OD report examines how WCF acts as a regular meeting point for strategies among highly conservative personalities, members of the European aristocracy and the Catholic hierarchy engaged in antigender and anti-abortion policies.
#Elections2019 cheat sheet: Your guide to a feminist vote
3 May 2019
Like many South African women and queer people, you may find yourself in a conundrum about which political party to give your “X” to on May 8. Here is Health-e’s quick cheat sheet to help you make a pro-women, pro-queer choice — developed in partnership with the #Yvote4U campaign.
Women make up most of those registered to vote in the elections, according to the Independent Electoral Commission. This should mean gender issues are front and centre of the political parties’ campaigning, but this hasn’t been the case because young women feel excluded from these parties’ agendas.
Conservative congress on family divides Italy
The Associated Press
Published: March 30, 2019
VERONA, Italy — A congress in Italy under the auspices of a U.S. organization that defines family as strictly centring around a mother and father has made Verona — the city of Romeo and Juliet — the backdrop for a culture clash over family values, with a coalition of civic groups mobilizing against what they see as a counter-reform movement to limit LGBT and women’s rights.
The World Congress of Families, which runs through Sunday, has revealed another rift in Italy’s governing coalition, as well as providing a platform for ultra-conservatives seeking to reopen the debate over abortion, legalized in Italy in 1978.
POLAND – The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights
Nov 9, 2018
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
All downhill from here. The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and LGBT+ persons’ rights
by International Federation for Human Rights, November 2018
This report is the result of several months of desk-based research, combined with an international fact-finding mission conducted by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Poland, on LGBT+ persons and women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the context of the degradation of the rule of law these past three years. FIDH was able to conduct approximately 20 interviews, all in Warsaw, of a wide range of actors: civil society organisations, members of the Polish government, members of the Parliament, the office of the Prosecutor, the office of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights, associations of professionals – lawyers, doctors, teachers – and national experts.
Criminalizing the right to health: The shared struggle of the HIV and safe abortion movements
Both HIV and unsafe abortion endanger life and health and have a disproportionate impact on people living in developing countries
Thursday, 11 October 2018
By Edwin Cameron and Anand Grover
This month, India’s Supreme Court struck down Section 377 - a colonial-era law that banned same-sex activity and led to the systemic discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ Indians. This was a huge victory for India and - as two lawyers who have spent decades fighting for the rights of LGBTQ individuals - a very personal one.
Yet, while we celebrate this incredible achievement, we must remember that criminalization remains a potent threat for the health and lives of many people around the world. And those that often bear the largest burden are people living with HIV and AIDS and women and girls seeking abortion services.
Hundreds of Lawmakers and Organizations Demand State Dept. Stop Excluding Women's Rights From Human Rights Reports
Nearly 100 civil society organizations, 129 members of Congress sent letters to Secretary of State Pompeo this week
by Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams
Friday, October 05, 2018
Trump's State Department this week is facing backlash and calls to reverse course on its decision to omit from its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices the entire reproductive rights section and to weaken its reporting on gender-based violence—a decision critics said amounted to showing that women and girls' "rights don't matter" to the current administration.
With their eyes on preventing the upcoming 2018 reports from containing the same "highly problematic" omissions as the 2017 ones, nearly 100 civil society organizations (pdf) and 129 members of Congress (pdf) sent letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding the inclusion of information on denials of these fundamental human rights, including lack of access to contraception, unsafe abortion, and violence in accessing healthcare services.
Amnesty slams Guatemala bill to punish abortion, gay couples
September 5, 2018
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Amnesty International says a proposed Guatemalan law on abortion providers and gay couples is "absurd."
The Guatemalan congress is debating proposals that would ban recognition for same-sex couples and forbid teaching that homosexuality is acceptable.
Amnesty said Wednesday that the measure known as "The Law for the Protection of Life and the Family" actually threatens lives and families.
Latin America’s Rights Riddle
Why the region says yes to same-sex marriage and no to abortion.
By Omar G. Encarnación
August 27, 2018
In Latin America, progressive politics present something of a mystery: As LGBT rights have flourished, women’s reproductive rights have floundered. Earlier this month, for example, a bill to legalize abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy was defeated in the Argentine Senate. This is the same body that in 2010 made Argentina the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage with identical rights to heterosexual marriage. And since that historic milestone, Argentina has enacted one of the most liberal laws on gender identity to be found anywhere in the world. Its code allows people to change the gender listed on their legal documents without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or permission from a judge, as is required in most countries. The country has also granted same-sex couples reproductive rights, such as access to in vitro fertilization under the national health plan, and has banned programs that aim to “cure” same-sex attraction.
Catholic hospitals set to ban abortion
Terminations will be refused under bishops’ ethics code
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
July 25 2018
Catholic hospitals could break the law and refuse to offer abortions in all circumstances, a “code of ethics” drafted by the Irish Catholic Bishops suggests. Guidelines for up to 20 main hospitals connected with religious orders include a ban on most assisted reproduction procedures. The few allowed are not to be given to unmarried women or LGBT couples.
The Code of Ethical Standards for Healthcare, which sets out what can be expected from Catholic healthcare services, bans contraception; gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, crisis pregnancy counselling with information on abortion and counselling for families going through a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis that lists termination as an option.