Letters to Pope Francis

FEATURE: Letters to Pope Francis
(three letters at the link, from the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, and Catholics for Choice.)
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TO: His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City
c/o Vatican Press Office
av@pccs.va

14 November 2018

Dear Pope Francis,

We are writing to express our disappointment at two recent pronouncements you made related to abortion, which seemed to contradict statements you had made earlier in your Papacy.

After you became Pope, you made two important statements in relation to women and abortion. First, you said that the Church should stop its obsession with the subject of abortion, and spend more time on its primary roles. We found that very hopeful because we think abortion is a public health and human rights issue, not a religious one, and we hoped your statement was an expression of understanding of the reality of women’s lives. We knew that you would not reverse the formal position the Church has taken since the mid-19th century, but we read your statement as a possibility that you might ever so slowly take the Church in a different direction.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-letters-to-pope-francis-14-november-2018?e=372dd34034

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CONFERENCE REPORT – Decriminalisation of Abortion, Medical Abortion and Advocacy for Change

CONFERENCE REPORT - Decriminalisation of Abortion, Medical Abortion and Advocacy for Change
Oct 26, 2018

Three Discussion Workshops
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At: 3rd Abortion & Reproductive Justice Conference: The Unfinished Revolution
Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa, 9-12 July 2018

Report by Marge Berer with Christina Boateng and Pauline Diaz, 25 October 2018

This is an informal report of a set of three workshops, facilitated by Marge Berer, that took place over three days with almost 10 hours of in-depth discussion and sharing of information and experience among the participants. This report was written by Marge Berer, International Campaign Coordinator, and is based on notes taken by Christina Boateng, Pauline Diaz and several other participants.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Report-of-an-International-Campaign-Workshop-Abortion-Reproductive-Justice-Conference-South-Africa-9-12-July-2018.pdf cons

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Normalising Abortion: It’s Part of Our Lives – #LetsTalkAbortion

International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September
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International Campaign Statement

Normalising Abortion: It’s Part of Our Lives - #LetsTalkAbortion

by Marge Berer, International Coordinator

This year’s theme invites all of us who have something to say about abortion to look inwards, to become aware of the role of abortion in our own lives and in the lives of people we are close to and know. Those of us who have had an abortion have a personal story to tell. Those of us who have not had an abortion, or not yet, undoubtedly know others who have, even if you aren’t aware of it. Perhaps you never asked? Perhaps they have never felt able to tell you, or indeed to tell anyone.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/international-safe-abortion-day-international-campaign-statement-28-september-2018?e=21bc4dc6f8

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28 Examples of Progress & Success for Abortion Rights in 2018

28 EXAMPLES OF PROGRESS & SUCCESSES FOR ABORTION RIGHTS IN 2018
27 September 2018

International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September
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For International Safe Abortion Day this year, we are celebrating the many aspects of progress and success we’ve seen internationally this year. Here is a timeline with 28 examples.

by Nandini Archer and Marge Berer

This year marks the 29th time our movement has celebrated 28 September as an international day for safe abortion. It has been a busy year for abortion rights campaigning, and a good one in many countries. Much of the mainstream media reported on the Irish abortion referendum and the almost successful Argentinian law reform, but action has also been taking place all over the world, inside and outside government, on the streets and in the media, from South Korea to Mexico to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In focusing on the increasingly organised and sometimes violent backlash against women’s rights globally, and the myriad challenges we still face, we sometimes lose sight of the many positive strides forward. This newsletter celebrates them, and all the people who have worked tirelessly to make them possible. We hope they help to energise us all.

Continued; https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/28-examples-of-progress-successes-for-abortion-rights-in-2018-27-september-2018?e=372dd34034

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Argentina: No turning back

Argentina: No turning back
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9 August 2018

Argentina’s Senate voted last night – after a 15-hour “debate”, during which the room was mostly empty of Senators – to reject a bill on abortion passed by the House of Deputies in June. The tone and level of engagement in the two houses of the congress could not have been more different. The Deputies listened to each other, they were passionate, they seemed more open. The Senators were often lugubrious, it seemed they were talking to the camera or to no one. The tone was heavy, the anti-abortion speeches felt endless, repetitive of the same empty phrases. There seemed to be fewer who spoke passionately on behalf of the lives of women.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women, stood in the pouring rain outside for the whole 15 hours, waiting for a different result. As the photo above shows, this time anti-abortion demonstrators were there in large numbers too, but that does not change the fact that the majority of the population of women in Argentina support law reform.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/press-release-argentina-no-turning-back-9-august-2018?e=372dd34034

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Chilean women’s lives at risk with ‘backdoor’ restrictions on new abortion law

Chilean women's lives at risk with 'backdoor' restrictions on new abortion law

Anastasia Moloney
April 5, 2018

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women and girls in Chile, including rape victims, will find it harder to access legal abortions - after a total ban was lifted in August - as the government has started allowing clinics to deny services on moral grounds, campaigners said on Thursday.

The new law, allowing abortions when women’s lives are in danger or if a fetus is unviable or the result of rape, was welcomed by rights groups in a region with some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-abortion-women/chilean-womens-lives-at-risk-with-backdoor-restrictions-on-new-abortion-law-idUSKCN1HC2VI

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UK aid official offers ‘loud and strong’ support for access to abortion worldwide

UK aid official offers 'loud and strong' support for access to abortion worldwide

By Sophie Edwards
09 March 2018

LONDON — A top United Kingdom aid official has reassured advocates that the Department for International Development remains a “loud and strong voice for universal access to sexual and reproductive health” services, including abortion, for women and girls in developing countries.

Speaking at the launch of a new report from the U.K. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health, which calls for the U.K. government to support safe abortion at home and abroad, international development minister Alistair Burt said:

Continued: https://www.devex.com/news/uk-aid-official-offers-loud-and-strong-support-for-access-to-abortion-worldwide-92282

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YOUTUBE – AGAIN ! More censorship by YouTube

YOUTUBE – AGAIN ! More censorship by YouTube

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Feb 27, 2018

safe2choose reported on 23 February 2018 that their account on YouTube is the newest victim of anti-abortion censorship. The company has already refused their first appeal to have the account reinstated, and they are now planning their next moves. The video that triggered the suspension is a testimonial from a 42 year-old Malaysian woman who thanked safe2choose for supporting her through an abortion. There was no mention at all of the abortion process itself, which really made them ask: how arbitrary can these decisions be?

It seems YouTube does not provide an e-mail address to contact directly – so safe2choose wrote to their Help Center (where their first appeal was made). They had no luck. On their website, YouTube provide a postal address and a phone number.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/youtube-again-more-censorship-by-youtube/

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Medical Abortion: A Special Edition of Contraception

Medical Abortion: A Special Edition of Contraception
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Jan 5, 2018

This special edition is due to be published in final form in print and online in the February 2018 edition of Contraception. Meanwhile, the papers can all be accessed on the home page of the journal at: http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/content/contra-medical-abortion-special-issue in HTML and PDF formats. All but three are fully open access. The remaining three have been made openly available by the journal’s editor to complete the set, for which we are very grateful.

EDITORIAL: Medical abortion pills have the potential to change everything
– Marge Berer, Lesley Hoggart

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/medical-abortion-a-special-edition-of-contraception/

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Open Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Open Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 10, 2017
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Open Letter To:
Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
c/o sr.disability@ohchr.org / crpd@ohchr.org

RE: “Concluding observations on the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” CRPD/C/GBR/CO/1, 29 August 2017 (As adopted during the 18th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (14 -31 August 2017)

9 November 2017

Dear Ms Devandas Aguilar and members of the CRPD,

I am the International Coordinator of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion and an abortion rights advocate for more than 35 years, living in the UK. I am writing to you in a personal capacity regarding the “Concluding observations on the report of the UK to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, as above.

Your recommendations to the UK overall are absolutely fair and just, but I am writing to take issue with those related to abortion, and to explain why. These are as follows:

Equality and non-discrimination (art. 5)

The Committee is concerned about perceptions in society that stigmatize persons with disabilities as living a life of less value than that of others and about the termination of pregnancy at any stage on the basis of fetal impairment.
The Committee recommends that the State party amend its abortion law accordingly. Women’s rights to reproductive and sexual autonomy should be respected without legalizing selective abortion on the ground of fetal deficiency.

My concerns regarding these recommendations are threefold: the first is to do with your definition of “a person”. The second is to do with the reasons why women have abortions vs. how different laws address and codify reasons for abortion as legal or illegal grounds. The third is that I believe including any ground for abortion in the law whatsoever – apart from permitting abortion at the woman’s request – is a mistake because it serves to restrict women’s autonomy and decisions over their own bodies.

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/open-letter-to-the-special-rapporteur-and-committee-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/

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