The Study That Debunks Most Anti-Abortion Arguments

For five years, a team of researchers asked women about their experience after having—or not having—an abortion. What do their answers tell us?

By Margaret Talbot
July 7, 2020

There is a kind of social experiment you might think of as a What if? study. It would start with people who are similar in certain basic demographic ways and who are standing at the same significant fork in the road. Researchers could not assign participants to take one path or another—that would be wildly unethical. But let’s say that some more or less arbitrary rule in the world did the assigning for them. In such circumstances, researchers could follow the resulting two groups of people over time, sliding-doors style, to see how their lives panned out differently. It would be like speculative fiction, only true, and with statistical significance.

A remarkable piece of research called the Turnaway Study, which began in 2007, is essentially that sort of experiment.


Brazil – Covid-19 and the wounded uterus

There would be no death, bleeding or suffering if abortion were recognized for what it is: a medical necessity

Debora Diniz and Giselle Carino
01 jul 2020

The news report described her as an anonymous 31-year-old woman. The subheading read: “Case happened in Bom Jesus do Norte” – or Good Jesus of the North. From what we know, she was the first woman to die from a clandestine abortion in Brazil during the coronavirus pandemic. The nameless woman “was two months pregnant,” according to her husband. Twice she sought help in spaces of death, at unsafe abortion houses. She tried a hose, potassium permanganate, syringes. She died of cardiac arrest. Why did she persist? We do not know, nor do her innermost reasons matter. It is enough to know that she was a woman determined not to be forced into maternity during the pandemic.

The pandemic killed her. Cause and effect can be debated in this narrative, that is true. Her death was not from Covid-19, but from the policies that rule women’s bodies as if they were material to be controlled by criminal law.


Argentina – Socorristas en Red: Activists provide vital lifeline for women seeking abortions

For women unable to gain access to legal abortions, the Las Socorristas en Red network is an essential lifeline, providing them with guidance, support and care in their moment of greatest need.

Julia Logue
June 27, 2020

Even in the middle of the night, Irina Percara’s phone is always on full volume. She never knows when she’ll need to be reached.

Irina, 24, is one of 450 activists that form Las Socorristas en Red, a network of feminist groups across Argentina that guide women through abortions using misoprostol, a drug that safely terminates pregnancies during the first trimester.

“We help women who need abortions do it without guilt, without judgment, and without putting their health and safety at risk,” the activist told the Times.


Sudan, Where Illegal Abortions remain Dangerous and Deadly

Sudan, Where Illegal Abortions remain Dangerous and Deadly

By Reem Abbas

KHARTOUM, Jun 22 2020 (IPS) - Omnia Nabil*, a Sudanese doctor, who worked in one of the largest hospitals in Khartoum, the country’s capital, was devastated to witness the deaths of 50 young women who had unsafe abortions during a space of just three months.

“I would see 16 cases of failed abortions on a given day. I would insert my hand and pull out syringes or leaves, unsanitary items that were inserted by midwives to induce a miscarriage,” Nabil told IPS.


India – Covid-19 fuelling mother and child mortality rates

Covid-19 fuelling mother and child mortality rates

Jun 16, 2020
Sanchita Sharma, Hindustantimes

Priyanshi Kol was born in her parent’s one-room hutment in Ansara village in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh on May 21 because her mother Shivjanki, 26, couldn’t get an ambulance to reach Sanjay Gandhi Medical Hospital 100 km away.

She died on June 13 from childbirth-related complications. She was 23 days old.


Nigeria – ‘200 women died of illegal abortion in Bauchi’

‘200 women died of illegal abortion in Bauchi’

By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi
30 May 2020

Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Rilwanu Mohammad has said that over 200 women of the state have lost their lives to abortion handled by quack medical practitioners.

Mohammed while briefing members of Bauchi State Public Health Media Network yesterday disclosed this, saying the deaths are caused by unplanned and unwanted pregnancies among women who consult quack medical workers. He said the investigation has not been concluded on the development but preliminary findings have shown that the number of deaths could go up by the end of the investigation.


US asks for abortion references to be removed from UN pandemic response plan

US asks for abortion references to be removed from UN pandemic response plan

By Kylie Atwood, CNN
Tue May 19, 2020

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is urging the United Nations secretary general to remove any references to reproductive health, including abortions, from the UN's humanitarian response plan to the coronavirus pandemic to "avoid creating controversy."

"The United States stands with nations that have pledged to protect the unborn," acting Administrator of USAID John Barsa wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres on Monday. "To achieve global unity toward this goal, it is essential that the UN's response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy. Therefore, I ask that you remove references to 'sexual and reproductive health,' and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN's priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic."


Why abortion and contraception are essential healthcare

Why abortion and contraception are essential healthcare

Amnesty International
22 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching healthcare systems around the world to breaking point. As a result, many people are finding it harder than ever to access abortion and contraception.

A health crisis on this scale means governments are having to make difficult decisions about where to target limited health resources. Already, in some countries, including Nepal and South Africa, providers of abortion and contraception have been forced to reduce or suspend their services.


Telemedicine Abortion Could Save Lives During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Telemedicine Abortion Could Save Lives During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday April 16, 2020

Telemedicine abortion for early pregnancy is safe and technically feasible. Yet states across the nation have moved to ban remote abortion services. Many of the same states that ban telemedicine abortion have also capitalized on the COVID-19 crisis to close abortion clinics, endangering the lives and health of pregnant people.

Is Telemedicine Abortion Safe?

Telemedicine abortion might seem like an odd concept, especially to people who conceive of abortion as a surgical procedure. But the approval of medication abortions revolutionized pregnancy terminations. Fully 40% of abortions in the U.S. happen via pill. Most experts say the figure would be even higher if the FDA relaxed politically motivated restrictions on the abortion pill. In Europe, between 60 and 90% of abortions occur via pill.


Jamaica – House committee recommends conscience vote on abortion

House committee recommends conscience vote on abortion

BY BALFORD HENRY, Senior staff reporter
Saturday, March 28, 2020

THE House of Representatives' Human Resources and Social Development Select Committee has recommended that Members of Parliament make a “conscience” vote to determine whether or not abortion should be legalised in Jamaica.

The recommendation was obviously the likeliest response from the 11-member committee, chaired by Opposition MP and Roman Catholic Deacon Ronald Thwaites, after listening to the divisive views of more than 70 local and overseas institutions, individuals and emotional experts for a little over two years.