30+ Caribbean women’s groups call for decriminalisation of abortion

30+ Caribbean women’s groups call for decriminalisation of abortion

Friday March 29, 2019

The undersigned social justice and women’s organisations and individual advocates note the Jamaican parliamentary consultations under way on the law on abortion.

We encourage Jamaica to follow the example of other countries within CARICOM, which have led the way with legislation that decriminalises the termination of pregnancy – Barbados (1983) and Guyana (1995). As well, Belize, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines have expanded the exceptions that allow for abortion under the criminal law.

Continued: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20190329/30-caribbean-womens-groups-call-decriminalisation-abortion

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Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy to Expand Access to Safe Abortion (SAFE ENGAGE)

Mar 28, 2019

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), access to safe abortion has historically been limited. Political chaos, a weak health sector, low use of contraception, and restrictive laws—that until recently made it illegal in nearly all cases—have contributed to high rates of abortion across the country. Many of these are unsafe, which contributes to the DRC’s very high maternal mortality rate. However, in March 2018 the Congolese government published the text of the Maputo Protocol in the country’s national legal journal following a concerted advocacy effort by a coalition of women’s rights groups, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations, known as Coalition de Grossesses Non Désirées. Due to the nature of the country’s legal system, this action effectively expanded the categories under which abortion is now legal in DRC.

Continued: https://www.prb.org/program/expanding-access-to-safe-abortion-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo/

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Trump Is Doubling Down On His Already Expansive Anti-Abortion Foreign Policy

Trump Is Doubling Down On His Already Expansive Anti-Abortion Foreign Policy
Trump’s rule banning US funding from groups that “provide or promote” abortion was already further-reaching than any previous Republican president’s.

Ema O'Connor BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on March 26, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will expand its anti-abortion rules abroad, a move that many international health organizations say worsens an already devastating policy for women’s health.

The State Department announced Tuesday the administration will expand a rule that blocks US funding from any international nongovernmental organization that “provides or promotes abortion as a method of birth control.” The rule, called the Mexico City Policy, will now not only apply to organizations receiving US funding, but any local organizations those organizations support. Many groups that rely on US funding stopped doing international aid work related to abortion in order to keep those funds. The expanded rule will mean that they will have to stop giving financial support to other groups doing that work as well, even if they were using non-US or private funds to provide that support.

Continued: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emaoconnor/trump-double-down-anti-abortion-gag-rule

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How Georgia and Other States’ ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bans Kill and Injure Women

How Georgia and Other States' 'Heartbeat' Abortion Bans Kill and Injure Women

ZawnVillines
Thursday March 21, 2019

States across the nation are increasingly pushing so-called “heartbeat bills.” These ban abortion as soon as a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat—usually around six weeks gestation. Georgia is the latest state to propose such legislation. If the bill passes, and it seems likely to do so, Georgia abortion clinics will be forced to subject women to medically unnecessary ultrasounds. If an ultrasound detects the presence of a heartbeat, a woman cannot undergo an abortion.

These bills are plainly unconstitutional, but that doesn’t mean much. Pro-choice activists who assert that the laws are illegal miss the larger point. To get a law declared unconstitutional, you need someone who has standing to sue and a lawyer who has the skills and resources necessary to do so. That requires time and money.

Continued: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/3/21/1843892/-How-Georgia-and-Other-States-Heartbeat-Abortion-Bans-Kill-and-Injure-Women

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USA – I Am an Abortion Rights Activist. I Hope the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.

I Am an Abortion Rights Activist. I Hope the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.

By ROBIN MARTY
March 20, 2019

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 that the ability to terminate a pregnancy was a constitutional right. Now, less than five decades later, with a number of lower-court abortion decisions advancing and the most conservative Supreme Court since the 1930s, abortion opponents could be close to getting what they have wanted ever since Roe v. Wade: the decision’s reversal.

I am an abortion rights activist, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/20/overturning-roe-v-wade-abortion-rights-225820

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Safe Access to Abortion Crucial to Reducing Maternal Mortality in Kenya

Safe Access to Abortion Crucial to Reducing Maternal Mortality in Kenya
First Lady Kenyatta’s “Beyond Zero” Campaign Ignores Key Issue

March 14, 2019
Agnes Odhiambo, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division

Five years ago, Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, launched the “Beyond Zero” campaign to eradicate preventable maternal and child mortality in Kenya. The initiative has drawn support and criticism in equal measure from Kenyans, and it has earned this criticism by ignoring a crucial aspect of women’s health – access to safe abortion.

A charity half marathon last weekend to mobilize resources for the campaign was met with wide-ranging criticism from Kenyans. Activists infiltrated part of the run to stage an anti-corruption protest, arguing that corruption and government failure to prosecute officials implicated in these crimes are the main factors behind Kenya’s failing health sector. Other critics say that the first lady’s campaign is diverting much-needed resources from the public health system.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/14/safe-access-abortion-crucial-reducing-maternal-mortality-kenya

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Kenya – Ambiguity in abortion guidelines causing death of women and girl

Ambiguity in abortion guidelines causing death of women and girls

Monday March 11 2019
By EVELYNE OPONDO

The International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made towards gender equality — and we must as well consider the work that still needs to be done to ensure women and girls can participate with dignity as equal members of society.

Improving maternal health outcomes is an integral component in achieving gender equality. While the maternal mortality rate has declined in Kenya, the risk of women dying from pregnancy complications remains high.

Continued: https://www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/Ambiguity-in-abortion-guidelines-causing-death-/440808-5020152-13qcd19/

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Jamaica – Carolyn Cooper | Women dying for abortion rights

Carolyn Cooper | Women dying for abortion rights

Published: Sunday | March 10, 2019

The facts are bloodcurdling. The Partnership for Women’s Health and Well-being has issued a grave reminder that we simply cannot ignore.

“The practice of unsafe abortions and the consequences of abortions performed by untrained, non-specialist physicians can result in a number of complications for women, including: severe infections, gangrene in the uterus, hemorrhaging, tearing of the cervix, uterine perforation, laceration of the vaginal wall and untimely death.”

Continued: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20190310/carolyn-cooper-women-dying-abortion-rights

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South Africa – Campaign gives women the power of choice on abortions

Campaign gives women the power of choice on abortions

News / 8 March 2019
Staff Writer

Cape Town – Marie Stopes South Africa and Blue Ribbon have embarked on a public campaign called My Body, My Choice to empower women with access to accurate information and resources for safe abortions.

This is to empower them to make an informed choice about their sexual and reproductive health.

Continued: https://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/news/campaign-gives-women-the-power-of-choice-on-abortions-19735434

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Lack of safe abortion provision a global health issue

Lack of safe abortion provision a global health issue
At least 22,000 women and girls die each year from unsafe abortions

Thu, Mar 7, 2019
Claire Fotheringham

Setting foot in the busy maternity hospital in West Africa in September 2011 , I was completely unprepared for what I found: women arriving on death’s door, with complications such as heavy bleeding and septic shock.

In the operating theatre, examining many of these women, I found trauma marks on the cervix, caused by objects such as sticks that had been inserted to terminate their pregnancies. Examples of unsafe abortion that had resulted in horrific injury.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/lack-of-safe-abortion-provision-a-global-health-issue-1.3816662

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