Ireland – No GP should be allowed opt out of abortions

Newton Emerson: No GP should be allowed opt out of abortions
Conscientious objection amounts to saying ‘We don’t serve your sort around here, love’

Thu, Jun 14, 2018
Newton Emerson

The UK supreme court sat for the first time in Belfast last month, hearing an appeal into the “gay cake” case, among others.

“People will of course not expect an answer any time soon,” the president of the court said upon reserving judgment.

Another thing nobody expects is for the court to let bakers opt into a register of those willing to ice gay cakes, comprising only a handful of bakers in the country, with people obliged to travel to find them.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/newton-emerson-no-gp-should-be-allowed-opt-out-of-abortions-1.3529281

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Kenya – Lack of information on sex leaves young people vulnerable

Lack of information on sex leaves young people vulnerable

Saturday June 2 2018

Let’s talk about sex.

That is the one statement that makes many parents cringe while others run for holy water and call a priest.

But the reality is that, by the time they turn 19, the majority of Kenyan youth have already had their sexual debut.

Continued: https://www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/Lack-of-information-on-sex/440808-4591098-vaqs8p/index.html

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USA: Janet Benshoof, lawyer who pursued abortion rights for women, dies at 70

Janet Benshoof, lawyer who pursued abortion rights for women, dies at 70

By Harrison Smith
December 19, 2017

Janet Benshoof, a human rights lawyer who campaigned to expand access to contraceptives and abortion, leading organizations that advocated on behalf of women from the mainland United States to Burma, Iraq and Guam, where she was once arrested for protesting the most restrictive abortion law in America, died Dec. 18 at her home in Manhattan. She was 70.

She was diagnosed in November with uterine serous carcinoma, an endometrial cancer, said her son David Benshoof Klein.

Continued at source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/janet-benshoof-lawyer-who-pursued-abortion-rights-for-women-dies-at-70/2017/12/19/76194422-e4d2-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html

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UK: Boots apologises for morning-after pill response

Boots apologises for morning-after pill response

22 July 2017

Boots has said it is "truly sorry" for its response to calls to cut the cost of one of its morning-after pills.

The pharmaceutical company was criticised after telling the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) it was avoiding "incentivising inappropriate use".

It now says it is looking for cheaper alternatives to the Levonelle brand.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40689763

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UK: The morning-after pill is safe. So why is it so difficult to access?

by Laura Bates, The Guardian

Stop the patronising consultations. There is no valid reason to restrict women’s access to emergency contraception – or charge so much for it

Wednesday 30 November 2016

A new campaign from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) is calling for emergency contraception, commonly known as the morning-after pill, to be sold directly from pharmacy shelves without a mandatory consultation. The campaign highlights the fact that the pill can cost British women up to £30, as much as five times higher than in other European countries, meaning that it could even be cheaper to fly to France and buy it there than to visit a local pharmacy.

[continued at link]
Source: The Guardian

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Public health services in Peru to provide free emergency contraception

Public health services in Peru to provide free emergency contraception

by Safe Abortion

In an important step for reproductive rights, Peru has, for the first time, given the green light for medical personnel to offer free emergency contraception through the country’s health centres.

Health Minister Patricia Garcia – newly appointed under President Pedro Pablo Kuzcinksy and inaugurated last month – announced the decision Tuesday, saying that the pill will be offered free of charge within 30 days. The move comes in response to a recent court ruling that ordered the Ministry of Health to make the emergency contraceptive pill freely available across the country, especially in Peru’s poorest areas.

[continued at link]

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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Malta: Morning-after pill debate heats up as Godfrey Farrugia weighs in

Shutterstock

Friday, June 17, 2016, 07:30 by Claire Caruana

A women's rights group has filed a judicial protest calling for the morning-after pill to be legalised.

 

 

 

Denying access to emergency contraceptives, including the morning-after pill, is in breach of women’s fundamental rights, the Women’s Rights Foundation claims, calling on the government to change its stance.

Gift of Life Malta has slammed the move saying it was an attempt to legalise abortion in Malta through the legalisation of the morning-after pill.

The Women’s Rights Foundation yesterday filed a judicial protest against the State – backed up by 102 women aged between 16 and 62 – demanding licensing, importation and distribution of ‘emergency contraception’ to be made legal.

“Women’s Rights Foundation calls on the government to change its position with regards to emergency contraceptives and licences without further delay. Every day that goes by will continue to discriminate and breach the rights of women,” the NGO said.
They are attempting to legalise abortion in Malta

The foundation said it was filing the protest on behalf of women who were not ready to start a family, rape victims, those already with children but who do not want more, women who were financially unstable and those who have made use of contraceptives which did not work.

“The right of women and couples to decide on number, spacing and timing of their children has been long enshrined in a number of international documents, many of which have been signed and ratified by Maltese governments,” the organisation said.

The morning-after pill is a form of contraceptive that can be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. The pill, which is not licensed locally, is effective if taken soon after intercourse. Malta is the only EU country to not offer access to emergency contraception.

According to the foundation, since emergency contraceptives are not legal in Malta, women who did not want to get pregnant but would have had unprotected sex were often resorting to taking an overdose of the contraceptive pill, which is available on prescription.

“A woman has to have the autonomy to make a decision about her fertility and sexuality free from coercion and violence, to be treated as an individual in her own right, as being capable to make decisions regarding her own body and fertility.

Limitations or prohibition of this autonomy is a breach of women’s right. A woman has the right to choose her method of contraception. Limiting her choice is discriminatory.”

The foundation also pointed to the fact that emergency contraception is available across all other EU countries.

Critics of the foundation’s move have said that such a contraceptive would pave the way for abortion.

Pro-life non-governmental organisation Gift of Life Malta has urged those against abortion to stand up and defend life from conception. “They are attempting to legalise abortion in Malta by making the sale of the morning-after pill legal,” the NGO said. The Life Network Foundation and Malta Unborn Child Movement have also said they oppose the pill, saying it was "abortifacient".

Debate on whether the morning-after pill is abortive varies, hinging on the argument whether pregnancy begins at the fertilisation stage or at a later stage in the reproductive cycle.

While the Catholic Church considers any method that blocks or hinders the implantation of a fertilised ovum as an abortion, the World Health Organisation argues that all women and girls at risk of an unintended pregnancy should have a right to access emergency contraception.

Contacted about the judicial protest, a Justice Ministry spokeswoman said this would be “discussed in the parliamentary group”.

The Nationalist Party’s said its position “was, is and will remain” against abortion. With regards to the judicial protest, the Nationalist Party said it would discuss this within its internal structures, from a legal, political and ethical point of view.

Godfrey Farrugia says pill "may be abortive"

Labour Party whip and onetime Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia came out against the morning-after pill, calling it a "plan B for unprotected and casual sex".

In a Facebook post, Dr Farrugia said the pill was a form of abortion.

"Let's call a spade a spade it does have an abortive effective," he wrote.

He subsequently clarified that he had meant that the pill "may" have an abortive effect.

Dr Farrugia, a medical doctor by profession, wrote: "Once taken after intercourse it interferes with fertilization or is abortive of the zygote and embryo before it implants. It is the chemical use of levonorgestrel to wash away the intra-uterine contents after a sexual affair."

He dismissed arguments that the morning-after pill is a reproductive right.

"Freedom of thought, opinion, liberty and to assemble are human rights," he wrote, "but...liberty is the power that we bestow on ourselves and interfering with the very origins of life do not fulfill those rights."

His partner, Independent MP Marlene Farrugia, also opposes the pill. In a Facebook post similar to her partner's, she wrote "in cases of rape, one crime does not cancel out another."

Pill increases promiscuity and rape, says Women for Life

In a reaction issued this morning, Women for Life claimed that the availability of emergency contraception increased sexual promiscuity and led to people treating babies as "accidents".

The group also claimed that the pill "appears to have encouraged abusive behaviour and rape by men." Rapists, the group said, could "cover their crimes by forcing the morning-after pill" on their victims.

The group said it opposed moves to legalise the pill, saying there were "more justifiable, more reasonable and easier ways" of family planning.

Source: Times of Malta

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