The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

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The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Nomtika

All roads led to Uruguay last week, between July 31st and August 4th, as 5 SRJC members took to Montevideo for the International Convention on Conscientious Objection.

The meeting, co-hosted by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), featured policymakers, academics, health professionals, legal experts, and feminist activists who collectively established that objecting to the provision of voluntary abortion services on religious or moral grounds, is a chief barrier to safe abortion and endangers the lives of women.

Continued at source: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition: http://srjc.org.za/2017/08/10/the-discussion-on-conscientious-objection/

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Global Experts Prioritize Tackling Conscientious Objection to Abortion

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Global Experts Prioritize Tackling Conscientious Objection to Abortion
Montevideo, August 4, 2017

Fifty experts from 20 countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe, gathered at the first international convening on conscientious objection to abortion have concluded that the refusal to provide legal abortion services is hurting women all over the world and must be tackled.

The meeting, co-hosted by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), featured policymakers, academics, health professionals, legal experts, and feminist activists who collectively established that objecting to the provision of voluntary abortion services on religious or moral grounds, is a chief barrier to safe abortion and endangers the lives of women.

Continued at source: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition: http://srjc.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Uruguay-English-Declaration.pdf

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Uruguay Solidarity Request: Please sign statement calling for release of young woman in prison for miscarriage

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Uruguay Solidarity Request

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion, April 7, 2017

Statement: A court has put a young woman in prison for miscarriage

by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU), 4 April 2017
PLEASE SIGN THIS STATEMENT CALLING FOR HER RELEASE

A young woman has this week been sentenced to a term in prison for homicide in the city of Rivera in Uruguay. She gave birth in the bathroom of her house unaware that she was even pregnant. She was accused of manslaughter, which the judge, Darwin Rampoldi, used to sentence her for having “aborted” the pregnancy.

This is the second time this year that the Uruguayan justice system has been responsible for a blatant injustice, void of any gender perspective. The circumstances, as narrated in the judgment, are masterfully misogynistic.

Before she was even taken to court, however, the young woman had been judged and condemned by the health professionals who attended her in the Public Hospital. The initial diagnosis was of “abortion” followed by a series of gynaecological examinations that determined that she had given birth. She was then taken to the maternity ward, and only six hours after admission, a doctor thought to ask: “Where is the baby?”.

In the trial, there were testimonies from doctors, neighbours and relatives. In her own words, the young woman told the court that she had felt a strong pain, but had had no idea that she was pregnant. She told her partner that she thought it could be ovarian pain, but that she wasn’t going to go to the doctor because “they will laugh at me”.

This is not the first time that a woman has been criminally prosecuted in Uruguay under these circumstances. Yet no State institution has intervened to prevent and address these unfortunate situations. Instead, the Penal Code is invoked, and women are put on trial and sent to jail without justification.
We call on the Judiciary to ensure that its members receive regular training in human rights issues as well as greater awareness of the use of legal processes so as to ensure gender justice. We also call on the Judiciary to monitor the performance of judges in invoking the criminal law in such cases. We believe an analysis of such judgments would provide an account of the extent of gender bias and prejudice in judicial rulings, and expose the extent to which they reinforce gender stereotypes and biased social values – such as those which assume that a woman who has an unexpected pregnancy and gives birth in very precarious conditions must have murdered a baby.

We also denounce the attitude and intervention of those health professionals who, instead of attending to a woman who found herself in this situation, mistreated, belittled and judged her. Health professionals are neither judges nor police officers; their role is not to condemn but to ensure the highest quality of care for the patient who requires it, regardless of her socioeconomic class and educational level, let alone her “motives”.

We demand the immediate release of this young woman and the effective intervention of all the State institutions that are involved, to ensure her release.

TO SIGN THIS STATEMENT, PLEASE SEND YOUR GROUP/NAME, POSITION, CITY, COUNTRY, TO: mysu@mysu.org.uy
COMUNICADO EN ESPAÑOL: http://www.mysu.org.uy/multimedia/noticia/comunicado-ante-procesamiento-con-prision-de-mujer-en-rivera/ ;

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion:
http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/uruguay-solidarity-request/

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In Uruguay, Where Abortion Is Legal, a Judge’s Ruling Grants a Man the Right to Stop a Woman’s Decision

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In Uruguay, Where Abortion Is Legal, a Judge's Ruling Grants a Man the Right to Stop a Woman’s Decision
Posted 4 March 2017
Written by Fernanda Canofre

A girl meets a guy. They have an on-and-off relationship for six months, until they mutually agree it’s not working anymore. It might sound like a common modern-day romance, except for the fact that not long after the girl finds out she is pregnant.

There's where things got complicated.

After considering her options and talking with her former partner, she decides not to continue with the pregnancy, but when she starts the process of interrupting it — something guaranteed by law in her country, Uruguay, until the 12th week of pregnancy — she finds out there's a legal complaint against her.

Her ex-partner wanted “to protect the life of his unborn child,” and with the help of a female judge, it was decided that “constitutionally” the fetus’ rights prevailed over the woman’s rights. The legal order came in a critical moment, when the 12-week period in which abortion is legal was about to close.

Continued at source: Global Voices: https://globalvoices.org/2017/03/04/in-uruguay-where-abortion-is-legal-a-judges-ruling-grants-a-man-the-right-to-stop-a-womans-decision/

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Young woman denied a legal abortion may take legal action against judge in Uruguay

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Young woman denied a legal abortion may take legal action against judge in Uruguay
by Safe Abortion, March 3, 2017

A judge in the city of Mercedes, Soriano, has ruled against a woman having an abortion who was booked for the abortion on 23 February. The ruling came after her ex–partner tabled an amparo asking the court to delay the abortion so that he could challenge her decision. The judge agreed to hear the case and then assigned a solicitor for the fetus, who was permitted to question the woman about her reasons for seeking an abortion. The judge then refused the abortion. The case caused a wave of reaction from political organisations and women’s groups who support the 2012 reform of the abortion law.

Margarita Percovich, a former senator and driving force behind the 2012 law reform, explained to PáginaI12: “The decision of the judge was clearly unconstitutional because the ruling was not based in existing law and did not comply with existing regulations on abortion”.

The woman is 24 years old and was 10 weeks pregnant when the case was heard. The lawyer for the young woman said he felt “a profound personal and professional outrage” at the ruling of the judge, and appealed the ruling. The appeal would have to have been heard within 10 days as the law permits abortion on request only up to 12 weeks. It was thought the case might end up in the Supreme Court.

However, on 1 March El Observador reported that the woman had had a miscarriage. Her solicitor stated that she had been under a huge amount of stress because of the case and confirmed that there was firm medical evidence that the miscarriage was spontaneous.

On 2 March, El Observador reported that the woman will take legal action against the judge who denied her an abortion, in order to prevent other women having to go back to the backstreets for illegal abortions. She said: “These last weeks have been absolutely terrible; the whole world wanted to have an opinion about my body.”

In a statement published on 25 February, before the woman miscarried, Lilián Abracinskas, director of Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU), who have been supporting the woman throughout the case, said that the court did not have the right to intervene in the woman’s decision: “It is clearly stipulated in the law that no one can interfere in the decision of the woman, from any side. The court has tried to reopen a debate that ended in 2012 and made a ruling that is not in accordance with the letter of the law, nor permitted to the man involved. It is not in the power of the court to rewrite the law. When a judge seeks to use their powers to impose their own beliefs and ideology, we have a very serious problem.”

Her biggest concern was that this was an attempt to set a precedent for men who want to influence women’s decisions and use the courts to take control over women’s bodies. “It is not a coincidence that this case has arisen in Soriano, which is one of the last bastions of resistance to the 2012 abortion law. In that part of the country, 100% of gynaecologists are conscientious objectors,” she said.

SOURCES: El Observador, 2 March 2017 ;  El Observador, 1 March 2017 ;  Páginal12, by Jeremías Batagelj, 25 February 2017. VISUAL: El Observador ; SEE ALSO: Espectador, 24 February 2017 (todos en español)

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/young-woman-denied-a-legal-abortion-may-take-legal-action-against-judge-in-uruguay/

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