BOLIVIA – Seven women arrested for abortion this month; doctors plead compliance with the law

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BOLIVIA – Seven women arrested for abortion this month; doctors plead compliance with the law

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Sep 1, 2017

In August seven women accused of abortion in five cities were arrested, compared to two cases in the past seven months. Five other people were also arrested as accomplices. Doctors, who filed the complaints in the majority of cases said they were complying with the law in order to avoid being seen as accomplices. But they are also failing to respect the confidentiality of their patients and stop women with abortion complications seeking care, said Guadelupe Pérez on behalf of the Pacto de Despenalización del Aborto.

The Bolivian Criminal Code punishes abortion with up to six years in prison, except in cases of rape, incest or where the woman’s life is in danger. The draft bill to amend the Code, still under discussion, extends the grounds of legal abortion during the first eight weeks if the woman is in extreme poverty, does not have the resources to support her family, or is a student. Since it was tabled, the anti-abortion movement has called several large protests throughout the country, which may have sparked more women to be denounced.

Until last year, although there were some 775 arrests, according to Ipas Bolivia, only two women went to prison for having abortions. One, who was 23 weeks pregnant when she caused an abortion, spent eight months in prison in 2012 and the other one, only three days in 2016.

On 2 August, “Lizbeth B” was hospitalised for complications of abortion with pills that caused her to haemorrhage. She is 28 years old and a mother of two children, ages 1 and 2 years. She was treated while in police custody. Her husband admitted that he had pressured her to have an abortion for economic reasons. He was also arrested, accused of complicity.

On 4 August, “Reyna C”, aged 20 years, was arrested along with her boyfriend, accused of having an abortion with pills in a motel room. On 16 August, in a third city, a young woman aged 21 years was apprehended in a clinic that provided abortions. According to the doctors who denounced her, there was abortion medication in her system.

On 20 August, a woman was denounced by doctors for an abortion at five months of pregnancy. She required an emergency curettage and was then taken into police custody and arrested, along with her husband. On the 21 August, the police apprehended a teenager aged 16 years, who was denounced by staff of La Paz Hospital, where she went with serious haemorrhage and said the decision was because her parents rejected her pregnancy. She was accused for causing a risk to her own life by using abortion pills.

These cases were made public through the media, but the Pacto de Despenalización del Aborto knows of two other arrests in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, one of whom was handcuffed to her hospital bed.

Abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in Bolivia. The most recent death was a woman who was 33 years old, who died at home as a result of an abortion with pills purchased in a pharmacy and herbs purchased elsewhere. She left three children aged 4, 12 and 15 years. She was about four months pregnant.

SOURCE: Página Siete, by Liliana Carrillo V, 28 August 2017.

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/bolivia-seven-women-arrested-for-abortion-this-month-doctors-plead-compliance/

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Australia: A Woman’s Abortion Conviction Is An Unexpected Wake-Up Call, Experts Say

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A Woman’s Abortion Conviction Is An Unexpected Wake-Up Call, Experts Say

by Sam Langford
16 August 2017

Legal experts say that a Sydney woman’s conviction for taking abortion drugs is almost unheard of in NSW, and that the surprising case highlights the urgent need for abortion law reform.

In a judgment handed down on July 5 in Blacktown Local Court, Magistrate Geoff Hiatt found a woman who self-administered drugs to abort her pregnancy guilty of a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years imprisonment but as it was dealt with summarily in a local court the convicted woman faces a maximum two year sentence.

Continued at source: Junkee: http://junkee.com/sydney-abortion-conviction-unexpected/118317

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Nicaragua: Abortion Ban Threatens Health and Lives

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Nicaragua: Abortion Ban Threatens Health and Lives
Publisher: Human Rights Watch
Publication Date: 31 July 2017

Nicaragua's total ban on abortion is putting women and girls' health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The country's 2006 law punishing abortion - without any exceptions, even if pregnancies are life-threatening or resulted from rape - has driven abortions underground. The ban has not stopped abortion, but has made it more unsafe.

Women and girls with crisis pregnancies are getting unsafe clandestine abortions. Often too afraid to seek medical care when complications arise from such abortions, some women and girls delay seeking care and do not disclose to doctors the cause of complications. Medical providers, caught in a conflict between the law and medical ethics, have reported women and girls to police for suspected abortions. Under Nicaragua's criminal code, women and girls who terminate pregnancies face sentences of

Continued at source: Ref World: http://www.refworld.org/docid/597f3e094.html

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A U.S. Nonprofit Is Funding the Fight to Imprison Women for Abortions in El Salvador

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A U.S. Nonprofit Is Funding the Fight to Imprison Women for Abortions in El Salvador

By Christina Cauterucci
July 27, 2017

A U.S. anti-abortion nonprofit is funding the fight against legal abortion in El Salvador, funneling between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to an organization that supports the Central American country’s punishing laws. Reproductive-rights activists are currently rallying behind a bill that would allow for abortions in cases of rape, nonviable fetuses, and life-threatening health complications. Since 1998, abortions have been prohibited by law under all circumstances in the country—by most accounts, the world’s strictest abortion ban.

Continued at source: Slate: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/07/27/u_s_nonprofit_funds_fight_to_imprison_women_for_abortions_in_el_salvador.html

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Northern Ireland: We are the invisible victims of the DUP’s anti-abortion hardliners

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We are the invisible victims of the DUP’s anti-abortion hardliners
Any fight to protect women’s rights under a Tory-DUP regime is useless if it ignores the fight in Northern Ireland to have these rights for the first time

Elizabeth Nelson
Monday 19 June 2017

Five years ago a 15-year-old girl travelled from Northern Ireland to Manchester with her mother to have an abortion in a private clinic. The procedure plus travel and accommodation cost them about £900. They were UK citizens. Had they been resident elsewhere in the UK, a termination would have been free on the NHS. But they were from Northern Ireland and this is the price – psychological, medical, physical and literal – that women in Northern Ireland pay for living here.

Amid the outrage about what a British government propped up by the Democratic Unionist party would mean for the rights of women in Britain, and for lesbian, gay and transgender communities, the experiences of those groups in Northern Ireland have been all but invisible.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/19/invisible-victims-dup-anti-abortion-womens-rights-northern-ireland

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Most of Northern Ireland strongly backs abortion law reform, survey finds

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Most of Northern Ireland strongly backs abortion law reform, survey finds

Three in four people back legal abortions for women pregnant through rape or incest and in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

Friday 16 June 2017

A large majority of Northern Ireland’s population are in favour of reforming the region’s strict anti-abortion laws and back legal terminations for women made pregnant through sexual violence, a new survey has found.

Nearly 80% of the public in the region believe abortion should be legal when a woman has become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, according to the latest Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/16/northern-ireland-strongly-backs-abortion-law-reform-survey

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U.S.: Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions

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Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
By Katie Klabusich, Truthout | News Analysis

In just the first three months of this year, 431 abortion restrictions were introduced at the state level. Plus, 2017 has seen the confirmation of anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule (an international policy that prohibits nongovernmental organizations across the globe that receive US family planning funds from advocating for or even discussing abortion). Add in the 338 state-level restrictions passed between 2010-2016, and it is increasingly clear that abortion access -- at least in the short term -- is slipping away in this country.

Continued: Truthout: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40814-ending-the-stigma-and-prosecution-of-self-administered-abortions

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El Salvador: What happens when abortion is illegal in all circumstances

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What happens when abortion is illegal in all circumstances

Jeannette Urquilla
May 30, 2017

El Salvador has one of the worst records on reproductive rights in the world. Since 1998, Article 133 of the Penal Code has made abortion illegal in all circumstances, without exception, punishable by up to eight years in prison. Sentences of up to 30 years have been handed down when a judge determined that “homicide” rather than abortion had occurred. The Alliance for Women’s Health and Life has reported that 147 El Salvadorian women were charged with crimes relating to abortion between 2000 and 2014.

Because our laws are so draconian, so tilted in favor of the rights of fetuses over those of living women, pregnant women experiencing difficulties may not feel safe in El Salvador’s hospitals. We’ve all heard about Maria Teresa Rivera, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison after she miscarried. (She was released after serving four.) We are terrified of having medical problems during pregnancy as there is an underlying presumption of guilt. So women often suffer in silence, which causes further complications.

Continued at source: LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-urquilla-el-salvador-abortion-20170530-story.html

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The Law, Trials and Imprisonment for Abortion in Mexico

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The Law, Trials and Imprisonment for Abortion in Mexico
2 May 2017
A comprehensive summary of abortion law and punishment in Mexico
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by Hannah Pearson

“Confess, you have committed the worst sin in the world” (abortion-news.info, 2016)

When Patricia Mendez, a 21-year-old university student from Veracruz state, miscarried in March 2015, police were called into the hospital ward to watch as she writhed in pain and expelled a dead 20-week fetus. “I was naked, with just the robe they give you, and I had all of them around as I miscarried”, Patricia recounted. “I was in a lot of pain, but nobody did anything. They just said ‘Confess, you have committed the worst sin the world’”. “They treated me worse than an animal. I felt as if I could have died there and nobody would have done anything”, Patricia said of her treatment as she miscarried. [1] Patricia was then made to sign some papers, while a nurse held the fetus to her face and said "Kiss him. You have killed him". Patricia’s ex-boyfriend’s family held a funeral for the fetus, which they forced her to attend.

Continued at link: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-the-law-trials-and-imprisonment-for-abortion-in-kenya-28-april-739597?e=3fa4c971b0

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‘Kiss me, Frank, I’m going’: A century ago, abortion was on trial in Canada’s capital

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'Kiss me, Frank, I'm going': A century ago, abortion was on trial in Canada's capital

Megan Gillis, Postmedia
Published on: April 29, 2017

On any given day outside Ottawa’s best-known abortion clinic, protesters carry placards bearing pictures of bloody and dismembered fetuses. But in the Ottawa of 100 years ago, abortion was killing and maiming women. It was a desperate gamble that many were nonetheless willing to take, Megan Gillis writes.

Pregnant and single, the 24-year-old waitress at a Sparks Street lunch counter said she’d drown herself in the Rideau Canal if Annie Balcomb didn’t agree to help her.

Emily Cornick got her abortion but died anyway, weeping to her sister as she succumbed to peritonitis, “I’m going to die. I am sorry I came here. Oh, what will Mother say?”

Continued at source: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/kiss-me-frank-im-going-a-century-ago-abortion-was-on-trial-here-in-ottawa

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