International Safe Abortion Day
All states must ensure access to safe and legal abortion as a matter of human rights, say UN experts
28 September 2019
GENEVA (27 September 2019) – As an essential reproductive healthcare service for women and girls, access to safe and legal abortion is critical to ensure their fundamental right to autonomy, equality and to physical and mental health, UN human rights experts* said.
On the occasion of International Safe Abortion Day, the experts issue the following statement:
“Denial of access to safe and legal abortion drives service provision underground into the hands of unqualified practitioners, and exacerbates the risks to the health and safety of the affected women, in the form of pregnancy-related injuries and death. It is estimated that 25 million unsafe abortions take place every year, causing the preventable deaths of about 22,000 women, almost all in developing countries. Additionally, an estimated seven million women and girls experience injuries resulting in impairment and infertility. In contrast, countries where women have the effective right to abortion on request, supported by affordable and effective family planning measures, have the lowest abortion rates.
Antigender politics from May to August 2019
11 Sep 2019
Sexuality Policy Watch
We start this announcement recalling that, before May 2019, two major antigender events have taken place that are worth revisiting because of their potential subsequent ripple effects in Europe and Latin America.
The World Congress of Families – The 2019 edition of the World Family Congress (WCF) was held in Verona (Italy) in the last week of March. The event was attended by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, senior Hungarian officials and other well-known names of conservative religious and lay circles in Europe and the United States. The event faced protest, as Feminist and LGTBI marches took to the streets of Verona to contest the event’s agenda (see a compilation). It is also worth noting that the Vatican and members of the Five Star Movement — whose coalition with Salvini’s Lega Nord governs Italy — have publicly distanced themselves from the conference. Amongst the vast record of information published on Verona, we draw attention to the report published by openDemocracy on the large flow of money — more than 50 million euros — transferred between lay and religious conservatives in the United States and European far-right movements. Another OD report examines how WCF acts as a regular meeting point for strategies among highly conservative personalities, members of the European aristocracy and the Catholic hierarchy engaged in antigender and anti-abortion policies.
Pro-Choice Groups Are Changing Their Strategy for a New Era of Attacks on Abortion
NARAL is shifting its strategy to embrace the term "reproductive freedom," which polls well with moderates and independents.
by Marie Solis
Aug 8 2019
NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the largest pro-choice organizations in the country, is changing its communications strategy amid mounting attacks on abortion rights. In an exclusive interview, the group said it will place a greater emphasis on “reproductive freedom,” a framework its leadership believes will bring together a wider swath of the population in support of safe and legal abortion. Though NARAL has used the term in its messaging before, the group has relied more heavily on terms like “reproductive rights,” and "abortion access” to talk about their cause.
Latin America’s Rights Riddle
Why the region says yes to same-sex marriage and no to abortion.
By Omar G. Encarnación
August 27, 2018
In Latin America, progressive politics present something of a mystery: As LGBT rights have flourished, women’s reproductive rights have floundered. Earlier this month, for example, a bill to legalize abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy was defeated in the Argentine Senate. This is the same body that in 2010 made Argentina the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage with identical rights to heterosexual marriage. And since that historic milestone, Argentina has enacted one of the most liberal laws on gender identity to be found anywhere in the world. Its code allows people to change the gender listed on their legal documents without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or permission from a judge, as is required in most countries. The country has also granted same-sex couples reproductive rights, such as access to in vitro fertilization under the national health plan, and has banned programs that aim to “cure” same-sex attraction.
Pro-choice group plans to offer abortion pills in Northern Ireland tour
Protest over region’s near-total ban on terminations follows referendum south of border
Henry McDonald in Belfast and agencies
Mon 28 May 2018
Pro-choice activists are planning to distribute abortion pills from a bus touring Northern Ireland this week in protest against the near-total ban on terminations in the region.
The medication is illegal in Northern Ireland which, after the referendum in the Republic on Friday, will soon be the only place in the UK and the island of Ireland where women cannot terminate unwanted pregnancies.
State Department removes reproductive rights indicators from annual country reporting
By Nancy Northup, opinion contributor
Last Friday’s release of the U.S. Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has a gaping hole: the “Reproductive Rights” section has disappeared. This section was previously included for each one of the 195 countries covered by this comprehensive assessment of the state of human rights around the world With his confirmation now settled, Secretary of State Pompeo should understand — and reverse — his predecessor’s dramatic about-face in U.S. efforts to protect the rights of women.
The country reports form a critical body of evidence for capturing human rights conditions. They provide narrative evidence of compliance with human rights norms — an established part of international law — incorporating rights to free press, association, religion, fair trials and conditions of confinement, as well freedom from racial, ethnic and gender-based discrimination.
Trump’s State Department Erases Reproductive Rights From Human Rights Report
Apr 23, 2018
The U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report this year omitted reproductive rights, sparking outcry from advocates.
The report, titled “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017,” is meant to “document the status of human rights and worker rights in nearly 200 countries and territories” and is “used by a variety of actors, including the U.S. Congress, the executive branch, and the judicial branch as a factual resource for decision making in matters ranging from assistance to asylum.”
State Department strikes reproductive rights, ‘Occupied Territories’ from human rights report
by Carol Morello
April 20, 2018
The State Department’s annual human rights report released Friday drops references to reproductive rights for women and stops using the phrase “Occupied Territories” to describe Israel’s presence in Gaza and the West Bank.
The report, which covers 2017, focuses less on societal attitudes and discrimination than in previous years and more on governmental actions that encourage or reward violence and bigotry. It is the first human rights report to reflect the Trump administration’s views and priorities.
ARMENIA – Network of advocates for women’s reproductive rights launched in Armenia
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
March 13, 2018
In 2017 the Women’s Resource Centre Armenia has launched an initiative to develop a network of experts to advocate for women’s reproductive rights. The Network members are representatives from different organizations and activists who have a background in reproductive rights. An issue of the highest importance currently, on which the network is focussing, is access to abortion.
In August 2016 the Armenian Government passed an amendment to the Law on Human Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights prohibiting sex-selective abortions. State policy is in reality trying to address the increase in overall number of abortions in Armenia. The law also introduces counselling, as well as a three-day period of reflection before the final decision is made on the request for a termination, and defines procedures to be taken against medical staff acting against this legislation.
State Department report will trim language on women's rights, discrimination
By NAHAL TOOSI
State Department officials have been ordered to pare back passages in a soon-to-be-released annual report on global human rights that traditionally discuss women’s reproductive rights and discrimination, according to five former and current department officials.
The directive calls for stripping passages that describe societal views on family planning, including how much access women have to contraceptives and abortion.