FEATURE: The law, trials and imprisonment for abortion in Malaysia

FEATURE: The law, trials and imprisonment for abortion in Malaysia
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11 July 2018

By Nandini Archer
Edited by Marge Berer

Introduction

In spite of sustained advocacy from sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and human rights advocates, and penal code amendments in 1971 and 1989, which opened up more grounds for abortion, access to safe, legal abortion remains heavily restricted in Malaysia. Before these changes, several prosecutions were taken against medical professionals. Since them, only one woman has been prosecuted for abortion – a Nepali migrant worker named Nirmala in 2014, who spent four months in prison and was acquitted on appeal.

This report looks at the abortion law and access to abortion in Malaysia and reviews calls to change the law and access by SRH and human rights advocates. The report ends with a discussion of the cases against medical professionals, prosecutions of women for infanticide and the case of Nirmala.[1]

continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-the-law-trials-and-imprisonment-for-abortion-in-malaysia-11-july-2018?e=372dd34034

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Malaysia – Let’s talk about… abortion

Let’s talk about… abortion
Abortions shouldn't be taken lightly as it can put the life of the pregnant woman at risk if she is not armed with the right facts to make an informed decision.

June 1, 2018

Abortion is a taboo subject in many parts of the world and Malaysia is no exception. It is a topic that provokes much emotion from both sides of the debate and like all ethical debates, the grey areas are more common than the clear cut, black and white answers. The practical implications of the hesitance to discuss this topic gives way to misinformation. Misinformation in the medical field is akin to walking blindfolded through a jungle. One wrong step can put one in danger.

Here in Malaysia, the social stigma of abortion encourages people to seek help in secrecy. In this environment, predatory opportunists seek to make money off desperate people and when things go wrong, the victims have nobody to turn to.

Continued: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2018/06/01/lets-talk-about-abortion/

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The pro-choice movement in Asia: A retrospective

The pro-choice movement in Asia: A retrospective

Posted on 8 February, 2018
by Asia Safe Abortion Partnership
Dr. S. P. Choong. Founding Member, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership

As a founding member of ASAP, I am taken aback to suddenly realize that it’s been 10 years since we adopted the idea of a regional alliance for abortion rights. I guess it has been such an enjoyable and fulfilling ride for me to witness the growth of the pro-choice movement – in different countries, involving different professions and especially different generations.

Starting out as an individual abortion rights activist 50 years was a lonely business – facing stigma from friends and professional colleagues. No matter how strong our own internal convictions, it can still be stressful

Continued: http://asap-asia.org/blog/the-pro-choice-movement-in-asia-a-retrospective/#sthash.L4FEkh7u.dpbs

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A threat to abortion pill access in Malaysia

A threat to abortion pill access in Malaysia
by Safe Abortion, Jan 31, 2017

A statement by the Minister of Health of Malaysia, in which he threatened investigation and prosecution of anyone selling or purchasing medical abortion pills online, was widely reported in the press.

In response, the Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia’s said: “We recognise the proliferation of many unethical sellers of medical abortion pills, but the proposed action by the Minister may also end up threatening the provision of genuine non-profit suppliers such as Women on Web, Women Help Women and Safe2Choose.

“Mifepristone has not been approved in Malaysia. But off-label use of misoprostol for medical abortion and for softening the cervix before manual vacuum aspiration abortion is common.

“Six months ago, the Ministry pressured Pfizer to stop supplying misoprostol in Malaysia, thus preventing abortion providers from using it. We are uncertain how effective  the Customs department will be, but we expect most of the supplies will still get through. But if a prosecution takes place, it will be a real threat to continuing access.”

The newspaper article, published on 16 January, was entitled: “Health Minister concerned over abortion pills”. The Minister, Datuk Seri S Subramaniam, is reported as saying that in Malaysia, these pills require a doctor’s prescription, and are for “specific purposes”. For internet sales domestically, he believed they could be detected and action taken against offenders. However, he is also quoted as saying that it is difficult to detect when orders are placed online for purchases from abroad. He said the Health Ministry was working with the Customs Department and police to detect packages containing such pills and also to establish whether the pills were being sold locally.

The article also states that misoprostol is easily available online and a common discussion topic in certain chatrooms, especially those related to “how to get a safe abortion”.

The Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia’s says: “The only logical and effective step to cut out the demand for online abortion pills… is to fast-track the approval and supply of both these medications to doctors so that they can be legally prescribed to clients after a proper assessment, as proposed by the Minister.”

SOURCES: E-mail, Dr SP Choong, Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM),

23 January 2017 ; Malaymailonline, by Murali Arumugam, 16 January 2017
Source, International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/a-threat-to-abortion-pill-access-in-malaysia/

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