Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged

Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged

NOV. 13, 2017

Late last month, Cosimo Borraccino, a left-wing member of the regional council for Apulia, in southern Italy, proposed passing a local law to require the enforcement of national legislation granting women access to abortion. His opponents on the council, mostly from center-right parties, said the bill was unnecessary and that Mr. Borraccino was “slamming into a wall of self-evidence.”

Yet when it comes to reproductive rights in Italy, respect of the law is anything but self-evident. In fact, 9 out of 10 gynecologists in Apulia refuse to perform abortions, even though the right to obtain one has been legal since 1978. Nationwide statistics are only slightly less staggering: Seven out of 10 gynecologists in Italy won’t terminate a pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/abortion-italy-conscientious-objectors.html

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Ireland: Varadkar announces abortion referendum for next year

Varadkar announces abortion referendum for next year
15 Jun 2017
Kenneth Fox

Simon Harris will be responsible for bringing forward the legislation

Amidst the news of a new Taoisech in the Dáil and the announcement of his Cabinet, the news that Leo Varadkar had confirmed an abortion referendum, seemed to slip through the cracks.

Yesterday he confirmed that the referendum will take place sometime next year.

He said Health Minister Simon Harris would be responsible for bringing forward legislation to allow for the referendum on the eight amendment, which gives an equal right to life to the mother and the unborn.

Continued at link: NewsTalk: http://www.newstalk.com/Varadkar-announces-abortion-referendum-for-next-year-

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Irish abortion law violated woman’s human rights, UN says

Irish abortion law violated woman’s human rights, UN says

Siobhan Whelan forced to travel to UK for abortion after fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis

June 13, 2017
Paul Cullen

A United Nations committee has found Ireland violated the human rights of a woman who had to travel to Britain for an abortion after her baby was diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality.
The UN human rights committee has told the State to pay compensation to the woman, Siobhan Whelan, and to provide psychological treatment to her.

Continued at source: Irish Times: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/irish-abortion-law-violated-woman-s-human-rights-un-says-1.3118145

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UN repeats criticism of Ireland’s ‘cruel and inhumane’ abortion laws

UN repeats criticism of Ireland's 'cruel and inhumane' abortion laws

Committee finds in favour of Siobhán Whelan, who was denied a termination despite fatal foetal syndrome diagnosis

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

Tuesday 13 June 2017

The United Nations has again ruled that Ireland’s abortion laws have subjected a woman to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

It is the second time in 12 months that the UN’s human rights committee has denounced the abortion rules in the Irish Republic, which denies women with fatal foetal abnormalities the right to terminate pregnancies.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/13/un-denounces-ireland-abortion-laws-as-cruel-and-inhumane-again

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UN highlights the shame of Ireland’s harsh abortion laws

UN highlights the shame of Ireland’s harsh abortion laws
13 June 2017

A ruling issued today by the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) that Ireland’s harsh abortion laws violated the human rights of an Irish woman is yet another reminder of the desperate need for reform, Amnesty International said.

The UNHRC ordered that Ireland redress the harm it caused to Siobhán Whelan, who was forced to travel to the UK for an abortion in 2010, including by reforming its abortion laws to prevent similar violations happening to other women.

“This is the second case within a year where the UN has found Ireland’s abortion laws to be grossly out of step with its international human rights obligations. While we welcome this ruling, it is outrageous that women have to go to the UN to have their human rights respected. How many more women will have to suffer before the Irish government opens its eyes?” said Gauri Van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/06/un-highlights-the-shame-of-irelands-harsh-abortion-laws/

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U.N. Human Rights Committee Concerned by Poland’s Restrictive Abortion Law

Nov 4, 2016, Center for Reproductive Rights (PRESS RELEASE)

Women in Poland may face risks to their health and lives as a result of the country’s highly restrictive abortion law—according to a report released today by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (U.N. Committee).

The U.N. Committee expressed serious concerns about the high number of women in Poland seeking unsafe abortions, which could put their health and lives at risk, because of the country’s restrictive abortion law. The committee also stressed its concern regarding the serious barriers that women who seek access to abortion encounter, including the lengths women are forced to travel to access services.

[continued at link]
Source: Center for Reproductive Rights

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UN Human Rights Committee Recommendations on Abortion Law & Policy: Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana

Family planning clinic in Burkina Faso (photo Burkina 24)

UN Human Rights Committee Recommendations on Abortion Law & Policy: Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana

27 July 2016

Burkina Faso:  Santé reproductive : Le Burkina invité à éliminer les obstacles d’accès à l’avortement légal
(Reproductive health: Burkina invited to eliminate obstacles to accessing legal abortion)

L’une des recommandations majeures issues de la 117e Session du Comité des droits de l’Homme de l’ONU tenue à Genève et publiées ce 15 juillet 2016, concerne les interruptions volontaires de grossesse et accès aux moyens de contraception au Burkina.

(One of the most important recommendations of the 117th Session of the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, published 15 July 2016, concerned abortion and access to the means of contraception in Burkina Faso.)

From the HRC report:

Interruptions volontaires de grossesse et accès aux moyens de contraception
(Voluntary termination of pregnancy and access to contraceptive methods)

19. Le Comité est préoccupé par les conditions contraignantes pour accéder à l’avortement légal en cas de viol ou d’inceste, à savoir l’obtention d’une décision de justice reconnaissant l’infraction et un délai légal de 10 semaines pour pratiquer une interruption volontaire de grossesse. Le Comité note avec préoccupation le recours par les femmes enceintes à des avortements à risque qui mettent en danger leur vie et leur santé en raison des obstacles légaux, de la stigmatisation et du manque d’information. Il est recommandé aux autorités burkinabè d’éliminer les obstacles pour accéder à l’avortement légal qui incitent les femmes à recourir à des avortements à risque qui mettent leur vie et leur santé en danger et de lever l’exigence d’une autorisation préalable du tribunal pour les avortements résultants d’un viol ou d’un inceste.

(The Committee is concerned by the conditions required for accessing a legal abortion in cases of rape or incest, namely obtaining a judge's decision recognizing the offence within the legal limit of 10 weeks of pregnancy. The Committee notes with concern the use by pregnant women of unsafe abortion methods, which endanger their life and health because of legal obstacles, stigma and lack of information. It is recommended to the authorities of Burkina Faso to eliminate the obstacles to accessing legal abortion which encourage women to resort to unsafe abortions that put their lives and health at risk, and to remove the requirement of prior authorization of a court for abortions resulting from rape or incest.)... FULL STORY


Ecuador: Concerns about the criminalisation of abortion in the new Organic Integrated Criminal Code

According to the non-governmental organizations who attended the Committee hearings and presented shadow reports, the State did not answer the experts’ questions on issues such as freedom of expression, human trafficking, and women’s rights, among others. This information must be sent, in writing, by the Ecuadorian State to the Committee.

From the HRC report:

Interrupción voluntaria del embarazo (Voluntary termination of pregnancy)

15. El Comité observa con preocupación que el nuevo Código Orgánico Integral Penal criminaliza la interrupción voluntaria del embarazo, salvo cuando se practique para “evitar un peligro para la vida o salud de la mujer embarazada y si este peligro no puede ser evitado por otros medios” y cuando el embarazo haya sido consecuencia de la violación “en una mujer que padezca discapacidad mental”, lo que habría llevado a muchas mujeres embarazadas a continuar buscando servicios de aborto inseguros que pondrían en peligro su vida y su salud (arts. 3, 6, 7 y 17).

(The Committee notes with concern that the new Organic Integrated Criminal Code criminalises voluntary termination of pregnancy, except when it is to "prevent a danger to the life or health of the pregnant woman and if this danger cannot be avoided by other means" and when the pregnancy has been a consequence of the rape "of a woman who suffers from mental disability", which would lead to many pregnant women to continue to seek unsafe abortion services that endanger their life and health.) FULL STORY


Ghana: Concerns that despite some legal grounds, safe abortion remains largely inaccessible

Voluntary termination of pregnancy

23. The Committee is concerned that, despite the legally available exceptions to the prohibition of abortion, safe abortion remains largely inaccessible due to the stigma associated to voluntary termination of pregnancy in the society and to its relatively high cost and the fact that it is not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme. The Committee is concerned by the percentage of unsafe abortion-related maternal deaths (Arts.3, 6, 7 and 17). FULL STORY


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

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