‘Poverty favours the mosquito’: experts warn Zika virus could return to Brazil

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'Poverty favours the mosquito': experts warn Zika virus could return to Brazil

Two months after government says Zika emergency at an end, water shortages and weak health system trigger fears of fresh outbreak

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Friday 14 July 2017

Weaknesses in the public health system risk another Zika epidemic in Brazil, according to a report published two months after the government declared the mosquito-borne virus was no longer an emergency.

Blamed for the birth defect microcephaly, Zika exposed human rights deficiencies in areas such as sanitation, access to clean water, poverty and sexual health restrictions, the report released on Thursday by Human Rights Watch said.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/14/poverty-favours-the-mosquito-experts-warn-zika-virus-could-return-to-brazil

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Brazil: Zika Epidemic Exposes Rights Problems

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Brazil: Zika Epidemic Exposes Rights Problems

July 12, 2017
Government Announced Emergency Over, But Major Risks Remain

(São Paulo) – Brazil has not addressed longstanding human rights problems that allowed the Zika outbreak to escalate, leaving the population vulnerable to future outbreaks and other serious public health risks, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government declared an end to the national public health emergency related to the Zika virus in May 2017, but the Zika threat in Brazil remains.

The 103-page report, “Neglected and Unprotected: The Impact of the Zika Outbreak on Women and Girls in Northeastern Brazil,” documents gaps in the Brazilian authorities’ response that have a harmful impact on women and girls and leave the general population vulnerable to continued outbreaks of serious mosquito-borne illnesses.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/12/brazil-zika-epidemic-exposes-rights-problems

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U.S.: In today’s movement toward home abortions, echoes of past cultural battles

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In today's movement toward home abortions, echoes of past cultural battles

'The cultural atmosphere [today is] way worse than the atmosphere that the underground service worked in during the ‘68 to ‘73 period,' says a former 'Jane,' who helped women obtain abortions before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.

Jessica Mendoza, Staff writer
July 5, 2017

Los Angeles — In the fall of 1970, a schoolteacher named Judith Arcana walked into a meeting held at a church a few blocks from her Chicago apartment. She emerged hours later a newly minted member of Jane, an underground collective that counseled women through – and later performed – thousands of illegal abortions between 1968 and 1973.

To Ms. Arcana, then 27, the idea of providing women with safe, dignified abortions dovetailed with her interest in reproductive justice and the burgeoning women’s liberation movement. “It seemed so right,” she recalls. “I was energized spiritually and politically, as well as intellectually.”

Continued at source: Christian Science Monitor: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2017/0705/In-today-s-movement-toward-home-abortions-echoes-of-past-cultural-battles

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Bring on the Irish abortion referendum

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Bring on the Irish abortion referendum

Ella Whelan
assistant editor

This is our chance to make the positive case for women’s rights.

16 June 2017

In his first day in office as the new Fine Gael Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar announced that the Republic of Ireland will have a referendum on the Eighth Amendment next year.

The Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which was added following a referendum on abortion rights in 1983, ensures the right to life of the unborn. This means that a woman’s life and rights are equated with that of an embryo. Irish women cannot access abortion services, even in the event of rape or fatal fetal abnormality. They are forced to buy medicine illegally online, or travel to the UK at their own expense to access abortion services there.

Continued at source: Spiked: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/bring-on-the-irish-abortion-referendum/19967

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Irish Abortion Rates Are Down And It Could Be Because More Women Are Buying Illegal Pills Online

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Irish Abortion Rates Are Down And It Could Be Because More Women Are Buying Illegal Pills Online

Difficulty accessing abortion and an increased awareness of online abortion pills could account for the decline in official abortion rates.
Posted on June 13, 2017
Laura Silver
BuzzFeed News Reporter

The number of recorded women who have travelled to abortion clinics in England and Wales from Ireland, where the procedure is illegal, decreased last year.

However, there is concern among campaigners that the decline is due to the number of women who self-administer abortion pills at home to illegally end a pregnancy, as well as women from Ireland travelling to England for an abortion and not giving their home address when they are admitted to a clinic.

Continued at link: Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/irish-abortion-rates-are-down-and-it-could-be-because-women

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Can We Redesign the Way We Talk About Abortion? Meet the Women Behind 5 Very Powerful Design-led Projects

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Can We Redesign the Way We Talk About Abortion? Meet the Women Behind 5 Very Powerful Design-led Projects

“There’s an intellectual resistance to beauty and good design sometimes—a notion that if something is flashy, there is a lack of seriousness behind it. I object to that.”
Words by Madeleine Morley

Published on June 12th, 2017

What does real freedom to choose look like, even (or especially) in the states and countries where legislation is decidedly pro-choice? And how can graphic design help communicate a more accurate narrative? As the anti-choice movement gains traction, the positive effects that abortion has on millions of lives can get lost, so we spoke with the people behind five projects and platforms where graphic design and visual communication is contributing to the portrayal of abortion as a normal medical procedure and basic human right.

Continued at source: Eye on Design: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/re-designing-the-narratives-of-abortion-how-designers-are-contributing-to-the-pro-choice-effort/

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Revolutionary Advances In Abortion Access: Why Not In The U.S., Too?

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Revolutionary Advances In Abortion Access: Why Not In The U.S., Too?
For more than 10 years, women around the world have had access to online abortion. It’s time for the U.S. to catch up.

Elisa Wells, Contributor Co-Founder and Co-Director Plan C
May 22, 2017

Last week’s publication of a study showing that the mail order abortion service Irish women have been using to get around Ireland’s draconian abortion restrictions is safe and effective has implications for women around the world, including in the United States. The study essentially documented what we already suspected — that women are perfectly capable of determining their pregnancy gestation, taking the pills, and seeking follow up care when needed. This is fantastic news, providing even more support to the idea that these pills are safe and effective enough to put directly in the hands of those who need them.

The study findings are not surprising given what we know about the safety and effectiveness of medication abortion based on years of use in clinical settings, but they are remarkable in that the service was provided completely remotely, with none of the usual ultrasounds or pelvic exams that are typically required. It also should come as no surprise that a previous study reported that women were very satisfied with having an abortion using the online service. It’s simple, convenient, private, safe, and effective. Of course they liked it!

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/revolutionary-advances-in-abortion-access-why-not_us_592324c7e4b07617ae4cbe5f?yeq

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Online Abortion Service Women on Web: a vital alternative

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Online Abortion Service Women on Web: a vital alternative

May 17th, 2017
A new scientific study published today in the BMJ shows that telemedical abortions are highly effective.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas in Austin, Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh. They looked at the data of 1,000 women in Ireland and Northern Ireland who used the service of Women on Web. Women on Web is an online service of telemedicine initiated ten years ago by Women on Waves. Women living in countries where access to safe abortions is restricted can use it to access information and be referred to a medical doctor to receive a medical abortion.
For more information about Women on Web: +31624195506 or info@womenonwaves.org

Press release by BMJ:

Online abortion service offers vital alternative to unsafe methods to end pregnancy

Results support growing calls for reform of highly restrictive abortion laws

Early medical abortion using online telemedicine offers a highly effective alternative to unsafe methods to end a pregnancy for women in countries where access to safe abortion is restricted, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
The findings, based on reports from women living in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland where abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the world, show that rates of adverse events are low and that women are able to identify potentially serious complications and seek medical attention when advised.
The results provide the best safety evidence to date for self sourced medical abortion through telemedicine - and have important implications for millions of women worldwide, say the researchers.
About a quarter of the world's population lives in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws. Globally, each year an estimated 43,000 women die as a result of lack of access to safe legal abortion services through their countries' formal healthcare systems. Millions more have complications.
Yet little is known about the safety and effectiveness of medical abortion provided through online clinics.
So a team of international researchers led by Abigail Aiken at the University of Texas, analysed self reported outcome data submitted to a telemedicine clinic by 1,000 women four weeks after receiving and using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to end an early pregnancy.
Almost 95% reported successfully ending their pregnancy. Seven women (0.7%) reported receiving a blood transfusion and 26 (2.6%) reported receiving antibiotics. No deaths were reported.
Ninety three women (9.3%) reported experiencing any symptom for which they were advised to seek medical attention and, of these 87 (95%) sought attention.
None of the five women who did not seek medical attention reported experiencing an adverse outcome.
The researchers highlight some study limitations that could have introduced bias and say their results might not be generalisable to all settings. However, key strengths include the large sample size and high follow-up rate.
"For the millions of women worldwide living in areas where access to abortion is restricted, the findings show the vital role played by self sourced medical abortion in providing an option with high effectiveness rates and few reported adverse outcomes," they conclude.
In a linked editorial, researchers in Canada say, while findings from self reported data must always be treated with some degree of caution, these "reassuring study data support growing calls for reform."
They point out that repeal of legal restrictions "would support the safest and most equitable abortion care for women in Irish jurisdictions.
Until then, for the first time in history, women of all social classes in a legally restricted yet high resource setting have equitable access to a reasonable alternative: medical abortion guided by physicians through telemedicine," they conclude.
Note to Editors:
 
Journal: The BMJ

For more information, please contact:

Abigail R A Aiken, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA - Research

Email: araa2@utexas.edu

Wendy V Norman, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada - Editorial

Email: wendy.norman@ubc.ca

-----------------------------

Source: Women on Waves: https://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/6985/online-abortion-service-women-on-web--a-vital-alternative

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Research finds 95% success from abortion pills bought online

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Research finds 95% success from abortion pills bought online
British Medical Journal publishes findings suggesting abortion pills are safe alternative

May 16, 2017
Kitty Holland

Abortion pills bought online can be a safe “alternative” to travelling for abortion or unsafe abortion, research published in the British Medical Journal finds.

The study, based on self-reported outcome data from 1,000 women in the Republic and Northern Ireland, finds 95 per cent of those who obtained abortion pills online successfully terminated their pregnancies.

Just under 10 per cent sought medical attention.

Continued at source: Irish Times: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/research-finds-95-success-from-abortion-pills-bought-online-1.3085526

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Abortion by telemedicine: an equitable option for Irish women

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Abortion by telemedicine: an equitable option for Irish women

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2237. Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2237
Published 16 May 2017
Wendy V Norman, associate professor, Bernard M Dickens, professor emeritus of health law and policy

Reassuring study data support growing calls for reform

Women’s need for abortion is no less in countries where abortion is legally restricted. Globally, a quarter of all pregnancies end in abortion, with higher rates in countries with severe legal restrictions than in countries offering safe legal abortion.1 In 1969 the United Nations affirmed the rights of parents to determine the number and spacing of their children.2 Half a century later a key component of this right is not equitably accessible.

Continued at source: BMJ: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2237

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