How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground

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How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground
A year ago, mass protests in Poland defeated a new abortion ban. But the ruling party, supported by the church, continues to cut reproductive rights – leaving people at the mercy of the black market.

By Alex Cocotas
Thursday 30 November 2017

Barbara Nowacka first had an inkling that something exceptional was happening on the morning of the protests. It was October 2016, and a journalist she knew, a conservative, called to ask how it was looking. She told him she had no idea what was going to happen. The journalist told her that his two daughters had gone to school that morning dressed in black. Perhaps, Nowacka thought, this could be big.

A ban on abortion in Poland had been put forward in parliament six months earlier, and Nowacka, a leftwing politician and long-time social activist, was a leading figure in the movement to oppose it. Nationwide protests had been scheduled for 3 October, but like most people, she had little hope that they would succeed. Perhaps they would get a nice crowd, a little media coverage; but it would ultimately be a gesture. The law would pass.

continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/30/how-polands-far-right-government-is-pushing-abortion-underground

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Ireland: Websites to reveal how many women buy abortion pills

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Websites to reveal how many women buy abortion pills

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
November 11 2017

The health service is working with websites that sell abortion pills to find out how many Irish women are illegally terminating pregnancies.

Women on Web, a website that sells the pills to countries where abortion is restricted, has agreed to share data with the HSE. The health service is also approaching other abortion pill providers with a request to share information.

It is understood that the data will reveal only the number of women buying the drugs and no personal details.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/websites-to-reveal-how-many-women-buy-abortion-pills-6p9zx09rc

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USA: Special Delivery: Abortion Pills By Mail

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Special Delivery: Abortion Pills By Mail

BY Elisa Wells
Oct 10, 2017

When my mail carrier handed me the small brown envelope, I’m sure she had no idea she was handing me the means to have a safe, private abortion at home. I had ordered the pills a week and a half earlier off a somewhat sketchy website and, frankly, was wondering if they would ever appear. I say “sketchy” in that the offer seemed too good to be true — abortion pills for less than $200, no prescription needed. The “Whoa, trouble ahead!” warning from my McAfee security system certainly gave me pause, but by the time I received the fraud alert call from by credit card company (at the same time that Western Union was calling my other line to warn me) it was too late to turn back; I had already placed the order.

Continued at source: http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a12785967/over-the-counter-abortion-pill/

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UK: Knowledge is power, so it’s time to talk honestly about abortion

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Shona Craven: Knowledge is power, so it's time to talk honestly about abortion

28th September, 2017

YOU’VE only read the headline, but your hackles might already be up. What knowledge, exactly? What power? And how many paragraphs before the big reveal? For or against, “foetus” or “baby”, right or wrong. I don’t blame you. When people start talking about the reality of abortion, I get suspicious too.

It took a show at last month’s Edinburgh Fringe to make me realise how little I actually knew about this subject. Sure, like any good feminist I knew the basics of the Abortion Act 1967, passed 50 years ago next month. I knew about the pickets, the posters, the religious extremists lobbying to retain laws branded cruel and degrading by the UN. But I remained largely ignorant when it came to the messy, bloody, psychological and emotional reality of this procedure.

Continued at source: http://www.thenational.scot/comment/15565150.Shona_Craven__Access_to_safe_abortion_must_be_accepted_as_a_human_right__no_ifs_or_buts/

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Women seeking abortions in UK outside formal healthcare system due to ‘insurmountable’ barriers, finds research

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Women seeking abortions in UK outside formal healthcare system due to 'insurmountable' barriers, finds research

Nearly one in five women cite controlling circumstances, including partner violence and partner or family control, as reason for not accessing formal abortion services

May Bulman
Sep 20, 2017

Women in the UK are seeking abortion services outside the formal healthcare system due to access barriers, privacy concerns and controlling circumstances, research has found.

New findings indicate that despite it being legally available in Britain, some women find it challenging or at times “impossible” to access abortion care through current service models.

Continued at source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/women-abortions-uk-nhs-outside-formal-healthcare-barriers-immigration-right-free-treatment-a7957141.html

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Despite legal abortion in Great Britain, women cite access barriers, new research finds

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Despite legal abortion in Great Britain, women cite access barriers, new research finds

University of Texas at Austin

Sept. 20, 2017, AUSTIN, Texas

Some women are seeking abortion services outside the formal health care system in Great Britain, where abortion is legally available, citing reasons such as access barriers, privacy concerns and controlling circumstances, according to new research from Abigail Aiken, an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. The peer-reviewed study was published Wednesday in Contraception, an international reproductive health journal.

Continued at source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uota-dla091917.php

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Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs

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Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs
For poor Filipinas with unwanted pregnancies, this is what reproductive care looks like.

Patrick Winn
Aug 23, 2017

The drug deal takes place in the back of a sedan, parked near one of Manila’s most exalted cathedrals.

The dealer, Elsa — not her real name — has brought her wares in a plastic shopping bag. At my request, she dumps the illicit inventory on the backseat for inspection.

Continued at source: Global Post Investigations: https://gpinvestigations.pri.org/inside-the-philippines-women-run-crime-ring-selling-abortion-elixirs-51cd2de6cb8b

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‘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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