It’s time to talk about what a lack of access to safe abortion means

It’s time to talk about what a lack of access to safe abortion means

Viviana Waisman
18 October 2018

This year, something has changed about the way we talk about abortion. You can feel it on the street, on Twitter, in the media.... Something has changed, and there’s no turning back.

In May, the vote on the Irish referendum to legalize abortion filled me with hope. Thanks to the energy of young Irish people, a major victory was won for women’s rights.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/viviana-waisman/it-s-time-to-talk-about-what-lack-of-access-to-safe-abortion-means

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Queensland parliament votes to legalise abortion

Queensland parliament votes to legalise abortion
Abortion will become legal until 22 weeks gestation, and thereafter with the approval of two doctors

Ben Smee
Wed 17 Oct 2018

Abortion will become legal in Queensland, after the state’s parliament voted to support new legislation and erase a 119-year-old “morality” section of the state’s criminal code.

Loud cheers in the legislative assembly chamber at 7.42pm on Wednesday brought to an end a 50-year struggle by women’s groups in a state once notorious for its conservatism.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/17/queensland-parliament-votes-to-legalise-abortion

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Benin: Abortion stigma: From judge to advocate

Abortion stigma: From judge to advocate

16 October 2018
Community leader

When Beninese community leader Simon Gnansounou was first approached by volunteers from the Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF) seeking support to provide abortion-related information and care in the town of Cocotomey-La Paix, he was sceptical. “I thought that it was to organize depravity,” the gregarious economist said at his small home office, surrounded by textbooks. “I was a bit suspicious at first!”

Gnansounou, a highly respected figure in this close-knit neighbourhood, changed his mind after persistent attempts by young volunteers to reassure him they wanted to stop young girls from risking injury and death due to unsafe abortion. “The first goal is actually to help the young girls not to get pregnant,” he added. “It’s a project for social development, and I am all for that.”

Continued: https://www.ippf.org/blogs/abortion-judge-advocate

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Australia – Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll review: Fiona Patten and the right to speak

Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll review: Fiona Patten and the right to speak

By Pat Sheil
16 October 2018

MEMOIR: Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll, by Fiona Patten. Allen & Unwin, $32.99

"I am an advocate for free speech, but not of a free audience." So declared Fiona Patten, former sex worker, anti-censorship lobbyist, and founder of the Australian Sex Party during the heated debate on restricting the ability of so-called "right to life" activists to protest outside abortion clinics in the Victorian parliament in 2015.

Continued: https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/sex-drugs-and-the-electoral-roll-review-fiona-patten-and-the-right-to-speak-20181015-h16ng8.html

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Abortion Debate in Australia Has a New Element: Women in Power

Abortion Debate in Australia Has a New Element: Women in Power

By Rick Rojas
Oct. 15, 2018

BRISBANE, Australia — Activists in the Australian state of Queensland have tried for decades to scrap a criminal code from 1899 that makes having an abortion an offense punishable with prison time, and for decades their efforts have failed.

But as the state Parliament again considers whether to decriminalize abortion, advocates say this time may be different: Women will be leading the debate.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/world/australia/australia-abortion-vote-women.html

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Why Is Unsafe Abortion Still A Reality For Millions Of Women In India?

Why Is Unsafe Abortion Still A Reality For Millions Of Women In India?

October 15, 2018 122
Posted by Pritisha and Mikaela

In 1975, India took a historic step by passing the Medical Termination Act (MTP). The act gave legal provision to women to terminate their pregnancies, but came with certain barriers. Although women now have the right to choose, this legal provision placed a time limit to such termination, that is, 20 gestation weeks. This limitation has been challenged by many women groups because in most cases, due to familial, social, and other pressures, by the time a woman is able to decide to terminate her pregnancy, 20 weeks have already passed. Hence, women are unable to terminate their pregnancy according to their choice. Such limitations violate a woman’s right to life and liberty, which is enshrined in our constitution under Article 21 of the constitution.

Continued: https://feminisminindia.com/2018/10/15/unsafe-abortion-india/

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USA – Code Name Jane: The Women Behind a Covert Abortion Network

Code Name Jane: The Women Behind a Covert Abortion Network
In the years before abortion became legal, a clandestine group helped women with unwanted pregnancies get around the law.

Video: 7:57 minutes. Abortion Was Illegal. This Secret Group Defied the Law. By Retro Report

By Clyde Haberman
Oct. 14, 2018

The no-frills advertisement, printed at times in student and alternative newspapers, went straight to the point: “Pregnant? Don’t want to be? Call Jane.” A telephone number followed.

This was nearly half a century ago, when abortion was illegal almost everywhere in the country and alternative newspapers were in their heyday. There was no Jane, though, not literally anyway. Yet at the same time, Jane was anybody.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/us/illegal-abortion-janes.html

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Australia – Doctors, nurses and pollies march in support of abortion reform

Doctors, nurses and pollies march in support of abortion reform

By Alison Brown
14 October 2018

Doctors, nurses and politicians from all sides of politics were among the 1000-strong crowd who braved Sunday showers to march through Brisbane in support of proposed changes to Queensland’s abortion laws.

The laws, which will be put to the Queensland Parliament next week, allow for abortion up to 22 weeks gestation, provide safe access zones around clinics, and require doctors who conscientiously object to refer patients to another medical professional.

Continued: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/doctors-nurses-and-pollies-march-in-support-of-abortion-reform-20181014-p509lu.html

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Abortion-pill inequality: How access varies widely across Canada

Abortion-pill inequality: How access varies widely across Canada
Two years after Canadians got access to Mifegymiso, some regions have seen thousands of prescriptions, but others have had hardly any, according to figures obtained by The Globe and Mail. The numbers point to deeply rooted problems in regional abortion care

Carly Week
October 12, 2018

Women’s health advocates have hailed the abortion pill as the key to eliminating barriers to abortion in Canada because it can be prescribed by a family doctor and taken at home, no matter where a woman lives. Yet, nearly two years after Mifegymiso became available, many women still have to travel to abortion clinics, endure lengthy waits and pay out-of-pocket if they want to use it to end their pregnancies.

Prescribing data provided to The Globe and Mail show large regional disparities in access to the abortion pill, which the World Health Organization says is a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancies in the first nine weeks. In Manitoba, where nearly 4,000 abortions are performed every year, no prescriptions for Mifegymiso have been dispensed from retail pharmacies since it came on the market, according to the data. But in Ontario, which has about 40,000 abortions every year, more than 6,600 prescriptions were dispensed last year and this year, up to August, 2018.

Continued: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-abortion-pill-inequality-how-access-varies-widely-across-canada/

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When Abortion Is Illegal, Women Rarely Die. But They Still Suffer.

When Abortion Is Illegal, Women Rarely Die. But They Still Suffer.
A look at what happens when abortion is forbidden, from countries where it still is

Olga Khazan
Oct 11, 2018

In August, the Argentine Senate rejected a bill that would have decriminalized abortion in the country within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Less than a week later, the newspaper Clairín reported that a 34-year-old woman died from septic shock after attempting to terminate her own pregnancy using parsley.

The woman, referred to only as Elizabeth, became one of the 40-some Argentine women who die each year from unsafe abortions. “Illegality forces the poorest women to use the most desperate practices,” one doctor was quoted as saying.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/how-many-women-die-illegal-abortions/572638/

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