New Zealand: AUSA to vote on disaffiliating anti-abortion group

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AUSA to vote on disaffiliating anti-abortion group

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A member of Auckland University Students’ Association has put up a question as to whether anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia group ProLife Auckland should be disaffiliated from AUSA. The question also asks whether all groups with similiar ideology should be disallowed from seeking affiliation. A discussion is being held on the issue tomorrow, and a referendum is planned to take place next week. ProLife Auckland say the question is biased and next week's planned vote represents a threat to free speech.

We spoke to both AUSA President, Will Matthews, and the Co-president of ProLife Auckland, Jelena Middleton, about the situation.

Continued at source: 95bFM: http://www.95bfm.com/bcast/ausa-to-vote-on-disaffiliating-anti-abortion-group

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U.S.: Lessons from before Abortion Was Legal Before 1973, abortion in the U.S. was severely restricted. More than 40 years later Roe v. Wade is under attack, and access increasingly depends on a woman’s income or zip code By Rachel Benson Gold, Megan K. Donovan | Scientific American September 2017 Issue Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Email Print Share via Google+ Stumble Upon Abortion-rights supporters and opponents stage rallies in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 20, 2016. Credit: Mark Wilson Getty Images When she went before the u.s. Supreme Court for the first time in 1971, the 26-year-old Sarah Weddington became the youngest attorney to successfully argue a case before the nine justices—a distinction she still holds today. Weddington was the attorney for Norma McCorvey, the pseudonymous “Jane Roe” of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized the constitutional right to abortion—one of the most notable decisions ever handed down by the justices.

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Lessons from before Abortion Was Legal

Before 1973, abortion in the U.S. was severely restricted. More than 40 years later Roe v. Wade is under attack, and access increasingly depends on a woman's income or zip code

By Rachel Benson Gold, Megan K. Donovan | Scientific American September 2017 Issue
Posted Aug 15, 2017

When she went before the u.s. Supreme Court for the first time in 1971, the 26-year-old Sarah Weddington became the youngest attorney to successfully argue a case before the nine justices—a distinction she still holds today.

Weddington was the attorney for Norma McCorvey, the pseudonymous “Jane Roe” of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized the constitutional right to abortion—one of the most notable decisions ever handed down by the justices.

Continued at source: Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lessons-from-before-abortion-was-legal/

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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

August 15, 2017
by Women Help Women

Although self-management of medical abortion presents enormous potential for the empowerment of women, the experience of individual women in countries where abortion is legally restricted often remains deeply stigmatized, despite the availability of safe abortion pills. It builds on other forms of discrimination and structural injustices. Ultimately, abortion stigma serves to marginalize an essential medical process, discredit those who would provide or procure it, and undermine those who advocate for its legality and accessibility.

A woman who manages her own abortion is committing a political act by refusing to submit to various oppressive systems, whether intending to or not. By taking control into her own hands, she is rejecting systems of law, local medical practice, societal norms, religious norms and sometimes deeply held personal beliefs.

False messages intended to frighten women off

> The pills are misused by women and cannot be self-managed.

> No woman should ever do this by herself because she will likely die or become infertile.

> This process should never be made so easy.

WHW works steadily to empower, destigmatize and provide support in each and every message and action. Any intervention on behalf of independent use in restrictive settings must engage fully in conversation. Each person deserves to feel heard, understood and respected. Stigma can feel overwhelming but can be addressed brick-by-brick in small but meaningful written exchanges. We emphasize that abortion is a common experience, and they are not alone. We offer reliable information on medical, legal and logistical aspects of accessing and safely taking abortion medicines, sharing research data, and the experiences of others. We talk about how safe self-management of abortion medicines is, but we encourage women to be close to the hospital if additional care is needed. After desperation, fear, shame and secrecy, women express relief and astonishment after the abortion is over, because they experienced no complications, and they feel healthy both physically and emotionally.

FULL TEXT:  English  / Español

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Continued at source: International Campaign for women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/women-help-women-supporting-independent-use-of-abortion-medicines/

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Canada: Barriers to abortion services in Nova Scotia are ‘unconscionable’: activists

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Barriers to abortion services in Nova Scotia are 'unconscionable': activists

BRETT BUNDALE
HALIFAX — The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

More women have come forward to complain about abortion-access hurdles in Nova Scotia, as a national lobby group says it plans a renewed push in the province.

One woman says she was a 23-year-old university student when she missed a period and suspected her birth control had failed. She confirmed it with a pregnancy test in a Starbucks washroom.

“I was in this state of incredulity,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But from the very beginning, I absolutely knew what my choice was.”

Continued at source: Globe & Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/barriers-to-abortion-services-are-damaging-to-women-nova-scotia-activists/article35996933/

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The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

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The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Nomtika

All roads led to Uruguay last week, between July 31st and August 4th, as 5 SRJC members took to Montevideo for the International Convention on Conscientious Objection.

The meeting, co-hosted by Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), featured policymakers, academics, health professionals, legal experts, and feminist activists who collectively established that objecting to the provision of voluntary abortion services on religious or moral grounds, is a chief barrier to safe abortion and endangers the lives of women.

Continued at source: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition: http://srjc.org.za/2017/08/10/the-discussion-on-conscientious-objection/

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Unsafe abortions killing women, damaging wombs in Nigeria ― Gynaecologist

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Unsafe abortions killing women, damaging wombs in Nigeria ― Gynaecologist

August 10, 2017

DR Godwin Akaba, a Gynaecologist with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, has described as “alarming”, the rate of deaths caused by unsafe abortions in the country.

Akaba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Jos that many lives were lost on a daily basis to crude abortions, and described the trend as “scary”.

The expert said that many of those who survived often suffer acute complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which could lead to secondary infertility, systemic infection and ectopic pregnancies.

Continued at source: Nigerian Tribune: http://tribuneonlineng.com/unsafe-abortions-killing-women-damaging-wombs-nigeria-gynaecologist/

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There is no defense for ‘conscientious objection’ in reproductive health care

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There is no defense for ‘conscientious objection’ in reproductive health care

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 8, 2017

by Christian Fiala, Joyce H Arthur  

European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

Abstract

“A widespread assumption has taken hold in the field of medicine that we must allow health care professionals the right to refuse treatment under the guise of ‘conscientious objection’ (CO), in particular for women seeking abortions. At the same time, it is widely recognized that the refusal to treat creates harm and barriers for patients receiving reproductive health care. In response, many recommendations have been put forward as solutions to limit those harms. Further, some researchers make a distinction between true CO and ‘obstructionist CO’, based on the motivations or actions of various objectors.

This paper argues that ‘CO’ in reproductive health care should not be considered a right, but an unethical refusal to treat. Supporters of CO have no real defence of their stance, other than the mistaken assumption that CO in reproductive health care is the same as CO in the military, when the two have nothing in common (for example, objecting doctors are rarely disciplined, while the patient pays the price). Refusals to treat are based on non-verifiable personal beliefs, usually religious beliefs, but introducing religion into medicine undermines best practices that depend on scientific evidence and medical ethics. CO therefore represents an abandonment of professional obligations to patients. Countries should strive to reduce the number of objectors in reproductive health care as much as possible until CO can feasibly be prohibited. Several Scandinavian countries already have a successful ban on CO.”

The main text of the paper opens by saying: “Remarkably, pro-choice researchers and ethicists who support CO in reproductive health care rarely try to defend the practice beyond a simple assertion that individual conscience is an important right. Certainly this is true for everybody in general, but in the field of reproductive health care, there has been little or no recognition of how CO unjustly privileges doctors’ conscience over patients’ conscience, not to mention their life and health[1]. The granting of CO also gives legitimacy to the religiously-based assumption that abortion is wrong − however, providing safe abortion is an ethical practice that has saved the lives and protected the rights of millions of women. Moreover, doctors have obligations to their patients and the public. They occupy a privileged position of trust and responsibility in our society, and profit from a monopoly on the practice of medicine.”

An important argument they put forward is that the “largely religious and non-verifiable basis of CO makes the laws and policies that try to limit its exercise impossible to enforce”. Later, they continue: “Anyone can cite CO and lie or exaggerate. Or be sincere. Who knows? The only way we can judge is in rare evidence-based situations, such as when doctors in Italy and Poland are caught exercising ‘CO’ in public hospitals while doing abortions for profit in private clinics.”

But the crucial question they pose is: Is it possible to protect providers’ claimed right to refuse to treat patients and patients’ right to health care at the same time? Their answer is: the more objectors there are, the less possible it is to protect patients’ right to health care. So they argue that “as a first step towards mitigating the harms of CO, countries could at least require all publicly-funded hospitals to provide abortions, as Portugal has done”. Finally, they call for countries “to steadily reduce the number of objectors and eventually abolish CO, not save it.”

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/there-is-no-defense-for-conscientious-objection-in-reproductive-health-care/

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When 343 French ‘Sluts’ Fought for Abortion Rights — and Won

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When 343 French 'Sluts' Fought for Abortion Rights — and Won

By Fiona Zublin

“I declare that I am one of them. I declare that I have had an abortion.” So signed Simone de Beauvoir, Catherine Deneuve, Agnès Varda and other famous French women, bravely adding their names to the “Manifesto of the 343,” a document that could have led to their prosecution, and that raised the profile of French pro-choice activists.

It was April 1971, and hundreds of French women signed their names, swearing they had sought illegal abortions. The manifesto arguably led to the advent of laws favoring a woman’s right to choose in France — a country that while famously liberal in many ways, has often lagged on women’s rights. French women weren’t allowed to vote until 1944, and while Roe v. Wade gave American women the right to an abortion in 1973, in the early 1970s, French women were still traveling to the U.K. — where abortion was legalized in 1967 — whenever they decided that pregnancy and motherhood wasn’t a viable option.

Continued at source: Ozy.com: http://www.ozy.com/flashback/when-343-french-sluts-fought-for-abortion-rights-and-won/79733

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Isle of Man: Statement from Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM)

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Statement from Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM)
August 7, 2017, by LC

The Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM) is delighted that Dr Alex Allinson MHK's draft Abortion Reform Bill was published today, and that the public consultation is now underway.

Throughout our campaign we have emphasised the need for abortions to be available on the Island, particularly in the earliest stages of pregnancy, to avoid woman having to travel across at their own expense resulting in later, more invasive and more expensive procedures.

CALM is also pleased that the need for counselling has been given special mention in the draft legislation.

Our key message now is: reply to this consultation with your views.

"We know CALM's pro-choice message has been heard loud and clear across the Isle of Man," says CALM's Samantha Morris, "and now is your chance to have your say. Please read the draft Bill and respond to the consultation. It's not very long and it's not very complicated, but it really will help to form a unique piece of legislation written to meet the needs of the Island's women. If you don't respond, then you don't have a voice."

The draft Abortion Reform Bill and consultation can be found at: https://consult.gov.im/office-of-the-clerk-of-tynwald/abortion-reform-bill-2017/

Source: Manx.net: https://www.manx.net/isle-of-man-news/83681/statement-from-campaign-for-abortion-law-modernisation-calm-

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Draft Isle of Man abortion bill put out to public consultation

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Draft Isle of Man abortion bill put out to public consultation

7 August 2017

A draft bill which proposes changes to Manx abortion law has been put out to public consultation.

The Abortion Reform Bill would allow women to request an abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and loosen restrictions on having one later.

Abortions on the Isle of Man can only be legally carried out if the pregnancy is the result of rape or because of concerns over a woman's mental health.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-40851323

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