USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

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USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 18, 2017

For years, the US anti-abortion movement has promoted various falsehoods, e.g. that women regret their abortions. Now, some of them are claiming that an unproven treatment can counter the effect of mifepristone, the first pill used in the two-drug regimen of medical abortion, thereby giving women a “second chance” to keep their baby. Despite the hype, there is no evidence that flooding the body with progesterone – a hormone pregnant patients already have a lot of – increases the chance of continuing the pregnancy. In fact, in the extremely rare case that a patient changes their mind before taking the second pill, watchful waiting and inaction appears to be just as effective.

Use of medical abortion pills has steadily risen in the US, now representing almost half of all abortions. Medical abortion has the potential to radically transform the way patients access and experience abortion by moving it out of a clinic and more directly into the hands of the user. It also challenges the anti-abortion movement’s long-standing strategy of demonizing clinicians who do surgical abortions and the instruments they use.

In an independent clinic in North Carolina, a woman who counsels 20-40 patients a week on medical abortion, said that over the past five years since she has been working at the clinic, she has seen only one patient express remorse immediately after swallowing the mifepristone pill. She and the clinic staff helped the young woman to vomit the medication and counselled her on what to do if she began to abort. They did hear from the woman again: one week later when she came back to the clinic for a surgical abortion.

This article  was written in response to an article in the New York Times about so-called abortion pill reversal. The NY Times article is a long, detailed history of the changes in anti-abortion tactics in the USA over a long period of time, opening with the story of a very religious woman who got pregnant with someone who was not the partner she wanted, sought an abortion though it was against her beliefs, and after taking mifepristone, decided it was a mistake. Through a web search she came across an anti-abortion group who oppose the use of medical abortion pills and claimed the effect can be cancelled out by taking progesterone. This claim is based on the experience of only four women whose pregnancies might well have continued anyway. But that has not stopped several anti-abortion state legislatures in the US from passing laws requiring that women be told that “reversal” is possible.

Women who take the mifepristone pill, regret the decision and seek “reversal” are in fact very few and far between. But the anti-abortion view, as explained by Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, is that peddling “reversal” is worth it “even if the laws are eventually struck down or the protocol turns out to be ineffective. Just raising the question of uncertainty and regret affects the abortion pill’s reputation. You’re changing… what people think about this kind of abortion. You can do that regardless of what the research ultimately shows.’’

In other words, if you tell people the same lie often enough, they may believe you.

SOURCES: The Guardian, by Renee Bracey Sherman, Daniel Grossman, 2 August 2017 ; New York Times, by Ruth Graham, 18 July 2017 ; VISUAL

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/usa-abortion-reversal-the-latest-sham-from-anti-choice/

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Chile abortion bill: ‘My pregnancy was torture’

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Chile abortion bill: 'My pregnancy was torture'

By Jane Chambers Santiago
17 August 2017

Paola Valenzuela was 40 years old when she found out she was pregnant with her second child.

"My husband and I were so excited about having another child and my son, who was nine at the time, was very happy about the idea of having a little brother," she recalls.

But when she went for her first scan, Ms Valenzuela was told the foetus was not developing properly. "It was a terrible blow for all of us," she says.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40937771

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U.S.: Heather Heyer Was The Alt-Right’s Worst Nightmare

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Heather Heyer Was The Alt-Right's Worst Nightmare

There's a reason the far right has attacked Heyer's memory so viciously.

08/16/2017 12:40 EDT | Updated 6 hours ago
Chloe Angyal, Senior Front Page Editor, HuffPost

The neo-Nazis at the Daily Stormer have nothing nice to say about Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old paralegal who was killed by a white supremacist protester in Charlottesville last weekend.

Andrew Anglin, the editor of the Daily Stormer, wasted no time in defaming Heyer, writing an editorial shortly after her death in which he excoriated her appearance and called her “drain on society.” Anglin also noted Heyer’s marital and parental status, calling her a “fat, childless, 32-year-old slut,” claiming that her failure to marry and have children meant that she had “no value.”

Continued at link: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/heather-heyer-was-the-alt-rights-worst-nightmare_us_59946c02e4b04b193362484b

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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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India: Right to Safe Abortion

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Right to Safe Abortion

Suchitra Dalvie is Coordinator, The Asia Safe Abortion Partnership.
Aug 15, 2017

The case of the 10 year old victim of rape who is pregnant and awaiting delivery after being denied permission to abort by the courts is an urgent indication that all stakeholders must come together and find a solution for unwanted pregnancies which present after 20 weeks.

Even as the 10-year old pregnant girl whose case has been widely reported in the media awaits deli­very in a hospital in Chandigarh, a 12-year old girl in Mumbai has been found to be 27 weeks pregnant. Both are victims of rape by men known to their families. The first was assaulted over seven months by her uncle while in the latter’s case it was a man who worked with her father and rented a room from the family.

Continued at source: Economic and Political Weekly: http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/32/web-exclusives/right-safe-abortion.html

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Australia: ‘Safe zone’ around abortion clinics in WA supported by Labor left faction

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‘Safe zone’ around abortion clinics in WA supported by Labor left faction

Daniel Emerson
Monday, 14 August 2017

Health Minister Roger Cook has made the case for “safe access zones” banning protests around abortion clinics, setting the scene for a bruising ideological brawl in the lead-up to Labor’s State conference.

The Left’s powerful United Voice faction has thrown its weight behind a suite of women’s health policies by a new internal group called WA Labor for Choice, which includes free, taxpayer-funded abortions anywhere in the State.

Continued at source: The West Australian: https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/labors-abortion-protest-row-ng-b88566347z

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Uganda: These are the consequences of the 2017 version of US’ anti-abortion Global Gag rule

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These are the consequences of the 2017 version of US’ anti-abortion Global Gag rule
Global Gag Rule Uganda

Written by Charles Ledford, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
August 13, 2017, Quartz africa

Uganda’s highway A-109 shoots across the plain from Kampala past the occasional storefront shops and open-air kiosks common to the continent’s roadsides. After rising into the verdant tea plantations of the country’s Western Region, it passes through Fort Portal near the Congolese border. From there, a turn off the main road leaves the reasonably well-maintained tarmac behind in favor of red clay washboard and bone-shaking potholes. Finally, it devolves into a footpath running between a few dozen housing compounds in a village called Kalera.

Though Kalera is poor by western standards, it doesn’t approach the desperation found in many poorer parts of Africa. Flinty, hard-working women tend small plots of bananas, potatoes, maize and soybeans. These plots border larger fields of tea, a cash crop. Goats and chickens roam. The village teems with children. Today, at least, there are no men in sight.

Continued at source: Quartz Africa: https://qz.com/1051605/trumps-anti-abortion-global-gag-rule-and-its-impact-in-uganda/

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Kenya: What it is like to have unsafe abortion

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What it is like to have unsafe abortion

Aug. 09, 2017
By JOHN MUCHANGI

Close to 21,000 Kenyan women end up in hospitals every year, with complications of unsafe abortions.

Some of them succumb. But apart from physical injuries, survivors endure years of emotional and psychological trauma, yet they cannot talk about it.

Talk on abortion remains highly emotive and stigmatised, but counsellors say silence is not golden. It can kill.

Which is why some community groups in Western Kenya now encourage women — and men — to freely share their unsafe abortion experiences.

Continued at source: The Star: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/08/09/what-it-is-like-to-have-unsafe-abortion_c1610203

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South Africa: No Fetus Scan, No Abortion. Really?

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South Africa: No Fetus Scan, No Abortion. Really?

Aug 8, 2017

Draft bill would, for instance, undo clauses in SA law that provide for abortions in some cases of extreme birth defects.

A proposed amendment to the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act would require that anyone seeking an abortion first undergo an ultrasound scan. In its draft bill, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) argues making this type of scan mandatory for abortion seekers will assist people to make "an informed choice".

Continued at source: All Africa: http://allafrica.com/stories/201708080318.html

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SWEDEN- The case of the anti-abortion Swedish midwives – again

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SWEDEN- The case of the anti-abortion Swedish midwives – again

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

On 17 March, 19 April and 31 May, we published three reports from Sweden on the cases of two midwives who sought to keep their jobs in spite of declaring conscientious objection to abortion, which is not recognised under Swedish law, and refusing to provide abortion services, which were a part of their job descriptions. The most recent report said they were considering taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights, as they had failed to win their case in the Swedish courts. It would appear they have done so.

However, on 18 July, we received an e-mail from someone in Sweden which explained that the case the two midwives took to the European Court was not an appeal against the Swedish courts’ rulings, but a new case. The writer said:

“The verdict against Ellinor Grimmark that came out of Sweden’s Labour Court in April cannot be appealed. The other midwife with the same story, Linda Steen, who also sued her county and was ruled against, appealed to the Labour Court, which declined to hear the case. So these cases are, in point of fact, concluded.

“However, the two midwives have sued Sweden before the European Court of Human Rights. This is not an appeal of the verdicts in their respective labour disputes, but a separate suit alleging human rights violations by the Swedish government.

“It should be noted that Sweden has a shortage of midwives. Due to this shortage, many counties offer nurses a salaried position while they go through a tax-funded training programme to become midwives, on the condition that they then work for that county for a certain time after qualifying.

“Grimmark took one of these positions in Jönköping county. She only alerted the county of her refusal to perform certain tasks within a midwife’s job description shortly before completing her training. The county did not sue her for breach of contract, but simply informed her that she was disqualified from employment as a midwife. Steen did the exact same thing, in Södermanland county.

“There are rumours that these two were specifically recruited to carry out this legal assault on Swedish women’s abortion rights, but these are unconfirmed. What is clear is that both these women entered into contracts to receive large sums of taxpayer money, then broke their contracts after receiving the money and launched frivolous lawsuits to further a religious agenda. When the verdicts came down and they were forced to pay the counties’ legal fees, these were covered by funds raised, in part, by the ADF [Alliance Defending Freedom, USA anti-abortion group].”

On 8 June, the ADF published a statement that Ellinor Grimmark’s case to the European Court is that she had to seek work in another country because she refused to participate in abortions. On 16 June, the so-called Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers reported: “On 14 June two Swedish midwives together with the Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers filed a complaint against Sweden to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for violations of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights.” The arguments they put forward are that the women were denied the right to work within their profession, and that most countries in the Council of Europe permit conscientious objection.

SOURCE: E-mail, 18 July 2017. The writer did not give permission to publish his name.

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/sweden-the-case-of-the-anti-abortion-swedish-midwives-again/

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