New Zealand – Big Read: Abortion law reform – what’s at stake?

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Big Read: Abortion law reform - what's at stake?
17 Jun, 2018
20 minutes to read
By: Dawn Picken

Abortion is in the spotlight again, after voters in Ireland voted overwhelmingly late last month to overturn the largely Catholic country's ban by 66.4 per cent to 33.6 per cent. The Emerald Isle's referendum comes as a law commission in New Zealand considers removing abortion from the Crimes Act. Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reporter Dawn Picken spoke with advocates, activists and women who've had or considered abortions about what decriminalising the procedure means to them.

*note: names of women who've had abortions have been changed to protect privacy.
Heartbreaking Pregnancy

Tania and Scott were thrilled when they learned they were pregnant with their second child. Everything was going well when the couple went for their 20-week ultrasound to learn the baby's sex. It was a boy, says Tania.

Continued: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12070558

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USA – Scant abortion-related ER visits suggest there’s no medical basis for restrictive laws, study says

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Scant abortion-related ER visits suggest there's no medical basis for restrictive laws, study says

By Melissa Healy
Jun 15, 2018

Abortions send women to hospital emergency rooms at lower rates than such routine procedures as colonoscopies and surgeries to have wisdom teeth removed, new research has found.

In fact, for every 100,000 abortions provided, about 108 women sought out emergency care for what they thought was a complication of the procedure.

Continued: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-abortion-er-visits-20180615-story.html

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USA – Title X facilities are already over-regulated

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Title X facilities are already over-regulated

By David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe, Opinion Contributors
June 12, 2018

The Trump administration’s plan to impose a so-called “domestic gag rule”—a prohibition on providing, referring and counseling about abortion—on facilities receiving Title X funding for family planning services has unleashed a storm of criticism. The public comment period is now open, and the backlash promises to be fierce.

Medical groups state that withholding information about medical procedures is a violation of medical ethics. Numerous political observers note that the real intent of this measure is to deliver on Trump’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood, a major recipient of Title X funding. But largely overlooked in these responses to the domestic gag rule is that the current rules governing Title X grantees represent terrible public policy. As the public now weighs in on the proposed regulations, we should not forget that not only is the new gag rule harmful, but that the existing restrictions governing Title X and abortion care should be lifted as well because they are bad for patients and bad for public health.

Continued: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/391712-title-x-facilities-are-already-over-regulated#.Wx_4xsTUmTI.facebook

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Nepal – 233 Tehrathum women receive safe abortion services in less than three months

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233 Tehrathum women receive safe abortion services in less than three months

Tehrathum, June 11, 2018

A noticeable number of women received safe abortion services in the district in less than the past three months.The District Health Office (DPHO), Terhathum had started free and safe abortion services at the District Hospital, two primary centers and 11 health posts in April. It is said 233 women underwent abortions through safe methods since the lunching of services in the hilly district of Province 1.

Side by side, public awareness programs on the safe abortion are going on in the district. An organization called ‘Abhiyan for Prosperous Tehrathum’ has been conducting Sexual and Reproductive Rights Strengthening Project. The project presently covers Basantapur, Solma, Aambung and Morahang.

Continued: http://setopati.net/social/124039

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Ireland – GPs warn of potential errors with abortion scans service

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GPs warn of potential errors with abortion scans service

Eilish O'Regan
June 4 2018

Ultrasound machines used by GPs to examine women seeking a medical abortion need to be reliable, otherwise there is a risk of a reading error similar to mistakes made by CervicalCheck, a leading GP has warned.

Dr John O'Brien, president of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), said the provision of ultrasound machines used to date a pregnancy is one of the many areas that must be worked out before services to provide abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy are ready.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/gps-warn-of-potential-errors-with-abortion-scans-service-36974092.html

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India – Allow non-allopathists to perform abortions

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Allow non-allopathists to perform abortions

Saturday, 02 June 2018
Vinoj Manning | in Oped

Despite abortion being legal in India for almost five decades, every day 10 women die and thousands more face serious and permanent injuries due to unsafe abortions. This is unacceptable. Unsafe abortion is the third largest cause of maternal mortality and accounts for eight per cent of all maternal deaths in India. A recent study conducted jointly by International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Population Council, New Delhi, and Guttmacher Institute, New York, estimates that only 22 per cent of the 1.5 crore abortions that occur in India every year take place at a private or public-sector facility and are performed by trained personnel.

The shortage of trained providers and concomitant lack of facilities offering safe abortion services are two of the key contributory causes of unsafe abortions. Unfortunately, the one policy action that could address this acute public health crisis is yet to be taken.

Continued: http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/allow-non-allopathists--to-perform-abortions.html

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Ireland – Abortion provision is threatened by austerity

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Abortion provision is threatened by austerity
Funding cuts are making GPs wary of providing terminations under new plans

June 1, 2018
Mary Favier

The removal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution on May 25th guarantees improvements in the healthcare that can be delivered to Irish women and girls. The proposal to allow for unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks has been given a clear mandate, with the Irish people voting two to one in favour.

It is reasonable to conclude that Irish general practitioners, reflecting the views of the electorate, were also largely in favour; indeed it could be argued that they will have been more likely to be pro-repeal as they provide healthcare to people who are pregnant and sometimes this involves crisis pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/abortion-provision-is-threatened-by-austerity-1.3515220

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Malaysia – Let’s talk about… abortion

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Let’s talk about… abortion
Abortions shouldn't be taken lightly as it can put the life of the pregnant woman at risk if she is not armed with the right facts to make an informed decision.

June 1, 2018

Abortion is a taboo subject in many parts of the world and Malaysia is no exception. It is a topic that provokes much emotion from both sides of the debate and like all ethical debates, the grey areas are more common than the clear cut, black and white answers. The practical implications of the hesitance to discuss this topic gives way to misinformation. Misinformation in the medical field is akin to walking blindfolded through a jungle. One wrong step can put one in danger.

Here in Malaysia, the social stigma of abortion encourages people to seek help in secrecy. In this environment, predatory opportunists seek to make money off desperate people and when things go wrong, the victims have nobody to turn to.

Continued: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2018/06/01/lets-talk-about-abortion/

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What Happens When Abortion Is Banned?

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What Happens When Abortion Is Banned?

By Michelle Oberman
May 31, 2018

The world of illegal abortion today looks nothing like it did 45 years ago.

When I first visited Chile, in 2008, it was one of only a handful of countries in the world that banned abortion in all cases, without exception. Given that hundreds of women a year died from botched illegal abortions in the United States before Roe v. Wade, which legalized the procedure in 1973, I expected to find hospitals in Chile overflowing with dying women. Instead, I found that abortion drugs have dramatically altered the situation.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/opinion/sunday/abortion-banned-latin-america.html

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Ireland – Plan to draw up clinical guidelines to introduce abortion services

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Plan to draw up clinical guidelines to introduce abortion services
GP bodies and medical groups will be involved in consultation process, says Minister

May 29, 2018
Kevin O'Sullivan

Moves to draw up clinical guidelines for the introduction of abortion services will begin on Tuesday through a consultation process with GP bodies and medical organisations, Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed.

In tandem with this, Mr Harris said he wanted to make sure “medication that up to now has been illegal in Ireland can be now used in a safe, regulated and legal manner”.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/plan-to-draw-up-clinical-guidelines-to-introduce-abortion-services-1.3511819

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