New Zealand: Contraceptives, education hailed as heroes as abortion rates lowest in 25 years

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Contraceptives, education hailed as heroes as abortion rates lowest in 25 years

RACHEL THOMAS
June 20 2017

Women in their teens are having fewer abortions than women in their early thirties.

Teenagers are having fewer abortions than women in their 20s and 30s, with better access to contraceptives tipped as one of the reasons why.

The number of abortions performed in New Zealand in 2016 was the lowest in more than 25 years, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The abortion rate for women aged 20-24 years fell from a peak of 41 per 1000 women in 2003 to 21 per 1000 in 2016.

Continued at source: Stuff.co: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/93863272/contraceptives-education-hailed-as-heroes-as-abortion-rates-lowest-in-25-years

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U.S.: Catholic bishops’ agenda hurts families

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Catholic bishops' agenda hurts families

Jon O'Brien
June 20, 2017

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is kicking off its annual Fortnight for Freedom in Baltimore tomorrow in a celebratory mood. Every year, the bishops present this event as an effort to defend religious liberty. But we’ve seen over five years its real intent: to galvanize the Catholic hierarchy around an agenda to discriminate against and impose their beliefs on Catholics and non-Catholics alike. And their persistence has paid off, despite very little support or attention from everyday Catholics.

Why? Because they found a benefactor unlike any other. President Trump has rewarded the bishops handily for their loyalty during the elections...

Continued at source: Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0621-bishops-fortnight-20170619-story.html

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New Zealand: Abortion rate drops to lowest in 25 years

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Abortion rate drops to lowest in 25 years
19 Jun, 2017

Abortions have dropped to the lowest rate in over 25 years.

The general abortion rate - abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 - was 13.5 per 1000 women in 2016, down from 14.2 in 2015.

Statistics NZ reported that the abortion rates for younger women have fallen significantly in recent years whereas the rate has stayed the same for older women.

Continued at source: New Zealand Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11879064

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U.S.: Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

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Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

R. Alta Charo, J.D.
June 14, 2017
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1707107

Human reproduction has become the victim of alternative science, rife with alternative definitions of well-understood medical conditions and characterized by rejection of the scientific method as the standard for generating and evaluating evidence. Alternative science begins with alternative facts of the sort propounded by the Trump administration and its appointees, including Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control on her own (despite the high up-front cost of the most reliable contraceptives). Alternative science is similarly embraced by recent executive-branch appointees Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento.

Continued at source: New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1707107#t=article

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U.S.: How Trumpcare Will Hurt Women’s Health

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How Trumpcare Will Hurt Women’s Health
Posted by Angela Liu on 06/14/2017

May was not a good month for women’s health care. On May 4, a Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which proposes to tighten existing regulations on contraceptive access and maternity care and to cut Planned Parenthood from the federal budget. On the same day, Trump signed a “religious liberty” executive order that allows organizations to limit their employees’ access to contraception and abortion based on the organization’s faith. Then, on May 23, the administration released its 2018 budget proposal, which Dawn Leguens, the vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the “worst budget for women and women’s health in a generation.”

Continued at source: The F Bomb: http://thefbomb.org/2017/06/how-trumpcare-will-hurt-womens-health/

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When Antiabortion Ideology Turns into Foreign Policy: How the Global Gag Rule Erodes Health, Ethics and Democracy

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When Antiabortion Ideology Turns into Foreign Policy: How the Global Gag Rule Erodes Health, Ethics and Democracy

Sneha Barot
Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 8, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

The Trump administration reimposed and expanded the global gag rule to block U.S. global health assistance to all foreign nongovernmental organizations that use their own funding to engage in abortion-related services or advocacy.

This ideologically driven policy undermines the very goals of U.S. foreign aid programs by harming the health of people in poor countries, violating medical ethics and trampling on democratic values.

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2017/06/when-antiabortion-ideology-turns-foreign-policy-how-global-gag-rule-erodes-health-ethics

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No control, no choice: lack of access to reproductive healthcare in rebel-held Southern Kordofan, Sudan

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No control, no choice: lack of access to reproductive healthcare in rebel-held Southern Kordofan, Sudan
June 5, 2017

In December 2016, two Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 90 people in rebel-held areas of Heiban, Delami and Um Dorein counties, including 25 in-depth interviews with women and girls about their access to reproductive healthcare. Researchers also spoke with witnesses and victims of abuse, local rebel authorities, and humanitarian aid workers. This research builds on findings from five earlier Human Rights Watch investigations in the Nuba Mountains region, hilly areas of Sudan’s Kordofan area where communities from different Nuba tribes live, between 2011 and 2015.

In the photograph above, Mukuma Hamad, a volunteer health worker, holds a container of folic acid, the only assistance she can give pregnant women who visit the lone health clinic in Hadara village, in rebel-controlled Southern Kordofan. Most of the women we interviewed did not know what a condom was and had not heard about other options for contraception. NGO workers, health workers and authorities told Human Rights Watch that condoms are rarely available in markets despite an increase in gonorrhea and syphilis cases over the past two years and high percentages of pregnant women testing positive for hepatitis B. Women and girls are unable to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections or control their fertility.

Most pregnant women must rely on local birth attendants who have no formal training, or trained midwives who have not been able to acquire new or sterile equipment since the conflict began. Women and girls experiencing complications during labor may have to travel for days, often on dangerous routes, including across frontlines, to get emergency obstetric care.

Family planning is not available except in rare instances. The rebel SPLM/A-North administration provides the bulk of health care through a network of some 175 clinics, but these do not distribute contraception, including condoms. One agency provides three-month injectable contraception but restrictions imposed on them by the local rebels require patients’ husbands to give permission before they can provide the contraception to women.

[Access to safe abortion is not mentioned.]

SOURCE: Human Rights Watch, 23 May 2017; Photo: © 2016 Skye Wheeler/ Human Rights Watch

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/no-control-no-choice-lack-of-access-to-reproductive-healthcare-in-rebel-held-southern-kordofan-sudan/

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U.S.: Trump to Blow Up Obamacare’s Birth Control Benefit

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Trump to Blow Up Obamacare’s Birth Control Benefit

May 31, 2017
Christine Grimaldi & Jessica Mason Pieklo

The draft interim final rule echoes Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s belief that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control.

Any business that provides employer-sponsored health insurance can soon claim a religious or moral objection to covering birth control, courtesy of the Trump administration.

That could leave more than 55 million cisgender women and an untold number of transgender and gender nonconforming people who rely on no-copay contraception under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) popular birth control benefit on the hook for the cost of the medication or a device—far beyond the cost of a co-pay.

Continued at source: Rewire: https://rewire.news/article/2017/05/31/trump-blow-up-obamacare-s-birth-control-benefit/

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U.S.: How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women

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How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women

Callie Beusman
May 30 2017

Anti-abortion groups are opening fake clinics near actual reproductive health care providers across the country in an attempt to shame and scare women into staying pregnant.

On an overcast Saturday morning in late May, several protesters had gathered outside of Hartford GYN Center, an abortion clinic in Connecticut. Many of them were clutching rosaries, and some bore signs decorated with images of beatific infants, with the implication that similar infants were in immediate danger of being murdered. They were, by their own description, facing down "the Evil One;" later in the day, a protester would tell me that an acquaintance of hers had once seen the devil himself crouched atop a different clinic and mistaken it for a gargoyle.

Continued at source: Broadly/VICE: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/how-anti-abortion-zealots-pose-as-medical-professionals-to-trick-pregnant-women

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Free electronic prescriptions for emergency contraceptives for Poland!

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Free electronic prescriptions for emergency contraceptives for Poland!

May 26, 2017

Yesterday, May 25 th, the Polish Government voted in favour of limiting access to all emergency contraception by requiring a doctor’s prescription. Emergency contraceptive is available over the counter in almost all European countries. In response to this violation of women’s rights, Women on Web will provide all women with free prescriptions from a European doctor from now on.

According to European regulations[1], pharmacies in any European country should fill the prescriptions from a European doctor. After you print the prescription, you can go to a polish pharmacy to get the morning after pills.

Women who need a prescription should fulfill a online consultation for morning after pill.

Continued at source: Women on Waves: https://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/6991/free-electronic-prescriptions-for-emergency-contraceptives-for-poland

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