UK: How has the issue of abortion affected your life?

0

How has the issue of abortion affected your life?

14 August 2017
From the section Have Your Say

It's almost 50 years since abortion was legalised in Britain and we would like to hear your experiences surrounding the issue.

The 1967 Abortion Act was a bid to end life-threatening backstreet practices, that were often the only option for many women who wanted a termination.

Around the world abortion remains a personally polarising and politically divisive issue.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/40863335

Read more

Australia: Sydney woman prosecuted for taking abortion drug

0

Sydney woman prosecuted for taking abortion drug

Michaela Whitbourn
August 14 2017

A Sydney woman who bought pills on the internet to abort her child after her boyfriend urged her to terminate the pregnancy has been prosecuted for self-administering a drug to procure a miscarriage.

In a decision on July 5, made public on Monday, Local Court magistrate Geoffrey Hiatt said the woman, who was 28 at the time, had a "clear intent to procure a miscarriage".

Continued at source: Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-woman-prosecuted-for-taking-abortion-drug-20170814-gxvoqd.html

Read more

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

0

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/

Read more

The Discussion on Conscientious Objection

0

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/

Read more

Unsafe abortions killing women, damaging wombs in Nigeria ― Gynaecologist

0

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/

Read more

Kenya: What it is like to have unsafe abortion

0

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

Read more

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

0

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

Read more

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

0

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/

Read more

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

0

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

Read more

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

0

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.

--------------------------------

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

Read more