Australia: A Woman’s Abortion Conviction Is An Unexpected Wake-Up Call, Experts Say

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A Woman’s Abortion Conviction Is An Unexpected Wake-Up Call, Experts Say

by Sam Langford
16 August 2017

Legal experts say that a Sydney woman’s conviction for taking abortion drugs is almost unheard of in NSW, and that the surprising case highlights the urgent need for abortion law reform.

In a judgment handed down on July 5 in Blacktown Local Court, Magistrate Geoff Hiatt found a woman who self-administered drugs to abort her pregnancy guilty of a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years imprisonment but as it was dealt with summarily in a local court the convicted woman faces a maximum two year sentence.

Continued at source: Junkee: http://junkee.com/sydney-abortion-conviction-unexpected/118317

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Australia: Abortion reform ‘unfinished business’

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Abortion reform 'unfinished business'

August 16, 2017
Lisa Martin
Australian Associated Press

Queensland and NSW may have female state leaders, but it's still a potentially jailable offence for women to have an abortion in those states.

Federal Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has made the case for Australia to address its "unfinished business on reproductive health" while delivering the Emily's List oration in Canberra on Wednesday night.

"Having an abortion is a criminal act in both Queensland and New South Wales - that means it's a crime for half the women in Australia," Ms Plibersek said, noting a Brisbane couple were prosecuted for purchasing abortion drugs in 2010 and last month a woman was prosecuted in New South Wales.

Continued at source: News.com.au: http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/abortion-reform-unfinished-business/news-story/f08036b1fef580335be2b72beed7e9d9

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Endgame nears in Chile president’s fight to temper draconian abortion ban

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Endgame nears in Chile president's fight to temper draconian abortion ban

After tortuous passage through congress, Michelle Bachelet’s bill legalising abortion in some circumstances will go before constitutional tribunal

Hannah Summers
Wednesday 16 August 2017

Chile is on the cusp of finalising a landmark ruling to legalise abortion under certain circumstances in a move that would signal a major victory for President Michelle Bachelet.

After two years of fractious debate, a bill that would permit termination of a pregnancy when a woman’s life is in danger, when a foetus is not viable or in cases of rape, could be passed this week.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/aug/16/chile-abortion-ban-constitiutional-tribunal-michelle-bachelet

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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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UK: Stella Creasy criticises NI Health Department on abortion

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Stella Creasy criticises NI Health Department on abortion
By Mark Devenport BBC News NI Political Editor

8 August 2017

A Labour MP has strongly criticised Northern Ireland's Department of Health for not updating abortion guidance to health professionals.

Stella Creasy played a crucial role in changing government policy on NI women seeking abortions in England.

She told a discussion at the West Belfast Festival she was "absolutely horrified" by the department's stance.

Continued at source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-40867182

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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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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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Ireland: ‘Our reproductive health laws have come to the attention of the UN Torture Committee’

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'Our reproductive health laws have come to the attention of the UN Torture Committee'

Ireland’s abortion laws are cruel, inhuman, degrading and discriminatory, writes Niall Behan.

Aug 4, 2017
Niall Behan CEO, Irish Family Planning Association

WHEN THE INTERNATIONAL experts on the United Nations Convention Against Torture reviewed Ireland last week, one of their principal areas of concern was reproductive coercion.

Felice Gaer, the Committee’s Vice-Chair and its longest serving member, grilled the state delegation about Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution—the Eighth Amendment—and the ways in which a woman’s right to informed consent and bodily autonomy during pregnancy and childbirth are affected by this provision.

And she had many questions about what she termed “this serious, difficult subject in Ireland of abortion”.

Continued at link: The Journal: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/our-reproductive-health-laws-have-come-to-the-attention-of-the-un-torture-committee-3526954-Aug2017/

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