New Manitoba health minister not responsible for reproductive health, despite holding purse strings

Past PC health ministers deferred all questions about abortion to minister for status of women

Marina von Stackelberg · CBC News
Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Manitoba's Department of Health may be in charge of the funding, but the Progressive Conservative government has decided talking about reproductive health — including abortion — remains a women's issue.

The office for newly appointed Health Minister Heather Stefanson confirmed she'll continue the PC government's practice of sending questions about reproductive health care to the minister for the status of women.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/reproductive-health-minister-1.5870793


Group Takes Legal Action Over Lack of Abortion Services in Northern Ireland

A human rights group says the government’s inaction has left a health care void in a country where the procedure was legalized in 2019, but remains largely unavailable.

By Megan Specia
Jan. 11, 2021

A human rights group in Northern Ireland is taking legal action against the government over its failure to provide abortion access, the group announced on Monday, highlighting the continuing struggle for safe abortions more than a year after the procedure was legalized in the region.

The organization, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, cited deep concerns about a lack of abortion services, which it says has left a health care void for many women and girls.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/world/europe/northern-ireland-abortion.html


Victory for Argentina’s women as abortion charges are dropped

Hundreds of criminal cases could be halted following landmark change in legislation

Amy Booth in Buenos Aires
Sun 10 Jan 2021

Argentina has announced it will drop criminal charges against women accused of having abortions following the government’s historic decision to legalise the procedure.

The announcement offers hope to the mostly poor and marginalised women facing criminal sanctions. But lingering problems such as obstetric violence and sexism in the justice system show the struggle for reproductive justice is not over, according to campaigners.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/10/victory-for-argentinas-women-as-abortion-charges-are-dropped


UK ministers face legal action over lack of abortion services in Northern Ireland

Exclusive: government accused of failing to ensure access more than a year after terminations legalised

Alexandra Topping
Sun 10 Jan 2021

Northern Ireland’s human rights commission (NIHRC) has launched a landmark legal action against the UK government for its failure to commission safe and accessible abortion services more than a year after abortion was made legal in the country, the Guardian can reveal.

The Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, is accused of unlawfully denying the rights of women in the country, who experts warn are being forced to use unregulated services and to travel to high-risk areas during the pandemic. The NIHRC is also taking action against the Northern Ireland Executive and the country’s Department of Health.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/10/uk-ministers-face-legal-action-over-lack-abortion-services-northern-ireland


Canada – New Brunswick being sued over abortion access

Lawsuit filed by civil liberties group seeks to force government to fund abortion services in private clinics

Jacques Poitras · CBC News
Posted: Jan 07, 2021

A national civil liberties group has officially launched a lawsuit aimed at forcing the New Brunswick government to fund abortion services in private clinics.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed the constitutional challenge in Court of Queen's Bench in Fredericton. "The province is violating women's, girls' and trans people's fundamental right to make their own choices, their right to privacy, to safety and, of course, to equality," Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, the CCLA's director of equality programs, told reporters.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/abortion-new-brunswick-lawsuit-civil-liberties-association-medicare-1.5864555


The Most Important Step Biden Can Take to Secure Reproductive Rights

President-elect Joe Biden can commit to combatting disinformation campaigns that have targeted reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice issues.

Jan 6, 2021
Galina Espinoza, Rewire

When President-elect Joe Biden assumes office on January 20, he will face immediate pressure from reproductive rights advocates to undo many of the harmful measures restricting access to vital health care.

From the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion, to 2019’s devastating Title X changes, which include a rule that clinics receiving federal money can’t refer patients for abortion care, the list of ruinous policies in need of review is long, and it impacts the lives of millions.

Continued: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/article/2021/01/06/the-most-important-step-biden-can-take-to-secure-reproductive-rights/


Northern Ireland: Abortion services cease at South Eastern Trust following Health Department failure

05 Jan 2021

Amnesty International has learned that Northern Ireland’s South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has stopped referrals to their early medical abortion service as of today (5 January) due to the failure of Department of Health to commission and resource services.

Despite abortion regulations taking effect from March 2020, the Department of Health’s failure to commission services means that health trusts have been left to absorb the costs and resource abortion care themselves, whilst battling through a pandemic.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/northern-ireland-abortion-services-cease-south-eastern-trust-following-health


Mexico – AMLO repeats belief that citizens should decide abortion issue

The president was responding to Argentina's decision to decriminalize

Published on Monday, January 4, 2021

President López Obrador has once again proposed holding a citizens’ consultation to decide whether abortion should be legalized in Mexico, stating that “the democratic method” is the best way to resolve controversial issues.

Speaking after Argentina’s Senate legalized
elective abortion on the penultimate day of 2020, López Obrador said the
people, not the government or the Catholic Church, must decide whether women
should have the right to terminate a pregnancy.

Continued: https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/amlo-repeats-belief-that-citizens-should-decide-abortion-issue/


Unlike Argentina, Abortion Remains Blocked in Brazilian Congress

Resistance to the issue in Congress is increasing with the efforts of President Jair Bolsonaro.

By Oliver Mason
December 31, 2020

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - While the Argentine Senate on Wednesday, December 30th, passed a law validating women's right to abortion until the 14th week of pregnancy, the issue is facing opposition from conservative and religious legislators in the Brazilian Congress.

The assessment of legislators heard by Folha newspaper is that, within the current context, there is no room for legislation similar to the neighboring country to progress in the National Congress.

Continued: https://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/brazil/life-brazil/unlike-argentina-abortion-is-blocked-in-brazilian-congress/


Women should decide whether to legalize abortion, Mexican president says

DECEMBER 31, 2020
By Reuters Staff

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s president said on Thursday that women should decide whether the country should legalize abortion, but he declined to take a position on the issue, which is still opposed by many Mexicans.

One day after the Argentine Senate voted to make abortion legal, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was asked during a news conference whether he thought his country should follow suit.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-abortion-idUSKBN2951GI