New abortion laws for Northern Ireland comes into force

New abortion laws for Northern Ireland comes into force
The new regulations will allow terminations in Northern Ireland for the first 12 weeks

By Shaun Keenan
31 MAR 2020

Newly published regulations on abortion services in Northern Ireland will come into force on Tuesday. MPs in Westminster passed the changes to abortion last year in the absence of a power sharing assembly at Stormont.

The new regulations will allow terminations in Northern Ireland on request for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to 24 weeks in cases of a risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or girl.

Continued: https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/new-abortion-laws-northern-ireland-18011806


Abortion: New laws come into force in Northern Ireland

Abortion: New laws come into force in Northern Ireland
Significant changes to NI's abortion laws have come into force.

Mar 31, 2020

Terminations can be carried out in all circumstances in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.

After that abortions are legal in some cases - for example, there is no term limit in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities.

Robin Swann is "urgently reviewing" arrangements to allow women to access free abortion services in England, in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-52068193


USA – “Stay Home and Have the Baby”

“Stay Home and Have the Baby”
Texas and Ohio have ordered a stop to abortions, saying they’re not essential medical services. Other states will follow. Right-wing forces are using the pandemic as a pretext to crack down dramatically on abortion rights. We can’t let them.

03.28.2020
By Jenny Brown

Texas and Ohio have ordered a stop to abortions, saying they’re not essential medical services, while state officials in Mississippi and Maryland are edging that direction. Their coronavirus prevention program is “Stay home and have the baby.”

The states argued that equipment such as masks used for surgical abortions could be used for care of COVID-19 patients. And they claim if anything goes wrong emergency services would be needed, exaggerating the risk of a safe procedure.

Continued: https://jacobinmag.com/2020/03/coronavirus-abortions-health-care


Jamaica – House committee recommends conscience vote on abortion

House committee recommends conscience vote on abortion

BY BALFORD HENRY, Senior staff reporter
Saturday, March 28, 2020

THE House of Representatives' Human Resources and Social Development Select Committee has recommended that Members of Parliament make a “conscience” vote to determine whether or not abortion should be legalised in Jamaica.

The recommendation was obviously the likeliest response from the 11-member committee, chaired by Opposition MP and Roman Catholic Deacon Ronald Thwaites, after listening to the divisive views of more than 70 local and overseas institutions, individuals and emotional experts for a little over two years.

Continued: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/house-committee-recommends-conscience-vote-on-abortion_190734?profile=1373


USA – Paying for an Abortion Was Already Hard. The COVID-19 Economic Downturn Has Made It Even Harder.

Paying for an Abortion Was Already Hard. The COVID-19 Economic Downturn Has Made It Even Harder.
With anti-abortion state officials using COVID-19 to stop legal abortion and millions losing their jobs, abortion funds are seeing a crush of requests.

Mar 27, 2020
Paige Alexandria

For people seeking abortion care, the COVID-19 pandemic has made an already difficult situation harder.

In recent weeks, millions have lost their job, and parents are struggling to afford necessary childcare as schools across the United States have closed until further notice. People are faced with abortion costs that, for most, were difficult to afford in the first place. To make matters worse, states like Texas and Oklahoma have classified abortion care as “nonessential” in their COVID-19 response.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2020/03/27/paying-for-an-abortion-was-already-hard-the-covid-19-economic-downturn-has-made-it-even-harder/


UK – Abortion and COVID-19: why we need to support women’s right to abortion in health emergencies

Abortion and COVID-19: why we need to support women’s right to abortion in health emergencies

Mar 27, 2020

Clare Wenham, Ernestina Coast, Katy Footman, Tiziana Leone, Rishita Nandagiri, and Joe Strong discuss the UK government’s apparent U-turn over medical abortion during the novel coronavirus outbreak. They draw on their own research and other evidence to make the case for women being able to take abortion medication at home, following a phone or video consultation.

On 23 March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care approved emergency measures relating to abortion regulation which would have revolutionised abortion practice in England. Women would be able to take abortion medication in their homes, without having to travel to a clinic first, with a consultation over the phone or video link. This was explained as accounting for self-isolation guidelines and the limited opportunity women would have during the COVID-19 outbreak to seek abortion, potentially leading to a number of unwanted pregnancies being forced to continue or women being forced to resort to illegal or unsafe methods to terminate them. Moreover, self-isolation may lead to an increase in sexual activity amongst some, not to mention the increased risk of sexual violence within quarantine settings. Thus, this change in regulation was heralded as a major breakthrough for emergency management of COVID-19 and meeting women’s reproductive needs. That being so, it was remarkable that within five hours of this announcement, came the following ‘This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulation‘.

Continued: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/abortion-and-covid-19/ Abortion and COVID-19: why we need to support women’s right to abortion in health emergencies


USA – Abortion is Not Elective Surgery, and Abortions Must Continue During COVID-19 Pandemic

Abortion is Not Elective Surgery, and Abortions Must Continue During COVID-19 Pandemic

ZawnVillines
Thursday March 26, 2020

Texas this week seized the opportunity to ban abortions and blame it on COVID-19. The state banned “any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother,” with no exceptions for severely ill fetuses, babies who will suffer and die at birth, rape victims, or similar groups. Ohio and Mississippi have enacted similar bans, and other states might soon follow suit.

While an abortion rights coalition that includes Texas abortion clinics has already sued to halt the Texas ban, it’s unclear how courts might rule. Moreover, federal courts are moving more slowly than ever, so even if choice advocates win, many women will be denied abortions before they do

Continued: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/3/26/1931445/-Abortion-is-Not-Elective-Surgery-and-Abortions-Must-Continue-During-COVID-19-Pandemic


USA – Abortion Providers Are Acting as Travel Agents. That’s Wrong.

Abortion Providers Are Acting as Travel Agents. That’s Wrong.
The spread of COVID-19 will only further complicate the efforts to get abortion patients to clinics safely and efficiently.

Mar 25, 2020
David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe

We will not find out for a few months how the recently argued U.S. Supreme Court case, June Medical v. Russo, will be decided. But lurking behind the Court’s first abortion case since President Donald Trump appointed two anti-abortion justices is an underappreciated aspect of abortion care in the United States: the extent to which abortion providers serve as de facto travel agents for patients.

If the Supreme Court rules against abortion rights in this case, an already challenging situation will become much worse. But even before the Court rules, the COVID-19 crisis is already complicating abortion care and putting more pressure on providers to troubleshoot travel issues.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2020/03/25/abortion-providers-are-acting-as-travel-agents-thats-wrong/


USA – Anti-Choice Politicians Are Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Deny Abortion Rights

Anti-Choice Politicians Are Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Deny Abortion Rights
And they’re succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare

By David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe
Mar 25, 2020

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, while the rest of the nation is focusing on staying healthy and social distancing, anti-abortion politicians and movement leaders have been doing the only thing they know — pursuing an agenda to shut down abortion clinics. Capitalizing on the mantra to never let a crisis go to waste, they are succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare.

The chief vehicle they have been using is shutting down what they deem nonessential health care. By now, most people are familiar with orders from mayors or governors that only essential businesses can remain open. Most places that have put these orders in place have also specified that medical facilities can no longer perform elective or nonessential procedures.

Continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/anti-choice-politicians-are-using-the-coronavirus-crisis-to-deny-abortion-rights-973096/


UK – Coronavirus: Abortion law changes ruled out by health secretary Matt Hancock

Coronavirus: Abortion law changes ruled out by health secretary Matt Hancock

George Martin, Yahoo News UK
Mar. 24, 2020

Abortion rules will not be changed as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the health secretary has announced, after the government published and then deleted changes to the law.

Matt Hancock was pressed by MPs after the Department of Health said it would allow women and girls to take abortion pills at home, without the need to attend a clinic or hospital, and for doctors to prescribe from their own homes.

Continued: https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-abortion-rules-lockdown-covid-143825696.html