How Margaret Atwood predicted America’s future in The Handmaid’s Tale

How Margaret Atwood predicted America’s future in The Handmaid’s Tale

Posted by Jean Hannah Edelstein
Published Jun 18, 2019

“If you return to your country of origin, would you be persecuted on the basis of you being a woman?”

On the bank of a dark river, a Canadian customs official speaks these words to a woman who is lying on the ground, drenched in freezing river water, clutching a baby. She has just completed a harrowing near-death journey across the border, and this is part of the script that the officer must recite in order for her to seek refuge in Canada. The woman nods, shivering and frantic. “Do you wish to claim asylum?” the guard asks.

Continued: https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/handmaids-tale-margaret-atwood-predicted-us-abortion-law-pro-life-heartbeat-bill/273387

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U.S. state restrictions on abortion are anti-secular

Stuart Chambers: U.S. state restrictions on abortion are anti-secular
Pro-choice supporters better be ready to stand up for secularism because anti-abortion forces have already decided that belief trumps truth.

Stuart Chambers
Updated: June 2, 2019

The U.S. is a nation that prides itself on separating church and state — that is, unless the issue is abortion. A recent rash of state restrictions on abortion procedures clearly demonstrates two fundamental truths: first, the Christian right dismisses evidence-based inquiry; second, it seeks to make religion operative within secular law.

When lobbying for abortion restrictions, anti-abortion lobbyists and politicians tend to ignore empirical studies that counter their narrative that abortion is dangerous. One myth surrounds the alleged psychological harm to women who have had abortions. The data, however, contradicts this claim.

Continued: https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/stuart-chambers-u-s-state-restrictions-on-abortion-are-anti-secular

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Podcast: Roe V Wade

Roe V Wade

Listen now (29 minute podcast)
Sunday 2 June 2019
Radio National Australia, Rear Vision

States across America are passing heartbeat laws, which aim to outlaw abortions at any stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.

They are reigniting debate in the US around abortion and threatening to overturn the famous 1973 Roe V Wade decision.

Continued: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/roe-v-wade/11160438

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What’s it like to live in a place where abortion is a crime? Women in Northern Ireland know

What's it like to live in a place where abortion is a crime? Women in Northern Ireland know

By Haley Ott, Allison Ingersoll
May 29, 2019, CBS News

Belfast, Northern Ireland — Women in Northern Ireland live under abortion laws very similar to those recently passed in Alabama. They're offering a snapshot for Americans of what life is like in a place where abortion is a crime.

"We have to be really careful about how we communicate with each other and how we work," pro-abortion rights activist Emma Campbell told CBS News.

Continued: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/northern-ireland-women-on-life-in-a-place-where-abortion-is-a-crime/

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USA – A Pastor’s Case for the Morality of Abortion

A Pastor’s Case for the Morality of Abortion
Jes Kast, a minister in the United Church of Christ, believes the procedure should be fully legal and accessible. Her path to that position has been complicated.

Emma Green
May 26, 2019

In America, the debate about abortion is often reduced to binary categories. Religious versus secular. Misogynists versus murderers. Even “Christian theocracy” versus, presumably, everyone else.

With abortion once again in the headlines this month, after Alabama and several other states passed near-total bans on the procedure, Jes Kast, a pastor in the United Church of Christ, spoke up as someone who does not fit those categories. She supports abortion rights, and is representative of her denomination on this issue: According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of people in the UCC, a small, progressive denomination with a little less than 1 million members, think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Kast also serves on the clergy-advocacy board of Planned Parenthood, which works to “increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health,” according to its website.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/05/progressive-christians-abortion-jes-kast/590293/

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Trump Administration Strengthens ‘Conscience Rule’ for Health Care Workers

Trump Administration Strengthens ‘Conscience Rule’ for Health Care Workers
A shift in the balance between the rights of patient and provider, with religion in the middle.

By Margot Sanger-Katz
May 2, 2019

President Trump on Thursday announced an expanded “conscience rule” to protect health care workers who oppose abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds.

The rule establishes guidelines for punishing health care institutions with the loss of federal funds if they fail to respect the rights of such workers.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/upshot/conscience-rule-trump-religious-exemption-health-care.html

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HUNGARY – Birthrate, family and country: Viktor Orban wants women back in the home

HUNGARY – Birthrate, family and country: Viktor Orban wants women back in the home

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Apr 30, 2019

When it comes to power, what does the far right do to women? In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s racist, nationalist, extremist discourse goes hand in hand with the desire to keep women pregnant. In Poland, where the ultra-conservative Law and Justice party has been in power since 2015, the government is tirelessly trying, with the support of the Catholic Church, to prevent women from having access to abortion and contraception. “In these two countries, the role of women as individuals is slowly disappearing from public policies and being replaced by ‘the family’,” warns Andrea Pető, professor at the Central European University of Budapest.

“The Hungarian government is using two topics to campaign: its anti-immigration stance and the family,” says Dóra Papp, an activist and director of the petitions platform of aHang (The Voice). Last year, the government declared that 2018 would be the “year of families”.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/hungary-birthrate-family-and-country-viktor-orban-wants-women-back-in-the-home/

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JAMAICA – Decriminalising abortion in Jamaica: Christians say ‘Yes’

JAMAICA – Decriminalising abortion in Jamaica: Christians say ‘Yes’

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
April 26, 2019
by Joan French and Statement of Committed Christians

In mid-2018, following the death of a constituent from a botched abortion, Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn made her protest against the existing laws regarding abortion public via the media. She presented a Motion to the Parliament proposing the decriminalisation of abortion and its replacement by a civil law setting out the conditions under which women would be able to access legal and safe termination of pregnancies. Under Jamaican Statutory law a woman can be sentenced to life imprisonment for attempting to terminate a pregnancy, and accomplices or facilitators up to three years. While it is arguable that the Common Law accepts abortion ‘if the life of the mother is in danger’, some doctors have been challenged by the State when they have performed abortions according to their interpretation of that provision.

The result of this situation is that women who choose abortion often have them performed in unsafe conditions, risking their lives. The World Health Organization estimates that 22,000 abortions are performed in Jamaica each year. (WHO, Unsafe Abortions 2004). Many of those who survive suffer serious complications such as severe infections, gangrene in the uterus, haemorrhaging, tearing of the cervix, uterine perforation, laceration of the vaginal wall. The situation disproportionately affects women who are poor and young, since those who have money can find qualified doctors who will perform their abortions for a considerable fee.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/jamaica-decriminalising-abortion-in-jamaica-christians-say-yes/

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Kenya – Anti-abortion billboards fuel stigma in Kenya, say women’s rights groups

Anti-abortion billboards fuel stigma in Kenya, say women's rights groups

Nita Bhalla
Apr 24, 2019

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women’s rights groups on Wednesday called on Kenyan authorities to remove anti-abortion billboards across the capital saying they were inaccurate and fuelling stigma in the east African nation, where thousands die from backstreet abortions each year.

Sponsored by the Nairobi-based Sozo Church of God, 13 billboards and posters near traffic lights and on electricity poles along Nairobi’s main roads state “Abortion is Murder!” or “Shut down abortion clinics!” under a picture of a fetus.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-women-abortion/anti-abortion-billboards-fuel-stigma-in-kenya-say-womens-rights-groups-idUSKCN1S02YH

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Argentina – How Doctors And The Church Conspired To Stop An 11-Year-Old Girl From Having An Abortion After Rape

How Doctors And The Church Conspired To Stop An 11-Year-Old Girl From Having An Abortion After Rape
Lucía was raped at 11. Her family’s demands for a legal abortion became the center of a global firestorm — and she still doesn’t know the whole story.

Karla Zabludovsky, BuzzFeed News Reporter
San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
Posted on April 13, 2019

SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMÁN, Argentina — Lucía sat up in her hospital bed as the priest made the sign of the cross on her forehead, the 11-year-old’s bulging belly visible underneath her pajama shirt.

“Think long and hard about what you’re considering doing,” Lucía’s mother remembered the priest telling them. “Save both lives,” he said.

Lucía wasn’t sure what the priest was talking about. She only knew her grandmother’s partner had done something bad to her and now she had a terrible stomachache.

Continued: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/karlazabludovsky/argentina-lucia-catholic-church-abortion

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