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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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

August 15, 2017
by Women Help Women

Although self-management of medical abortion presents enormous potential for the empowerment of women, the experience of individual women in countries where abortion is legally restricted often remains deeply stigmatized, despite the availability of safe abortion pills. It builds on other forms of discrimination and structural injustices. Ultimately, abortion stigma serves to marginalize an essential medical process, discredit those who would provide or procure it, and undermine those who advocate for its legality and accessibility.

A woman who manages her own abortion is committing a political act by refusing to submit to various oppressive systems, whether intending to or not. By taking control into her own hands, she is rejecting systems of law, local medical practice, societal norms, religious norms and sometimes deeply held personal beliefs.

False messages intended to frighten women off

> The pills are misused by women and cannot be self-managed.

> No woman should ever do this by herself because she will likely die or become infertile.

> This process should never be made so easy.

WHW works steadily to empower, destigmatize and provide support in each and every message and action. Any intervention on behalf of independent use in restrictive settings must engage fully in conversation. Each person deserves to feel heard, understood and respected. Stigma can feel overwhelming but can be addressed brick-by-brick in small but meaningful written exchanges. We emphasize that abortion is a common experience, and they are not alone. We offer reliable information on medical, legal and logistical aspects of accessing and safely taking abortion medicines, sharing research data, and the experiences of others. We talk about how safe self-management of abortion medicines is, but we encourage women to be close to the hospital if additional care is needed. After desperation, fear, shame and secrecy, women express relief and astonishment after the abortion is over, because they experienced no complications, and they feel healthy both physically and emotionally.

FULL TEXT:  English  / Español

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Continued at source: International Campaign for women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/women-help-women-supporting-independent-use-of-abortion-medicines/

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Unsafe abortions killing women, damaging wombs in Nigeria ― Gynaecologist

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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/

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Kenya: What it is like to have unsafe abortion

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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

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

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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

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India: Hyderabad: Engineering student dies after botched abortion

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Hyderabad: Engineering student dies after botched abortion

The police were trying to find out if the hospital violated the guidelines by the Indian Medical Council and District Medical and Health Officer for abortions.

IANS| Last Updated: Monday, August 7, 2017

Hyderabad: An engineering student died of botched abortion at a private maternity hospital in Hyderabad`s Vansthalipuram area on Monday, police said.

The 21-year-old died of excessive bleeding. As her condition was deteriorating, the maternity hospital staff shifted her to another private hospital, where she was declared brought dead.

Continued at source: Zee News: http://zeenews.india.com/india/hyderabad-engineering-student-dies-after-botched-abortion-2030830.html?pfrom=article-next-story

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Mothers caught up in El Salvador’s abortion ban put focus on families

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Mothers caught up in El Salvador's abortion ban put focus on families

The Latin American country has one of the world's strictest laws against abortion, and dozens of women say they were wrongly jailed after suffering miscarriages. As El Salvador debates loosening the ban, they're trying to change the conversation.

Catarina Fernandes Martins, Correspondent
August 3, 2017

San Salvador—Mirna Ramírez was arrested for attempting to murder her daughter on the day she was born.

Ms. Ramírez was seven months pregnant when she suddenly went into labor at home, where she delivered her daughter. Neighbors rushed to help and arrived right after the birth. Afterward, though, saying they suspected she had been trying to abort the baby, they reported her to authorities. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Continued at source: Christian Science Monitor: https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2017/0803/Mothers-caught-up-in-El-Salvador-s-abortion-ban-put-focus-on-families

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Chile’s Congress eases strict abortion ban, court battle awaits

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Chile's Congress eases strict abortion ban, court battle awaits

August 3, 2017

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's Congress approved late on Wednesday night a bill that legalizes abortion in certain cases, though it will still need to win the approval of the nation's courts to go into effect.

After a complex and fractious process, the nation's Chamber of Deputies voted 70 to 45 to allow abortion when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus in unviable, or when a pregnancy results from rape.

It followed fierce debate and a razor-thin vote to approve the bill in the nation's more conservative Senate in July, and a previous debate in the Chamber of Deputies which sent a slightly different version of the original bill to the Senate last year.
Continued at source: Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-abortion-idUSKBN1AJ23H

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Historic decision: Chile’s National Congress legalizes abortion after 28 years of criminalization

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Historic decision: Chile's National Congress legalizes abortion after 28 years of criminalization

Miles Chile dedicates this "day of greater dignity, respect and freedom to all those women who since 1989 were punished, stigmatized, humiliated or killed for having interrupted their pregnancy."

August 3, 2017

Today, 3 August, the Chilean Congress passed the abortion bill into law. Miles Chile has declared today "a day of dignity, respect and freedom honouring all the women who since 1989 were prosecuted, stigmatised, humiliated or killed for having terminated a pregnancy".

In fact, the three grounds for abortion contained in the abortion bill had already been approved by both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the Congress.

However, there was not a majority to pass one clause permitting girls and adolescents under the age of 14 years who is pregnant due to rape to seek authorisation from a Family Court for an abortion if a parent or legal guardian refuses their permission.

This held up passage of the whole bill. What was required next was for a Joint Commission of 5 Senators and 5 Deputies to be constituted, who drafted a consensus report on that one clause to be taken for approval to both chambers. The vote on the report in the Commission took place on the evening of 1 August and was approved 6 to 4. The law was passed today, 3 August, by 70 to 45 in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 to 13 in the Senate, after lobbying to ensure there was no further delay.

Now the ten-person Constitutional Court must discuss the three grounds. As has been reported previously, even before the bill was passed by the Congress, the opposition had tabled a request to the Constitutional Court to rule on whether or not the three grounds for abortion are constitutional.

SOURCE: Miles Chile, 3 August 2017 (in Spanish) http://mileschile.cl/?p=4853
Translated by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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