Curb high rate of unintended pregnancies in Africa

Curb high rate of unintended pregnancies in Africa

23/08/19
By: Royal Uche

[LAGOS] Consistent political will from governments of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa could help curb the 14 million unintended pregnancies recorded annually in the region, a study says.

Pregnancies occurring when children are unexpected could lead to problems such as unsafe abortion, mental illness and negative quality of women’s lives, researchers from Ghana say, adding that in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) few studies have explored such pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.scidev.net/sub-saharan-africa/health/news/curb-high-rate-of-unintended-pregnancies-in-africa.html

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USA – Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding

Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding
Reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates say the Helms Amendment's ban on using foreign assistance funds for abortion deserves more attention.

Aug 23, 2019
Ally Boguhn

Abortion rights are a high-profile issue for Democrats on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. Candidates have stated their opposition to abortion funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment and the Trump administration’s expanded global “gag rule.” But little attention has been paid in the race or the media to the Helms Amendment, a ban on foreign assistance funding for abortion.

Rewire.News asked the 2020 candidates about their stance on the anti-choice policy; ten thus far say they oppose it. The Helms Amendment—named for its sponsor, the late-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)—states, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” The abortion funding ban was passed as part of the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in the United States.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/08/23/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-helms-amendments-restriction-on-abortion-funding/

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Domestic political alliances with conservative forces in the US is costing women their health at home and abroad

Domestic political alliances with conservative forces in the US is costing women their health at home and abroad

BMJ Opinion
August 19, 2019

The Trump administration’s ideological commitment to the domestic anti-abortion lobby is endangering women across the Americas, say Hani Serag et al

The history of the “Global Gag Rule” is one of tragic irony and misguided energy from conservative foreign policy elements within the United States. The Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, restricts the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in developing countries that receive USAID family planning from engaging in abortion-related activities, including advocacy, regardless of the funding source for these activities. It is even more ironic that abortion rates increase where the Global Gag Rule disrupts family planning services. [1] Inability to access safe abortions does little to prevent women from seeking unsafe abortions which harm the wellbeing of women. [2] Although this is well-documented, one of the first things that Donald Trump did when he became President was to sign an executive order reinstating the Global Gag Rule. In March 2019, the Trump administration expanded the rule. Previously it only applied to family planning assistance ($575 million in FY2016) but the expanded law includes all “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies”⁠— an estimated $9.5 billion or 16-fold increase in restricted funding. [3] A recent report shows the impact of this rule and the detrimental effect that it is having on women and girls.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/08/19/domestic-political-alliances-with-conservative-forces-in-the-us-is-costing-women-their-health-at-home-and-abroad/

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Ghana – Papa Ralph Hotline To Provide Quick Abortion Information

Papa Ralph Hotline To Provide Quick Abortion Information

By Raphael Godlove Ahenu
16.08.2019

Global Media Foundation, human rights media advocacy organization will soon introduce safe abortion information telephone hotlines such as Papa Ralph and Maame Esi in Ghana in helping to provide quick and adequate information on abortion and contraceptives to women especially vulnerable and hard-to-reach young girls who may be considering that option. Such measures according to GLOMEF could reduce maternal morbidity and mortality that results from unsafe abortions in Ghana.

The Founder/CEO of GLOMEF, Raphael Godlove Ahenu who made this known to media, said cultural and religious unacceptability of safe abortion as contributing factor to unsafe abortion practices in Ghana making many women especially young girls indulged in unsafe abortions because they feared the stigma that accompanied unwed pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/950511/papa-ralph-hotline-to-provide-quick-abortion-infor.html

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Young Voters Care About Abortion Policy. Argentine Politicians Are Ignoring Them

Young Voters Care About Abortion Policy. Argentine Politicians Are Ignoring Them.
The youth vote is becoming increasingly important in Argentina, but the leading presidential candidates are deliberately avoiding the issue that matters most to them.

By Ana Ionova
August 15, 2019

SALTA, Argentina —When Milagros Peñalba and Camila Monzón, both 17, consider supporting a political candidate in Argentina’s next presidential election, the key issue is not how to tackle Argentina’s massive debt burden or how to curb skyrocketing inflation. What they care about most is whether the candidates are in favor of legalizing abortion.

Since the nationwide debate on abortion rights last year culminated in disappointment for those in favor of legalization, the two youth activists have campaigned for reproductive rights, better sex education, and access to contraceptives in their hometown of Salta, in Argentina’s deeply conservative north. They also organize events encouraging their peers to get to know their political representatives.

Continued: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/15/young-voters-care-about-abortion-policy-argentine-politicians-are-ignoring-them/

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India – A change in the abortion law?

A change in the abortion law?

August 8, 2019
By Kerean Watts

Could India’s abortion law soon change? Steps may be taken towards amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, as the Centre has informed the Delhi High Court it is consulting with ministries on the same.

Social activist Amit Sahni filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the High Court earlier this year, seeking that the gestation period in which abortion is permitted be extended to between 24 and 26 weeks. Currently, Indian law permits abortion only in the first twenty weeks of pregnancy in cases where “the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury physical or mental health; or there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.” This would require the assent of one medical practitioner in the first twelve weeks and two medical practitioners thereafter.

Continued: https://www.healthissuesindia.com/2019/08/08/a-change-in-the-abortion-law/

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Kenya – Denial of abortion services violates women’s rights

Denial of abortion services violates women’s rights
Ruling allowing abortion will reduce maternal deaths, give women right to health

by Evelyn Odhiambo
07 August 2019

Approximately seven women and girls die daily as a result of unsafe abortion whereas Sh533 million is used in treating complications related to unsafe abortion. Many of these women are left infertile or with lifelong disabilities and haemorrhage.

Girls and women in informal settlements are mostly affected, coupled with abortion-related stigma. Restrictive laws on termination of pregnancy result in women seeking services from unqualified medical personnel where the minimum cost is Sh1,500 not forgetting the limited chances of survival and complications.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-08-07-denial-of-abortion-services-violates-womens-rights/

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Ecuador: Women Demand Decriminalization of Abortion in Rape Cases

Ecuador: Women Demand Decriminalization of Abortion in Rape Cases
"We believe that abortion after rape is a minimum right for women, a minimum right to guarantee our lives," said an activist attending the demonstration.

Published 7 August 2019

Dozens of women protested Tuesday outside the Ecuadorian National Assembly in the capital of Quito, demanding the decriminalization of abortion in cases of rape. Lawmakers are currently debating penal reforms, including one that would expand abortion access.

Holding signs that read "Surviving an abortion is a class privilege," the protesters demanded that assembly members decriminalize abortion in all cases of rape.

Continued: https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Ecuador-Women-Demand-Decriminalization-of-Abortion-in-Rape-Cases-20190807-0034.html

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Kenya – ‘We lose so many women’: the tragedy of unsafe abortion in Kibera

‘We lose so many women’: the tragedy of unsafe abortion in Kibera
With terminations outlawed in Kenya, women and girls in its largest slum have to rely on expensive and unreliable under-the-counter pills, toxic chemicals or other homemade remedies. The consequences can be fatal

Tracy McVeigh in Kibera
Mon 5 Aug 2019

Edita Ochieng sashays up in her “This is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt – bright and new in a place where clothes are aged and faded.

“Got them,” she stage-whispers, a flash of silver foil in her hand. Four pills carefully cut from a longer strip. Ochieng has just been attempting to buy abortion pills from among the numerous kiosk-sized “quack” chemists in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. Just to show how easy it is.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/aug/05/we-lose-so-many-women-the-tragedy-of-unsafe-abortion-in-kibera

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Philippines – Lives in danger: Extrajudicial killings and the denial of abortion

[OPINION] Lives in danger: Extrajudicial killings and the denial of abortion
Permitting access to safe and legal abortion saves lives; extrajudicial killings take them away

Jihan Jacob
July 29, 2019

While President Duterte left out the status of women’s reproductive health and rights in the country from his 4th State of the Nation Address, the recent UN Human Rights Council resolution and false claims against those who advanced it demonstrate that the government still has a long way to go in respecting, protecting, and promoting the reproductive rights and human rights of all Filipinos. (READ: Quick point-by-point summary of Duterte's SONA 2019)

For the past 3 years, a slate of extrajudicial killings has been committed as part of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign. Thousands have gone missing or have been killed, prompting the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution condemning these acts. It urged the country to prevent more killings, conduct investigations, and ensure accountability.

Government officials who are sympathetic to the campaign have attempted to undermine those who passed the resolution, on the false pretext that such countries lack the moral legitimacy to condemn the Philippines because they permit legal abortion.

Continued: https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/ispeak/236392-extrajudicial-killings-legal-abortion

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