Sexual and reproductive health for all: 20 years of the Global Strategy

16 May 2024
World Health Organization - Departmental update

Thirty years ago, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, Egypt, underscored the right of all individuals to achieve the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In 2004, WHO published a reproductive health strategy – ratified by 191 Member States at the Fifty-seventh World Health Assembly – that reinforced the centrality of SRHR to societies and economies (Resolution WHA57.12). These frameworks are grounded in gender equality and recognize the unchanging importance of sexual health in achieving health for all.

Reproductive health strategy cover WHO researchers worked with Member States, civil society and communities across all regions to operationalize a Global Strategy to cover the five key pillars for improving SRHR: 

Continued: https://www.who.int/news/item/16-05-2024-sexual-and-reproductive-health-for-all-20-years-of-the-global-strategy


India – 28-week-old fetus’ right to life trumps right to abort: SC

Dhananjay Mahapatra / TNN
May 16, 2024

Supreme Court upholds 28-week-old fetus’s right to life, denying unmarried woman’s plea to terminate pregnancy under Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act despite provisions for rape survivors and minors to abort beyond 24 weeks. Delhi HC Justice Subramonium Prasad rejects plea for termination citing ethical and legal concerns about feticide. … SC said, "The child in the womb has a fundamental right to life.”

Continued: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/28-week-old-fetus-right-to-life-trumps-right-to-abort-sc/articleshow/110157500.cms


In France, abortion restrictions offset by medical autonomy

While U.S. grapples to recruit OB-GYNs in the aftermath of Dobbs, French restrictions spur less concern

By Ariel Cohen
Posted May 16, 2024

PARIS — In an airless classroom in Paris City University one Friday afternoon in March, a group of 17 female health care professionals — some doctors, some midwives — gathered to spend the weekend learning how to perform surgical abortions.

Sophie Gaudau is the no-nonsense leader of REVHO health network, which started providing abortion training for health professionals 20 years ago, back when abortion access in France was slightly more limited for patients and in terms of what the doctor could do. Today her organization receives support from the French Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Continued: https://rollcall.com/2024/05/16/in-france-abortion-restrictions-offset-by-medical-autonomy/


Support for legal abortion is widespread in many places, especially in Europe

BY JANELL FETTEROLF AND LAURA CLANCY
May 15, 2024

Majorities in most of the 27 places around the world that Pew Research Center surveyed in 2023 and 2024 say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. But attitudes differ widely – even within places. Religiously unaffiliated adults, people on the ideological left and women are more likely to support legal abortion in many places.

A median of 66% of adults across the 27 places surveyed believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while a median of 30% believe it should be illegal in all or most cases.||

Continued: https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2024/05/15/support-for-legal-abortion-is-widespread-in-many-countries-especially-in-europe/


UK – Teenager accused of illegal abortion told police she had stillbirth, court hears

Gloucester crown court told Sophie Harvey and boyfriend, then 19, bought pills to end 28-week pregnancy in 2018

Steven Morris
Wed 15 May 2024

A teenager accused of taking a pill to illegally abort a baby told police she had reconciled herself to the idea of having the child but suffered a stillbirth, a jury has heard.

Sophie Harvey, who was 19 at the time, said she panicked and wrapped the dead baby in a towel, put it in a plastic bag and placed it in a bin at the family home in Gloucestershire.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/article/2024/may/15/gloucestershire-teen-accused-of-abortion-told-police-she-had-stillbirth


Guam governor, attorney general face off over decades-old abortion ban

By Kalvis Golde
May 15, 2024

In the 1990s, a federal district court in Guam blocked a total ban on abortion enacted by the territory’s legislature because it conflicted with Roe v. Wade. After the justices overruled Roe two years ago in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Guam’s attorney general sought to lift the hold on the ban. But the Guam Supreme Court, in response to a request by the territory’s governor, ruled that the ban cannot be revived because more recent abortion laws have effectively wiped it from the books. This week, we highlight petitions that ask the court to consider, among other things, whether the Guam Supreme Court had the authority to wade into the dispute.

When the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional right to abortion in its 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, it surprised many who doubted that the court was willing to defend Roe after two decades of fighting over abortion. Among the skeptics was the Guam legislature, which in 1990 enacted a total ban on abortion, wagering that the tides would soon shift and states and territories would be allowed to regulate abortion on their own. A federal court quickly put the ban on hold, agreeing with the challengers that it violated Roe. When Casey ultimately upheld Roe, that hold remained in effect.

Continued: https://www.scotusblog.com/2024/05/guam-governor-attorney-general-face-off-over-decades-old-abortion-ban/


UK – Teenager used pills for illegal abortion, court hears

May 14, 2024
Steve Knibbs & PA Media, BBC News, Gloucestershire/

A six-month pregnant teenager obtained pills to illegally abort her own baby, a court has heard. Sophie Harvey, of St Mary’s Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, is accused of taking the drug to end her pregnancy after learning she could not get a legal abortion.

Prosecutors allege Miss Harvey and her boyfriend Elliot Benham, both now aged 25, searched online for methods to end the pregnancy and bought drugs, which she then took.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/crgyypdq6gmo


Morocco: Criminalization of abortion has devastating impact on the rights of women and girls

May 14, 2024
Amnesty International

The Moroccan state is failing to meet its obligations to ensure accessible, affordable and good quality sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion, forcing women and girls into dangerous situations and violating their human rights, said Amnesty International today.

A new report titled My life is ruined: The need to decriminalize abortion in Morocco, documents how the criminalization of abortion in Morocco, even in cases when pregnancy results from rape, has devastating consequences for women and girls. Facing threats of imprisonment, many are compelled to clandestinely seek dangerous methods to terminate pregnancies. Those unsuccessful are coerced into carrying pregnancies to term, facing additional risks of prosecution under laws criminalizing sexual relations outside of marriage which exacerbate social exclusion and poverty, all while enduring the painful aftermath of failed abortion attempts.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2024/05/morocco-criminalization-of-abortion-has-devastating-impact-on-the-rights-of-women-and-girls/


Advocating for Abortion Reform in the Philippines

New brief by the Center and its partner outlines the impact of the country’s restrictive abortion laws and recommends legalization and decriminalization.

Center for Reproductive Rights
May 14, 2024

In its continuing efforts to advocate for abortion decriminalization and reform in the Philippines, the Center for Reproductive Rights and its regional partner, Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network (PINSAN), recently developed a brief outlining the impact of the country’s restrictive abortion laws and advocating for abortion decriminalization and reforms aligning with international human rights standards. 

In Brief: Unveiling the Realities of Laws on Abortion in the Philippines examines the country’s abortion laws—including their origins and restrictions—and the laws’ real-life impact on the health and rights of Filipino women and girls. 

Continued: https://reproductiverights.org/advocating-philippines-abortion-reform/


USA – The Insidious Legal Movement to Make Pregnant Women Second-Class Citizens Is Growing

And the Supreme Court may only fuel it.

BY JILL FILIPOVIC
MAY 13, 2024

Should the very state of being pregnant place women in a subclass of citizen, vulnerable to criminal prosecution or civil penalties for behavior that would be perfectly legal from a nonpregnant person? Judging by their proposed legislation and various legal antics, the anti-abortion movement says: Yes. Pregnant women simply should not have the same rights as any other U.S. citizen.

Take, for example, efforts to criminalize the crossing of state lines for abortion. There is a very, very long tradition in the U.S. of allowing people to travel out of state to access medical care, and it’s so deeply ingrained we barely think about it.

Continued: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2024/05/abortion-pregnancy-law-emtala-scotus-medical-care.html