Australia: Case closed: experts loudly back decriminalisation of abortion in Qld

Doctors’ professional bodies have spoken out loud and clear in favour of the decriminalisation of abortion in Queensland, write Caroline de Costa, professor of gynaecology, and Heather Douglas, professor of criminal law.

The report of the bipartisan committee of Queensland Parliament inquiring into abortion law reform in the statewas released at 5.17pm last Friday. The Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee was instructed to conduct an inquiry following the tabling of the Abortion Law Reform (Woman’s Right to Choose) Amendment Bill on May 9 by independent MP for Cairns Rob Pyne.

Pyne’s bill is the first attempt in history to remove the abortion offences from the Queensland Criminal Code (QCC) of 1899. These offences makes abortion a crime for doctors, women and any person assisting with an abortion procedure.

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Source: Crikey

Australia: Greens candidate for Albury Council flags loitering laws as a method to halt pro-life supporters who gather outside abortion clinic

Anthony Bunn
30 Aug 2016, 12:05 p.m.
The Border Mail

LOITERING laws should be explored to tackle those who rally outside Albury’s abortion clinic, a Greens council candidate believes.

Amanda Cohn believes the Albury Council needs to “use any legal means available to protect patients attending the clinic”.

Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi has an abortion law reform bill before the NSW Parliament which proposes “exclusion zones” be created within 150 metres of abortion clinics.

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Source: The Border Mail

India, Bulandshahr: Teenage girl says forced to undergo abortion after rape

A teen was allegedly forced to undergo abortion by the culprit’s family after being raped, in Bulandshahr, UP. (Representative image)

ANI, Bulandshahr, UP | Updated: Aug 30, 2016 12:54 IST

Just a month after the brutal gangrape in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, a teen was allegedly forced to undergo abortion by the culprit’s family after being raped.

The incident took place five months ago when the victim was allegedly raped by a boy in Bhaipura village. According to the victim, the accused threatened her not to disclose the incident to anyone.

Days after the incident, the victim was admitted to a nursing home when her health deteriorated. It was then found that the victim was pregnant.

“I did not tell anyone out of fear. The mother of the rapist told me that she would pay me Rs 1,000 if I undergo abortion,” the victim said.

Dharmendra Yadav, a police official, said the victim told them that she was raped by a person who lived in her neighbourhood five months ago.

“She had an abortion at the nursing home last night. We have the aborted foetus with us and have started the investigation,” he said.

The police have registered a case in this regard and have also started searching for the accused. The cops have also arrested the nursing home officials for doing the abortion.

The state’s health department has seized the nursing home.

Source: Hindustan Times

Australia: Queensland rejects bill to decriminalise abortion

Independent MP for Cairns Rob Pyne introduced the Women's Right to Choose bill in May.

After 1400 submission, scores of expert appearances and public hearings, Queensland's Parliamentary inquiry into abortion law reform has rejected a bill to decriminalise abortion across the state.

Cairns Independent MP Rob Pyne, who introduced the Women's Right to Choose bill in May, said the decision was politically motivated and that it was "disappointing that some of the politicians can't be a little more courageous in their approach to some reform".

However, chairwoman and Labor MP Leanne Linard said careful consideration was given to the complex issues in regulating termination of pregnancy.

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Supported by ANIS, ANADEP files petition to the Brazilian Supreme Court for protection of rights violated during the Zika virus public health emergency

International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

by Safe Abortion | posted in: Brazil, Latin America/ Caribbean, Newsletter
Aug 30, 2016

A judicial constitutional review was filed before the Brazilian Supreme Court on 24 August, to demand the protection of rights violated in the context of the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil.

Coordinated by Anis – Institute of Bioethics, and filed by the National Association of Public Defenders (ANADEP), the lawsuit was the result of a collective effort of a broad group of researchers, activists, and lawyers to articulate the demands of women and children affected by Zika.

Six months after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency due to the neurological disorders caused by the virus, families affected by the Zika virus congenital syndrome still have not received support due to omissions on the part of the Brazilian government.

The demands of the petition are organized into five topics. The petition says:

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

U.S.: We Need Abortion Laws Based on Science

Graphic: Kelly Blair

AUG. 30, 2016, New York Times

San Francisco — Sixteen years ago next month, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first “abortion pill,” and today medication abortion accounts for about a quarter of all nonhospital abortions in the United States. Not only is it safe and effective, but for women who live in the 89 percent of American counties that lack even a single abortion provider, it is often the only feasible option.

Not surprisingly, state legislatures bent on eliminating abortion access have targeted medication abortion, passing several new laws with the stated intention of safeguarding women’s health and safety. But in a research paper I co-wrote on Tuesday in the online journal PLOS Medicine, my colleagues and I found that such laws are not just covers for restricting abortion access — they can actually harm women’s health.

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Source: New York Times

Australia: Abortion Should Be Decriminalised

Published August 29, 2016 | By Julian Savulescu

Abortion remains a crime in Queensland and NSW in Australia. Queensland Parliament has just decided against decriminalising abortion. However, laws are obsolete and unclear, dating back over 100 years. Around 100,000 abortions are performed around Australia every year. In practice, early abortion is available on demand.

Abortion should be decriminalised. Early abortion should be freely and easily available on request. Late abortion should be freely and easily available at least for those who have a valid justification: significant fetal abnormality, threat to woman’s health or serious social reason, for example child pregnancy or rape. Family planning, including safe, free and open abortion services, is an essential part of a civilized society.

Failure to regulate abortion properly results in women being denied safe, effective abortion services, affecting their mental health and social welfare, as well as those of their family and society. It is stigmatising to women and health professionals to allow abortion to occur, while retaining it as a criminal offence. It is also moral hypocrisy.

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Source: Practical Ethics blog

Ireland: ‘My mother tried to abort me but I am still pro-choice’

Broadside: ‘It would have been much better for my mum’s mental and physical health if she had had the abortion,’ says Maria

Mon, Aug 29, 2016, 01:00
Emer O'Toole, The Irish Times

Those of us involved in the fight to win reproductive rights for Irish women are familiar with the term “abortion survivor”. This refers to an anti-choice advocate who claims to have been born following an unsuccessful abortion. Smiling pictures of these people are trotted out alongside quotes about being “saved by the sheer power of Jesus”. The existence of such Bible-thumpers is supposed to act as proof that women shouldn’t have abortion rights.

I have a good friend whose life is the result of a failed abortion: an accomplished scientist, and a warm, witty, life-affirming person. She is also firmly pro-choice. Like me, she’s from a country where women do not have abortion rights. She generously agreed to share her story. Due to potential repercussions in her community, she must remain anonymous.

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Source: Irish Times

Abortion in Ireland: ‘Silence is breaking 12 hearts a day’

A 2012 poster advertising a memorial for Savita Hallapanavar. Photograph: Cathal Mcnaughton/Reuters

As #TwoWomenTravel, two friends recently live-tweeted their journey to Britain for one of them to have an abortion. Another 11 women will have made the same journey every day. But is the country ready to repeal its eighth amendment?

Emer O'Toole

Monday 29 August 2016 16.21 BST

Ireland’s abortion regime has been responsible for a litany of tragedies in recent years. The death of Savita Halappanavar, denied a life-saving abortion during her miscarriage; the state-sponsored abuse of Miss Y, a suicidal teenage asylum seeker and rape victim, forced to carry her pregnancy to viability and deliver by C-section; a brain-dead woman kept alive, effectively as an incubator, against her family’s wishes. And there are plenty more mundane, yet nonetheless heartbreaking, stories of approximately 12 women a day who travel to the UK to access abortion services.

In the last year, something fundamental has shifted. The Irish pro-choice movement is getting loud. Actors and writers including Tara Flynn, Helen Linehan and Susan Cahill have shared their abortion stories, bravely breaking taboos. An “abortion bus” flouted the law to tour Ireland distributing medication. Comedian Gráinne Maguire had us all tweeting details of our periods to the taoiseach, Enda Kenny. Activist Anna Cosgrave designed distinctive Repeal jumpers, so that on any given day in Dublin you will see supporters with their commitment to repealing the 1983 eighth amendment to the constitution emblazoned across their chests. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Source: The Guardian

Ireland’s abortion laws: Rose of Tralee becomes latest battleground in divisive debate

Brianna Parkins made her comments while being interviewed on stage during the Rose of Tralee

28 August 2016, BBC

The Rose of Tralee, the Republic of Ireland's long-running beauty pageant, is not usually a platform for thorny issues.

But, this week, it became the unlikely battleground in Ireland's ongoing debate over abortion legislation.

Brianna Parkins, the Sydney Rose, sparked the controversy with comments she made live on television to hundreds of thousands of viewers last Monday night.

"I think it is time to give women a say on their own reproductive rights," she told presenter Dáithí Ó Sé.

Her words were unexpected for the Rose of Tralee, a quintessentially Irish tradition that is probably best known for being wholesome and wholly unthreatening, and the reaction on social media was immediate and emotional.

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