There is hard evidence that the pandemic presents a heightened risk to reproductive health
DEBORA DINIZ and GISELLE CARINO
31 JUL 2020
“Abortion is a public health matter,” scientists say. This notion seems a bit abstract – how can a criminalized practice constitute a public health need? The Covid-19 pandemic is a teachable moment. But it is the teaching of horror: according to the World Health Organization, thousands of women visit health services every month to receive care for incomplete abortions. In Argentina, the figure was 3,330 women; in Chile, 1,522; in Colombia, 7,778; and in Mexico, 18,285, in different years. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 760,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean are treated annually at healthcare services because of complications from unsafe abortions, averaging out to 63,000 beds a month. When a woman goes to a hospital for complications from an unsafe abortion, she might end up needing a bed twice: once, to treat the unsafe abortion and next, to be treated for the Covid-19 she contracted in the hospital.
Campaigners fear that stark legislative proposals are helping to normalise a repressive discourse around reproductive rights in which concessions may be inevitable
31 July 2020
Defying the Coronavirus pandemic, women gathered on the streets of Bratislava, Liptovský Mikuláš, Banská Bystrica, and Košice in Slovakia, on 7 July, protesting the latest attack on their reproductive rights.
The women wore protective face masks and carried placards demanding that the Government not introduce restrictions to abortion law that threaten their freedom.
Seen as the “gold standard” in many areas of medical research, fetal cells are widely used in coronavirus vaccine research.
Dan Vergano, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on July 31, 2020
On Friday, a Trump administration panel erected to judge the ethics of federally funded research relying on human fetal cells met more than a year after it was first announced. Just hours before the meeting, the panel was revealed to be stacked with abortion opponents hostile to such research.
Human fetal cells are widely used in medical research to develop vaccines — notably in at least a half dozen current candidate coronavirus vaccines — as well for studying diseases including AIDS. The National Institutes of Health Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board was initially announced in June of last year, putting a hold on grant applications for medical research involving human fetal cells. It followed the Trump administration’s moves to cancel related federal research contracts and audit human fetal cell research.
Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild takes a controversial topical issue and looks at a Reform Jewish angle
By RABBI SYLVIA ROTHSCHILD
July 31, 2020
Kanye West recently launched a bid to become US president on an anti-abortion ticket and the issue has since been in the headlines.
Discussion about abortion is necessarily complex and frequently freighted with contextual perspectives. Yet an examination of Jewish sources reveals that certain matters are clear since Biblical times.
July 30, 2020
By Common Dreams
“Abortion care is healthcare and healthcare is a fundamental human right.”
Reproductive rights advocates on Wednesday cheered the introduction of the first-ever legislation to repeal the Helms Amendment, which has prevented millions of women across the globe from accessing safe abortion care.
Introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the “Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act” would rescind the 1973 amendment that blocks U.S. foreign aid funding for abortion and would help support comprehensive reproductive healthcare for women worldwide.
BY TEGWYN HUGHES
POSTED ON JULY 30, 2020
As health care providers continue to adapt to the demands of COVID-19, doctors in Canada say that the crisis proves we need accessible abortion services more than ever.
From routine procedures to life-saving surgeries, health authorities have deemed different services either essential or non-essential to prioritize emergency care. This need to prioritize health care based on urgency has reopened debates about the kinds of services we consider important.
Inadequate Measures Heighten Existing Risks for Health, Lives
July 30, 2020
(London) – Government inaction has left women and girls facing avoidable obstacles to accessing legal abortion in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today.
The government’s failure to ensure clear pathways to essential, time-sensitive medical care during the pandemic caused interruptions to abortion services and prevented some women from accessing abortion within the legal time limit, exacerbating longstanding barriers to safe and legal abortion in Italy.
Supreme court votes against proposal on technical grounds. Plan could have opened path towards decriminalization
David Agren in Mexico City
Thu 30 Jul 2020
Mexican women’s groups have expressed deep disappointment after the supreme court dodged a ruling on a proposal which could have opened a legal path towards decriminalizing abortion.
In a 4-1 decision, the court voted on Wednesday against the proposal for technical reasons – without addressing arguments that restrictions on abortion violated women’s rights and contravened international treaties to which Mexico is a signatory.
BY MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted Jul 30, 2020
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Trump administration has asked a federal appeals court
to reinstate a rule that has required women to visit a hospital, clinic or
medical office to obtain an abortion pill during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A federal judge in Maryland agreed earlier this month to temporarily block
enforcement of the rule. Justice Department attorneys asked U.S. District Judge
Theodore Chuang to suspend his July 13 order while they appeal, but the judge
refused on Thursday.
July 29, 2020 (International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion)
An initiative to help women to have a safe, legal abortion: a network of women, proactive, advocating for the decriminalisation of abortion in Brazil. An initiative of mutual solidarity: horizontal and self-sustaining.
by Maíra Marques, Director of Communications, Milhas Pela Vida das Mulheres
During the morning of 21 October 2019, a 31-year-old woman (J.) was admitted to the Pérola Byington Hospital in downtown São Paulo (SP), where she had an appointment for psychiatric counselling. A victim of gang rape, she had been receiving treatment for 20 days. Once again, she passed by the tents of “40 Days for Life in SP”, a group of anti-abortion activists who had decided to settle there during the Covid-19 quarantine, trying they said, to convert health professionals and women who have come to the hospital for a legal termination of a pregnancy. According to a report by the Public Journalism Agency, J. attempted to talk to the group that morning, to tell them her story, but without success. Instead, she was beaten up by these militants, some of whom were women, who punched her and put her in a headlock. These violent acts were witnessed by a lawyer, who accompanied her to the nearest police station.