What African feminist movements are up against in 2023

Emboldened by the overturning of Roe v Wade, Western conservative movements are dialling up their Africa campaigns.

Joy Asasira

Last year’s most notable decision affecting gender justice – the overturning of federal protection of the right to abortion in the US – happened more than 6,000 miles from Africa, but its impact was felt here too.

The US Supreme Court’s decision will affect legal, policy and public service spheres on the African continent. It will also intensify the ideological war to control women’s bodies and push LGBTIQ citizens further to the margins.

Continued: https://progressive.international/wire/2023-01-31-what-african-feminist-movements-are-up-against-in-2023/en

USA – This activist’s life shows abortion access is not just a ‘white woman’s movement’

Marie Leaner was one of the few Black members of a covert abortion network active in Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. On the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, she tells her story.

By Candace McDuffie
Tuesday, Jan. 31

In the late 1960s, Marie Leaner made a tough choice, one criticized by even her mother: to join a group known as the Jane Collective, a covert abortion network that helped women secure services on the South Side of Chicago in the late 1960s.

Born and raised in the Washington Park neighborhood, Leaner was one of the few Black members of the group, which used code names and various fronts — including Leaner’s own home — to provide safe abortions.

Continued: https://www.wbez.org/stories/marie-leaner-on-being-a-black-jane/af19365b-ea29-418e-8eb2-1c416f824dc1

FBI investigating growing attacks on abortion and reproductive health clinics

Christine Fernando, USA TODAY
Jan 30, 2023

The FBI is asking for the public's help in investigating a spate of unsolved attacks against reproductive health facilities nationwide after an Illinois man was charged Wednesday with setting fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Tyler W. Massengill, 32, of Chillicothe, just north of Peoria in central Illinois, was arrested Tuesday after being accused of “malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage, and attempt to damage" the Peoria clinic, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Continued: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/01/30/peoria-planned-parenthood-fire-illinois-man-arrested/11132693002/

Are Blue States Ready To Relax Their Bans On Later Abortions?

By Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
JAN. 30, 2023

You hear people say the term “third rail” all the time in politics, usually in reference to an issue that is too volatile — too charged — to touch. For decades, abortion later in pregnancy has been one of those issues. As recently as four years ago, a proposal to loosen restrictions on third-trimester abortions went down in flames in Virginia after Republicans accused Democratic lawmakers of advocating for infanticide — an attack that was misleading but effective.

But the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, has changed the current running through the abortion debate. And now Democratic legislators may have new opportunities to try and expand abortion rights — including abortions in the late second and early third trimester of pregnancy.

Continued: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-blue-states-ready-to-relax-their-bans-on-later-abortions/

Polish health minister ‘appalled’ girl, 14, struggled to get abortion after rape

Doctors at several hospitals cited a conscience clause to avoid treating the teenager who has a mental disability

Agence France-Presse in Warsaw
Mon 30 Jan 2023

Poland’s health minister has weighed in on a high-profile rape case, saying it was “unacceptable” that a mentally disabled 14-year-old girl struggled to get a legal abortion.

The case, in which doctors at several hospitals used a conscience clause to avoid carrying out the procedure, has sparked renewed calls to ease the Catholic country’s abortion laws, which are among Europe’s most stringent.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/30/polish-health-minister-appalled-girl-14-struggled-to-get-abortion-after

‘Outsider Girls,’ Chilean Dramedy About Abortion Dilemma, Debuts Trailer Ahead of Rotterdam Premiere

By Anna Marie de la Fuente
Jan 30, 2023

Niña Niño Films’ “Outsider Girls” (“Las Demás”), the debut feature of rising Chilean talent Alexandra Hyland, which world premieres in the Bright Future sidebar of Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam, has bowed its trailer exclusively with Variety.

Hyland was named one of Variety’s Five Chilean Talents to Watch in 2018. Her feature debut follows best friends Gaby (played by Alicia Luz Rodriguez) and Rafa (Nicole Sazo), two college girls whose pink-hued oasis is disrupted when Rafa gets pregnant after a night of debauchery. Given Chile’s ultra-conservative society, abortion is illegal except in extreme cases. They set out to earn enough to pay for the pricey abortion pills through a series of oddball part-time jobs, straining their friendship in the process.

Continued: https://variety.com/2023/film/global/outsider-girls-rotterdam-1235506196/

U.S. proposes new rule to strengthen birth control access through Obamacare

Rule could help expand coverage for 'tens of millions of women across the country'

Thomson Reuters
Jan 30, 2023

The U.S. government on Monday proposed a new rule allowing women enrolled in Obamacare plans to get access to birth control even if their employer, school or health plan objects on religious grounds.

The rule could help expand coverage for "tens of millions of women across the country" who have access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) said.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/us-obamacare-birth-control-1.6730895

Opinion: This law from the 1870s could imperil abortion in blue states

Opinion by Mary Ziegler
Fri January 27, 2023

Since the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, promising strategies have emerged to protect abortion rights in individual states. Some have begun to pass ballot initiatives to preserve or create state constitutional protection. Others have looked to legislatures to shield doctors and those who help people seeking abortion from potential consequences in conservative states.

These wins are hardly a silver bullet: not all states allow ballot initiatives and there are any number of states where majorities of voters seem to support abortion rights but are governed by legislators who want to ban the procedure—a result of deep partisan divides, gerrymandering and limits on access to the vote.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/27/opinions/abortion-at-risk-in-blue-states-ziegler-ctrp/index.html

India – Courts may ‘allow abortion beyond 24 weeks’ of pregnancy for sexual assault victims: Delhi HC

Single-judge bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma issued guidelines while hearing a petition by a 14-yr-old victim, seeking abortion in the 25th week of her pregnancy.

27 January, 2023

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued guidelines for abortion in cases of sexual assault, noting that a victim cannot be forced to give birth to a child as it would violate her right to live with dignity.

The judgment delivered by a single-judge bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma was uploaded Thursday on the Delhi HC website. The judge observed that crucial time is lost in the process of passing termination orders. It issued a slew of directions to investigating officers in cases of pregnancies exceeding 24 weeks.

Continued: https://theprint.in/judiciary/courts-may-allow-abortion-beyond-24-weeks-of-pregnancy-for-sexual-assault-victims-delhi-hc/1337845/  

1st oral abortion pill steps closer to approval in Japan

Jan 27, 2023

A pharmaceutical advisory body for Japan's health ministry on Friday expressed no objection to the manufacturing and marketing of an abortion pill, bringing the medication a step closer to becoming the first of its kind to gain approval in the country.

Abortions in early stages of pregnancies in Japan are currently limited to surgical procedures, and the oral pill, if approved, is seen as a new option that could lighten both physical and mental stress on women.

Continued: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2023/01/a3cd9774c4b3-1st-oral-abortion-pill-steps-closer-to-approval-in-japan.html