Social and spiritual factors mean that desperate women are still risking their lives by resorting to unsafe terminations
Tue 28 Feb 2023
There is a patient Dr Véronique Tognifode, a gynaecologist, will always remember. About eight years ago, Abosede*, a student, visited her clinic in tears. Pregnant with an unwanted baby, she asked for an abortion, but the law in Benin at that time permitted termination only in cases of rape or incest, or where the mother’s life was at risk or the unborn child had a serious medical condition.
Tognifode counselled her, telling her a baby was a blessing and that she would help her through the pregnancy. Tognifode felt Abosede took all this on board, and “she left in a calmer state, saying she would come back for prenatal appointments”.
Lauren Johnson, Director, Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative, ACLU
February 28, 2023
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and revoke the federal constitutional right to abortion continues to have life-altering and life-threatening consequences. With more than a dozen states banning abortion, a climate of fear and confusion has loomed over health care providers, abortion funds, helpers, and anyone seeking to end their pregnancy in recent months.
Beyond exerting direct control over our bodies and our health, abortion bans and other criminal laws give prosecutors license to investigate, arrest, and prosecute people who provide necessary health care. In some instances, bans and laws can be used or misused to target patients and other people who help them get the care they need. In state legislative sessions across the nation, legislators continue to push for more ways to restrict abortion and criminalize those who provide abortion care.
Feb 28, 2022
Access to safe abortions in low-income and middle-income countries is still a major struggle — thanks to socioeconomic factors, lack of skilled healthcare workers, and patriarchal norms that restrict women’s bodily autonomy, among other barriers. Globally, 45% of all abortions are unsafe and a whopping 97% of them take place in developing countries.
A new study published in the journal PLOS One has highlighted that married women were far more likely to undergo abortions in low-income and middle-income countries. Especially those who had more than four children or were above the age of 30 and highly educated.
One district judge’s ruling does not have to affect the entire country.
BY DAVID S. COHEN, GREER DONLEY, AND RACHEL REBOUCHE
FEB 28, 2023
All eyes in the fight over reproductive rights and justice have been focused on a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk will soon decide a case involving the first drug in a medication abortion, mifepristone. Though the case makes wholly unpersuasive arguments, undermined by the facts and the evidence, plaintiffs filed in this specific court because Kacsmaryk is one of the most conservative judges on the federal bench and has an explicit and documented animus toward abortion. The expectation is that he will do everything in his power to end medication abortion as we know it. Because states like Texas have already banned abortion (including medication abortion), the deep fear is that his ruling could affect abortion care even in states where it remains legal.
But we would like to offer some clarification here. Because despite the barrage of predictions that this case could ban mifepristone and take it off the market, there are several basic legal principles suggesting that Judge Kacsmaryk’s power is limited and that a ruling for the plaintiffs will not necessarily change much at all with medication abortion.
February 27, 2023
Collecting abortion data has always been difficult: People are often unwilling to share their experiences with researchers, and the United States has no centralized count of abortions performed. Every state collects data differently, and some refuse to share it with federal researchers due to privacy concerns. Sometimes researchers have to estimate abortion incidence based on historical trends because up-to-date data isn’t available.
It’s a challenge with broad implications for information on reproductive health, one that has been compounded by the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which allowed states to ban abortion. Less accurate abortion data means less information to share with policymakers about the impacts of restrictions — but also spills over into many areas of public health.
Feb 27, 2023
Japan is moving closer to approving an abortion pill for the first time, a step that could offer women more options amid calls for progress in gender equality, with a secondary panel at the health ministry expected to make a decision as early as March.
In January, an initial advisory panel at the health ministry approved the production and sale of the drug, Mefeego. It still needs approval from a separate panel at the ministry as it collects public comments online until Tuesday, with the final decision to be made by the health minister.
Feb 27, 2023
By Eleanor Layhe & Divya Talwar, BBC Panorama
Women are being misled and manipulated about abortion by some crisis pregnancy advice centres in the UK, according to evidence from a Panorama investigation.
The centres operate outside the NHS and tend to be registered charities. Most say they don't refer women for abortions, but offer support and counselling for unplanned pregnancies.
Abortion opponents want to protest for 40 days in front of abortion clinics. Germany’s Family minister wants to stop this and secure access to abortion counselling by law.
Every year, the action group ’40 days for life’ organises protests across Europe around Lent. This year is no different in Germany. The demonstrations, modelled on the similar-named international Christian movement from the United States, aim to close down abortion centres through vigils, prayer and fasting.
The actions come as the centre-left German coalition government moves forward with its plans to decriminalise abortion — a plan set out at the beginning of its term. Family Minister Lisa Paus announced a law to give pregnant women who want to have an abortion unrestricted access to relevant counselling centres and medical practices. “Women must have unimpeded access to counselling centres and facilities that carry out abortions,” Paus told the editorial network Germany (RND). “Vigils in front of these institutions are border crossings and unacceptable interference in women’s highly personal decisions. The federal government will counteract this with legal measures.”
By political reporter Georgia Hitch
Feb 25, 2023
Feeling shamed and judged, travelling hundreds of kilometres and ending up significantly out of pocket: these are some of the issues raised by women in their own words with abortion access in Australia.
The stories were gathered by Monash University as part of an ongoing research project into what barriers, or enablers, there are for people seeking abortions.
The tech giant is carrying adverts styled to look like real internet search results for women seeking pregnancy advice
Sat 25 Feb 2023
Women seeking online advice about abortions are being directed to pregnancy counselling services run by anti-abortion campaigners, an Observer investigation has found.
Google adverts that are styled to look like real search results and appear above genuine listings are routinely being shown to people searching key terms relating to pregnancy and abortion.