Republicans are seeking to restrict women and girls’ right to travel by criminalizing friends and family who would help them
Moira Donegan, The Guardian
Fri 31 Mar 2023
Idaho Republicans are seeking to restrict women and girls’ right to travel. Less than a year ago, the state banned abortion with a trigger law that went into effect after the supreme court overturned the abortion right in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health. Now, Idaho is looking to stop young women from travelling out of state for their procedures – and to criminalize those that help them. A bill that sailed through the state’s house of representatives and advanced in the state senate last week would make it a crime to transport a minor for the purposes of obtaining an abortion without the consent of her parents. The bill creates a new felony crime, so-called “abortion trafficking”, that’s punishable by two to five years in prison.
The bill would criminalize an aunt or grandmother who drives a teenage girl over the border for a legal abortion in Oregon. It would make a felon of the school friend who lends her money for a bus ticket, or the older sister who takes her to the post office to pick up a package with secretly mailed pills.
March 31, 2023
In Morocco, abortion is criminalized except to safeguard a woman’s life and health. But the current legal framework, inherited from the French Protectorate (1912-56), no longer properly reflects the social reality of contemporary Morocco, where more than 200,000 clandestine abortions are carried out every year. In 2015, a consultative commission appointed by King Mohammed VI proposed widening the legal parameters for pregnancy termination to include rape, incest, and fetal impairment. Yet the commission rejected progressive Islamic jurisprudence that would have authorized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, and it failed to address the existing constraints for Moroccan women to access the procedure. Due to political inertia, Penal Code amendments that would have loosened the country’s strict abortion laws have stalled in the parliament for nearly seven years and successive governments failed to integrate the issue into a fully-fledged reproductive framework including other entangled and pressing issues such as contraception and sexual education. The recent death of a 14-year-old girl following a botched “back alley” abortion at the house of her abuser is the latest reminder of the need to better protect women’s reproductive rights in the North African country. This tragedy should also push the authorities to address the socio-legal drivers behind unwanted pregnancies — such as unduly light punishments for sexual crimes, systemic discrimination against single mothers, and the exploitation of underage girls working as house servants — and recognize these factors as critical impediments to women’s reproductive rights.
By Richard Kamau
Friday, 31 Mar 2023
Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris and Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo attended the premiere of ‘Prayer For The Departed’, a Kenyan film based on the true story of a 14-year-old school girl who was raped and died after a botched abortion.
The film, which premiered at Prestige Cinema last weekend, is based on the life and death of JMM who was raped, tried to obtain a backstreet abortion from a local quack, was denied lifesaving hospital care at government facilities, and eventually died of kidney failure.
Haitian feminists are battling centuries of patriarchal norms in their fight for abortion rights using creative means including underground networks, political activism, and art.
BY JADE PRÉVOST-MANUEL
MAR 30, 2023
Don’t move. Those were the only words from the doctor who performed Samora Chalmers’ first abortion 15 years ago in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during her 30-minute appointment.
Chalmers can’t tell you the details of the procedure she underwent. The doctor never told her. All she remembers is being alone with a stranger and feeling terrible pain, which anesthesia did little to numb. Three days later, she had lost so much blood that she had to see another doctor—but couldn’t tell him why because of Haiti’s strict anti-abortion laws.
Leading legal scholar Mary Ziegler and Tennessee OB-GYN Dr. Nikki Zite talk to ProPublica about ominous trends and threats to patients’ lives posed by increasingly strict abortion bans.
by Ziva Branstetter
March 29, 2023
Nine months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending nearly 50 years of federal protection of abortion rights, the impact of the landmark ruling known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization continues to ripple across the nation.
In Dobbs, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. The ruling essentially divided the nation into two territories: states where people have access to abortion care and states where most or all people are unable to obtain an abortion, even if their lives are at risk.
With reproductive rights already stripped away in half the country, anti-abortion activists are suing the FDA to ban the abortion drug mifepristone.
Published Mar. 29, 2023
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion created a human rights crisis in vast swaths of the country.
Twenty-four states have banned abortion or are likely to do so. Clinics in neighboring states are overwhelmed with demand for appointments. Most of the patients I care for at Trust Women clinic in Kansas describe making numerous phone calls and waiting weeks for an appointment. A few months ago, our clinic received over 16,000 phone calls for an appointment in just one day.
29 March 2023
Reyes Castellano, Senior Communications and Engagement Manager, FIGO
Earlier this month FIGO participated in the launch of the Zero Maternal Deaths: Prevent the preventable campaign, a call to action led by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to accelerate maternal mortality reduction in Latin American and the Caribbean.
Dr Edgar Iván Ortiz Lizcano, as a representative of la Federación Latinoamericana de Sociedades de Obstetricia y Ginecologia (FLASOG) and Regional Trustee for Latin America, signed a joint declaration to demonstrate our commitment to support efforts towards preventing maternal deaths in the region.
As a result, their health issues are often ignored or dismissed, leading to inadequate or delayed treatment.
March 29, 2023
By Debanjana Choudhuri
Imagine being a woman in India, trapped in an unwanted pregnancy but clueless about your legal rights. Sadly, this is a common reality as health of women is viewed with indifference in our country. Millions of women, especially in rural India, lack access to accurate information on abortion and are oblivious to the legal status of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP). This is a pressing issue that gravely affects the health and wellbeing of women.
Despite the legality of abortion, women’s reproductive rights are constantly besieged by regressive laws and societal stigmas. To make matters worse, many women are denied access to safe abortion services due to a lack of education and awareness on the subject. The patriarchal societal structure, which shames and stigmatizes women seeking abortion, is a significant obstacle to women’s rights. Let’s face it, the battle for abortion rights is not merely about reproductive healthcare, but also about ensuring gender equality and justice for women.
BY MARY ZIEGLER, Slate
MARCH 28, 2023
Earlier this month, Jonathan Mitchell, the former Texas solicitor general and the architect of S.B. 8, Texas’s six-week abortion ban, filed what seems like a long-shot lawsuit. Mitchell is representing a Texas man in a wrongful-death suit against two of his ex-wife’s friends and the person who provided them with an abortion pill.
This suit may never go anywhere, even in a state as hostile to abortion as Texas. State law requires that a death be “wrongful,” but the abortion in this case took place before Texas’ trigger ban took effect. Mitchell and his colleagues are relying on a pre-Roe criminal ban to try the case, and its legal status remains contested. As important, Texas law makes clear that pregnant people themselves can’t be sued or prosecuted for having abortions, so it’s not clear that aiding a woman in doing so would be considered wrongful either.
March 28, 2023
A service that allows women aged 16 and over to order contraception online and get it delivered to their door is now fully operational across Northern Ireland.
This follows a successful pilot last year. The service is funded by Health and Social Care and delivered by SH:24 - a free online sexual health service.