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South Korea – ’Abortion consultation’ included in health insurance

2021-08-03
By Lee Hyo-jin

Women are now able to receive medical consultations on abortion legally and at a reasonable price, as the medical service has been newly included in the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS), according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Monday.

The health ministry announced the inclusion as a follow-up measure to a landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court in April 2019 which found the ban on abortion was unconstitutional because prohibiting it in the early stages of pregnancy was a violation of women's right to self-determination.

Continued: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2021/08/113_313299.html


Lessons for health workers and advocates on how we can leverage Argentina’s ‘green wave’ to strengthen access to safe abortion

3 August 2021
FIGO Advocating for Safe Abortion Project

Riding on the green wave of civil society’s victory in Argentina to achieve the legalisation of abortion upon request up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, FIGO’s Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) organised a live-broadcast discussion with OBGYNs and human rights advocates. The discussion unpacked the lessons of how the change in law was achieved and the impact of the law in Argentina and across Latin America. 

Argentina’s abortion law is a ground-breaking step in eliminating discrimination against women and girls, and in addressing the scale of unsafe abortion – a public health crisis in Argentina. It is estimated that 500,000 abortions occur every year in Argentina, representing 40% of all pregnancies. Annually, unsafe abortion accounts for 18% of pregnancy-related deaths and more than 50,000 preventable hospitalisations in Argentina.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/lessons-health-workers-and-advocates-how-we-can-leverage-argentinas-green-wave-strengthen


Why is the South the Epicenter of Anti-Abortion Fervor?

Sarah Varney, Physician’s Weekly
Aug 2, 2021

Not so long ago, laws governing abortion in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were far more restrictive than those in the Deep South, as state legislators throughout New England regularly banned the procedure, no matter the circumstances, during the 1960s and ’70s.

Nowadays, however, the American South represents a hub of anti-abortion fervor, home to a series of laws and regulations that have eroded Roe v. Wade, as liberal states in the Northeast and elsewhere have enacted laws to codify that landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision.

Continued: https://www.physiciansweekly.com/why-is-the-south-the-epicenter-of-anti-abortion-fervor


Long Drives, Costly Flights, And Wearying Waits: What Abortion Requires In The South

August 2, 2021
SARAH VARNEY

Just a quick walk through the parking lot of Choices-Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, in this legendary music mecca, speaks volumes about access to abortion in the American South. Parked alongside the polished SUVs and weathered sedans with Tennessee license plates are cars from Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida and, on many days, Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

Choices is one of two abortion clinics in the Memphis metro area, with a population of 1.3 million. While that might not seem like much for women seeking a commonplace medical procedure, it represents a wealth of access compared with Mississippi, which has just one abortion clinic for the entire state of 3 million people.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/08/02/1022860226/long-drives-costly-flights-and-wearying-waits-what-abortion-requires-in-the-sout


Ireland – Contraception should be available free and without prescription to all women, pharmacists say

Stephen McNeice
1 AUG 2021

Pharmacists want all women in Ireland to be able to access contraception free of charge and without prescription.

It comes after the UK recently allowed contraceptive pills - two specific progesterone-based oral contraceptives - to be sold over the counter for the first time.

Continued: https://www.newstalk.com/news/contraception-should-be-available-free-and-without-prescription-to-all-women-pharmacists-say-1233440


Abortion protests take place in Belfast amid deepening political row

Pro-choice councillor says any move to block rollout of services is ‘against democracy’

July 31, 2021

Pro-choice and anti-abortion campaigners have held separate protests in Belfast amid the deepening political row over the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

The small-scale demonstrations in the city centre came after DUP First Minister Paul Givan threatened to block the British government’s move to formally direct Stormont to fully roll out abortion services in the region.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-protests-take-place-in-belfast-amid-deepening-political-row-1.4636154


USA – Public Abortion Coverage Helps My Patients | Opinion

MAI FLEMING , FAMILY PHYSICIAN
ON 7/30/21

Mrs. K was a refugee who recently arrived in the U.S. to reunite with her husband and children. They arrived safely a few weeks ahead of her. On her initial refugee health exam, Mrs. K discovered she was six weeks pregnant. She had just arrived after escaping persecution in southeast Asia and faced the tremendous task of settling herself and her family in a new home. It was impossible for her to contemplate bringing another child into her family at the time. When Mrs. K came into the primary care clinic where I work seeking a medication abortion, I was happy to help her through the process.

In California, where my primary practice is located, any pregnancy-related care, including abortion care, is covered by Medicaid. Any person who is eligible for Medicaid and seeking an abortion for any reason can obtain the health care services they need without delay. That means access to an abortion as soon as someone decides, rather than having to delay for weeks to scrape together funds to pay out of pocket.

Continued: https://www.newsweek.com/public-abortion-coverage-helps-my-patients-opinion-1614402


Northern Ireland’s new First Minister vows to block rollout of abortion services

Sam Courtney-Guy
Friday 30 Jul 2021

Northern Ireland’s recently-appointed First Minister has vowed to resist the introduction of abortion services in the six counties.

Laws making abortion a criminal offence in Northern Ireland were abolished in 2019 as a result of a bill passed by MPs in Westminster.

Continued: https://metro.co.uk/2021/07/30/northern-ireland-abortion-paul-givan-vows-to-stop-rollout-of-services-15012513/


Telemedicine can help improve access to abortion in France, a new study suggests

For immediate release 29/07/2021
Women on Web

A new study published in the British Medical Journal Sexual & Reproductive Health suggests that telemedicine abortion provision, a temporary measure which is allowed in France within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, can help meet women’s needs and preferences for secrecy, privacy and comfort, while facilitating increased access to and enabling a more person-centred abortion care beyond the pandemic.

Marion* writes to Women on Web: “I know abortion is legal in France, but I will tell you why I will not be able to have an abortion here. My companion is a violent man, I will never be able to have the opportunity to go to a hospital or a centre without him watching me.”

Continued: https://www.womenonweb.org/en/page/21030/press-release-telemedicine-can-help-improve-access-to-abortion-in


USA – The House Just Passed Federal Spending Bills Without Abortion Restrictions for the First Time in Decades

BY ABIGAIL ABRAMS
JULY 29, 2021

The House of Representatives passed a package of spending bills this week without provisions banning federal funding for most abortions in the U.S. and abroad, marking the first time in decades that the restrictions have not been included.

The changes face long odds in the evenly divided Senate, where moderate Democrats and Republicans have said they oppose removing the abortion limits, but the House’s move represents a milestone in the national battle over abortion access.

Continued: https://time.com/6085444/hyde-amendment-spending-bills-congress/