Both abortion advocates and opponents have used the COVID-19 crisis to further their policy goals.
Carrie N. Baker
Sep 21, 2020
The gendered dimensions of the political response to the COVID-19 crisis are manifesting clearly in efforts to close abortion clinics, as well as in campaigns led by doctors, lawyers, and reproductive rights advocates to expand access to telemedicine abortion during the pandemic and beyond.
Anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have used the COVID-19 pandemic to attempt to restrict abortion, arguing that abortion is not essential health care and that banning the procedure will conserve personal protective equipment for COVID-19 cases. In March and April of 2020, 12 states tried to restrict abortion, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia, among others. Legislators in Kentucky passed a bill to allow the state’s Attorney General to block abortion access during COVID-19, but the Kentucky governor vetoed the bill.
Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health.
by HENRY MAKORI
21 September 2020
Opinion is sharply divided over the Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019 that is before Parliament. It has led to strong exchanges between supporters and opponents.
The sponsor of the Bill, Nakuru Senator Susan
Kihika, explains in the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons that the proposed law
is meant to actualise the constitutional guarantee that every person has the
right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to
reproductive healthcare (Article 43).
The battle over the Supreme Court brings back a volatile issue with political risks for both sides, even as it energizes parts of their bases.
By Lisa Lerer and Elizabeth Dias
Sept. 20, 2020
For Joshua Hon, the prospect of another open seat on the Supreme Court was the moment he’s been waiting for since voting for President Trump four years ago.
“I would not say that I love Trump, but I do believe that abortion is killing babies,” said Mr. Hon, 35, who lives in Durham County in North Carolina.
Labour MEP Alfred Sant, who scorned 2005 bid to entrench abortion crime in Constitution, calls for open
20 September 2020
by Karl Azzopardi
Labour MEP Alfred Sant has welcomed the growing debate on abortion, stating the time of shaming people who are pro-choice must stop.
“It’s useless for those who are against abortion to present people who are in favour of abortion as outsiders or heartless people,” Sant said.
Changes to medical technology will change the politics of the country’s original culture war
Sep 19th 2020 edition
When women used to tell Susan Long (not her real name), a doctor in Washington state, that they wanted to terminate a pregnancy, she would refer them to an abortion clinic. Today, they need not even walk into her office: after an online consultation, she prescribes two pills, which she posts, along with instructions on how to take them several hours apart.
It is difficult to exaggerate the benefit for “innumerable” women of being able to have an abortion at home, without having to arrange a trip to a clinic, she says, describing some of them. The university student living with her conservative parents, hundreds of miles from the nearest abortion clinic. The woman whose violent husband is vehemently pro-life. Single mothers, strapped for cash and child care. Those whose frail health prevents them risking exposure to covid-19 at a doctor’s office.
V S Chandrashekar
Sep 19 2020
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Bill 2020 is due to be discussed in an upcoming Rajya Sabha session. This is the second time, in its 49 years of existence, that the MTP Act will be amended. While introducing the Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Health Minister highlighted the government’s intent to improve access to safe, affordable and legal abortion services for women without compromising on safety, quality of care and more importantly to ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate their pregnancies.
The Amendment Bill proposes some welcome changes-- it replaces the phrase “married woman and her husband” with “woman and her partner”; increases the upper gestation limit to 20-24 weeks for “certain categories of women”; reduces opinion required for termination of pregnancy between the 12th and 20th week of gestation from two providers to one and removes upper gestation limit for foetal abnormalities ‘necessitated by the diagnosis of a Medical Board.”
And that’s exactly why President Trump would nominate her
Sept 19, 2020
For nearly two years, I’ve made doomsday predictions about federal judge Amy Coney Barrett assuming Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Well, doomsday is here. Barrett’s name began circulating as a top contender for the lifetime job within hours of Ginsburg’s death on Friday. By Saturday afternoon, Trump said that his nominee would “most likely” be a woman.
Barrett is one of the 216 and counting Trump-appointed federal judges the Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed to lifetime seats, many of which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held open through the Obama years. She fit into the new generation of overwhelmingly white, mostly male, extremely conservative, and comparatively young lifetime federal judges transforming the courts for the next generation.
By SARAH MCCAMMON
September 19, 2020
With her 14-month-old daughter on her hip, Anna Lashley, an attorney from Washington, D.C., came to pay her last respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court on Saturday.
"I just can't wait to tell my daughter about her, and teach her about the lessons she taught me, and what she did for women," Lashley said.
It is safe and efficient for early terminations to take place at home
Sep 19th 2020
For most women deciding how or when to give birth, covid-19 has been a nightmare. Fertility treatments have paused, sexual-health clinics closed and partners been banned from delivery rooms. Yet the pandemic has brought one silver lining. It has shown a better way to carry out early-stage abortions.
Abortion is legal in most of the world, and relatively straightforward in most rich countries. But obstacles remain. They include compulsory waiting times and mandatory counselling. Perhaps the most common obstacle is that the first step in medical abortions (which involve drugs rather than surgery) must take place in clinics. Yet temporary measures set up during the pandemic suggest this is often unnecessary. These temporary measures should now become permanent.
Lise Alves, The Lancet
WORLD REPORT| VOLUME 396, ISSUE 10254, P808, SEPTEMBER 19, 2020
Experts say that the new rules for health workers will discourage access to health services and increase the risk of unsafe abortion. Lise Alves reports from São Paulo.
An ordinance passed by Brazil's Health Ministry at the end of August, 2020, related to abortion has led to widespread criticism by doctors. Under the new rules, medical staff must report rapes to police and health workers must offer the patient a chance to see the embryo or fetus via ultrasound before abortion.