Posted on 17th November 2020
by Basia Jankowiak
The 22nd of October was one of the worst days for Polish women in 2020. It was decided by Poland’s top court that the law allowing abortion of foetuses with congenital defects is unconstitutional. The decision was backed by the leading party in the Polish government – PiS along with far-right party Konfederacja. The majority of the court’s judges were nominated by PiS, signalling the political nature of the court’s decision.
The abortion law in Poland is one of the strictest in the whole of Europe. Before the 22nd of October, Polish women were able to have an abortion in cases of rape or incest, if the mother’s health was at risk, or if the foetus has congenital defects.
Thursday October 15, 2020
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Thousands of families across the nation will light candles for babies who were born dead, died shortly after birth, or whose births would have killed their mothers, necessitating a medical termination.
I am one of them. My daughter, Ember, died of fatal birth defects.
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).
Médecins Sans Frontières
Posted 21 Aug 2020
“If you think about times of crisis—whether it’s disease, displacement, or conflict—women and girls are often disproportionately affected,” says Eva De Plecker, a midwife and head of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) working group on reproductive health and sexual violence. MSF teams on the ground are seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.
“While we are still learning about COVID-19
and how pregnancy may be affected by the virus,” De Plecker says, “experience
from past epidemics such as Ebola has shown that the shutdown of services
unrelated to the outbreak resulted in more deaths than the disease itself.”
FIGO’s Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) - celebrating achievements and transforming COVID-19 into an opportunity.
13 August 2020
Olga De Biaggio – ASAP Senior Project Manager
Since its inception in April 2019, the Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) has made some clear progress towards strengthening access to safe abortion for women and girls. Every year more than 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions, and the need for this intervention, as well as for the prioritisation of essential sexual and reproductive health services in general, could be exacerbated even further by the COVID-19 pandemic. For these reasons, the five strategies used by ASAP are today even more relevant than ever.
Strengthen management and organisational capacity of FIGO’s member societies
All 10 member societies involved in the project have successfully established a Project Management Unit (PMU) and equipped it with the right skills to implement the ASAP’s activities. The project team at FIGO HQ supported capacity building efforts through developing key resources, conducting monitoring visits and trainings, facilitating experience sharing, and providing continuous support remotely in the areas of project management, advocacy, communication and M&E.
July 29, 2020 (International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion)
An initiative to help women to have a safe, legal abortion: a network of women, proactive, advocating for the decriminalisation of abortion in Brazil. An initiative of mutual solidarity: horizontal and self-sustaining.
by Maíra Marques, Director of Communications, Milhas Pela Vida das Mulheres
During the morning of 21 October 2019, a 31-year-old woman (J.) was admitted to the Pérola Byington Hospital in downtown São Paulo (SP), where she had an appointment for psychiatric counselling. A victim of gang rape, she had been receiving treatment for 20 days. Once again, she passed by the tents of “40 Days for Life in SP”, a group of anti-abortion activists who had decided to settle there during the Covid-19 quarantine, trying they said, to convert health professionals and women who have come to the hospital for a legal termination of a pregnancy. According to a report by the Public Journalism Agency, J. attempted to talk to the group that morning, to tell them her story, but without success. Instead, she was beaten up by these militants, some of whom were women, who punched her and put her in a headlock. These violent acts were witnessed by a lawyer, who accompanied her to the nearest police station.
By Hemant Mehta
July 24, 2020
According to the Associated Press, more than 100 anti-abortion activists organized by the group Democrats for Life, most of whom are Christian, are asking the Democratic Party to be more anti-abortion in order to placate their desire to force women to give birth against their will.
… the group of Christians calls on the Democratic Party to rescind its platform’s support for ending restrictions on federal funding for abortion. That language was added to the party’s 2016 platform, to the frustration of anti-abortion Democrats. Last year, Joe Biden, the Democrat’s presumptive presidential nominee, shifted his position to back an end to restrictions on government funding for abortion.
A problem we'd rather ignore than confront and find solutions to.
by JEDIDAH MAINA
01 July 2020
It is ironic that the moral police in Kenya tend to speak the loudest about
potential dangers rather than actual moral failures. This is evident in the
current conversations around teenage pregnancy and what we need to do to deal
with the problem.
One red hot coal in the debate is Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and
whether it is the solution or just another doorway to more sexual
Menstruation, sex, and abortion do not stop for pandemics
Comprehensive access and uptake of the above care and services will ensure we are not fighting another pandemic post-coronavirus.
by ALVIN MWANGI, Star Blogs
28 May 2020
With the rise in the number of coronavirus infections in the country, the health system risks being over-stretched to levels that the Ministry of Health might not contain.
Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi has said the government is concerned with reports that many Kenyans have stopped going to hospitals for fear of contracting Covid-19. Among the affected services is reproductive health.
Can She make her safe choice in times of Covid-19?
14 April 2020
Author: Saskia Hüsken | Function: Senior Technical Advisor
In early March, as we marked International Women’s Day and SheDecides Day, with various marches and community outreach activities for women’s rights, the Covid-19 virus started to spread across the world. Now that infection rates are soaring, death figures are rising in Asia, Europe, and the US, an increasing number of countries, also in Africa, are now in complete or partial lock-down. The need to protect women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and their access to safe abortion services becomes more dire than ever. Not only is abortion regularly marked as "non-essential", for example in several states in the US, but the pressure on service providers worldwide is severely increased due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Since mid-2018, Rutgers is implementing the programme She Makes Her Safe Choice, funded by the Dreamfund of the Nationale Postcode Loterij and in partnership with DKT International and several other partners. The programme applies a multi-component approach and works to prevent unsafe abortions in different geographic locations and at various levels, with complementary activities on Supply, Demand, and Support. While it is early days and everyone is struggling how to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, it is clear that also for the She Makes Her Safe Choice programme, impacts will be felt and the reality on the ground will forever be changed.