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


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


Bangladesh – Ensuring Choices and Rights

The Daily Star in association with Team Associates and Marie Stopes Bangladesh organised an online discussion titled “World Population Day: Ensuring Choices and Rights” on July 8, 2021. Here we publish a summary of the discussion.

Wed Jul 28, 2021
Monjun Nahar, Lead, Advocacy and Communication, Marie Stopes Bangladesh

This year, the World Population Day focuses on comprehensive rights and choices on sexual and reproductive health. The theme itself refers to the global consensus that reproductive health rights are integral and indivisible parts of human rights. Particularly for women reproductive rights are deeply connected with their life and livelihood. The ability to take decisions about their sexual and reproductive health is a key indicator that women are in control of their own lives.

However, we are talking about rights and choices in a context where women have very little independence to take decision by herself. A woman's education, marriage, profession are mostly dependent on her family members.

Continued: https://www.thedailystar.net/round-tables/news/ensuring-choices-and-rights-2138396


USA – Abortion Pill Effective for Treating Fibroids, But Anti-Abortion Politics Stymie Access

7/26/2021
by CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine

In 2000, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone for abortion during the first seven weeks of pregnancy, later extending allowable use to ten weeks in 2016. While widely known as an abortion pill, mifepristone is very effective for treating fibroids and may also be effective for treating endometriosis and depression.

Yet the drug is not available to use for these serious conditions because the FDA tightly restricts the medication due to intense anti-abortion pressure. The politicization around mifepristone has made research on its usefulness in treating these conditions difficult to conduct, preventing its development for treatments that could significantly enhance women’s health.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/07/26/mifepristone-abortion-pill-fibroids-endometriosis-depression-fda-rems-biden/


What U.S. abortion access looks like, in graphics

States are passing more abortion restrictions, which could reshape what abortion access looks like across the country.

July 25, 2021
By Chloe Atkins

The current landscape of abortion access in the United States came into focus in May after the Supreme Court decided to consider the legality of Mississippi's ban on nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Mississippi’s restriction was the first to reach the court from a wave of state laws intended to strike down Roe v. Wade, the decision that established the constitutional right to an abortion nationwide.

The first major abortion case since the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett solidified a conservative majority comes as state legislatures around the country have brought a historic number of laws seeking to tighten abortion access.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/what-u-s-abortion-access-looks-graphics-n1274859


‘Insidious,’ ‘draconian,’ ‘cruel’: New Texas abortion law empowers vigilantism, experts say

Abortion advocates in Texas say the law will encourage their opponents to flood courts with lawsuits that will cripple their ability to operate.

July 24, 2021
By Adam Edelman

For Anna Rupani, harassment comes with the job.

As the co-executive director at Fund Texas Choice — a practical-support abortion fund in Texas that helps women travel to places, both in and out of the state, where they can receive abortion care — she’s been the target of protests, violent threats, online bullying and terrifying mail.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/insidious-draconian-cruel-new-texas-abortion-law-empowers-vigilantism-experts-n1274642


What happens if the Supreme Court throws out Roe v. Wade?

Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNN
Sat July 24, 2021

In some alternate universe, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retired during the Obama presidency and Democrats were able to push through a successor to the conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

In that universe, nobody is talking about an end to nearly 50 years of nationwide access to abortion rights.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/24/politics/what-matters-roe-v-wade-decision-and-breyer/index.html


Why Can Canadian Doctors Still Deny Access To Abortion—And Other Healthcare?

The practice of conscientious objection means doctors can refuse or deflect requests for a variety of services, including abortion—and in many provinces, they're not even obligated to provide a referral.

Tracey Lindeman
Updated July 22, 2021

Chantal had already performed all the mental gymnastics.

About eight years ago, the then-23-year-old woman from southern Alberta had accidentally become pregnant, and weighed her options. She settled on having an abortion, the best choice for her in that moment of her life. She booked an appointment with her doctor, one of only a small handful in her community, to request a referral—a requirement in Alberta then. When the time came to meet, she sat in his office and laid her cards out.

Continued: https://www.chatelaine.com/opinion/canadian-doctors-deny-access-to-abortion/


USA – Contraception Is Free To Women, Except When It’s Not

July 21, 2021
MICHELLE ANDREWS

For Stephanie Force, finding a birth control method that she likes and can get without paying out of pocket has been a struggle, despite the Affordable Care Act's promise of free contraceptives for women and adolescent girls in most health plans.

The 27-year-old physician recruiter in Roanoke, Va., was perfectly happy with the NuvaRing, a flexible vaginal ring that women insert monthly to release hormones to prevent pregnancy. But her insurer, Anthem, stopped covering the branded product and switched her to a generic version in early 2020. Force says the new product left her with headaches and feeling irritable and short-tempered.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/07/21/1018483557/contraception-is-free-to-women-except-when-its-not


Ecuador at critical crossroads in push for abortion rights

In the largely conservative nation, women can be sentenced to up to two years in prison for having an abortion.

By Natalie Alcoba
20 Jul 2021

Ana Cristina Vera could tell countless stories of women she has helped extricate from the jaws of Ecuador’s severe anti-abortion laws, but the lawyer and feminist organiser always starts with one: Carla’s.

In 2014, on her way to work in the city of Esmeraldes, Carla – a name Vera, her lawyer, uses to protect her identity – fell down a set of stairs. She picked herself up, only to later discover that she was bleeding. She assumed it was her period, which was two weeks late, and got medication from a friend for the pain, Vera told Al Jazeera.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/20/ecuador-at-critical-crossroads-in-push-for-abortion-rights