USA – Abortion is becoming more common in primary care clinics as doctors challenge stigma

NPR, By Selena Simmons-Duffin, Elissa Nadworny
June 21, 2024

It’s a typical Tuesday at Seven Hills Family Medicine in Richmond, Va. The team — which consists of Dr. Stephanie Arnold, registered nurse Caci Young and several medical assistants — huddles to prepare for the day.

Arnold, a primary care physician, runs through the schedule. The 9 a.m. telemed appointment is for chronic condition management. At 10 a.m. there’s a diabetes follow-up. The 11 a.m. appointment is to go over lab results for potential sleep apnea, then there are appointments for knee pain and one for ADHD results review. The schedulers fit in a walk-in patient who has a suspected yeast infection.


Brazilian rape victims who have abortions may face longer in jail than rapists

Proposed law would further limit access to abortion for the 75% of reported rape victims in Brazil who are under 18

Diana Cariboni
20 June 2024

Abortion is illegal in Brazil with only three exceptions: risk to the life of the pregnant person, fetus anencephaly (a condition in which parts of the fetus’ skull and brain don’t develop) and rape. In these cases, people can seek an abortion with no time limits.

But a new bill that Brazilian conservatives are attempting to push through seeks to declare all abortions performed after week 22 of the pregnancy as homicide – and punishable with prison terms of up to 20 years.


Access to Abortion Is Shrinking in Romania

In a country that famously banned terminations, with devastating consequences, new medical rules are once again costing women’s lives

Lili Rutai
June 14, 2024

Alina Usurelu sensed she was pregnant. An independent artist, she often works with her body, which is how she quickly noticed it change. “Very rationally, I knew I couldn’t deal with having a kid,” the 33-year-old told me in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, citing her financial insecurity. A pregnancy test last September confirmed her suspicion.

But in the city of 1.8 million, Usurelu could not find an affordable, state-run hospital online. “I was struggling. My anxiety grew,” she told New Lines a few months later. We met near her apartment in one of Bucharest’s central neighborhoods, where buildings with high ceilings are sandwiched between crumbling Soviet-era blocks. Her black hair is peppered with gray, cut short for a recent performance.


Ethiopia – Fertile Ground

Anti-abortion campaigners have their sights set on Ethiopia – a progressive outlier in a region marred by restrictions. Who’s behind the emboldened ‘pro-life’ movement and what’s at stake for women’s rights amid a myriad of other challenges? Bethany Rielly, Maxine Betteridge-Moes and Maya Misikir report from Addis Ababa.

New International
14 June 2024

‘Pray to end abortion in Ethiopia’ reads the bumper sticker on a taxi parked outside a family planning clinic in the bustling heart of Addis Ababa. Jarring but easily dismissed, it’s an old tactic which anti-abortion groups have used the world over.

According to staff at the clinic, the driver used to rent a room in a building across the road. He recruited a worker from a nearby cafe to recite Bible verses to service users at the clinic. Using toy foetuses as props, the duo would implore people to ‘choose life’. The building has since been demolished as part of a massive city-wide redevelopment project, but this seemingly small act of protest is linked to a much larger and sturdier movement taking hold in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa.


Idaho – When “abortion travel” becomes a nightmare: A tale of no good choices

She wanted a baby — but her fetus had no chance of survival. How Idaho's abortion laws led to devastating trauma

JUNE 12, 2024

Rebecca Vincen-Brown was still in her first trimester of pregnancy, in the late fall of 2022, when things started to go wrong. She had blood drawn for a standard genetic test called noninvasive prenatal testing, or NIPT, which can detect increased risks for various chromosomal disorders. The results of the test took slightly longer than normal to come back, and when they did, Vincen-Brown received a troubling phone call: The test was “inconclusive” because not enough fetal DNA was detected in her blood.

NIPT cannot diagnose fetal disorders conclusively, but the possibilities were troubling: Her fetus might have triploidy, trisomy 13 or trisomy 18, rare and serious genetic conditions involving either an extra set of chromosomes or an extra copy of one chromosome. While the specifics vary, most infants born with these conditions will live only days or weeks, and almost none will survive to adulthood.


South Korea Still Blocking Abortion

Government’s Refusal to Update Laws Part of Wider Gender Discrimination

Susanné Seong-eun Bergsten, Officer, Women's Rights Division
June 11, 2024

Years after a South Korean court ordered the government to respect the right to access abortion care, South Korean women and girls are still unable to get this necessary sexual and reproductive service.

On May 17, a South Korean court rejected an appeal by Women on Web (WoW), a nongovernmental organization that provides information on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and Open Net Korea, a digital rights civil society organization, to unblock the WoW website. The Korea Communications Standards Commission blocked the website in 2019, claiming it violated the country’s Pharmaceutical Affairs Act by connecting women in need of abortion pills, which have not been legalized in the country, to overseas pharmacists.


USA – Abortion Groups Say Tech Companies Suppress Posts and Accounts

The groups say they are increasingly confused and frustrated by how major technology platforms moderate posts about abortion services.

By Emily Schmall and Sapna Maheshwari
June 11, 2024

TikTok has briefly suspended the account of Hey Jane, a prominent telemedicine abortion service, four times without explanation. Instagram has suspended Mayday Health, a nonprofit that provides information about abortion pill access, without explanation as well. And the search engine Bing has erroneously flagged the website for Aid Access, a major seller of abortion pills online, as unsafe.

The groups and women’s health advocates say these examples, all from recent months, show why they are increasingly confused and frustrated by how major technology platforms moderate posts about abortion services.


From Green to Red Tide: Latin America Is Leading the Way in the Fight Against Obstetric Violence

Since the early 2000s, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Costa Rica have all passed legislation laying out the rights of people at the time of labor and delivery.

June 8, 2024

Organizations across the world last month celebrated the “Week of Dignity in Childbirth,” originally called for in 2004 by a French NGO to raise awareness of mistreatment of women during labor and birth. Only recently recognized as a prominent issue, mistreatment and abuse in reproductive healthcare was acknowledged as a global problem by the World Health Organization in 2014.

The issue is widely prevalent worldwide, even in the United States where 20 percent of mothers reported mistreatment during pregnancy and delivery, according to 2023 CDC report. Rates are higher among Black (30 percent) and Hispanic (29 percent) women, as well as those with state or federal health insurance (26 percent).


‘They have no options’: Texas court dims hope of timely abortion care for high-risk patients

Kristen Anaya was told she must be on the cusp of death before doctors would give a life-saving abortion

Mary Tuma
Sat 8 Jun 2024

After four rounds of in vitro fertilization, Kristen Anaya and her husband were elated to discover Anaya was finally pregnant - with a baby girl - last April. The 42-year-old Dallas-area woman called IVF a “long and emotional journey”. Despite the cost and struggle, the process was well worth it for Anaya, who wanted to grow her family.

However, the good news would give way to an unexpectedly grueling and traumatic pregnancy that forced her to suffer for days before receiving care, due to Texas’s severe abortion bans.


Criminalizing Drugs—Including Misoprostol and Mifepristone—Is a Bad Idea

Even before Louisiana’s decision to label abortion pills as dangerous controlled substances, the parallels and connections between the war on drugs and the war on abortion have been clear.

June 7, 2024

Louisiana recently added misoprostol and mifepristone (“M&M”) to the state’s list of criminalized controlled substances. M&M are medications that, among other things, can safely and effectively end a pregnancy. As a result of this law, possession of these medications without a prescription can result in fines of up to $5,000 or “imprisonment of no more than five years with or without hard labor.”

Much of the outcry against this state action has focused on the fact that M&M are neither dangerous nor addictive and thus should not be categorized or criminalized as a controlled substance. While it is true that M&M, two exceptionally well-studied and approved medications, are extremely safe and lack any potential for addiction, this critique reinforces dangerous myths about the war on drugs already deeply intertwined with the war on abortion.