Zambia – Addressing unsafe abortions

February 7, 2021

REVELATIONS by the Ministry of Health that Zambia records about 93,000 abortions annually is a worrisome scourge that needs redress if we are to save lives of women.

We have been told that figures include safe and unsafe abortions conducted among teenagers and women, some of them single while others are in marriages.

Continued: http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/addressing-unsafe-abortions/


Next Move On Abortion Trail

Published: Monday | January 11, 2021

When members of parliament (MPs) move to the front benches – as Juliet Cuthbert Flynn has, to become a member of the executive – they are expected, personal views notwithstanding, to toe the line of the party or government.

As of now, on this matter, Mrs Cuthbert Flynn is under no such constraint. For the Holness administration has not made a clear statement on its position on abortion. Neither, 10 months later, has it said how it intends to proceed on the recommendation by Parliament’s Human Resources and Social Development Committee that it holds a conscience vote on the matter.

Continued: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20210111/editorial-next-move-abortion-trail


The Guardian view on Poland’s abortion ban: a betrayal of democracy

Mass pro-choice protests across the country have morphed into a rebellion against an authoritarian government and an over-powerful church

Editorial
Wed 28 Oct 2020

When Poland’s high court ruled in favour of a near-total ban on abortion last Thursday, the country’s most powerful politician, Jaroslaw Kaczyński, probably congratulated himself on the successful completion of a cunning plan. Four years ago, his Law and Justice party (PiS) was forced to back down after it proposed legislation to achieve the same goal. Hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets to protest. Parliamentarians were rattled and the bill was dropped.

Poland already has the toughest abortion restrictions of any country in Europe, bar Malta, and polls consistently demonstrate popular opposition to even stricter limits. But with the enthusiastic blessing of the most influential Catholic church in Europe, the government decided to persevere by resorting to judicial chicanery.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/28/the-guardian-view-on-polands-abortion-ban-a-betrayal-of-democracy


Bhutan – Demand for abortion pills— a legal dilemma

October 10, 2020

The news of “demand for abortion pills rise in Thimphu” in Kuensel this week deserves our attention. The horrifying stories of abandonment of human fetuses and informal reports of unsafe abortions taking place across the border are sadly not uncommon in Bhutan. The issue of abortion is sensitive and controversial because the very nature of abortion is emotional, often against one’s social values and spiritual beliefs. It is also of moral and ethical dilemma among physicians.

Section 146 of the Penal Code of Bhutan (PCB), 2004, criminalizes abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger or of unsound mental condition or when pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. This provision is discriminatory itself as abortion is a crime only if certain criteria are not met violating the rights of both the mother and fetus.

Continued : https://kuenselonline.com/demand-for-abortion-pills-a-legal-dilemma/


UN Experts: Access to Contraception and Abortion Must Continue During COVID-19

SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
Health and Human Rights Journal

UN Experts joined together to remind states of their human rights duty to ensure access to contraception for anyone who wants it, including during COVID-19.  On World Contraception Day (26 September), the experts, led by the new Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, states, “The right to sexual and reproductive health includes women’s freedom to decide whether to be pregnant, how many children to have, and to space pregnancies. It also imposes a core obligation on States to provide the essential medicines of the relevant WHO List which includes contraceptives.”

COVID-19 has made it more difficult for women to access family planning services with restrictions on freedom of movement, as well as production and supply chains being disrupted. However, the state obligations remain in place, and the experts said people are entitled to information and access to health care facilities irrespective of lockdown conditions.

Continued: https://www.hhrjournal.org/2020/09/un-experts-access-to-contraception-and-abortion-must-continue-during-covid-19/


The pandemic shows a better way to handle abortion

It is safe and efficient for early terminations to take place at home

Sep 19th 2020
The Economist

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.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/09/19/the-pandemic-shows-a-better-way-to-handle-abortion


Brazilian doctors condemn new rules on abortion

Lise Alves, The Lancet
WORLD REPORT| VOLUME 396, ISSUE 10254, P808, SEPTEMBER 19, 2020
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31956-5

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.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31956-5/fulltext


COVID-19 lockdowns leading to a rise in violence against women and girls

COVID-19 lockdowns leading to a rise in violence against women and girls
The global COVID-19 pandemic in its indiscriminate spread has claimed loved ones before their time - once bustling cities and neighbourhoods now stand in ‘lock-down’.

14 May 2020
Jameen Kaur

While the spread of COVID-19 is indiscriminate, mounting evidence has revealed that COVID-19 has further compounded existing inequalities putting already marginalised women and girls, often with weaker access to political and economic power, at greater risk, not only to the coronavirus but also to the direct and indirect consequences of lock-down.

FIGO and our 132 National Member Societies commitment to promote women’s health and rights precedes the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the two are explicably linked. UN Women has reported a global rise in domestic violence cases and new evidence released by UNFPA reveals that for every 3 months the lockdown continues an additional 15 million cases of gender-based violence are expected, 13 million women will not be able to access modern contraceptives and there will be an estimate of 325,000 unintended pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/covid-19-lockdowns-leading-rise-violence-against-women-and-girls


USA – Abortion during the Covid-19 Pandemic — Ensuring Access to an Essential Health Service

Abortion during the Covid-19 Pandemic — Ensuring Access to an Essential Health Service

Michelle J. Bayefsky, B.A., Deborah Bartz, M.D., M.P.H., and Katie L. Watson, J.D.
Perspective, NEJM
April 9, 2020
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2008006

Each year, nearly 1 million women choose to end a pregnancy in the United States, and about one quarter of American women will use abortion services by 45 years of age. Women’s ability to determine whether and when they have a child has profound consequences for their self-determination and for the economic, social, and political equality of women as a group. Because access to safe abortion care is time-sensitive and vitally important, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other reproductive health professional organizations issued an unequivocal statement on March 18, 2020, that they “do not support Covid-19 responses that cancel or delay abortion procedures.”

Despite ACOG’s position, governors in a number of states have called for a halt to abortion care throughout the Covid-19 epidemic. Governors in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Oklahoma have ordered or supported the cessation of both medication and surgical abortion, while governors in other states have directed that surgical abortion alone must stop.

Continued: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2008006


Jamaica – Editorial | Whither abortion reform?

Editorial | Whither abortion reform?

Jamaica Gleaner
Monday | March 23, 2020

IT IS not clear whether Parliament’s Human Resources and Social Development Committee, which hasn’t had a sitting in recent months, has concluded its hearings on reforming the abortion law and, if it has, what it has recommended to legislators. Its chairman, Ronald Thwaites, will shed light on the matter, as well as informing the public how the committee intends to proceed.

Perchance they are not yet done deliberating, it is this newspaper’s hope that the committee will be inspired by last week’s developments on the matter in New Zealand, which finds its way in their report, and embraced by Jamaica’s legislators.

Continued: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20200323/editorial-whither-abortion-reform