Analysis by Clara Ferreira Marques
May 17, 2022
If the US Supreme Court overturns the five-decade-old constitutional right to abortion, as expected, many women will find it far harder to end an unwanted pregnancy. But this won’t be a return to pre-1973, largely thanks to changes to medical technology. Abortion pills, often taken at home, are already making the reality of abortion easier and safer in the early stages of gestation. And even with inevitable new restrictions, they are set to change the political fight too.
Sydney Calkin is a senior lecturer in human geography at Queen Mary University of London and the author of a forthcoming book, “Abortion Beyond Borders: Abortion Pills and the Future of Reproductive Freedoms.” Her work has focused on cross-border abortion access and activism, an area where politics, gender and reproduction overlap. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
May 17, 2022
PATRICK ADAMS, NPR
Ukrainian women who were raped by Russian soldiers are among the millions of refugees who have fled to Poland.
And they now find themselves in a country that severely restricts access to reproductive health care, including both contraception and abortion.
BY CHRISTINE RYAN
This month, four years ago, media from across the globe descended on the courtyard of Dublin Castle. They traveled to capture the scene of thousands of Irish people celebrating the results of the Irish abortion referendum. A landslide majority had “repealed the 8th” and voted to change the country’s constitution to enable legal recognition of abortion rights for the first time in the state’s history. Generations of families cheered and cried together while politicians from warring parties embraced. Viewers abroad marveled at the displays of pride, rapture, and even love.
To understand why the referendum result in Ireland prompted such
outpourings is to understand the full meaning of the right to abortion.
The Spanish government has approved a draft bill that widens abortion rights for teenagers and may make Spain the first country in Europe entitling workers to paid menstrual leave
By The Associated Press
17 May 2022
MADRID -- The Spanish government approved a draft bill Tuesday that widens abortion rights for teenagers and may make Spain the first country in Europe entitling workers to paid menstrual leave.
The measures are part of a package of proposals that will be sent to the Spanish parliament for debate. The package includes an extension of abortion rights, scrapping the requirement for 16- and 17-year-olds to obtain parental consent before terminating a pregnancy.
"It may be difficult to get abortions in Poland, but we have our ways," Polish feminist Krystyna Kacpura says.
May 16, 2022
By Lauren Egan and Corky Siemaszko
WARSAW, Poland — Americans fearing the worst if the Supreme Court repeals Roe v. Wade could look to the Poles for tips about how to fight for abortion rights and find ways around harsh government-imposed restrictions.
Poland, along with Malta, has the strictest abortion restrictions in Europe. It is allowed only in cases of rape, which are difficult to document, or when the life of the woman is endangered. And anyone helping a woman get the procedure for any other reason, including by prescribing pregnancy-terminating medication, could be charged with a crime — similar to what’s already happening in Texas, said Venny Ala-Siurua of Women on Web, an international online abortion service that has been helping women around the world, including thousands in Poland.
To win back abortion rights, Democrats need to learn how to fight the moral battle being waged by anti-abortion theocrats—something clinic escorts do every day.
By Elie Mystal, The Nation
May 16, 2022
We now live in a country where the government cannot force you to wear a mask on a plane during a pandemic but can force you to carry a pregnancy to term against your will. It is a country where the government won’t ban certain kinds of assault rifles but will ban certain kinds of medical care. We live in this country because five justices in thrall to a fundamentalist Christian orthodoxy have taken control of the Supreme Court—and because the majority of Americans who reject that orthodoxy have too often ceded the moral ground to the monsters who claim to have legitimate, enforceable interests over women’s bodies.
Women’s rights organizations and advocates have been in the trenches, fighting this fundamentalist sect, at literal physical risk to their lives, for decades. They’ve been fighting in the streets and fighting in the courtroom, but their alleged allies in Congress, in the media, and in the boardroom have rarely had their back.
Published: May 16, 2022
Gretchen E. Ely
If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., the nation may find itself on a path similar to that trod by the Irish people from 1983 to 2018. A draft decision signed by the majority of conservative justices was leaked in May 2022, and indicates the court may do just that.
Abortion was first prohibited in Ireland through what was called the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861. That law became part of Irish law when Ireland gained independence from the U.K. in 1922. In the early 1980s, some anti-abortion Catholic activists noticed the liberalization of abortion laws in other Western democracies and worried the same might happen in Ireland.
Issued on: 16/05/2022
Washington (AFP) – Rebecca Gomperts, a 55-year-old Dutch physician, has spent years fighting for women's access to abortion around the world.
Made famous by her "abortion boat," as recounted in the 2014 documentary "Vessel," she and her Women on Waves group have anchored the ship in international waters off the coasts of Poland, Spain, Mexico and other countries, offering medical abortions to women otherwise unable to obtain them.
The main difference between the women who will make it to an abortion provider in a post-Roe world and those who won’t? Money.
By Melissa Jeltsen, The Atlantic
May 15, 2022
When New York legalized abortion in 1970—three years before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade—a shrewd entrepreneur named Martin Mitchell saw an opportunity. The 31-year-old Detroit-area man chartered a tiny private plane and began advertising frequent flights from Michigan, where elective abortion was illegal, to Niagara Falls, New York, where it was not. For $400, a woman got transportation, an abortion by a licensed doctor at a clinic near the airport, and lunch, before being flown home the same day.
May 15, 2022
Megan Burbank, Emily Kwong – NPR
Though it's impossible to know exactly what will happen to abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned, demographer Diana Greene Foster does know what happens when someone is denied an abortion. She documented it in her groundbreaking yearslong research project, The Turnaway Study and her findings provide insight into the ways getting an abortion – or being denied one – affects a person's mental health and economic wellbeing.
For over 10 years, Dr. Foster and her team of researchers tracked the experiences of women who'd received abortions or who had been denied them because of clinic policies on gestational age limits.