WHO Director General Calls on Countries to Protect Women’s Right to Abortion

Megha Kaveri

Two weeks after a Texas judge stirred controversy by banning a popular US abortion pill, WHO’s Director General has explicitly re-affirmed the organization’s support for abortion rights, stating that “women should always have the right to choose when it comes to their bodies and their health”.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ comments came just a day before the US Supreme Court is set to decide whether to suspend the judge’s ruling and maintain full access to the abortion drug, mifepristone, while the case is appealed. The case will be the court’s most significant consideration of abortion rights since its landmark ruling last June overturning the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, guaranteeing abortion rights nationally.

Continued; https://healthpolicy-watch.news/who-supports-abortion-rights/

Poor Access to Safe Abortions Is Killing South Asian Women

Even in countries where abortion is legal, access to safe abortions remains challenging

By Bansari Kamdar
June 15, 2021

One in every four maternal deaths around the world happens in South Asia. Lack of access to safe and legal abortions and contraceptives is a leading reason for the region’s high maternal mortality rate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than half the abortions in South and Central Asia were safe.

In Bhutan, which has a 1.4 percent case fatality rate, one of the main reasons for maternal mortality is abortion complications. Section 146 of Bhutan’s Penal Code legalizes abortion only if it is to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy resulted from incest and rape or the mother is not of sound mental condition. Denied access to safe abortion, many Bhutanese women cross the border to neighboring India, where abortion, while legal on most grounds, remains dangerous.

Continued: https://thediplomat.com/2021/06/poor-access-to-safe-abortions-is-killing-south-asian-women/

‘I am a criminal. What is my crime?’: the human toll of abortion in Afghanistan

'I am a criminal. What is my crime?': the human toll of abortion in Afghanistan

When Maryam had an abortion, her husband beat and humiliated her. Her story is not unusual in Afghanistan, yet illegal, unsafe terminations are on the rise

Sune Engel Rasmussen and Fatima Faizi in Kabul
Wednesday 26 April 2017

As a newlywed, Maryam’s husband promised to let her finish her university degree. Then she got pregnant, and everything changed.

“For a week, I was in shock. If my husband’s family knew I was pregnant, they would never let me finish university,” Maryam said.

So she acted promptly. She found a midwife willing to perform a surgical abortion, selling jewellery from her dowry to raise the required 250,000 afghanis (£2,900).

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/apr/26/human-toll-abortion-afghanistan

Afghanistan: “No One Knows About My Abortion. I Feel Like a Criminal”

“No One Knows About My Abortion. I Feel Like a Criminal”
Maija Liuhto
Apr 10, 2017

Soon after leaving my abusive husband, I learned I was pregnant. To remain divorced under Afghanistan law, I had to do something that still makes me feel guilty.
A woman wearing a burqa is silhouetted against the lights illuminating an underpass in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph by Christian Als/Panos

Tarana, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, is a 19-year-old woman living in Kabul, Afghanistan who recently divorced her husband and had an illegal abortion in secret. If authorities were to find out, she would either be fined or arrested.

Abortion is illegal in Afghanistan — even in cases of rape or incest — except if the mother’s life is in danger or there is a risk of the child being born with severe disabilities. The country’s birth rate is 4.8 children per woman, which is the highest in Asia (though is significantly lower than it was under Taliban rule, when girls weren’t allowed to attend school). Birth control is not illegal in the Muslim-majority country, though it is taboo and often difficult to access.

Tarana told her story in Dari through a translator to Maija Liuhto.

Continued at source: The Development Set: https://thedevelopmentset.com/no-one-knows-about-my-abortion-i-feel-like-a-criminal-bfb5b16eefd3