How Abortion Pills Changed the Political Debate in Ireland

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.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/how-abortion-pills-changed-the-political-debate-in-ireland/2022/05/17/f409c526-d5ed-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html


U.N. and advocates raise concerns of abortion access for Ukrainian refugees in Poland

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.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/05/17/994654590/u-n-and-advocates-raise-concerns-of-abortion-access-for-ukrainian-refugees-in-po


Abortion: Ireland’s past is America’s future

BY CHRISTINE RYAN
05/17/22

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 A landslide majority had “repealed the 8th” and voted to change the country’s constitution to enable legal recognition of abortion rights for the first time in the state’s history.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.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3491465-abortion-irelands-past-is-americas-future/


Spanish govt proposes wider abortion rights, menstrual leave

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.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/spanish-govt-proposes-wider-abortion-rights-menstrual-leave-84774876


What U.S. women can learn from Poland’s recent abortion restrictions

"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.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/us-women-can-learn-polands-recent-abortion-restrictions-rcna28750


Abortion: the story of suffering and death behind Ireland’s ban and subsequent legalization

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.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/abortion-the-story-of-suffering-and-death-behind-irelands-ban-and-subsequent-legalization-182812


Dutch doctor says group will keep sending abortion pills to US women

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.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220516-dutch-doctor-says-group-will-keep-sending-abortion-pills-to-us-women


Thousands rally in Croatia after woman denied abortion

Thousands have rallied across Croatia in solidarity with a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems

By The Associated Press
12 May 2022

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Thousands rallied across Croatia Thursday in solidarity with a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems, and whose weeks-long ordeal has sparked public outrage.

Protests demanding a better public health system and respect of women's right to choice were held in several cities and towns throughout the predominantly conservative and strongly Catholic nation.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/thousands-rally-croatia-woman-denied-abortion-84679046


Spain to ease abortion limits for over-16s and allow menstrual leave

Parental permission to end for terminations and up to five days’ leave a month for painful periods

Sam Jones in Madrid
Thu 12 May 2022

Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government is preparing a law that would allow women over the age of 16 to have abortions without permission from their parents or guardians, and introduce up to five days of menstrual leave a month.

The draft legislation, which is due to be approved by the cabinet next week, is intended to ensure that abortion is available to all those using the public health system, and that menstruation is treated as a proper health issue.

Continued:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/12/spain-to-ease-abortion-limits-for-over-16s-and-allow-menstrual-leave


‘Declare it to a doctor, and it’s over’: Ukrainian women face harsh reality of Poland’s abortion laws

Women turn to aid groups for help, with many unaware their rights to reproductive healthcare have vanished upon crossing the border

Weronika Strzyżyńska
Tue 10 May 2022

When the first Russian bombs fell on Ukraine, Myroslava Marchenko was a gynaecologist at a private clinic in Kyiv. The next day, one of her patients was due to have an abortion after prenatal tests showed a high chance of Down’s syndrome.

Instead, like millions across the country, Marchenko and her patient fled to safety, crossing the border into Poland where abortions due to foetal abnormalities – or “on eugenic grounds” in the language of the country’s constitutional tribunal – are illegal.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/may/10/ukrainian-women-face-harsh-reality-poland-abortion-laws