Poland – Tusk government faces first crisis after abortion and court setbacks

Two embarrassing blows in the space of less than a week have left Donald Tusk’s government facing its first serious crisis, raising questions over the unity and competence of the ruling coalition.

JUL 18, 2024
By Daniel Tilles, Notes from Poland

When Donald Tusk’s coalition came to power late last year, two of its key promises were to soften Poland’s strict abortion laws and to restore the rule of law, including by holding to account figures from the former ruling Law and Justice (PiS) administration for their alleged crimes.

But fulfilling these aims has proven much harder in practice, as two setbacks over the past week have demonstrated.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2024/07/18/tusk-government-faces-first-crisis-after-abortion-and-court-setbacks-opinion/

Ireland – Abortion numbers are in line with predictions

Letter of the Day
Mon Jul 15 2024
by Dr Peter Boylan, Former chair, Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,

Sir, – Breda O’Brien’s claim that there has been an “astonishing rise” in abortion services accessed by women in the Republic of Ireland since the repeal of the Eighth Amendment is misplaced (“In Ireland, you can tell people abortion figures won’t rise and still be unaccountable when they double”, Opinion & Analysis, July 13th).

The statistic of 3,019 women from the Republic accessing abortion in England and Wales in 2017 refers only to the number of women who gave addresses in the Republic. Many others provided the UK addresses of family, friends or supporters. This practice was well-identified over many years when abortion was illegal here. Similarly, the number of women who used abortion pills prior to repeal cannot be accurately determined.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/2024/07/15/abortion-numbers-are-in-line-with-predictions/

Polish lawmakers reject easing restrictive abortion laws

This week, conservative President Andrzej Duda warned that he would veto any bill widening abortion access, even if it is passed by legislators.

July 12, 2024

WARSAW, Poland (AFP) — Polish lawmakers on Friday rejected a bill that would have decriminalized the act of facilitating abortions in a blow for reproductive rights and the country's new liberal government.

The draft law, seen as a precursor to easing traditionally Catholic Poland's almost total ban on abortions, was rejected by 218 legislators against and 215 in favor.

Continued: https://www.courthousenews.com/polish-lawmakers-reject-easing-restrictive-abortion-laws/

Polish president vows to veto bill softening abortion law

JUL 10, 2024
Notes from Poland

Poland’s conservative president, Andrzej Duda, has vowed to veto a bill softening the country’s strict abortion laws that has been proposed by the more liberal governing coalition.

The proposed law would decriminalise the act of helping a woman obtain an unlawful abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy. Under the current law, someone can be jailed for up to three years for doing so.

Asked by broadcaster TVN whether he would sign the bill into law if it is passed by parliament, Duda replied: “No, because for me abortion is the killing of people.”

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2024/07/10/polish-president-vows-to-veto-bill-softening-abortion-law/

Croatian Women’s Activists Demand Law Reforms Upholding Abortion Rights

Activists seek law changes strengthening abortion rights and curbing the rights of 'kneelers' – ultra-conservative men who pray in city squares against divocrce and abortion - to hold their protests in public.

Vuk Tesija
July 9, 2024

The Association Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb, a women’s advocacy body in Croatia, on Tuesday urged the Croatian state to support women, and proposed changes to the criminal code improving women’s right to voluntarily terminate pregnancies and limiting the rights of men to pray in public against abortion in public.

“It is about applying and protecting the principles that the state accepted when it ratified the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and when it accepted the European acquis [the common body of EU legislation]”, Neva Tolle, advisor to the Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb, AZKZ, told a press conference.

Continued: https://balkaninsight.com/2024/07/09/croatian-womens-activists-demand-law-reforms-upholding-abortion-rights/

Ireland’s free contraception scheme to include women aged 32-35

Robert Besser
5th July 2024

DUBLIN, Ireland: Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced the expansion of the free contraception scheme to include women aged 32 to 35. With this extension, the initiative now covers all women aged 17 to 35.

Introduced in September 2022, the scheme aims to reduce the financial burden of contraception by covering costs associated with general practitioners, family planning, student health, and primary care centers.

Continued: https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/274444209/ireland-free-contraception-scheme-to-include-women-aged-32-35#google_vignette

‘No progress has been made’: Petition to decriminalise abortion in Belgium launched

Thursday 4 July 2024
By Ciara Carolan

Amnesty International has launched a petition to decriminalise abortion in Belgium. The launch coincides with the first parliamentary session to take place since elections on 9 June.

In Belgium, abortion is accessible up to 12 weeks after conception, and longer if there is a threat to the mother's health. Before an abortion is authorised, the pregnant individual must be informed about adoption and other alternatives as well as "reflecting" on their decision for six days after the initial appointment. Violations of these measures are sanctioned, and medical professionals may conscientiously object to performing an abortion.

Continued: https://www.brusselstimes.com/health/1125032/no-progress-has-been-made-petition-to-decriminalise-abortion-in-belgium-launched

What GOP’s European abortion example looks like in France

French law bans elective abortions after the first trimester but includes sweeping exceptions

By Ariel Cohen
July 3, 2024

PARIS — Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade two years ago, Republicans on Capitol Hill and conservative justices have regularly cited European laws barring abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy to argue for similar policy in the United States.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. both cited European abortion limits in their opinions in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. More recently, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has called for a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, told reporters on Capitol Hill that a first-trimester abortion limit would put the U.S. in line with other peer nations.

“Forty-seven of 50 European nations have national limits on abortion between 12 and 15 weeks,” Graham said in April after former President Donald Trump said he would leave abortion policies to the states. “This is the civilized world’s position.”

Continued: https://rollcall.com/2024/07/03/what-gops-european-abortion-example-looks-like-in-france/

UK – Election candidate defends abortion leaflet

July 2, 2024
By Richard Madden, BBC New

A candidate standing in the general election has defended an anti-abortion leaflet depicting a baby in the womb, which was sent to households in Hull.

Pauline Peachey is standing as an independent for Hull North and Cottingham and wants to make abortion laws an election issue.

She said the leaflet, which had been delivered to potential voters, should not have "caused outrage".

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/ced31558kn9o

USA / Global – Second Trimester Taboo

Abortion pills are more important than ever, and safe far later than most people know

By Cecilia Nowell
Illustrations by Zhenya Oliinyk
Lux Magazine, June(?) issue

In a small Texas courtroom last spring, Erik Baptist, senior counsel for the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom, insisted that the Food and Drug Administration had been reckless when it approved the abortion pill mifepristone for use before seven weeks of pregnancy in 2000, and then, in 2016, for up to 10 weeks.

The judge agreed, suspending the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of two pills used in the typical protocol for medication abortions in the U.S. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule this summer on whether to uphold the suspension or otherwise restrict the use of mifepristone.

Continued: https://lux-magazine.com/article/second-trimester/