28 September 2020
1. Why is Amnesty International revisiting its position on abortion?
We have updated our position to align with evolving international human rights law and standards, to make it as inclusive as possible, and to ensure it addresses the full range of barriers that impede access to safe abortion and the full range of human rights violations due to criminalization of abortion.
Our position on abortion is informed by years of research and consultations with women and girls whose lives have been shattered by restrictive laws; as well as with medical providers, activists and legal experts.
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.
By Miriam Berger
September 26, 2020
Argentina’s president was expected to propose a landmark law to decriminalize abortion, setting a new standard for Latin America. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The release date was delayed, indefinitely.
Ruth Zurbriggen, a reproductive rights activist with the group Socorristas en Red, felt “pain and rage.” But the group’s work continued — efforts, she said, made even more pressing as the pandemic took center stage.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020
Rebecca Gomperts is one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people this year. The Dutch activist has dedicated her life to trying to get women safe access to abortions in countries where abortion is illegal.
Gomperts is the founder of Women on Waves, which involves a ship with an on board abortion clinic. Women are taken from countries where abortion is illegal by boat to this ship on international waters, where they can get the treatment they need.
For immediate release, September 23nd, 2020
Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Web, Women on Waves and AidAccess, has been chosen among the 100 most influential people of the world in 2020 by Time magazine.
Cecile Richards writes for Time 100: "In this moment of fear and uncertainty, Gomperts is a beacon of hope, standing up for the principle that safe abortion is a human right."
The full list of the Time most influential people of 2020 can be seen here: time.com/time100
Views on a thorny moral and medical issue are remarkably unsettled for a debate that has played out over generations.
By Ben Schott
September 18, 2020
Although the political debate surrounding abortion often seems most heated in the United States, recent data suggest that global public opinion on this thorny moral and medical issue is more fluid than one might think.
Ipsos has been tracking views on abortion annually since 2014. This year’s poll of 17,500 adults across 25 countries indicates that, on average, 70% think abortion should be permitted — down from 75% in 2016, and 2 percentage points lower than in 2014. (These figures include all abortion; when asked if abortion should be permitted “whenever a woman decides she wants one” the global acceptance rate falls to 44%.)
"Study after study—including from the State Department—has demonstrated that this neocolonialist policy has inflicted a crushing blow to healthcare access for people around the world."
by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday warned that a newly proposed expansion of the anti-choice global gag rule will put millions at even greater risk of being unable to access healthcare including abortion care.
The U.S. State Department on Monday entered into the Federal Register a proposed policy change which would refuse global health aid through federal government contracts to foreign healthcare groups that provide abortion care or counseling.
By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Mon September 14, 2020
(CNN)The Trump administration is pushing to expand its ban on funding for foreign nonprofits that perform or promote abortions, a move that critics say could further restrict health care access around the world.
In a move that will please President Donald Trump's base, the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration published the proposed rule on Monday to extend the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy, which already encompasses global health grants and cooperative agreements, to apply to contracts. The rule already applies to the State Department, Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and the US Agency for International Development.
Ground reality reveals deep rooted patriarchy that has taken hold of both formal state institutions and informal ones
September 11, 2020
One would think it is simple — one’s body
belongs to oneself. The reality is that a woman’s body does not belong entirely
to her. It belongs to the state, family, religious institutions and ideology.
Globally, controlling a woman’s body is one of the tools used to maintain the
deeply entrenched patriarchal status quo. For centuries, this is how it has
been regardless of the advancement societies make. That simple idea then that a
woman’s body belongs to her is in fact really, even in this day and age, a
September 9, 2020
By Deekshita Ramanarayanan
“Achieving true progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights requires a comprehensive approach and a commitment to tackling deeply entrenched inequities and injustices of which marginalized communities continue to bear the brunt,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute. She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event where speakers analyzed findings from the Guttmacher Institute on the state of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally.
The current COVID-19 pandemic threatens to roll back progress made towards SRHR. “A growing body of evidence shows that the pandemic is already limiting access to sexual and reproductive health care worldwide, especially in low- and middle- income countries,” said Sarah Barnes, Project Director of the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center. These impacts go unrecognized because they are indirect results of health system disruption rather than the direct impact of a virus, said Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at the Guttmacher Institute.