Reproductive control of Indigenous women continues around the world, say survivors and researchers

Survivors of forced sterilization and coerced contraception from Canada, Peru and Indonesia will meet with researchers to share stories, heal and advocate for change.

June 27, 2022
by Gillian Rutherford

Survivors of forced sterilization and coerced contraception from Canada, Peru and Indonesia will gather with academic researchers at a summit in Edmonton this summer to share stories, heal through art and ceremony, and set an agenda for change.

The full extent of reproductive control practices around the world is not known, but they have been historically — and continue to be — targeted at Indigenous, poor and migrant women, according to principal investigator Denise Spitzer, professor in the School of Public Health and former Canada Research Chair in Gender, Migration and Health.


Overturning of Roe v Wade abortion law a ‘huge blow to women’s human rights’ warns Bachelet

24 June 2022
United Nations

The widely anticipated Supreme Court decision, by six votes to three, was made in the specific case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, and Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that it represents a “major setback” for sexual and reproductive health across the US.

The historic decision returns all questions of legality and access to abortion, to the individual states.

Reacting earlier to the US ruling, without making specific reference to it, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that a staggering 45 per cent of all abortions around the world, are unsafe, making the procedure a leading cause of maternal death.


The Tragedy of the Unwanted Child: What Ancient Cultures Did Before Abortion

Safe abortion is the modern cure for the ancient heartbreaks of neonaticide and abandonment.

Rob Brooks
24 Jun 2022

Talk about abortion is dominating the US culture wars, again. A leaked US Supreme Court majority opinion foreshadows the overturning of 1973’s Roe vs. Wade decision protecting a woman’s liberty to terminate a pregnancy without excessive government restriction, sparking joy among anti-abortion campaigners and dread among choice advocates. Anyone naive to the last 50 years of abortion politics might think the sides are concerned with two entirely different phenomena. One advocates a woman’s right to reproductive and bodily autonomy, whereas the other condemns what it considers to be a form of homicide.

self-declared “pro-lifers” consider the termination of a pregnancy the moral
equivalent of taking a newborn life. Their strategies, including the endless
debates over when a fetus becomes viable, seek to blur distinctions between
aborting a fetus and killing a newborn child. So much so that few on the
pro-choice side welcome discussion about the relationship between abortion and
infanticide. I argue here that an understanding of that relationship—drawing on
evidence from centuries of history and millennia of evolution—leads to the
conclusion that abortion is the most humane alternative to infanticide, adding
to the case for safe, legal, accessible abortion for women who need it.


Roe Abolition Makes U.S. a Global Outlier

Almost 50 years ago, the United States liberalized abortion laws, and the world followed suit. Today, it joins Iran, North Korea, and Russia in rolling back reproductive rights.

JUNE 24, 2022
by FP Staff

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion. In a 6-3 ruling, with all three of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s appointees voting in the majority, the court upheld a Mississippi state law that banned abortions after a gestational age of 15 weeks. That hands legal authority for abortions to states, about half of which will enact all but total bans on the medical procedure.

With the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the United States became a world leader in liberalizing abortion laws, and scores of other countries followed suit in the decades afterward. Although a handful of countries in recent years have reversed these laws, Foreign Policy analysis shows a worldwide trend toward greater reproductive freedom for women, not less, which makes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision—and the United States in general—an outlier. Abortion is still largely illegal in many countries coded as improving access—but exceptions in cases such as rape, incest, or saving the life of the pregnant woman have been made.


Global reproductive and women’s rights groups react to overturn of Roe v. Wade

June 24, 2022
Malaka Gharib

How will the overturn of Roe v. Wade affect abortion rights and access outside the U.S.?

Groups that are opposed to abortion have welcomed the decision, including the Family Resource Council, which has called it "a major victory for life." But many global reproductive and women's rights groups are condemning the decision and warn that the U.S. overturning of the constitutional right to abortion will have far-reaching effects around the globe. Here's a sampling of reactions:

A Post-Roe World?

Why Abortion Battles in America Won’t Halt Reform Abroad

By Nina Brooks, Minzee Kim, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, and Wesley Longhofer
June 16, 2022

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will release a ruling that is likely to overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the case that affirmed a constitutional right to abortion. Reversing Roe would have profound implications for abortion access in the United States. Such a decision would also have ramifications abroad, particularly if a judicial ruling empowers future U.S. presidential administrations to push for restrictions on abortion in other parts of the world.

It is important, however, not to overstate U.S. influence on global abortion policy. The 1973 case was a landmark in allowing abortion access and served as an example to abortion advocates across the world. But in the 50 years since, the United States’ international messaging on abortion has been incoherent.


Global abortion-rights advocates worry their countries are next if Roe falls

Activists said they spoke to officials not only about their fears of the international impact if Roe were to fall but also proposed changes to U.S. policy that has long restricted funding for abortions abroad.


Abortion-rights advocates from around the world have met with congressional, USAID, HHS and State Department leaders to discuss worries that their countries will be next to see more restrictions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

In meetings last week, the activists said they spoke to officials not only about their fears of the international impact if Roe were to fall but also proposed changes to U.S. policy that has long restricted funding for abortions abroad.


Ireland and Latin America Can Inspire the US Abortion Fight

Analysis by Clara Ferreira Marques | Bloomberg
May 30, 2022

For decades, activists across the world have looked to Roe v. Wade, the landmark US ruling on abortion, as a model worthy of emulation. With the Supreme Court now set to overturn that decision, roles need to reverse: US rights groups must now turn to successful campaigns in Latin America and in Ireland for inspiration and advice on mobilizing voters, galvanizing legislators and widening support.

The impact of these popular movements is hard to overestimate. The Latin American marea verde, or green wave, emerged in Argentina in response to high rates of violence against women with the Ni Una Menos campaign, or Not One Less, and mass street protests. It expanded to include a demand for legal and safe abortions, and took its name from the green scarves women began to wear …

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What happens when abortion is banned? Lessons from around the world

As the U.S. Supreme Court looks set to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that established the right to abortion, campaigners for abortion access from Africa to Latin America say the move could have devastating consequences

by Nita Bhalla and Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 30 May 2022

NAIROBI/BOGOTA - As soon as Kenyan housewife Ann found out she was pregnant in September last year, she knew having the child was out of the question.

For years, the 27-year-old had been a victim of domestic violence: her husband beat her routinely, denied her money to feed their three children, and had sexual relationships with other women.


Do restrictive abortion laws actually reduce abortion? A global map offers insights

May 27, 2022
Michaeleen Doucleff

In countries where abortion is illegal, are there fewer abortions?

The question sounds simple. But it's tough to answer, says social demographer Jonathan Bearak at the Guttmacher Institute. That's largely because, in places with strict abortion laws, the procedure is almost completely hidden. So estimating the rate of abortions is extremely difficult.