Recent shifts on access to abortion suggest democracy and women’s rights go hand in hand — and that the inverse might be true as well.
By Max Fisher
Published Sept. 9, 2021
The story of abortion rights in the 21st century can be seen in two world-shaking developments this past week. In the first, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld drastic new abortion restrictions in Texas. A few days later, Mexico’s high court paved the way for nationwide legalization.
It may be tempting to see Mexico’s ruling as the more surprising, catapulting the world’s second most populous Catholic country on a deeply contentious social matter.
Sep 4, 2021
By Rob Picheta, CNN
Texas' ban on abortion beyond six weeks —
before many women even know they have conceived — has widened the reproductive
health gap between the United States and other leading democracies.
The U.S. Supreme Court formally denied a request from Texas abortion providers
to freeze the new law on Wednesday, even though it violates Roe v. Wade, which
legalized abortion across the U.S. prior to viability, which happens at around
24 weeks of pregnancy.
Examples from around the world show that restrictions can actually lead to more, not fewer, abortions.
By Neha Wadekar, a Nairobi-based journalist.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
In a 5-4 decision late Wednesday night, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to block a Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant. Known as Senate Bill 8, the law does not allow exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, making it the harshest abortion restriction in the country. The law sets the stage for a battle over the future of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision, which states that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
Reduced abortion access in the United States could have catastrophic results. In countries around the world with limited or no access to safe, affordable abortion, people are either forced to keep unwanted pregnancies or dismembered or even killed by unsafe abortions each day.
1 September 2021
FIGO - Advocating for Safe Abortion Project, Committee on Safe Abortion
In this FIGO Long Read, we provide a round-up of a recent roundtable discussion hosted by FIGO's Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) and Committee on Safe Abortion. Together with partners, we explored the critical issue of conscientious objection and its impact on the availability of and access to legal and safe abortion services.
Quote by Laura Gil: Sadly ‘conscientious objection’ has become a widespread barrier for many people to access the care that they need. It is very common to hear that women or girls cannot get an abortion on time, got an unsafe abortion, or didn't get one at all because of ‘conscientious objection‘ from the available personnel.
by MARJORIE NEWMAN-WILLIAMS
Dr. Sukesh Sharma has worked as a gynecologist and surgeon for more than 40 years, providing services like safe abortion and tubal ligation to women in India. While he has seen progress in women’s reproductive healthcare since he started more than four decades ago—“At that time there were many untrained people doing abortions,” he said of his early career—he has also seen how U.S. politics have interfered with access to safe abortion and other services for Indian women.
Six times, Sharma has seen the global gag rule instated or repealed,
cutting off funding for his services and others, putting the lives of the women
he serves at risk.
Source: Nestor Kafui Adjomah
12 August 2021
Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation (GLOMeF), Raphael Godlove Ahenu, has called on world leaders to make safe abortion accessible to every woman who requests it.
According to him, “estimates from 2006 shows
that, in developing countries, the yearly cost for treating complications from
unsafe abortion amounts to US$ 553 million and US$ 6 billion for treating
post-abortion infertility across the world”.
BY LAURA KELLY
House Democrats on Wednesday passed for the first time in more than half a century a State Department and foreign assistance spending bill that does not include the Helms Amendment, a provision that blocks U.S. funding for women’s health services related to abortions.
The state, foreign operations and related programs bill, an annual appropriations package that lays out U.S. foreign funding priorities, excludes text from the Helms Amendment for the first time since it was introduced in 1973.
5 July 2021
FIGO Advocating for Safe Abortion Project|
OBGYNs and midwives are part of an essential ecosystem of health workers that provide crucial health care in delivering women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally. In lower-middle-income countries where health care facilities outside of capitals can be few and dispersed, midwives in particular are counted on to ensure that women, girls, and newborns receive appropriate care, support and counselling. Professor Boni Serge, President of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Côte d’Ivoire (SOGOCI), shared with us the important leadership role midwives have in Côte d’Ivoire.
Midwives are critical in the fight to reduce preventable maternal deaths and disability
Data from 2016 showed that, with a population of over 20 million, there are not enough health care workers in this coastal West African country (WHO, 2016). More recent data show that while there are more than 6,000 midwives spread across the Ivorian territory, there are only just over 440 OBGYNs. In addition, there is an unequal geographical distribution of these OBGYNs, with the majority of them located in the Ivorian economic capital of Abidjan.
With new restrictions on abortion headed to the Supreme Court, many are wondering what it will mean for women if Roe v. Wade is overturned. We looked to other countries for answers.
by MARJORIE NEWMAN-WILLIAMS
Consider this: Every day around the world some 96,000 women risk their lives to an unsafe abortion, seeking to end an unintended pregnancy. Millions of women face complications following an unsafe abortion and at least 22,000 die every year. This latest push to overturn Roe v. Wade aims to deny women autonomous control over their own bodies and presages a return to the days before Roe, in the U.S. when the death rate due to illegal abortion among women of color was 12 times that of white women.
MSI Reproductive Choices works in many
countries where abortion is heavily restricted and we are called on daily to
provide life-saving post-abortion care to women and girls who tried to end an
unwanted pregnancy themselves. Faith Pyentim, a midwife from Nigeria, described
one teenage girl who sought help after a desperate attempt to end an unintended
pregnancy. “There was a bad smell, so we knew there was infection. She was 17
then, unmarried with a child at home already.”
International Campaign for Safe Abortion
JUNE 25, 2021
A joint statement signed by over 200
international civil society organizations from 88 countries across six
continents was released on 22 June 2021, organized by Planned Parenthood Global
and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Released as part of a week
of action, it calls for a permanent end to the US Global Gag Rule. The
statement, in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, demonstrates the diversity
of just some of the communities harmed by the policy over the past 37 years.
According to research released by Planned Parenthood in September 2020, 70% of
Americans favored ending the Global Gag Rule so that funding for global health
could resume without restrictions.