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


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 A landslide majority had “repealed the 8th” and voted to change the country’s constitution to enable legal recognition of abortion rights for the first time in the state’s history.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


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


Democrats Must Become As Brave and Righteous as Abortion-Clinic Escorts

To win back abortion rights, Democrats need to learn how to fight the moral battle being waged by anti-abortion theocrats—something clinic escorts do every day.

By Elie Mystal, The Nation
May 16, 2022

We now live in a country where the government cannot force you to wear a mask on a plane during a pandemic but can force you to carry a pregnancy to term against your will. It is a country where the government won’t ban certain kinds of assault rifles but will ban certain kinds of medical care. We live in this country because five justices in thrall to a fundamentalist Christian orthodoxy have taken control of the Supreme Court—and because the majority of Americans who reject that orthodoxy have too often ceded the moral ground to the monsters who claim to have legitimate, enforceable interests over women’s bodies.

Women’s rights organizations and advocates have been in the trenches, fighting this fundamentalist sect, at literal physical risk to their lives, for decades. They’ve been fighting in the streets and fighting in the courtroom, but their alleged allies in Congress, in the media, and in the boardroom have rarely had their back.

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/abortion-moral-fight/


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


USA – When a Right Becomes a Privilege

The main difference between the women who will make it to an abortion provider in a post-Roe world and those who won’t? Money.

By Melissa Jeltsen, The Atlantic
May 15, 2022

When New York legalized abortion in 1970—three years before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade—a shrewd entrepreneur named Martin Mitchell saw an opportunity. The 31-year-old Detroit-area man chartered a tiny private plane and began advertising frequent flights from Michigan, where elective abortion was illegal, to Niagara Falls, New York, where it was not. For $400, a woman got transportation, an abortion by a licensed doctor at a clinic near the airport, and lunch, before being flown home the same day.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2022/05/roe-v-wade-abortion-access-poor-women/629858/


USA – A landmark study tracks the lasting effect of having an abortion — or being denied one

May 15, 2022
Megan Burbank, Emily Kwong – NPR

Though it's impossible to know exactly what will happen to abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned, demographer Diana Greene Foster does know what happens when someone is denied an abortion. She documented it in her groundbreaking yearslong research project, The Turnaway Study and her findings provide insight into the ways getting an abortion – or being denied one – affects a person's mental health and economic wellbeing.

For over 10 years, Dr. Foster and her team of researchers tracked the experiences of women who'd received abortions or who had been denied them because of clinic policies on gestational age limits.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/05/15/1098347992/a-landmark-study-tracks-the-lasting-effect-of-having-an-abortion-or-being-denied


Support for abortion rights hits new high as midterm outlook is grim for Democrats

63% oppose overturning Roe v. Wade and Democratic enthusiasm ticks up in a new NBC News poll, but Biden's job approval rating falls to 39% amid economic worries.

May 15, 2022
By Mark Murray

WASHINGTON — Support for abortion rights has reached a record high, and nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, according to a new national NBC News poll conducted after the leak of a draft opinion that would strike down the constitutional right to abortion.

What’s more, the survey finds abortion climbing up the list of issues that Americans believe are the most important, and that Democratic interest in the upcoming midterms has increased since earlier this year.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2022-election/support-abortion-rights-hits-new-high-midterm-outlook-stays-mostly-unc-rcna28869


Why Roe v. Wade must be defended

The Lancet
May 14, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00870-4
EDITORIAL| VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10338, P1845

“Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” So begins a draft opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, leaked from the US Supreme Court on May 2, 2022. If confirmed, this judgement would overrule the Court's past decisions to establish the right to access abortion. In Alito's words, “the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives”. The Court's opinion rests on a strictly historical interpretation of the US Constitution: “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” His extraordinary text repeatedly equates abortion with murder.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)00870-4/fulltext


‘We will not go back’: thousands rally for abortion rights across the US

More than 300 pro-choice protests organized around US against expected reversal of 1973 landmark law that made abortion legal

Oliver Milman and Victoria Bekiempis in New York and Dani Anguiano in Los Angeles
Sat 14 May 2022

Thousands of people were taking part in protests across the US on Saturday to decry the supreme court’s expected reversal of the landmark 1973 law that made abortion legal in America.

Organizers said there were more than 380 protest events in cities including major ones in Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago to demand that the right to an abortion is not stripped away by the court, which is dominated by rightwing justices.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/14/abortion-rights-protests-us-roe-v-wade