Puerto Rico doesn’t restrict abortion. So why is it a struggle for locals to get one?
By Andrea González-Ramírez
December 12, 2022
It was raining despite the sun — the type of weather Boricuas make superstitious jokes about — on a recent Tuesday at Women’s Medical Pavilion, an abortion clinic in Puerto Rico. The eight patients seated around me in the waiting room looked at their phones in silence as a midday entertainment program played on a small TV. Nurses called them to the front desk one by one, referring to them as “mi amor” and “corazón” as they gave an overview of the 15-minute procedure. An abortion seeker seated to my right took a call and told the person on the other end of the line that she was hungry — it was nearly 1 p.m. — because the clinic had instructed her to not eat anything two hours before her visit. Plus, she said, she couldn’t afford to spend money on a meal — not even from the fast-food joint across the street from the clinic’s pink entrance.
Access to abortion in U.S. territories post-Dobbs is just as difficult as before, and those concerns aren’t even a discussion within the mainstream reproductive rights movement
by Cecille Joan Avila
November 7th, 2022
In June, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturned Roe v. Wade, effectively eliminating the federal right to abortion, but in Guam, it’s been four years since the last surgical abortion provider retired, leaving the small island territory without anyone who can perform the procedure. Pregnant people seeking an abortion can either receive abortifacients by mail, or, if they are beyond the timeframe where it’s possible to have a medication abortion, they have to travel to Hawai‘i. That is only feasible if they have the means to—and many do not.
For many in U.S. territories, getting an abortion hasn’t just depended on the procedure being legal. People have had to rely on community networks and whatever resources were available to get or pay for an abortion. The common factor is that in U.S. territories, they need to know the right people to ask for assistance, information, and resources, which is ultimately an unsustainable way to access a key component of reproductive health.
October 3, 2022
The day after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a representative in the Puerto Rican legislature introduced a bill punishing "the crime of abortion" with 99 years in jail.
The bill was withdrawn the same day it was introduced, but it represents renewed interest in greatly restricting abortion in Puerto Rico after the Supreme Court threw out its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that protected abortion rights.
Ella Lee, Rachel Looker, USA TODAY
Aug. 11, 2022
The reproductive rights of Americans across the country were thrown into question with the Supreme Court's decision to dismantle the landmark case Roe v. Wade, which established the constitutional right to have an abortion. But people residing in the continental United States alone weren't the only U.S. citizens affected.
Without constitutional protection of abortion rights, the legislatures
of U.S. territories are able to decide for themselves whether abortion access
is guaranteed, and to what extent, unless Congress intervenes.
By: Carlos Edill Berríos Polanco
MAY 31, 2022
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A green wave of pro-choice demonstrators washed over Old San Juan on Saturday, May 28 —the International Day of Action for Women’s Health— to demand abortion rights be protected in the face of legislative attacks.
Following a leaked draft ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that signaled it was moving to overturn Roe v. Wade, and a push to limit abortion at 22 weeks by the Puerto Rico Life and Family Commission with Senate Project 693 (PS 693), pro-choice activists gathered in front of the Jose V. Toledo Courthouse in Old San Juan for a “Marea Verde por el Derecho a Decidir” (Green Wave for the Right to Decide) to protest against the assault on reproductive rights.
By Audrey Mcavoy, The Associated Press
Fri., May 27, 2022
HONOLULU (AP) — Women from the remote U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will likely have to travel farther than other Americans to terminate a pregnancy if the Supreme Court overturns a precedent that established a national right to abortion in the United States.
Hawaii is the closest U.S. state where abortion is legal under local law. Even so, Honolulu is 3,800 miles (6,100 kilometers) away — about 50% farther than Boston is from Los Angeles.
The legislation crafted by powerful political leaders looking to join a similar conservative push in the U.S. mainland seeks to ban abortions starting at 22 weeks.
April 27, 2022
By Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico on Tuesday held its first public hearing on a bill that aims to restrict abortions in the U.S. territory as powerful political leaders who support the measure seek to join a similar conservative push in the U.S. mainland.
If approved, the bill would ban abortions starting at 22 weeks or when a doctor determines that a fetus is viable. The only exception would be if a woman’s life is in danger. Most U.S. states already have similar laws, unlike Puerto Rico, where abortions with no term limit are currently allowed.
Inside the Battle to Save Abortion Rights in Puerto Rico
Providers on the island say access has been hindered by Hurricane Maria and threatened by legislation.
Nov 10, 2018
The most aggressive attempt to restrict abortion access in Puerto Rico in decades came to a dramatic end this week when the bill’s author pulled it from consideration on the very last day of the legislative session. But women’s rights activists say the failed legislation is just the first of many threats to abortion access on the island.
The bill, written by Puerto Rico Sen. Nayda Venegas Brown, would have instituted a mandatory 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, required parental consent for minors, and banned the procedure outright after 20 weeks gestation—restrictions that are common in many states in the continental U.S., but unheard of in Puerto Rico.
Abortion Rights in Cuba Face New Challenges
September 4, 2017
In 2016, 85,445 abortions were carried out among women aged 12-49 years old, which represents 41.9 interrupted pregnancies per 100 pregnant women.
By Ivet Gonzalez (IPS Cuba)
HAVANA TIMES — When it seemed like an issue resolved in Cuban society, feminist activists and experts are apprehensive about the latest public outbreaks of anti-abortion discourse, which condemn this practice in a country where abortion has been safe and free for over half a century.
Continued at source: Havana Times: http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=127066
Liz Szabo, USA TODAY Friday, 05-Aug-16 19:27:33 PDT
Zika could become the newest flashpoint in America’s debate on abortion.
With nearly 1,000 pregnant women in the U.S. infected with Zika and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising all expectant mothers to be screened for exposure to the virus, the USA is beginning to get a hint about why the issue became so contentious in Latin America this year.
There, where women’s health services of all kinds are less available and the Zika epidemic is most widespread, requests for medical abortions have increased dramatically. Even Pope Francis weighed in last February, suggesting that contraception could be morally acceptable in the fight against Zika.
[continued at link]
Source: 13newsnow.com / USA Today