Lessons for health workers and advocates on how we can leverage Argentina’s ‘green wave’ to strengthen access to safe abortion

3 August 2021
FIGO Advocating for Safe Abortion Project

Riding on the green wave of civil society’s victory in Argentina to achieve the legalisation of abortion upon request up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, FIGO’s Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) organised a live-broadcast discussion with OBGYNs and human rights advocates. The discussion unpacked the lessons of how the change in law was achieved and the impact of the law in Argentina and across Latin America. 

Argentina’s abortion law is a ground-breaking step in eliminating discrimination against women and girls, and in addressing the scale of unsafe abortion – a public health crisis in Argentina. It is estimated that 500,000 abortions occur every year in Argentina, representing 40% of all pregnancies. Annually, unsafe abortion accounts for 18% of pregnancy-related deaths and more than 50,000 preventable hospitalisations in Argentina.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/lessons-health-workers-and-advocates-how-we-can-leverage-argentinas-green-wave-strengthen


Ecuador at critical crossroads in push for abortion rights

In the largely conservative nation, women can be sentenced to up to two years in prison for having an abortion.

By Natalie Alcoba
20 Jul 2021

Ana Cristina Vera could tell countless stories of women she has helped extricate from the jaws of Ecuador’s severe anti-abortion laws, but the lawyer and feminist organiser always starts with one: Carla’s.

In 2014, on her way to work in the city of Esmeraldes, Carla – a name Vera, her lawyer, uses to protect her identity – fell down a set of stairs. She picked herself up, only to later discover that she was bleeding. She assumed it was her period, which was two weeks late, and got medication from a friend for the pain, Vera told Al Jazeera.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/20/ecuador-at-critical-crossroads-in-push-for-abortion-rights


Ecuador: Criminalizing Abortion Affects Rights, Health

Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

July 14, 2021
Human Rights Watch

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws
criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of
women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’ The Impact of
Abortion Prosecutions in Ecuador” documents how these laws are having
widespread harmful consequences in Ecuador, costing lives through increased
maternal mortality and morbidity, cutting women and girls off from essential
services, and undermining broader efforts to promote sexual and reproductive
health. Women and girls charged with abortion often experience violations of
their rights to medical confidentiality and due process, and face significant
obstacles to accessing quality legal representation. The prosecutions affect
not only women who wish to end an unwanted pregnancy but also those who
experience miscarriages or obstetric emergencies, or urgently require
post-abortion care.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/14/ecuador-criminalizing-abortion-affects-rights-health


Ecuador abortion laws discriminate against minority ethnic women – report

Criminalisation disproportionately affects indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian women and exacerbates inequality, says Human Rights Watch

Joe Parkin Daniels in Bogotá
Wed 14 Jul 2021

Gladys, an indigenous woman from rural Ecuador, went to hospital after injecting poison into her stomach to end her pregnancy. Doctors went straight to the police, and she was sentenced to two months in jail for having an abortion with consent.

Elsewhere in the South American country, a 20-year-old Afro-Ecuadorian woman went to hospital after a fall, and found out she was pregnant and miscarrying. She was swiftly arrested and spent four months awaiting trial, where she was cleared.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jul/14/ecuador-abortion-laws-discriminate-against-minority-ethnic-women-report


Increase in Maternal Deaths: The Silent Impact of Covid-19 on Latin America

The scale of the health emergency led to restrictions and closures in reproductive health services for months.  Artwork by Leila Arenas

International Campaign for Safe Abortion
May 21, 2021

With health systems focused on containing the virus, women have experienced severe hardships when trying to access reproductive health services, such as perinatal care, contraceptive methods and safe abortion services. The monitoring carried out in nine countries in the region is showing that these limitations have led to an increase in maternal deaths. Just in Peru, 433 expectant mothers passed away between January and December of 2020, a number not seen in a decade. This year, more than 90 deaths have been registered up to March 9th. If we continue on this path, specialists asked warn, the indicators could be even worse than those reported during the first few months of the pandemic.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/21-may-2021?e=372dd34034


Ecuador Decriminalized Abortion In Rape Cases — What That Means For South America

May 20, 2021

Mary Louise Kelly
4-Minute Podcast

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with sociologist and lawyer Ana Cristina Vera about what Ecuador's recent expansion of abortion decriminalization means for reproductive rights in South America.

Transcript
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Now on to South America and specifically to Ecuador, where the country's highest court has eased restrictions on abortion in cases of rape.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2021/05/20/998709225/ecuador-decriminalized-abortion-in-rape-cases-what-that-means-for-south-america


Ecuador abortion rights victory hailed as latest in ‘tidal wave’

Advocates say court ruling that decriminalises abortion in rape cases is an important step, but struggle continues.

By Vincent Ricci
7 May 2021

Quito, Ecuador – Women’s rights advocates have hailed a recent court ruling that will ease restrictions on abortion in cases of rape in Ecuador, the latest country in Latin America to be swept up in the “green wave” abortion rights movement.

In a 7-2 vote on April 28, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador deemed unconstitutional a previous ban that outlawed abortions except in cases where a woman’s life was in danger, or if a woman with a mental disability was raped.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/7/ecuador-abortion-rights-victory-hailed-as-latest-in-tidal-wave


Ecuador court decriminalises abortion in rape cases

Ecuador's Constitutional Court decriminalises abortion in cases of rape, a major step in Catholic-majority Latin America where termination of pregnancy is largely taboo.

Apr 28, 2021

Ecuador's Constitutional Court on Wednesday decriminalised abortion in cases of rape, the country's human rights ombudsman announced, a major step in Catholic-majority Latin America where termination of pregnancy is largely taboo.

Ombudsman Freddy Carrion announced the court's decision on Twitter, and said the ruling "was possible thanks to the women and feminist groups who have consistently battled for a more fair and egalitarian society."

Continued: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/latin-america/ecuador-court-decriminalises-abortion-in-rape-cases.phtml


Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

This fight against women's oppression is not just a struggle for women, but for all of humanity.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

by Alison Bodine, Common Dreams

March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day, is an important day to recognize the
challenges confronted and the great victories made by women around the world,
especially in the past year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last 12 months, in addition to the health challenges posed by Covid-19
itself, women have faced increasing rates of domestic violence, higher rates of
job loss, as well as a larger burden of the care of children and families
because of the pandemic. In countries like the U.S. and Canada, government
mismanagement of Covid-19 has amplified the health and economic crisis. Black,
Indigenous, and immigrant women and their communities have been
disproportionately impacted by the crisis.
Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/06/womens-rights-are-human-rights


Latin American activists eager to promote unproven ‘abortion pill reversal’ treatment

There are signs that this controversial method is starting to take root in the region – supported by a large US Christian right group.

Diana Cariboni

25 March 2021

“I’ve never done this before, but I know it works,” said a Uruguayan
anti-abortion activist who offered an openDemocracy undercover reporter a
controversial ‘treatment’ that claims to be able to ‘reverse’ medical
abortions.

Our reporter contacted a 24-hour ‘abortion pill reversal’ hotline run out of
the US by the Christian right group Heartbeat International. The hotline
connected her to a local activist in Uruguay.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/latin-america-unproven-abortion-pill-reversal-treatment/