There are signs that this controversial method is starting to take root in the region – supported by a large US Christian right group.
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
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.
From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion
Michaela Kozminova, WORLDCRUNCH
Across the globe, swamped hospitals and shelter-in-place measures have impacted people's access to healthcare for any number of non-COVID-19 issues. One of them is abortion, a time sensitive procedure that is also — even the best of times — both emotionally and politically charged.
Now, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some countries have used emergency decrees to change their policies related to pregnancy terminations. While several have extended access to abortions in an effort to ease pressure on women and guarantee their rights, others have seen the situation as an opportunity to make abortions more difficult to access.
Health-Care Providers Must Consider What Role We’ll Play in Harm Reduction if Abortion Is Outlawed
Sep 17, 2018
Dr. Daniel Grossman
Texas has seen some of the nation’s most regressive abortion restrictions in recent years. This series chronicles the fall-out of those laws, and the litigation that has followed.
As the prospect of losing the constitutional protection to abortion becomes more real, I am struck by how disconnected the political rhetoric is from medical reality. The facts are clear: Making abortion illegal does not make it go away. Yes, some patients will be prevented from getting a wanted abortion, but others will still end their pregnancies, either by traveling for safe and legal care or by taking matters into their own hands.
Abortion in Latin America: Four women's voices
04 Sep 2018
MONTEVIDEO: To legalise or not to legalise, that is the question on the lips of many legislators in Latin America since Argentina opted not to decriminalize abortion following a senate vote.
It did at least open the way for greater debate on a subject viewed so differently across the region in which abortion is entirely legal in Cuba and Uruguay, but where women can even be jailed for a miscarriage in El Salvador.
Latin America's fight to legalise abortion: the key battlegrounds
After Argentina rejected a bill to allow abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, hopes of reform now rest elsewhere
Thu 9 Aug 2018
An estimated 6.5 million abortions take place across Latin America each year. Three-quarters of these procedures are unlawful, often performed in unsafe illegal clinics or at home.
Of 33 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, only Cuba, Uruguay and Guyana permit elective abortions. Women also have the right to choose in Mexico City. Elsewhere, however, the right to an abortion is severely restricted, with terminations often permitted in cases of rape, or if the pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother. Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname all have a complete ban on abortion.
“You have to keep fighting”: Uruguayan Feminists Work to Build on their Gains
Aug 2, 2018
"For us, the issues of women’s bodies, their freedom, their autonomy is a big part of the struggle for women’s empowerment and emancipation in a patriarchal system." — Lilian Abracinskas, Mujer y Salud en Uruguay
For women in many Latin American countries, the small nation of Uruguay might seem like the country that could. After years of organizing and education by a determined feminist movement and its allies, Uruguayan women have made important gains in sexual and reproductive health and rights, including a law passed in 2012 that provides for legal abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Yet the feminist movement here knows well that any wins must be constantly defended, and progress only comes after tremendous effort.
Founded in 1996, Global Fund for Women grantee partner Mujer y Salud has been at the forefront of this movement, carefully devising a strategy of alliances that led to the victory. But one thing its members know is that sexual and reproductive rights aren’t just guaranteed on paper, and that laws—no matter how progressive they are—are a starting point, not an end, when it comes to assuring that all women can exercise control over their bodies and their lives.
How ‘conscientious objectors’ threaten women’s newly-won abortion rights in Latin America
From Uruguay to Chile, medical staff are refusing to provide abortion services even after their legalisation.
18 July 2018
Women’s rights to legal abortion have increased in Latin America – but so have campaigns and policies for medical staff to be able to ‘conscientiously object’ and refuse to participate in these procedures.
“We didn’t see it coming,” said feminist activist Lilián Abracinskas in Uruguay, a secular country where abortion, same-sex marriage and the marijuana market were each legalised in the last decade.
Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under 'conscientious objection'
July 5, 2018
For the first time ever, an expert group has arrived at a majority consensus that the practice of so-called "conscientious objection" by health-care professionals should not be allowed. The experts agreed that the practice of refusing to provide legal and essential health care due to a doctor's personal or religious beliefs is a violation of medical ethics and of patients' right to health care. Abortion and other reproductive health care are the most commonly refused services.
Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care is the title of the expert group's just-released report with recommendations. It is a product of the first global meeting on the topic of "conscientious objection," which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in August 2017 because the refusal to treat is a major barrier to abortion access in many Latin American countries.
Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care
June 19, 2018
Click here to download the report [PDF]
The global women’s movement has fought for many years to affirm safe and legal abortion as a fundamental right, and the global trend has been the liberalization of abortion laws. Progress is not linear, however, and persistent barriers prevent these laws and policies from increasing women’s access to services. One such obstacle is the growing use of conscience claims to justify refusal of abortion care.
Often called “conscientious objection,” a concept historically associated with the right to refuse to take part in the military or in warfare on religious or moral grounds, the term has recently been co-opted by anti-choice movements. Indeed, accommodations for health care providers to refuse to provide care are often deliberately inserted into policies with the aim of negating the hard-fought right to abortion care.
Existing evidence reveals a worrisome and growing global trend of health care providers who are refusing to deliver abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care. This phenomenon violates the ethical principle of “do no harm,” and has grave consequences for women, especially those who are already more vulnerable and marginalized.
Latin America lagging behind on women’s rights
By Hugo Sánchez and Julia R. Arévalo
euroefe.es | translated by Freya Kirk
Feb 19, 2018
Imprisoned for having an abortion, forced to keep a child born out of rape, pushed to commit suicide: women still pay a heavy price in Latin America, where several countries’ legislation greatly restricts abortion. EURACTIV’s partner Euroefe reports.
Women’s rights in South America were the main issue during a conference before the 10th Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EUROLAT), held last September in El Salvador. El Salvador is now ranked as the most violent country in the world, mainly due to gang activities.