‘Necessary to Disobey Harmful Laws’: These ‘Abortion Pirates’ Want Equal Access to Abortion Pills Worldwide

A colorful crowd of doctors, researchers and women’s activists convened in the Latvian capital to explore ways to use pills to circumvent anti-abortion laws.

By EMILY SCHULTHEIS
11/26/2022

RIGA, Latvia — For two sunny, crisp autumn days in mid-September, Riga’s Stradiņš University felt like the epicenter of a self-styled global civil rights movement: to give every person, in every culture or country, regardless of laws, access to abortion pills.

In the hallways, women pored over posters showing the latest research on the effectiveness of abortion pills and other developments in abortion and contraception care. Representatives from pharmaceutical companies enthusiastically pitched their medications and products to doctors sipping coffee and tea during a break between panels. There were graphic novels about an at-home medical abortion and T-shirts printed with women’s self-stated reasons for ending a pregnancy; there were slogans printed on T-shirts like “Make Abortion Legal Again” and a video promoting abortion rights to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/11/26/global-abortion-rights-movement-latvia-00069224


After Roe, abortion’s underground railroad gains steam

A network of activists is helping women terminate pregnancies in countries where the procedure is banned.

BY CARLO MARTUSCELLI, EMILY SCHULTHEIS, MANDOLINE RUTKOWSKI AND JAKUB KORUS
OCTOBER 29, 2022

RIGA — If you want to get an abortion in Poland, Kinga Jelinska is happy to help. Legally terminating your pregnancy is almost impossible in the Eastern European country. Abortion is only allowed in the case of rape or incest, or when it threatens the life of the woman.

That’s where Jelinska comes in. She’s the co-founder and executive director of Women Help Women, an Amsterdam-based nonprofit that helps provide women with the pills needed for an at-home medical abortion. The service Jelinska’s group provides falls into a legal grey zone; self-induced abortion is illegal in a number of countries, but in Poland, it’s not explicitly banned. 

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/roe-v-wade-europe-abortion-pill-illegal-underground-network/


There’s a new surveillance state – and women are the target

Period tracking apps, car licence plate data and pregnancy registers are the latest tools experts warn are being harnessed to monitor women

By Harriet Barber,  GLOBAL HEALTH REPORTER
7 October 2022

Surveillance data and technology are being exploited to stoke fear and prevent abortions in countries including the United States, China, Hungary and Poland.

Period tracking apps, car licence plate data and pregnancy registers are the latest tools activists warn are being harnessed to stop women using legal or geographic loopholes for terminations. All four countries have reversed abortion rights over the past two years.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/women-and-girls/new-abortion-surveillance-state-keeping-tabs-women/


‘No matter the law, no matter the stigma, no matter the cost.’ This European network helps people access abortions

Story, photographs by Kara Fox
CNN Video by Ladan Anoushfar and Louis Leeson, CNN
Wed September 28, 2022

It’s early evening in an affluent neighborhood in the Dutch city of Haarlem and bed and breakfast owners Arnoud and Marika are waiting for their next guest to arrive. They’ve prepared their single room for her, a brightly colored space with massive windows overlooking a leafy drive.

The traveller is a woman from France. She’s only staying one night, but her hosts want her to feel at home because she’s not here on vacation. She’s come to have a second-trimester abortion.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/28/europe/europe-abortion-travel-as-equals-intl-cmd


Ireland’s Struggle for Abortion Rights Should Be an Inspiration for the US

Ireland’s Struggle for Abortion Rights Should Be an Inspiration for the US

BY SINÉAD KENNEDY
Aug 22, 2022

Irish pro-choice activists had to overcome a rigid constitutional ban on abortion that was in place for more than 30 years. They succeeded by putting mass mobilization and a confident assertion of the right to choose at the heart of their campaign.

In May 2018, the Irish electorate voted by a two-to-one majority to remove or “repeal” the prohibition on abortion, known as the Eighth Amendment, from the country’s constitution. While opinion polls had suggested that pro-choice campaigners would win, most predicted a nerve-rackingly close result; certainly no one anticipated the sheer scale of the victory and the support for abortion access found across every section of society, from young to old, urban to rural.

Continued: https://jacobin.com/2022/08/ireland-abortion-rights-repeal-campaign-us-roe


Funding and politics hit N.Ireland abortion services

by Akshata KAPOOR, AFP
July 4, 2022

Campaigners in Northern Ireland are closely watching US moves to restrict abortion, particularly concerns that women will now have to travel across states for terminations.

Abortion was only decriminalised in the British province in 2019 — 42 years after terminations were made legal up to 24 weeks in most circumstances in the rest of the UK.

Continued: https://www.macaubusiness.com/funding-and-politics-hit-n-ireland-abortion-services/


‘Women are treated like walking incubators’: Malta’s fight for abortion

The island nation is the only country in the EU in which termination is still illegal under any circumstances, forcing women to have the procedure abroad or else risk prosecution. But women’s rights groups are pushing for change

by Rachel Cooke
Sun 19 Jun 2022

Elle doesn’t find it easy to talk about her
abortion, not because she regrets it – she would do the same again without any
hesitation – but because the memory of the terrible, almost overwhelming, fear
and isolation she experienced at the time still makes her feel so angry. “I’m
privileged,” she says, twisting the ring on her index finger. “I could afford
to travel. But what about those less fortunate than me? I know of a woman who
felt so desperate when she found out she was pregnant again, she put her three
children in front of some cartoons on the TV, and went straight upstairs to the
bathroom to begin launching herself from the toilet on to the floor in the hope
of inducing a miscarriage.” She’s fighting tears now. “That woman almost killed
herself. What about her? Does anyone want to hear her story?”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/19/the-fight-for-abortion-in-malta


U.N. and advocates raise concerns of abortion access for Ukrainian refugees in Poland

May 17, 2022
PATRICK ADAMS, NPR

Ukrainian women who were raped by Russian soldiers are among the millions of refugees who have fled to Poland.

And they now find themselves in a country that severely restricts access to reproductive health care, including both contraception and abortion.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/05/17/994654590/u-n-and-advocates-raise-concerns-of-abortion-access-for-ukrainian-refugees-in-po


What the U.S. Could Learn from Abortion Without Borders

A coalition across Europe is resisting Poland’s abortion ban. Its strategy could foreshadow activism in a post-Roe America.

Anna Louie Sussman, The New Yorker
May 17, 2022

Last month, an abortion-rights activist named Justyna Wydrzyńska stood in a courtroom in Warsaw, Poland, and described her abortion. Her lips were painted a defiant red; her voice cracked at times, but she was unapologetic. When she was thirty-three, she said, she was in an abusive marriage and learned that she was pregnant. She struggled to find accurate information online and had to order three packs of abortion pills—the first two, from the black market, were duds. She was terrified that she would bleed out or fall unconscious in front of her three children, who were too young to call an ambulance. Wydrzyńska, who is forty-seven, is now part of a coalition of activists called Abortion Without Borders. She was on trial for helping another Polish woman get an abortion.

Abortion was legal when Poland was under Communist control, but, in 1993, the predominantly Catholic country outlawed most abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, severe fetal conditions, and risk to the life of the patient. As the U.S. Supreme Court considers Roe v. Wade and giving states the ability to ban abortion, the diverse, international coalition of Abortion Without Borders may model an effective approach to abortion-rights activism in a post-Roe America—and also its risks.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-the-us-could-learn-from-abortion-without-borders


Poland’s Anti-Abortion Laws Obstruct Humanitarian Assistance to Ukrainian Pregnant Refugees and Rape Survivors

As sexual violence on children and young women is increasingly reported, pregnant women, including rape survivors, struggle to access sexual healthcare under Poland’s strict abortion laws

by Mathilde Grandjean 
April 20, 2022

Since the start of the war, over 4.6 million Ukrainian refugees – 90% of whom are women and children – have fled their homes to seek sanctuary in neighbouring countries. Poland has received the highest number of displaced Ukrainians, as nearly 3 million refugees have entered the country since February. Amongst them are rape survivors and pregnant refugees in urgent need of medical help, including access to emergency contraception and abortion.

However, Poland’s near-total ban on abortion added to a lack of key sexual and reproductive health medicines and products obstruct humanitarian efforts to provide medical assistance to rape survivors and refugees who wish to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

Continued:  https://impakter.com/poland-anti-abortion-laws-obstruct-humanitarian-assistance-to-ukrainian-pregnant-refugees-and-rape-survivors/