Reproductive rights elusive 1 year after Japan’s approval of abortion pill

April 20, 2024
By Chermaine Lee

OSAKA, JAPAN — Wider access to abortion in Japan has largely remained elusive a year after the historic approval of medical abortion pills.

In April last year, lawmakers approved the use of the two-step abortion pill — MeFeego Pack — for pregnancies up to nine weeks. Before that, women in the East Asian nation could only receive a surgical abortion in private clinics by designated surgeons that often charge as much as $370.

Financial strain aside, women were often required to provide proof of spousal consent to receive an abortion, making it nearly impossible for them to make the decision on their own. Reports showed that even for single women, doctors still asked for permission of a male partner before agreeing to perform such surgeries.


Emergency rooms refused to treat pregnant women, leaving one to miscarry in a lobby restroom

April 19, 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — One woman miscarried in the lobby restroom of a Texas emergency room as front desk staff refused to check her in. Another woman learned that her fetus had no heartbeat at a Florida hospital, the day after a security guard turned her away from the facility. And in North Carolina, a woman gave birth in a car after an emergency room couldn’t offer an ultrasound. The baby later died.

Complaints that pregnant women were turned away from U.S. emergency rooms spiked in 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, federal documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal.


Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalize strict law

Thousands of Polish opponents of abortion are marching in Warsaw to protest recent steps by the new government to liberalize the predominantly Catholic nation's strict laws and allow termination of pregnancy until the 12th week

By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press
April 14, 2024

WARSAW, Poland — Thousands of Polish opponents of abortion marched in Warsaw on Sunday to protest recent steps by the new government to liberalize the predominantly Catholic nation’s strict laws and allow termination of pregnancy until the 12th week.

Many participants in the downtown march were pushing prams with children, while others were carrying white-and-red national flags or posters representing a fetus in the womb.


USA – The Anti-Abortion Movement’s Biggest Fear

MARCH 25, 2024

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a case that could determine national access to mifepristone, one of two pills used as part of medication abortion. In this week’s episode of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick spoke with Carrie N. Baker, whose book, History and Politics of Abortion Pills in the United States, is being published by Amherst College Press this year.

Lithwick and Baker discussed the anti-abortion movement’s decadeslong efforts to target the abortion pill, how those efforts hampered FDA approval of the medication in the first place, and how having easier access to reproductive care through a pill that can be sent in the mail and taken at home fundamentally threatens the strategy of those seeking to dismantle abortion rights in this country. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.


Standard pregnancy care is now dangerously disrupted in Louisiana, report reveals

MARCH 19, 2024
By Rosemary Westwood
4-Minute Listen with transcript

In the wake of Louisiana's abortion ban, pregnant women have been given risky, unnecessary surgeries, denied swift treatment for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, and forced to wait until their life is at risk before getting an abortion, according to a new report first made available to NPR.

It found doctors are using extreme caution to avoid even the appearance of providing an abortion procedure.


UK – Lower abortion limit from 24 weeks, 700 doctors urge MPs

Reduction ‘long overdue’ because of increased numbers of babies born at 22 or 23 weeks now able to survive

Charles Hymas,
10 March 2024

The abortion time limit should be lowered from 24 to 22 weeks, more than 700 doctors have urged MPs. In a letter to all 650 MPs, the medics have called on them to back an amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill to reduce the time limit, in what would be the biggest change to the law for a generation.

The medical professionals – ranging from senior consultants to GPs – said a reduction is “long overdue” because of the increased numbers of babies born at 22 or 23 weeks who are now able to survive.


Alabama is using the notion that embryos are people to surveil and harass women

Even before the court ruled in favor of this vulgar fiction, state authorities relied on the concept to intimidate and jail women

Moira Donegan
Mon 26 Feb 2024

Something that’s important to remember about last week’s ruling by the Alabama supreme court, which held that frozen embryos were persons under state law, is that the very absurdity of the claim is itself a demonstration of power. That a frozen embryo – a microscopic bit of biological information that can’t even be called tissue, a flick laden with the hopes of aspiring parents but fulfilling none of them – is equivalent in any way to a child is the sort of thing you can only say if no one has the power to laugh at you. The Alabama supreme court is the final court of review in that state. It cannot be appealed. For the foreseeable future, frozen cells in Alabama have the same legal status there as you or I do. Is this an absurd elevation of the status of an embryo, or an obscene degradation of human beings? The answer, of course, is both.


USA – When it comes to abortion rights, you should be scared


“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Voters would be wise to consider Maya Angelou’s famous quote as the 2024 election kicks into high gear and Donald Trump and Republicans try to posture on the issue of abortion.

Abortion is coming front and center in this election, and the anti-abortion movement is doing all it can to downplay the horrors of abortion bans and mischaracterize what the Republican Party has done and will do to restrict abortion.


USA – Do women still have a right to stabilizing abortion care under federal law?


Almost two years ago, the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion that had been recognized for almost 50 years.

Now, in Moyle v. United States, the court has strongly hinted that it is ready to eliminate the limited statutory protection for patients who need emergency abortions under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which was enacted by Congress in 1986.


Clinic 554 to close, bringing clinic-based abortions to end in Fredericton area

Dr. Adrian Edgar says pro-bono work, increased rent costs are forcing immediate closure of clinic

Aidan Cox · CBC News
Jan 31, 2024

A Fredericton clinic that provides surgical abortions will be closing its doors after Wednesday, with its medical director blaming an unwillingness by the provincial government to allow the procedure to be covered by Medicare.

Dr. Adrian Edgar, the clinic's medical director, announced in 2019 he was being forced to close Clinic 554 over financial pressures incurred from providing pro-bono abortion procedures to women who can't afford to pay for them out of pocket.

On Wednesday, Edgar said the clinic, which has been operating one day a week, will now close completely because of the continuing financial strain from providing the procedure free of charge, and a rent increase at Brunswick Street building that houses the clinic.