Global implications of overturning Roe v Wade

US decision must not derail international trend towards liberalisation of abortion law

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2025 (Published 18 August 2022)

Susheela Singh, Gilda Sedgh

Given the United States’ extensive global influence—including on sexual and
reproductive health programmes—how might the recent US Supreme Court decision
overturning the federal right to abortion1 affect the global trend towards expanding
access to safe and legal abortion? This important question is considered from
different perspectives and for different geographies by three linked articles
(doi:10.1136/bmj.o1844, doi:10.1136/bmj.o1908, doi:10.1136/bmj.o1945).234
Although the reverberations of the Supreme Court decision are just beginning to
play out, it is crucial to raise awareness of the potential for negative
consequences outside the US—and to explore ways of averting such effects.

Continued: https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj.o2025


Canada – The 30-year struggle for abortion access in P.E.I. shows how hard this fight can be

Let us not take for granted our right to access abortion services

Rebecca Viau · for CBC Opinion
Posted: May 17, 2022

I have been on the front line of P.E.I.'s fight for abortion access. I saw firsthand the harm done when access to abortion is limited or restricted.

In 2014, I had stepped forward in the movement and became a beacon of sorts, a public face for people to connect to. Once someone connected with me seeking to access abortion services, I would mobilize the community-organized support network that could help them find the treatment they needed in a timely manner. Because abortion services weren't available on P.E.I. until 2017, anyone seeking an abortion had to travel off-Island for treatment.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-abortion-becka-viau-1.6454849


Half of U.S. Women Risk Losing Abortion Access Without Roe

By Weiyi Cai, Taylor Johnston, Allison McCann and Amy Schoenfeld Walker
May 7, 2022

Around 64 million women and girls of reproductive age live in the United States, and more than half of them live in states that could seek to ban or further restrict access to abortion if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Many of the millions of people who live in these states would be able to seek legal abortions elsewhere, but the barriers to access — including financial resources, time off work and child care — may be hard for some to overcome.

Continued: (please try to use your free stories first as I can only share so many unblocked links over a month) https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/05/07/us/abortion-access-roe-v-wade.html


Why is the South the Epicenter of Anti-Abortion Fervor?

Sarah Varney, Physician’s Weekly
Aug 2, 2021

Not so long ago, laws governing abortion in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were far more restrictive than those in the Deep South, as state legislators throughout New England regularly banned the procedure, no matter the circumstances, during the 1960s and ’70s.

Nowadays, however, the American South represents a hub of anti-abortion fervor, home to a series of laws and regulations that have eroded Roe v. Wade, as liberal states in the Northeast and elsewhere have enacted laws to codify that landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision.

Continued: https://www.physiciansweekly.com/why-is-the-south-the-epicenter-of-anti-abortion-fervor


Italian pro-abortion doctor postpones retirement as search continues for his replacement

Italy legalised abortion more than 40 years ago but many doctors refuse to perform the procedure

By Alvise Armellini
26 July 2021

An Italian doctor has postponed his retirement because there is no one else to carry out abortions in his region.

Italy legalised abortion more than 40 years ago but many of the doctors who work for the national health service refuse to perform the procedure.

Continued:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/07/26/italian-pro-abortion-doctor-postpones-retirement-search-continues/


USA – The Stigma of “Late-Term Abortions” Is the Point

“It’s just normal folks who end up getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back.”

JUNE 3, 2021
BECCA ANDREWS

When the Supreme Court decided recently to consider Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, Marjorie Dannenfelser from Susan B. Anthony List said: “This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions.”

Dannenfelser’s choice to invoke “late-term abortions” was pointed. Typically, the phrase refers to abortions performed after 21 weeks, but I’ve seen anti-abortion advocates in particular use “late term” in reference to abortions anywhere after 15 weeks. Crucially, there is no real definition or medical designation for what constitutes a late-term abortion, so it’s used somewhat haphazardly. Medical experts also criticize the term for implying that abortions are taking place after a pregnancy reaches “term” at 37 weeks—which does not happen—or a point in pregnancy referred to by obstetricians as “late term,” up to 41 weeks—which also does not happen.

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/06/definition-late-term-abortions-mississippi-15-week-ban-supreme-court/


My patients shouldn’t have to fight this hard for an abortion. Will Biden get in the ring?

I deliver my patients' babies when needed, and perform their abortions when needed. Thankfully, my state treats all health care like health care.

Dr. Katherine Brown, Opinion contributor
Mar 7, 2021

I walk into the room and greet my patient with a smile. Six months earlier, I delivered her first baby by cesarean section after a long labor.

“How are you?” I ask. She assures me that she is doing fine, her daughter is thriving. She quickly takes out her phone and flips through a few recent photos. She smiles at me and tells me that she is just not ready for another baby. My patient is pregnant again and has made the decision to have an abortion. Just as I did when I delivered her daughter, I strive to hold a space of dignity and respect. I hold space for her and her emotions. I recognize that for her, she is making a difficult decision, but is doing so out of love and compassion.

Continued: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2021/03/07/pro-choice-abortion-hyde-amendment-obgyn-biden-harris-column/4592699001/


South Africa – Young women face agonising barriers to accessing abortion in rural areas

Among significant barriers to accessing abortion services, experts cite a lack of management support at health facilities, costs, fear of breach of confidentiality and stigma. Many of these barriers are compounded in rural areas.

By Tiyese Jeranji for Spotlight
14 February 2021

Onke Jezile, founder of Lethabo la Azania, a non-profit organisation that works with children and the youth in Engcobo in Eastern Cape, says pregnant women in rural areas seeking abortion services face an uphill battle.

“For us in the rural areas, we have to fight 20 or 30 times more to get services compared with our urban counterparts,” explains Jezile.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-02-14-young-women-face-agonising-barriers-to-accessing-abortion-in-rural-areas/


Poverty and lack of awareness and access forcing many to resort to unsafe abortion

Even 19 years after legalisation, women’s struggle for safe abortion continues. As a result, they put their health at risk and are unable to exercise their rights, experts say.

Samiksha Baral
Published at : January 24, 2021

For months last year, Mina waited for the Covid-19 induced lockdown to end with bated breath.

When the government finally eased months of lockdown in July, Mina, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, was all set to run away from her home.

Mina had her own simple reason—she did not want to have the child she was carrying.

Continued: https://kathmandupost.com/health/2021/01/24/poverty-and-lack-of-awareness-and-access-forcing-many-to-resort-to-unsafe-abortion


Lack of South Auckland abortion services ‘unacceptable’

Local abortion services remain unavailable to people living in much of the sprawling South Auckland area - which has a population of close to 600,000 and encapsulates some of the most deprived suburbs of New Zealand - despite the issue being repeatedly raised for more than 12 years.

21 December 2020
Susan Strongman

People living within the Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB) catchment who need an abortion must travel to the affluent central Auckland suburb of Greenlane. Experts say this creates an access barrier for South Auckland women.

Financial barriers created by the lack of a local service can include the cost of travel, childcare and taking time off work. For people living in Counties Manukau, where the population is younger, and more deprived than elsewhere in New Zealand, those costs can be significant. The area is also home to a high number of Pacific peoples, of whom 64 percent are 'highly deprived', according to Health Ministry data. The Counties Manukau DHB describes Pacific peoples' engagement with and access to health services when they need them as being "a challenge".

Continued: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/433305/lack-of-south-auckland-abortion-services-unacceptable