Activists press for EU-wide abortion right

A petition calling for an EU fund to help women access abortion care in countries with more liberal laws gained 100,000 signatures in its first week.

MAY 2, 2024
BY CLAUDIA CHIAPPA

Civil society groups are pushing for all women in Europe to have access to abortion, regardless of where they live, in a petition that could be considered by the EU executive if it wins enough support.

Organizations from eight EU countries have put forward a European Citizens’ Initiative, “My Voice, My Choice,” asking the European Commission to establish a fund to cover costs for women who can’t access abortion in their own member country and who choose to travel to another with more liberal abortion laws.

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/activists-press-eu-wide-abortion-right-petition/


Canada – ‘Our lord and saviour’: Saskatoon doctor allegedly tried to talk patient out of abortion for religious reasons

Rory MacLean
April 4, 2024

A Saskatoon doctor is facing disciplinary charges for allegedly counselling a patient against getting an abortion for moral and religious reasons. Dr. Terence Davids was charged with unprofessional conduct in relation to an incident around Dec. 14, 2023 at the Bridge City Mediclinic on 8th Street.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan says Davids was meeting with a patient for a preoperative assessment to terminate her pregnancy when he allegedly pleaded with her to reconsider, saying “I think you should reconsider” and “you will regret this and you can’t take it back.”

Continued: https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/our-lord-and-saviour-saskatoon-doctor-allegedly-tried-to-talk-patient-out-of-abortion-for-religious-reasons-1.6833807


‘The stigma has returned’: abortion access in turmoil in Javier Milei’s Argentina

Health workers fear the return of unsafe abortions as recent statements lead to a spike in doctors refusing to provide care

Harriet Barber in Buenos Aires, The Guardian
Mon 18 Mar 2024

Javier Milei’s anti-abortion rhetoric has prompted growing numbers of doctors in Argentina to refuse to carry out terminations, according to medical professionals across the country.

Since taking office in December, the self-described libertarian has used speeches to both global leaders and schoolchildren to condemn abortion as a “tragedy” and “aggravated murder”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2024/mar/18/argentina-abortion-javier-milei


USA – Why Hospitals in Many States With Legal Abortion May Refuse To Perform Them

By Rachana Pradhan
MARCH 5, 2024

Many states that tout themselves as protectors of reproductive health care, including California, Michigan and Pennsylvania, have little-noticed laws on the books protecting hospitals that refuse to provide it.

The laws shield at least some hospitals from liability for not providing care they object to on religious grounds, leaving little recourse for patients. The providers — many of them Catholic hospitals — generally refuse to perform abortions and sterilizations because the services run contrary to their religious beliefs, but their objections can extend to other kinds of care.

Continued: https://kffhealthnews.org/news/article/health-202-catholic-hospitals-legal-abortion-refusal/


Abortion is now legal across Australia – but it’s still hard to access. Doctors are both the problem and the solution

December 5, 2023
Barbara Baird, Associate Professor, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University

Abortion is now fully legal in every jurisdiction in Australia. Western Australia became the last state to decriminalise it just two months ago, in September 2023. And the Australian population is solidly pro-choice: a 2021 study found 76% of Australians support access to abortion.

Yet access to abortion care here has been described as a “lottery” in a 2023 Senate inquiry report. My research into abortion provision in Australia over the past 30 years doesn’t describe chance, but an inadequate system.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/abortion-is-now-legal-across-australia-but-its-still-hard-to-access-doctors-are-both-the-problem-and-the-solution-216278


Public healthcare in northern Mexico is dodging federal rules on abortion

Mexican law allows abortion for victims of rape – but state hospitals and politicians often stand in their way

Dánae Vílchez, Verónica Martínez
2 November 2023

Mexican federal regulations to provide emergency abortion services to victims of rape are being systematically flouted by state government health workers and law enforcement bodies in regions bordering the US, an investigation by openDemocracy and La Verdad de Juárez has found.

Federal regulations permit women and girls to have an abortion if they are victims of rape. But hospitals and police in northern Mexican states – where there is a growing rate of sexual violence and high prevalence of under-age pregnancy – stop abused pregnant women from taking control of their healthcare decisions, say medical sources and rights advocates.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/mexico-abortion-legal-rules-regulations-supreme-court-chihuahua-nuevo-leon-sonora/


South Africa: How poor service in the public sector is pushing women to ‘backstreet’ abortion

Posted by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho
Oct 18, 2023

In April 2022, *Grace Langa went to Frontier Hospital in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape for an abortion. “At first I went to the hospital on a Monday. I was told that they only perform abortions on Wednesdays.

“I went there again on Wednesday but they said that I had to come back the following week as they only take 20 abortion patients a day,” she recalls. Finally, Langa went back to the hospital the following week and got an ultrasound to see how far along her pregnancy was.

Continued: https://health-e.org.za/2023/10/18/ec-case-study-how-poor-service-in-the-public-sector-is-pushing-women-to-backstreet-abortion/


How Religious Hospitals Block Access to Reproductive Care—Even in ‘Safe Haven’ States

10/5/2023
by REBECCA GIBRON

Most of us do not want a stranger’s ideology controlling our futures. If you live in a “blue” or “abortion haven” state, you may feel protected from abortion bans, but the truth is, your healthcare may be limited by the religious interests directing your local hospital.

Growing up in a religiously conservative family and now living in Idaho, I know how it feels to be hemmed in by someone else’s dogma. As CEO of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country covering three “abortion haven” states and three states with extremist-backed abortion bans, I have a unique vantage point: I see the stark differences between them and troubling similarities threatening patients’ access to healthcare.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2023/10/05/religious-hospitals-abortion/


Brazil’s Supreme Court to vote on decriminalising abortion

Sept 22, 2023

By Katy Watson, BBC News, South America

Brazil's Supreme Court has started voting on whether to decriminalise abortion. However, the session was quickly postponed after a minister called for the vote to take place in person instead of via video - and no new date has yet been set.

Currently, abortion is only allowed in three cases: that of rape, risk to the woman's life and anencephaly - when the foetus has an undeveloped brain. If the Supreme Court votes in favour, abortion will be decriminalised up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-66881900


Australia – These women were told their babies would not survive – but Catholic-run public hospitals refused to provide abortions

Both Jennifer and Amy were devastated when their wanted pregnancies were deemed unviable, but they were forced to go elsewhere when Catholic-run public hospitals would not terminate

by Donna Lu
Tue 5 Sep 2023

When Jennifer* fell pregnant for the first time in August 2019, there was no indication that anything was amiss. But the Melbourne-based healthcare worker was given bad news at her 12-week ultrasound scan: her foetus had a severe genetic condition.

“They detected a severe abnormality in the baby, which I already knew was a girl, so I’d already gotten a bit excited about having a daughter,” Jennifer recalls. “They said … essentially you could choose to bring the baby to term and give birth to her but if you do, she’ll be placed into palliative care immediately, so we’re recommending that you strongly consider a medical termination.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/sep/05/the-women-refused-medical-terminations-abortions-catholic-public-hospitals-australia