Philippines: Making abortion a constitutional right

MAR 26, 2024

The Philippine prohibitions on abortion are one of the strictest in the world. This is the story of one woman who didn’t let that stop her from getting an abortion.

France just made abortion a constitutional right. Compared to the United States, where Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court recognized and upheld the constitutional right to abortion, France has enshrined it in its constitution – the legal decree from which all other laws are founded. This means that the right to abortion in France cannot be overturned as it was in the reversal of Roe vs. Wade. France is the first country where women and pregnant people are explicitly guaranteed the right to terminate a pregnancy and make decisions about their bodies.


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.


Nigeria – Stakeholders seek access to reproductive justice for women

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
09 March 2024

As Lagos ranks third with high rate of unsafe abortion, with Rivers and Kano coming first and second respectively, stakeholders championing women’s rights in Nigeria are seeking strategic litigation on unsafe abortion, and maternal health. The critical stakeholders including legal experts, healthcare professionals and Civil Society Organisations have also called for a lift on suspension on Legal Indications on Safe Abortion by the Lagos government as rape and incest cases rises.

Ugandan Women Risk Their Lives to Access Abortion

“Many girls are dying because we have chosen to ignore them.”

Friday, 8 March, 2024
Culton Scovia Nakamya

For Jovia (not her real name), 2023 was the worst year of her life. The 20-year-old business student was gang-raped at a drunken house party in the Kampala suburb of Kansanga and six weeks later realised that she was pregnant.

“I wondered what I am going to tell my parents. For God’s sake, I am just in my second semester of year one, and I didn’t know who did it,” she said.

Her options were limited, as abortion is illegal in Uganda except under rare circumstances. She confided in a female friend, who suggested they visit the Kampala suburb of Nakulabye, an area known as a hub of clinics that administer clandestine abortions, mostly to students.


Globally, Abortion Rights Are on the March

France’s historic move to enshrine abortion rights in its constitution is in line with global trends: Countries are expanding, not curtailing, abortion access.

By Elliott Davis Jr. and Kaia Hubbard
March 5, 2024

France’s historic move to amend its constitution and enshrine a woman’s right to an abortion put the country in rare company.

While the amendment didn’t necessarily expand access to abortion in France – the practice has been legal there since 1975 – it did mark the first time a country has guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion, according to The Associated Press. France’s amendment goes further than the former Yugoslavia, whose 1974 constitution stated that “a person is free to decide on having children,” and all of its successor states have adopted similar measures in their constitutions, while not explicitly guaranteeing the right to have an abortion.


USA – What It Takes to Claw Back Abortion Rights in Court

Feb 19, 2024
By Andrea González-Ramírez, the Cut

Any day now, the Texas Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on Zurawski v. State of Texas, the first-of-its-kind legal challenge brought forward last year by 20 women who say that they were denied abortion care in the face of severe and dangerous pregnancy complications. The case seeks to clarify what circumstances qualify as medical emergencies under the state’s three overlapping abortion bans, which threaten providers with up to life in prison, in addition to a civil penalty of no less than $100,000.

Molly Duane, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, came up with the case’s legal strategy and has since filed similar lawsuits in Idaho and Tennessee. … “Brittany Watts, Kate Cox — these are not isolated incidents,” she says. “The cruelty, the confusion, the absolute terror that is pervasive throughout the medical community and is impacting patients every single day, all that was by design.” I talked to Duane about the reasoning behind this focus on medical exceptions and the long game that is trying to claw back some abortion rights through the courts.


‘Fleeing under the cover of darkness’: How Idaho’s abortion ban is changing pregnancy in the state

By Meg Tirrell and John Bonifield, CNN
Sat February 10, 2024
(with 5 minute video: Why women are afraid to be pregnant in this red state)

Jen and John Adkins never expected to have to send a package like this.

Unsteady on her feet after a medical procedure last spring, Jen emerged from a clinic with a box she needed to ship urgently. The clock was ticking; if they missed the FedEx cutoff, she and John recalled to CNN, they wouldn’t be able to get crucial test results that would affect the future of their family.


‘I wasn’t allowed to get the healthcare I needed’: the women suing Tennessee for being denied abortions

K Monica Kelly had to travel to Florida for an abortion after her fetus was diagnosed with trisomy 13 – now she’s part of a group suing her state

by Carter Sherman
Feb 1, 2024

When K Monica Kelly saw that women in Texas had filed a lawsuit challenging the contours of their state’s abortion ban, she posted on Instagram to cheer them on.

“I shared how terrible I thought it was, that they weren’t able to get the proper healthcare they needed in their state,” Kelly said. “It never crossed my mind that that was actually going to happen to me soon.”


USA – ‘Very clear’ or ‘narrow and confusing’? Abortion lawsuits highlight confusion over emergency exceptions

N'dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY
Jan 27, 2024

A North Dakota judge's recent decision to deny a request blocking part of the state's restrictive abortion law highlights an issue abortion-rights advocates say is impacting doctors nationwide: The exceptions in strict abortion laws can be vague, causing medical providers to question when they can perform an abortion in a medical emergency.

A lawsuit in North Dakota is one of several recently filed by advocates seeking to clarify and expand the circumstances under which doctors can provide abortions during medical emergencies in states with strict abortion bans. Mary Ziegler, a professor of law at University of California, Davis, said the emergency exceptions written into these laws can be confusing for physicians and, given their high penalties, can lead doctors to "err on the side of protecting themselves and not providing care to patients."


Most state abortion bans have limited exceptions − but it’s hard to understand what they mean

January 26, 2024 Naomi Cahn, Sonia Suter

More than a year after the Supreme Court found there is no fundamental right to get an abortion, 21 states have laws in effect that ban abortion well before fetal viability, generally allowing it only in the first trimester.

Fourteen of these 21 states have also issued near-total bans on abortion from the point of conception. But it’s not clear when, if ever, an abortion would be permissible under these near-total bans.