October 22, 2020
Poland's top court has ruled that abortions in cases of foetal defects are unconstitutional.
Poland's abortion laws were already among the strictest in Europe but the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling will mean an almost total ban.
Once the decision comes into effect, terminations will only be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother's health is at risk.
The decision, which cannot be appealed, halts pregnancy terminations for fetal abnormalities, virtually the only type currently performed in the country.
By Monika Pronczuk
Oct. 22, 2020
A constitutional tribunal in Poland ruled on Thursday that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the country’s Constitution, effectively imposing a near-total ban in a nation that already had some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.
The debate over a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, a divisive issue in a staunchly Roman Catholic country, mirrors the bitter polarization of a society caught between traditional religious values and more liberal ones.
PBS, Oct 21, 2020
by Courtney Vinopal
Over her three-day confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett repeatedly declined to discuss her stance on abortion. But while there is no way to know for certain how she will rule on such cases, legal scholars say that her record, as well as a careful reading of certain answers she gave the Senate Judiciary Committee, gives clues about where the Supreme Court could be headed on issues of reproductive rights.
Barrett assured members of the committee that she would bring “no agenda” to her role if confirmed to the high court. She has also expressed anti-abortion beliefs in the past, and joined two dissents on abortion restriction cases during her time on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
By Miriam Berger
September 26, 2020
Argentina’s president was expected to propose a landmark law to decriminalize abortion, setting a new standard for Latin America. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The release date was delayed, indefinitely.
Ruth Zurbriggen, a reproductive rights activist with the group Socorristas en Red, felt “pain and rage.” But the group’s work continued — efforts, she said, made even more pressing as the pandemic took center stage.
Both abortion advocates and opponents have used the COVID-19 crisis to further their policy goals.
Carrie N. Baker
Sep 21, 2020
The gendered dimensions of the political response to the COVID-19 crisis are manifesting clearly in efforts to close abortion clinics, as well as in campaigns led by doctors, lawyers, and reproductive rights advocates to expand access to telemedicine abortion during the pandemic and beyond.
Anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have used the COVID-19 pandemic to attempt to restrict abortion, arguing that abortion is not essential health care and that banning the procedure will conserve personal protective equipment for COVID-19 cases. In March and April of 2020, 12 states tried to restrict abortion, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia, among others. Legislators in Kentucky passed a bill to allow the state’s Attorney General to block abortion access during COVID-19, but the Kentucky governor vetoed the bill.
Experts Condemn States’ Efforts to Restrict Access to Abortion Care
UN human rights experts have declared that efforts by U.S. states to restrict access to abortion care during the COVID-19 crisis are violations of human rights.
The UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls, together with the UN special rapporteur on right to health and the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, asserted in a statement that eight U.S. states—Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee—“with a long history of restrictive practices against abortion, seem to have been manipulating the crisis to severely restrict women’s reproductive rights.”
Aug 31, 2020, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court's decision in June striking down a Louisiana restriction on abortion clinics is giving abortion opponents an unlikely opportunity in other states.
Officials in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma have in recent weeks argued that the high court's 5-4 ruling actually bolsters their defense of anti-abortion laws, even though the justices ruled against Louisiana.
AUGUST 26, 2020
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Thousands of women are dying every year in Kenya due to botched backstreet abortions, campaigners have warned, 10 years after the introduction of safeguards to abortion access when a woman’s life is in danger.
Kenya’s 2010 constitution broadened access to abortion, permitting it when a woman’s life is at risk or in case of an emergency, and guaranteeing the right to life and reproductive health services.
Each year in Kenya, more than 2,500 women and girls die from unsafe abortions—despite the fact that the government legalized abortion under specific circumstances a decade ago in its Constitution. Currently, unsafe abortions are a leading cause of maternal mortality, especially among low-income women.
Today, on the 10th anniversary of the Kenyan Constitution, the Center has published a new report, A Decade of Existence, Revealing Progress, Reversal, and Betrayal of a National Compromise, which details how the government’s failure to uphold its constitutional obligations has harmed its citizens.
By Robert Barnes
August 13, 2020
The Supreme Court’s rulings from a momentous just-completed term already are altering the nation’s legal landscape, almost ensuring that issues such as abortion and transgender rights will be returning to the high court.
In the past week, lower courts have resurrected controversial abortion restrictions in Arkansas, stopped a Vermont program that disfavored students at religious high schools and ordered a Florida school district to change its policy banning transgender students from the restrooms of their choice.