In Japan, abortion is legal — but most women need their husbands’ consent

Japan’s male-dominated society has been slow to grant women the reproductive rights taken for granted in many other developed countries

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Julia Mio Inuma
June 14, 2022

KUMAMOTO, Japan — The discreet path to a safe space for women with unwanted pregnancies is marked with an unassuming sign: two smiling storks, carrying a clover leaf and a smiling baby in a basket.

Here, at Japan’s only “baby hatch,” women can anonymously leave their babies at Jikei Hospital to be put up for adoption. It’s a last resort for those who are unable or unwilling to raise a baby, with some women coming from across the country because they have nowhere and no one else to turn to.

Continued, unblocked: https://wapo.st/3xPPEK5
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/14/japan-abortion-pill-women-reproductive-rights/


Legalising abortion pill only half the battle for women in Japan

Akanksha Khullar
5 Jun, 2022

More than three decades after the abortion pill first became available, legislation to approve the drug is winding its way through Japan’s parliament. The move follows an application last year by British pharmaceutical company Linepharma International to market medication for terminating pregnancies in the country.

An important question needs to be raised here: to what extent can Japan’s new legislation – which is likely to be approved by the end of the year – be described as a laudable step towards improving women's’ rights in the country?

Continued: https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3180280/legalising-abortion-pill-only-half-battle-women-japan


Protecting the lives of our women and girls

Tuesday May 31 2022
Rida Tahir

There has recently been a significant debate on unsafe abortions and their consequences throughout the world since a document of the draft judgement by the Supreme Court of the United States overturning Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113) was leaked. Roe v Wade is a landmark US case. The verdict, which came out on January 22, 1973, said that states can't put too many restrictions on abortion.

Due to restrictive laws and policies, many women and girls (survivors/victims of child marriage, etc.) are forced to seek unsafe abortions, unavailability of safe abortion services, the high financial cost of accessing safe abortion services, and societal attitudes towards abortion and gender inequality. The WHO has revealed that: "Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal deaths and morbidities. It can lead to physical and mental health complications and social and financial burdens for women, communities, and health systems."

Continued: https://www.geo.tv/latest/419958-headline-protecting-the-lives-of-our-women-and-girls


Ecuador Should Ensure Abortion Access in Rape Cases

February 17, 2022
Ximena Casas, Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

Lucía was 15 when a stranger raped her as she walked home from school. The rape resulted in a pregnancy and in June 2015 Lucia gave birth alone in the bathroom of her home, where the baby died. She was convicted of homicide and sentenced to five years in prison. She spent four years and three months in a juvenile facility.

A bill is before the National Assembly that will guarantee effective access to abortion in cases of rape, and passing it should be a priority. The final bill should not include practical barriers to accessing care such as gestational limits and reporting requirements. The bill should regulate conscientious objection to prevent it from hindering timely abortion access and require health personnel to protect patient confidentiality.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/02/17/ecuador-should-ensure-abortion-access-rape-cases


N. Ireland – Free, safe, legal, local

Emma Campbell describes the long fight for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland

March 24, 2021
Emma Campbell

Northern Ireland has finally emerged from the shadow of a British law that wreaked untold misery on the island of Ireland. On 22 October 2019, tired but buoyed, we celebrated that people were no longer at risk of being charged with a criminal offence for accessing an abortion. After a long struggle, the women of Northern Ireland now have the best abortion law in the UK and Ireland.

Sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act criminalised doctors and abortion seekers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with punishment up to ‘penal servitude for life’. This remained in place until the 1967 Abortion Act allowed abortion to carried out legally in certain circumstances, even if it wasn’t fully decriminalised.

Continued: https://www.redpepper.org.uk/alliance-for-change/


Abortion in Northern Ireland: at the interface between politics and law

22 March 2021
by Anurag Deb, UK Human Rights Blog

Abortion reform in Northern Ireland has had a fraught history, to say the least. Matters appeared to finally come to a head when in 2019, the UK Parliament enacted the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019 (2019 Act), which created a duty on the Secretary of State to implement abortion reform by following the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination of Women (CtteEDAW). Nearly two years and two statutory instruments later, Stormont finds itself mired in fresh controversy as long-term abortion facilities in Northern Ireland have yet to be commissioned. So the obvious question arises: what happened?

Continued: https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2021/03/22/abortion-in-northern-ireland-at-the-interface-between-politics-and-law/


Philippines – Why we need to decriminalize abortion

SEP 28, 2020
CLAIRE PADILLA

The restrictive, colonial, and archaic 1930 Revised Penal Code abortion law has never reduced the number of women inducing abortion. It has only endangered the lives of hundreds of thousands of Filipino women who have made personal decisions to induce abortion for various reasons (economic - 75%; too young, under 25 years old - 46%; health reasons - one-third; rape - 13%) but are unable to access safe abortion services.

No restrictive law nor religious dogma has stopped these Filipino women, especially poor women with at least 3 children, to end their unintended or unwanted pregnancies.                                     

Continued: https://www.rappler.com/voices/thought-leaders/opinion-why-we-need-decriminalize-abortion


Women in North Korea’s Detention Centers Face Sexual Abuse: UN Report

by Anya Ruppert 
July 28, 2020

A report released by the UN Tuesday revealed North Korean women undergo forced labor, sexual violence, and forced abortion and infanticide in the country’s detention centers.

The report acknowledges that “over seventy years since its establishment, [North Korea] remains a closed society and leaving the country without official permission is a crime under domestic law.” However, women who manage to escape and then forcibly return or fail to flee, face extraneous inhumane punishments.

Continued: https://theglobepost.com/2020/07/28/north-korea-women/


NI to offer unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks

NI to offer unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks

By Jayne McCormack, BBC News NI Political Reporter
25 March 2020

Abortions in Northern Ireland can take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy "without conditionality", under new laws soon to be in force.

Terminations will be permitted beyond 12 weeks in a number of other circumstances, with no time limit in cases of a fatal foetal abnormality.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-52040694


Pro-choice groups raise concerns over possible delays to Northern Ireland abortion law

Pro-choice groups raise concerns over possible delays to Northern Ireland abortion law
No 10’s document suggests it may take up to 18 months to implement legislation

Peter Walker, Political correspondent
Wed 17 Jul 2019

Pressure groups have warned against lengthy delays to extending abortion rights to Northern Ireland following a landmark legal amendment last week, after a government document said the process could take as long as 18 months to implement.

Downing Street has committed to introducing the abortion plan after an amendment to a separate Northern Ireland bill by the Labour MP Stella Creasy was passed overwhelmingly by the Commons.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/17/pro-choice-groups-raise-concerns-over-possible-delays-of-northern-ireland-abortion-law