In Romania, having an abortion has become increasingly difficult. Under the pressure of the Church and pro-life NGOs – and with the complicity of the state – women are losing this fundamental right.
Kai, 22, tells her story sitting at the desk in her small student room on the outskirts of Bucharest. After growing up in South Africa, she returned to her homeland in 2017 to study veterinary medicine. Last summer she found herself in a young man's apartment after a night in which she and her friends had been drinking. She had passed out. When she regained consciousness, she was naked on the bed of the guy who had invited her, in pain. "His room-mates started clapping when they saw me. I left in a hurry". A few days later Kai realised she was pregnant. A friend then advised her to go to the police. But first she went to the guy who raped her and told him she was pregnant and she needed money to have an abortion". He replied: 'I'll give you the money if you blow me'. I slapped him, went home, and called the police”.
Positive Steps Advance Reproductive Rights
March 1, 2022
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
Over the past 10 days, France made two notable advances for reproductive rights. On February 23, parliament voted to extend the legal timeframe for abortion under any circumstances from the twelfth to the fourteenth week of pregnancy. On February 19, the government eased access to medication abortion as an alternative to more invasive surgical procedures.
France’s 12-week time limit for abortion on request had forced thousands of women annually to travel outside of France to procure legal abortions. Its new 14-week limit mirrors that of Spain, while other European Union countries go further: abortion for any reason is legal in Sweden up to 18 weeks and in the Netherlands up to 24 weeks.
Actions by the medical profession in the 1970s still reverberate today
By Carole Joffe
Jan 11, 2022
Even before the expected June announcement by the Supreme Court of its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson — a decision many believe will overturn Roe v. Wade — abortion care in America is in trouble, marginalized from the rest of medicine.
Nearly 50 years after legalization nationwide, the majority of obstetrician gynecologists and primary-care doctors do not provide abortions — even though 1 out of 4 American women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Women in the “abortion deserts” of the South and Midwest are forced to travel many hours to reach a clinic. Only 4 percent of abortions take place in a hospital and only 1 percent of abortions take place in private doctors’ offices. The remaining 95 percent occur in free-standing clinics, which offer excellent care, but are largely isolated from other medical institutions. Over 1,000 restrictions, such as mandatory waiting periods, have been passed by state legislatures that make abortion care considerably more difficult for patients and providers alike.
Video: 5:33 minutes
By: Sarah MORRIS, Laura CAMBAUD, Armelle EXPOSITO - FRANCE 24
Some 100,000 abortions take place every year in Spain. In theory, terminations are a right under Spanish law but in practice, many women face obstacles when they choose to terminate a pregnancy. The medical establishment itself is often hostile to the prospect of performing abortions, and doctors working in the field say they are stigmatised by their pro-life colleagues. Our correspondents report.
Sep 4, 2021
By Rob Picheta, CNN
Texas' ban on abortion beyond six weeks —
before many women even know they have conceived — has widened the reproductive
health gap between the United States and other leading democracies.
The U.S. Supreme Court formally denied a request from Texas abortion providers
to freeze the new law on Wednesday, even though it violates Roe v. Wade, which
legalized abortion across the U.S. prior to viability, which happens at around
24 weeks of pregnancy.
Lead MEP targeted ahead of vote on women’s reproductive health and rights.
BY MAÏA DE LA BAUME
June 23, 2021
A resolution on abortion that will be voted on by the European Parliament on Thursday has proved so divisive that the MEP behind it has received hate mail, been compared to Hitler and had dolls of fetuses sent to his office.
The text — on “the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU, in the frame of women’s health” — resulted in more than 500 amendments from members of the Parliament in its original form, with two alternative texts put forward by conservative MEPs, and it led to serious disputes within the center-right European People’s Party.
Poland must adopt clear and effective
procedures for women to access lawful abortion
12 MARCH 2021
The Committee of Ministers of the 47-nation Council of Europe has adopted an
Interim Resolution (*) calling on Poland to adopt clear and effective
procedures on steps women need to take to access lawful abortion. These
procedures should ensure that no unnecessary requirements are imposed on
pregnant women seeking lawful abortion by hospitals beforehand and cover
abortion refusals on grounds of conscience. The authorities also should ensure
that women be provided with adequate information on these procedures.
The Interim Resolution relates to Poland’s implementation of three judgments
from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning legal abortions (P.
and S. and Tysiac and R.R.), which pre-date restrictions of the laws on legal
abortion in Poland resulting from a judgment of the Constitutional Court of 22
February 19, 2021
By Carole Concha Bell
Abortion campaigners in Chile have been heartened by the recent legalization of abortion in neighboring Argentina and are currently presenting a bill for the decriminalization of abortion. But with a pro-life government and Senate inherited from the Pinochet regime (1973-90) any amendments to the existing law will be hard won.
Chile has one of the world’s most draconian abortion laws in the world. Dictator General Augusto Pinochet’s last act before leaving office in 1989 was to completely outlaw abortion and make it a punishable crime. It was not until 2017 that President Michelle Bachelet’s administration was able to amend the law to allow abortion in extreme cases. But women’s reproductive rights have come under attack again by far-right President Sebastian Pinera’s cabinet. In 2019 Pinera introduced an amendment allowing entire (private) hospitals and medical professionals to object to the procedure on grounds of “conscience.”
In Croatia, lawmakers and activists have been debating abortion legislation for three decades. The church, conservative politicians and pro-life activists now want to see rules tightened as they have been in Poland.
Author Siniša Bogdanić, Davor Batisweiler
Since 1991, when Yugoslavia fell apart and
Croatia became an independent state, conservative elements in the country have
been trying to overturn the liberal abortion law introduced in the communist
era. This legislation from 1978 allows Croatian women to have an abortion up to
the 10th week of pregnancy without having to give reasons or fulfill any
additional conditions. That is the theory. In practice, however, implementing
the law has been somewhat tricky, as it was amended in 2003 to give doctors the
right to refuse the operation on grounds of conscience.
"There is little, if any, difference in risk for women having an abortion between 12 and 14 weeks of pregnancy", according to the national ethics advisory committee.
Will the period of access to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) be reduced from 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy in France?
Before a review of the text in the Senate in January, the ethics committee - seized by the government after the approval of this reform by the deputies - said that "there is no ethical objection" to this .