Catholic activists work to help Hispanic women reconcile abortion rights with their religious faith

Jan 28, 2024

In a corner of their Mexico City office, activists from Catholics for the Right to Decide keep an image of the Virgin Mary close to a green scarf that reads: “Mary was consulted to be mother of God.”

For these Catholic women, prayer does not conflict with their fight for abortion access nor does their devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe prevent them from supporting LGBTQ+ rights.

“You might think that one cannot be a feminist and a Catholic,” said activist Cinthya Ramírez. “But being women of faith does not mean that we oppose progressivity, human rights or sexual diversity.”


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.


Liberia: Abortion Care Is Health Care

Nov 30, 2023
By Siatta Scott Johnson

In Liberia, 16% of all pregnancies end in abortion, according to a recent study conducted in Liberia between October 2021 and March 2022 by the Ministry of Health and its partners, Clinton Health Access Initiative, the African Population and Health Research Center, and the Guttmacher Institute. It revealed that the national abortion incidence for the year 2021 was 38,779.

The revised Public Healthcare Law that will ensure the improvement in the lives of every Liberian, the protection of rights to choose and make informed decisions on their healthcare, and access to quality and gender response delivery, is being discussed in the Liberian Senate.


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.


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


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.


‘We are fighting for the girls who come after us’: abortion rights at risk in Argentina election

Argentina’s presidential frontrunner, Javier Milei, is threatening to outlaw the abortion rights only won three years ago

Harriet Barber in Buenos Aires
Mon 2 Oct 2023

“We are fighting against the presidential candidates who threaten the rights of women,” says Marilyna, 28, standing hand in hand with her friend outside Argentina’s National Congress last Thursday evening.

Argentina is three weeks away from a national election in which the rights of women and abortion have been put on the ballot, just three years after elective terminations were legalised. Marilyna is one of thousands of women, men and children protesting on the streets of Buenos Aires.


On International Safe Abortion Day, women demand access to abortion through strong public health systems

On September 28, health and women’s rights activists are mobilizing to demand universal access to safe abortion and an end to the persecution of reproductive justice advocates

September 28, 2023
by Peoples Health Dispatch

On September 28, health and women’s rights activists worldwide commemorate International Safe Abortion Day, warning against the persisting disparities in access to sexual and reproductive health services in different countries. Numerous international treaties and declarations, such as the 1993 Vienna Declaration, advocate for the universal guarantee of access to safe abortion, and international bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) actively promote this cause, yet countless women continue to face barriers when seeking this essential health care service.

As part of a global call to action, this year, activists are rallying for the universal decriminalization of abortion, improved access to high-quality post-abortion care, the inclusion of medical abortion pills on national essential medicines lists, and an end to the persecution of reproductive justice advocates, among other objectives.


The US Supreme Court took away abortion rights. Mexico’s high court just did the opposite.

Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY
Sept 9, 2023

A ruling this week by Mexico’s Supreme Court to decriminalize abortion continues a broadening push in recent years to expand abortion access in Latin America, placing the region more in line with global reproductive-rights trends than the United States, where Roe v. Wade was struck down last year.

Counter-intuitively, the Mexican court's decision toward opening up abortion access comes in a country with lower support for abortion rights than in the United States, where abortion access has been widely restricted in recent months.


Australia – ‘I was shocked’: Catholic-run public hospitals refuse to provide birth control and abortion

Publicly funded Catholic hospitals across Australia are using the cover of religion to opt out of providing reproductive care – and experts say it has created a ‘postcode lottery’ for access to services

by Donna Lu and Melissa Davey
Mon 21 Aug 2023

When Sarah*, a Melbourne mother, was pregnant with her second child, her GP gave her a surprising warning: if she had any serious complications, concerns about the viability of the pregnancy or believed she might be miscarrying, she should go to the Royal Women’s hospital rather than the Mercy Hospital for Women, where she was planning to deliver the baby.

The reason, the GP told her, was that the Mercy – a public hospital in Melbourne’s north-east – would not assist in terminating a pregnancy due to its Catholic affiliation.


The Pain and Promise of Europe’s Abortion Laws

The continent’s abortion laws are a patchwork of progress and setbacks. And for many, accessing the right care at the right time is still a lottery.

JUN 22, 2023

ON MAY 26, 2018, Irish women spilled onto the streets to celebrate a historic win for reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. The staunchly Catholic country had overwhelmingly voted to scrap the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, under which abortion was essentially illegal—one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.

Five years on, the mood has sobered. Under the new laws, those seeking an abortion have to undergo a mandatory waiting period, adhere to strict time limits, and contend with a lack of providers. From 2019 to 2021, 775 people made use of their right to travel freely between the United Kingdom and Ireland to head to Britain to access abortion services. In 2020, despite the pandemic, nearly 200 people still traveled across the Irish Sea to get abortion care in the UK. The Abortion Support Network (ASN), a charity that helps people in Europe access abortion through telemedicine or by supporting travel, says every three days they hear from someone in Ireland looking for help.