The Dutch approach to abortion: leading or lagging in guaranteeing women’s rights?

28 SEP 2020
By Lisa Juanola, KIT SRHR Advisor and Irene de Vries, KIT Advisor on SRHR, Maternal and Newborn Care.

Internationally, the fight for the right to safe and legal abortion is ongoing. The Netherlands is blessed with liberal laws and good access to safe abortion care, meaning it often serves as an example. The Netherlands is also a leading country when it comes to women’s rights and reproductive health. However, things could be even better and more women-friendly. What does The Netherlands have to offer in the global fight for safe and legal abortion, and what can we learn from international developments in this field?

As an evaluation shows, the Dutch ‘Termination of Pregnancy Act’ is working well. The number of terminations is stable at around 8.6 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 45, and The Netherlands has one of the lowest rates of abortion in the world.

Continued: https://www.kit.nl/the-dutch-approach-to-abortion-leading-or-lagging-in-guaranteeing-womens-rights/


Women Have Paid the Price for Trump’s Regulatory Agenda

By Osub Ahmed, Shilpa Phadke, and Diana Boesch 
September 10, 2020

From the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, his administration has used every tool in its arsenal to chip away at women’s health, employment, economic security, and rights overall. One of the administration’s most effective, and at times less noticed, tools to crafting this harmful agenda against women has been to use the standard agency rule-making process as a political weapon.1 Frequently ignoring relevant data and research, the Trump administration has used the rule-making process to issue guidance, interpret public policy, and implement statutes in ways that are fundamentally harmful to women, often pushing beyond the limits of its legal authority while consistently underestimating the financial costs and dismissing the human impact of its rules.2

Continued: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/09/10/490241/women-paid-price-trumps-regulatory-agenda/


Australia – ‘Devastating’: Rural women are struggling to access abortion services during the pandemic

The pandemic has reinforced existing barriers for rural and regional women when it comes to termination services. There are fears some women could take matters into their own hands and attempt unsafe abortions.

September 6, 2020

BY EDEN GILLESPIE

Dr Catriona Melville, Deputy Medical Director at Marie Stopes, has been flying
into rural towns to provide termination services since the pandemic began. 

She told The Feed that while abortion is an essential service, some patients in
Melbourne, who under lockdown, are in a precarious position with no abortion
clinics or specialists in their area.

Continued: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/devastating-rural-women-are-struggling-to-access-abortion-services-during-the-pandemic


Italy: Covid-19 Exacerbates Obstacles to Legal Abortion

Inadequate Measures Heighten Existing Risks for Health, Lives

July 30, 2020

(London) – Government inaction has left women and girls facing avoidable obstacles to accessing legal abortion in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today.

The government’s failure to ensure clear pathways to essential, time-sensitive medical care during the pandemic caused interruptions to abortion services and prevented some women from accessing abortion within the legal time limit, exacerbating longstanding barriers to safe and legal abortion in Italy.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/30/italy-covid-19-exacerbates-obstacles-legal-abortion


An Abortion Doula On Canada’s Problematic Lack Of Access

Sarah Ratchford
Last Updated July 28, 2020

As an abortion doula, Shannon Hardy spends her days driving people to appointments or taking care of them afterwards. That all changed when the pandemic started. Sharing a car with a stranger, not to mention helping them convalesce, has been out of the question since COVID-19, leaving many without access to this crucial healthcare service.

Getting an abortion in Atlantic Canada, where Hardy lives, was a challenge even before coronavirus. Though abortions have been decriminalized in Canada since 1988, provinces have jurisdiction over access. As a result, where and at what point in a pregnancy you can get an abortion is influenced by the local political climate, and varies widely. Mifegymiso, the pill that induces what's called a medical abortion, is available and covered by provincial healthcare, but not every doctor will prescribe it. In some places, there's access to surgical abortions, but parts or all of it are not covered or you have to pay up front and seek reimbursement afterward.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/abortion-doula-canada-access


USA – Despite Supreme Court Win, Abortion Rights Are Still Not Safe

Attacks on reproductive freedom have the greatest effect on communities that already face significant barriers to accessing health care.

Jul 20, 2020
Kirsten Gillibrand

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the implementation of a law that would have left just one clinic and one doctor authorized to perform abortions in Louisiana, a state of more than 4.5 million people and 50,000 square miles.

Even though four justices ignored the Court’s own precedent, the ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo gave reproductive health, rights, and justice supporters across the country the chance to breathe a sigh of relief. But as we began leafing through the pages of the opinions, cracks started to appear, reminding us that our freedom remains up for grabs and our fight is nowhere near over.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2020/07/20/despite-supreme-court-win-abortion-rights-are-still-not-safe/


Kenya is having another go at passing a reproductive rights bill. What’s at stake

July 12, 2020
Anthony Idowu Ajayi, Meggie Mwoka

Kenya’s Senate is considering a reproductive healthcare bill, which seeks to address reproductive health gaps. This is the second time the bill has come before the senate. It has, once again, drawn fire from religious groups, some politicians and civil society lobbies opposed to its proposals. Anthony Ajayi and Meggie Mwoka unpack the bill and the lessons from previous failed attempts.

What is the substance of the bill?

Kenyan women and girls face an array of reproductive health risks that can be addressed by comprehensive reproductive health care services. These include sexually transmitted infections, HIV, unsafe abortion and unplanned pregnancies.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/kenya-is-having-another-go-at-passing-a-reproductive-rights-bill-whats-at-stake-142387


Supreme Court says employers may opt out of Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate over religious, moral objections

Supreme Court ruling may cause tens of thousands to lose birth control coverage

By Robert Barnes

July 8, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration may allow employers and universities to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement to provide contraceptive care because of religious or moral objections.

The issue has been at the heart of an intense legal
battle for nine years — first with the Obama administration sparring with
religious organizations who said offering contraceptive care to their employees
violated their beliefs, and then with the Trump administration broadening an
exemption, angering women’s groups, health organizations and Democratic-led
states.


US Supreme Court Undercuts Access To Birth Control Under Obamacare

July 8, 2020
Nina Totenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court has made it more difficult for women to get access to birth control as part of their health plans if their employer has religious or moral objections to contraceptives.

The opinion upheld a Trump administration rule that significantly cut back on the Affordable Care Act requirement that insurers provide free birth control coverage as part of almost all health care plans.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2020/07/08/884104509/supreme-court-undercuts-access-to-birth-control-under-obamacare


Doctors accused of blocking abortions in Northern Ireland despite legalisation

Doctors accused of blocking abortions in Northern Ireland despite legalisation
Patients forced to buy pills online or go overseas for terminations

Lucy Mansfield
Published on Sat 13 Jun 2020

Women seeking abortions in Northern Ireland are still struggling to access services. Although abortion was legalised more than two months ago, claims persist that healthcare professionals are refusing to treat patients.

A leading reproductive rights group and a doctors’ organisation say that GPs are refusing to refer pregnant women to hospital services so they can access the tablets needed to undergo a medical abortion. They are also aware of midwives and nurses refusing to care for patients before and after the procedure.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/13/doctors-accused-of-blocking-abortions-in-northern-ireland-despite-legalisation