Abortion now fully Decriminalised in Western Australia

24 Sep 2023
Christian Tym, A Rich Life

Abortion was completely removed from the criminal code in Western Australia this week. This makes it the final one of Australia’s states and territories to fully decriminalise abortion.

It had been an emotional debate in WA, following last month’s intervention from Jackie Jarvis, the state’s Agriculture Minister. Jarvis revealed she underwent an abortion in the early 1990s after being raped, though abortion was still illegal in the state at the time.

Continued: https://arichlife.com.au/abortion-now-fully-decriminalised-in-western-australia/

Brazil’s Supreme Court to vote on decriminalising abortion

Sept 22, 2023

By Katy Watson, BBC News, South America

Brazil's Supreme Court has started voting on whether to decriminalise abortion. However, the session was quickly postponed after a minister called for the vote to take place in person instead of via video - and no new date has yet been set.

Currently, abortion is only allowed in three cases: that of rape, risk to the woman's life and anencephaly - when the foetus has an undeveloped brain. If the Supreme Court votes in favour, abortion will be decriminalised up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-66881900

Woman jailed over abortion – an expert on what UK law actually says and what needs to change

June 14, 2023
Claire Pierson, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Liverpool

Many people assume that because abortion is relatively accessible in England, it is not a crime. The fact that a woman has now received a 28-month prison sentence for taking abortion pills past the legal time limit shows that this assumption is wrong.

Abortion remains within the criminal law to some extent in almost every country globally, despite the fact that it is a safe and relatively common procedure. Laws can criminalise women and pregnant people, healthcare providers or anyone who helps a woman get an abortion. The sentencing in Poland of activist Justyna Wydrzyńska is one example. In March 2023, she received eight months community service for aiding an abortion seeker.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/woman-jailed-over-abortion-an-expert-on-what-uk-law-actually-says-and-what-needs-to-change-207578

UK – The Guardian view on abortion law: the case for decriminalisation

The outrage caused by the jailing of a mother for ending her pregnancy after the legal limit should spark a wider rethink of archaic legislation

Tue 13 Jun 2023

The case of a mother prosecuted for inducing her own abortion after the legal limit is tragic. Her imprisonment is unconscionable. The judge accepted that she was in “emotional turmoil” when she ended her pregnancy at between 32 and 34 weeks: with lockdown imposed, she had moved back in with her estranged partner while carrying another man’s child and was seeking to hide the pregnancy. She has since experienced guilt and depression, and is plagued by nightmares and “flashbacks to seeing [her] dead child’s face”. Her three children, one of whom has special needs and is thus especially reliant upon her, will be denied her for the next 14 months.
Many have asked good questions about the decisions of prosecutors to pursue the case in these circumstances, and of the judge to impose a prison sentence. Nonetheless, as the judge identified, ultimately the issue is the law itself.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jun/13/the-guardian-view-on-abortion-law-the-case-for-decriminalisation

Malta – Abortion: Your discomfort, her pain | Open letter to Prime Minister Abela

'You must surely realise that our country is at a crossroads. It can either go down the path of protecting women, or it can cave in to conservatives and continue to criminalise women for taking decisions that are in their best interest'

Isabel Stabile
11 June 2023

Dear Honourable Prime Minister Abela,
As you well know, in 2021, then MP Marlene Farrugia tabled a Bill calling for the decriminalisation of abortion, something that Voice for Choice has been calling for since 2019. You chose to scuttle this for political reasons.

Then, in 2022, a Bill was filed to allow abortion care in very limited and extreme circumstances. I saluted you then on behalf of every woman in Malta, for proposing this legal amendment because I believed this would make Malta a little safer for those who can get pregnant. Perhaps I was mistaken, because progress on Bill 28 now seems to have stalled.

Continued:  https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/comment/blogs/123366/abortion_your_discomfort_her_pain__open_letter_to_prime_minister_abela

Australia – New WA abortion laws designed to make access to terminations easier

By Daryna Zadvirna
June 10, 2023

An overhaul of Western Australia's abortion laws that will streamline access to terminations is set to be introduced to parliament following successful community consultation.

Thousands of health professionals and members of the broader public in WA were surveyed on six proposed amendments late last year.

Continued: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-10/wa-abortion-law-changes-time-limit-access-laws/102465580

Maltese society divided over arrest of woman who had abortion

By Alice Taylor and Spiros Sideris | EURACTIV.com and EURACTIV.gr
Jun 6, 2023

The arrest of a Maltese woman for having a medical abortion at home has divided Maltese society, with pro-choice groups calling for urgent changes to the law and staging protests, and the prime minister declaring it makes him feel ‘uncomfortable’.

Malta has a total ban on abortions, even in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger. The unnamed woman reportedly took abortion pills, likely imported from abroad as they are illegal in the country, and had a medical abortion. She was subsequently arrested and given a conditional discharge.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/maltese-society-divided-over-arrest-of-woman-who-had-abortion/

Ireland- Dáil votes to fully decriminalise abortion

Legislation providing for the complete decriminalisation of abortion and the abolition of the mandatory three-day waiting period before an abortion can be carried out has been approved by TDs.

1 JUN 2023
Bríd Smith

The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) (Amendment) Bill 2023, introduced by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith, was approved by 67–64 with eight abstentions after government TDs were given a free vote.

A proposal by health minister Stephen Donnelly to delay the progress of the bill for a year to allow the Oireachtas health committee to fully consider the recommendations of a recent review led by Marie O’Shea BL was defeated by a greater margin of 74–61 with three abstentions.

Continued: https://www.irishlegal.com/articles/dail-votes-to-fully-decriminalise-abortion

Decriminalising abortion in Asia: Perspectives from India and Nepal

Decriminalising abortion encourages access to safe abortion and proper post-abortion care. It does not mean that the law would no longer regulate abortion, but that no one would be punished for providing or having an abortion, and the law provides a positive framework to ensure access to safe abortion.

MAY 28, 2023

“FIFTEEN-year-old Sita (name changed), who got pregnant due to rape, ended her pregnancy by consuming medical pills her father obtained from a local pharmacist. Sita’s district court statement noted that she sought an abortion to safeguard her and her family’s reputation. The court convicted Sita of illegal abortion and sentenced her based on her admission.” – Center for Reproductive Rights & Forum for Women, Law and Development, Decriminalization of Abortion in Nepal: Imperative to Uphold Women’s Rights, 2021

The ability to make and exercise decisions about one’s body, sexuality and reproduction is at the core of gender, economic and social justice. Under international human rights law, States are obliged to respect, protect and fulfil rights related to sexual and reproductive health, including the rights to life, health, privacy, information, freedom from ill-treatment, non-discrimination and equality. States are also required to guarantee access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and care, including abortion services.

Continued: https://theleaflet.in/decriminalising-abortion-in-asia-perspectives-from-india-and-nepal/

Nepal – Decrminalise abortion: Rights activists

By Ram Kumar Kamat
Mar 18, 2023

Kathmandu – Article 38(2) of the constitution ensures the right of every woman to safe motherhood and reproductive health thereby acknowledging the right to safe abortion as part of reproductive health right, but in practice, women have not been able to enjoy this right, due to criminalisation of abortion and a number of restrictive measures.

Executive Director of Forum for Women, Law and Development Sabin Shrestha said Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Rights Act, which was brought to enable women to enjoy their reproductive health rights, conversely prohibited abortion after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Continued: https://thehimalayantimes.com/sports/decrminalise-abortion-rights-activists