Caracas (AFP) – Maria drank a concoction of ground avocado seed, "bad mother" and other plants to try and terminate her pregnancy in Venezuela, where abortion is illegal. It did not work.
Only people with money can access illegal, private abortions in the country, and Maria is not one of them. Aged just 26, she lives with two of her five children in extreme poverty in Caracas in a house shared with other people.
The child she tried to abort is now three years old. She had another since then, 10 months ago.
Religious doctrine restricts access to abortion and birth control and limits treatment options for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies
By Frances Stead Sellers and Meena Venkataramanan
October 10, 2022
The Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion is revealing the growing influence of Catholic health systems and their restrictions on reproductive services including birth control and abortion — even in the diminishing number of states where the procedure remains legal.
Catholic systems now control about 1 in 7 U.S. hospital beds, requiring religious doctrine to guide treatment, often to the surprise of patients. Their ascendancy has broad implications for the evolving national battle over reproductive rights beyond abortion, as bans against it take hold in more than a dozen Republican-led states.
Allowing access to abortion only in certain cases such as rape, incest, divorce, or mental or physical illness implies that a woman's body must be violated by external agents for her to be able to gain full control over her own body.
By Debabratee Dhar
July 29, 2022
A 25-year-old unmarried woman was denied medical termination of pregnancy at 23 weeks by the Delhi High Court.
In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 permits abortion under a very specific set of conditions. Under the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, one can avail of abortion within 12 weeks with the approval of one doctor and only if it is carried out by a trained medical practitioner. If one’s pregnancy exceeds 12 weeks but is under 20 weeks, then it can be medically terminated with the approval of two doctors, as long as it is carried out by medical practitioners at a licensed institution.
‘Desperate’ tourist who fell foul of country’s total ban fears for her life if complications set in while she waits for transfer to UK
Megan Clement and Weronika Strzyżyńska
Wed 22 Jun 2022
Doctors have denied an American woman on holiday in Malta a potentially life-saving abortion, despite saying her baby had a “zero chance” of survival after she was admitted to hospital with severe bleeding in her 16th week of pregnancy.
Despite an “extreme risk” of haemorrhage and infection, doctors at the Mater Dei hospital in Msida told Andrea Prudente that they would not perform a termination because of the country’s total ban on abortion.
It's not just Brazil—across the US, lawmakers are already boasting about the bans they'll pass without rape exceptions, which are already mostly symbolic.
By Kylie Cheung
A judge in Brazil denied an abortion to an 11-year-old who had been impregnated by rape, saying she didn’t want to enable a “homicide,” Newsweek reported on Monday. The young girl had reportedly been raped in her home earlier this year, and when she was taken to the hospital upon learning she was pregnant, a doctor at the University of Santa Catarina denied her an abortion because she was more than 22 weeks pregnant. The university hospital’s rules prohibit doctors from offering abortion care to someone past 20 weeks of pregnancy, without a court order.
Brazil notably criminalizes abortion and threatens abortion patients with one to three years in prison, and providers with one to four years. The country provides exceptions only for threats to the pregnant person’s life, when the fetus is deemed unviable, and, relevant to this case, if the pregnancy is the result of rape.
A group of civic activists in Croatia have demonstrated in support of a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems
By The Associated Press
6 May 2022
ZAGREB, Croatia -- A group of civic activists in Croatia demonstrated Friday in support of a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems.
The activists stood outside the parliament building in Croatia's capital, Zagreb, demanding that authorities help Miranda Cavajda and ensure abortion rights are respected in the socially conservative country.
A landmark study of women seeking abortions shows the harms of being unable to end an unwanted pregnancy
By Mariana Lenharo, Scientific American
December 22, 2021
As the Supreme Court decides the future of abortion laws in the U.S., a key question to be considered is whether access to the procedure has positive or negative consequences for the people who get an abortion, and for society in general.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization concerns the constitutionality of a new Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case challenges the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a precedent that protects abortion access before fetal viability—a point at around 24 weeks of gestation, when a fetus is considered able to survive outside the uterus.
Abortion: The double torture of a girl in Bolivia
Written by George Holan
December 3, 2021
The ordeal of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after repeated rapes by a relative has given visibility, albeit fleetingly, to the enormous obstacles that stand in the way of access to legal abortion in Bolivia.
After weeks of disseminating the case in the local media and thanks to the intervention of the Ombudsman’s Office, the girl was finally able to terminate her pregnancy on November 6. Since then, the subject has disappeared from public discussion, as if it had been an exceptional case.
Press release - Federation for Women and Family Planning
2 November 2021
On 29 October 2021, the attorney J. Budzowska, who deals with medical error cases, announced the death of a 30-year-old woman, Izabela. The 22 weeks’ pregnant woman was said to have been taken to the hospital with an amenorrhea (lack of amniotic fluid). The woman was married and had one daughter. According to the information provided by the attorney, the doctors were to wait for the foetus to die and the woman died shortly after of septic shock.
The prosecutor’s investigation into the circumstances of the woman’s death is ongoing and no more information is available at this point. The director of the hospital in its statement assured that all medical decisions in this case were taken in accordance with the Polish law. This is in itself not reassuring because Polish antiabortion law exposes women’s lives and health to risk.
On 1 November, candles were lit across Poland as a part of the campaign called "Ani Jednej Więcej", initiated by the Federation for Women and Family Planning in solidarity with the family of the deceased woman. Protests were yet again held in front of the illegitimate Constitutional Tribunal that a year ago banned abortion on the grounds of “the severe and irreversible foetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the foetus life”. As a result of this ruling, legal abortion may be accessed when pregnancy constitutes a threat to the woman's life or health and if it results from the criminal act.
This is another victim of the Polish antiabortion law – in 2004, a 25-year-old woman died of pregnancy complications that could have been avoided by a timely abortion.
“Instead of protecting the life of the woman, the doctors think of saving the foetus. This is the chilling effect of the Constitutional Tribunal's decision in action." said Kamila Ferenc, the lawyer at the Federation for Women and Family Planning.
By Anneken Tappe, CNN Business
Tue September 7, 2021
New York (CNN Business)As abortion rights advocates scramble to fight a Texas law that effectively bans abortion in the state, economists are drawing attention to the financial hardships — and subsequent economic downsides — that can occur when women's reproductive rights are restricted.
The effects having children can have on a woman's career and pay are well documented: While men and women with comparable qualifications and jobs earn similarly at the start of their careers, this changes when women choose to have children, after which their pay takes a hit. This is often called the "motherhood penalty."