Urgent action required to address ‘plague’ of sexual, gender-based violence – Report

In 2022, 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection.

August 27, 2022

A toxic combination of global conflict, COVID-19 and climate change is exacerbating sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against vulnerable women, children and adolescents worldwide, including in West Africa.

In a jointly authored commentary published today, three leading advocates for women’s health and rights – the Rt Hon. Helen Clark, PMNCH Board Chair and former Prime Minister of New Zealand; Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile; and H.E. José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain – call for urgent multi-lateral action to tackle what they have described as a ‘plague’ of rape, or other violent physical or mental abuse, targeting vulnerable women, children and adolescents, especially those living in humanitarian settings.

Continued: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/551027-urgent-action-required-to-address-plague-of-sexual-gender-based-violence-report.html

‘Unsafe abortions contributing to high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria’

By The Nation
On Aug 6, 2022

A non-profit organisation, Ipas Nigeria Health Foundation has identified unsafe abortions as one of the factors contributing high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.

The organisation said Nigeria is confronted with high incidences of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), which sometimes results in unwanted pregnancies, leading to unsafe abortions.

Continued: https://thenationonlineng.net/unsafe-abortions-contributing-to-high-maternal-mortality-rate-in-nigeria/

U.N. and advocates raise concerns of abortion access for Ukrainian refugees in Poland

May 17, 2022

Ukrainian women who were raped by Russian soldiers are among the millions of refugees who have fled to Poland.

And they now find themselves in a country that severely restricts access to reproductive health care, including both contraception and abortion.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/05/17/994654590/u-n-and-advocates-raise-concerns-of-abortion-access-for-ukrainian-refugees-in-po

India – Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in India [Part 1]

April 28, 2022
Aashraya Seth

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are critical to people’s health and well-being, as well as economic development and global prosperity. Governments have committed to investment in SRHR through international accords. However, progress has been impeded by a lack of political will, insufficient resources, continued discrimination against women and girls, and a refusal to address sexuality issues openly and thoroughly. Underprivileged women, especially from developing countries are affected by unintended pregnancies which lead to maternal death and disability, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, gender-based violence and other problems related to reproductive system and sexual behaviour. The inclusion of SRHR in SDGs and its enshrinement in international policy instruments obligates countries to ensure its fulfilment and mandate the recognition of sexual and reproductive health within the framework of human rights.

India, being signatory to the declaration on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and home to one-sixth of all humanity is obligated to ensure implementation of policies and laws that look after the sexual and reproductive health rights. The national laws and policies relevant to SRHR in India leave much scope for action in this direction and exhibit huge gaps. There have been extreme violations of autonomy and sexual and reproductive rights especially of women belonging to marginalised communities.

Continued: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/nonpartisan-perspectives/sexual-and-reproductive-health-rights-srhr-in-india-part-1/

19 States Ignore Global Evidence and Move to Block Access to Abortion Pills

Despite a wealth of research that shows medical abortion at home is effective, safe, acceptable and improves access to care, 19 U.S. states are introducing laws to block access to the medication.

by SARAH SHAW, Ms. Magazine

At the end of 2021, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would permanently ease federal restrictions on abortion pills. They’re allowing these drugs to be sent by mail, after a medical consultation by phone rather than requiring an in-person visit. The change has been welcomed by healthcare providers who point to the importance of providing women with safe methods in the fight to eliminate unsafe abortion and related deaths and injury.

Along with the need to overcome obstacles created by COVID-19, so that women can safely exercise their right to choose even during the pandemic, supporters also point to the sharp increase in gender-based violence during the pandemic—with many women unable to leave their homes—as another reason why medical abortion at home is so important.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2022/02/10/medication-abortion-pills-usa-states-reproductive-health/

Kenya – Unsafe abortion is violence against women

Every year almost half of all pregnancies about 121 million are unintended

6 December 2021

Globally, an estimated 736 million women—almost one in three—have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence or both at least once in their lives.

The rates of depression, anxiety disorders, unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV are higher in women who have experienced violence compared to women who have not.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2021-12-06-mwangi-alvin-unsafe-abortion-is-violence-against-women/

Women’s movement sweeps Latin America to loosen abortion restrictions

Dec 1, 2020
By Daina Beth Solomon and Cassandra Garrison

MEXICO CITY/BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Several weeks pregnant and about to start a job away from home, Lupita Ruiz had no doubts about wanting to end her pregnancy, despite knowing she could face jail time for having an abortion under a law in her state of Chiapas in southern Mexico.   

She asked friends for help until she found a doctor two hours from her town who agreed to do it in secret.

Continued: https://www.capebretonpost.com/news/world/womens-movement-sweeps-latin-america-to-loosen-abortion-restrictions-526103/

Malawi: Youths in Mzuzu, Nkhatabay Endorse Abortion Bill

28 NOVEMBER 2020
Nyasa Times (Leeds)
By Phillip Pasula

Youths from Mzuzu and Nkhata-Bay have spoken in support of the proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill, saying if passed it will help in safeguarding their sexual reproductive health rights.

The youths sounded their concerns at Ilala Crest Lodge on Thursday where they had a meeting as part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence for the year 2020 which begins from 25th November to 10th December.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202011290054.html

How The Pandemic Is Limiting Access To Abortion

Across the globe, travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders and shifting health care priorities have combined to make abortion an even more difficult procedure to obtain.

Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

As hospitals around the globe direct their attention and resources toward helping COVID-19 patients, other medical needs are, inevitably, getting less attention. One of those is women's reproductive health and access, in particular, to abortion, as evidenced in a recent study by the advocacy group Marie Stopes International. In a recent report, the organization noted that between January and June, in 37 countries, nearly two million fewer women received abortions than in the same period last year.

• Travel restrictions and bans have had an impact as well, limiting options for women in places ranging from the United States to Poland, as they are unable to access abortions in other states or countries where it is considered an essential procedure.

Continued: https://worldcrunch.com/coronavirus/how-the-pandemic-is-limiting-access-to-abortion