Why Abortion Battles in America Won’t Halt Reform Abroad
By Nina Brooks, Minzee Kim, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, and Wesley Longhofer
June 16, 2022
Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will release a ruling that is likely to overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the case that affirmed a constitutional right to abortion. Reversing Roe would have profound implications for abortion access in the United States. Such a decision would also have ramifications abroad, particularly if a judicial ruling empowers future U.S. presidential administrations to push for restrictions on abortion in other parts of the world.
It is important, however, not to overstate U.S. influence on global abortion policy. The 1973 case was a landmark in allowing abortion access and served as an example to abortion advocates across the world. But in the 50 years since, the United States’ international messaging on abortion has been incoherent.
By Andrew Cawthorne
May 31 (Reuters) - When a desperate and bleeding 17-year-old girl walked into his rural health centre, Kenyan medic Ismail Mohammed Salim thought he was doing the right thing by helping her conclude an unwanted and dangerous pregnancy.
Days later, both were in jail.
Anti-choice views have shaped US – and Australian – bids to block support for family planning in developing countries.
Published 31 May 2022
The leaked draft majority opinion of the US Supreme Court in Dobbs vs Jackson
Women’s Health Organisation has signalled the likely overturning of Roe vs Wade
and intensified the politicisation of abortion in the United States in the
lead-up to November’s mid-term elections.
Much has been written about the politicisation of abortion in the United States
and its consequences for access to reproductive healthcare. The entrenchment of
the anti-choice standpoint in the Republican party has undermined access to
healthcare in the United States. Such attitudes have also shaped US foreign
policy, with impacts on abortion access in developing countries.
The US policies on abortion, whether we like it or not, significantly influence how seriously governments around the world take the issue of unsafe abortions.
19 May 2022
A leaked draft of a United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) opinion that would overturn Roe v Wade, a landmark 1973 decision that gave women the constitutional right to abortion, recently put abortion rights once again on the global agenda.
As a human rights lawyer in Kenya, I too am watching the developments in Washington, DC with worry. This is not only because I feel for American women being forced to fight for their right to bodily autonomy, but also because case law in commonwealth jurisdictions such as Kenya is sometimes influenced by decisions taken in US courtrooms.
by AMANDA SELLER
If the leaked draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade is indeed the final ruling, the consequences will be severe not just for women in the United States, but for women around the world.
At MSI Reproductive Choices, we think this news should be deeply concerning to women everywhere. As one of the world’s leading providers of abortion care, we’re alarmed by the draft ruling because we see every day how restrictive laws harm women—and because we’ve seen how anti-choice policies in the United States tend to embolden the opposition around the world, limiting women’s right to choose.
April 12, 2022
Anthony Idowu Ajayi
The United Nations Population Fund recently released the 2022 State of World Population report. It highlights that almost half of all pregnancies between 2015 and 2019 were unintended. That amounts to roughly 121 million unintended pregnancies each year.
Unintended pregnancy is defined as pregnancy among women who were not planning to have any (more) children. This includes pregnancies that occurred earlier than desired. The report also says over 60% of unintended pregnancies end in abortion. And 45% of all abortions performed globally are unsafe. About 7 million women a year are hospitalised as a result.
U.S congressional leaders have announced they have reached a final spending deal for the fiscal year 2022 (FY22) but the bill fails to permanently repeal the harmful global gag rule.
International Planned Parenthood Federation
U.S congressional leaders have announced they have reached a final spending deal for the fiscal year 2022. This bill results from months of negotiations over funding and policy decisions, including those that impact sexual and reproductive healthcare globally.
Despite the inclusion of language to permanently repeal the global gag rule passed in the House and introduced in the Senate, the final legislation fails to permanently end the harmful policy that has destroyed the lives of women and girls around the world for so many years. It also does not remove discriminatory abortion bans like the Hyde, Helms, and Weldon amendments or include much-needed new investments in sexual and reproductive healthcare and international family planning programs.
Why It’s Time to End This Bad Abortion Policy
the US Exports Abroad
Congress can take action right now to permanently repeal the harmful global gag
rule by passing funding bills for FY 2022.
Feb 4, 2022
Vanessa Geffrard, Rewire News
Under the glow of a cell phone flashlight, I watched as the clinician inserted
the last intrauterine device. It was past 8 p.m., and as night stretched out
before us, I reflected on a ten-plus-hour day spent helping well over 100 women
who had waited all day to get an IUD, birth control, or gynecological services
at a rural village health center.
It was July 2015, and I was in Nigeria for three weeks (and Kenya for one week)
as part of the Planned Parenthood Global Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program to
witness some of Planned Parenthood Global’s work expanding sexual and
reproductive health services in communities. Demand for these services—and a
clinic staff dedicated to delivering them—was clear. These women, many of them
with their children, had traveled some distance to spend hours waiting for
sexual and reproductive health care. To provide care to everyone present, the
clinicians skipped their lunches.
BY ANU KUMAR AND AKILA RADHAKRISHNAN
The first year of Joe Biden’s presidency came to a close just days before the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, which has served as the foundation for Americans’ right to abortion ever since. Yet, it could be the last anniversary we ever celebrate.
In the next six months, the Supreme Court is set to rule in a case aimed directly at dismantling the constitutional protections established by Roe. Given the realities of a conservative Supreme Court and gridlock in Congress, executive branch leadership and support of abortion is critical. The time is now for the Biden administration and federal agencies to take every measure necessary to protect abortion access. But it shouldn’t stop at creative domestic approaches — an international perspective is also needed.
by ELENA SARVER, Ms. Magazine
Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in a case that could set off a new era of abortion bans across much of the country. It also marked the start of President Biden’s Democracy Summit, a high-level conference bringing together world leaders, civil society and the private sector to discuss challenges and opportunities facing democracy internationally. One of the stated themes of this first of two planned summits is a focus on human rights.
The proximity of these two moments is more than mere coincidence. Yes, the U.S. faces an unprecedented crisis for the right to abortion. But we must also recognize the numerous links between democracy and reproductive rights. A most basic and fundamental freedom in a democracy is the ability to control decision-making around one’s own reproduction. When this freedom is removed, it threatens the ability of half of the country’s population to participate equally in society. So, if the U.S. hopes to credibly host a marquee event to promote its return to global democratic leadership, it must contend with cracks in that facade here at home.