Poor Access to Safe Abortions Is Killing South Asian Women

Even in countries where abortion is legal, access to safe abortions remains challenging

By Bansari Kamdar
June 15, 2021

One in every four maternal deaths around the world happens in South Asia. Lack of access to safe and legal abortions and contraceptives is a leading reason for the region’s high maternal mortality rate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than half the abortions in South and Central Asia were safe.

In Bhutan, which has a 1.4 percent case fatality rate, one of the main reasons for maternal mortality is abortion complications. Section 146 of Bhutan’s Penal Code legalizes abortion only if it is to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy resulted from incest and rape or the mother is not of sound mental condition. Denied access to safe abortion, many Bhutanese women cross the border to neighboring India, where abortion, while legal on most grounds, remains dangerous.

Continued: https://thediplomat.com/2021/06/poor-access-to-safe-abortions-is-killing-south-asian-women/

State abortion policies have become more extreme — without Roe v. Wade, the divide could widen

If the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 precedent, the legality of abortion will be left to individual states. Many have already made their intentions clear.

By Daniela Santamariña
June 11, 2021

In May, the Supreme Court decided to review a restrictive Mississippi abortion law that provides a clear path to overturn or diminish Roe v. Wade. The justices will hear the case in October and are likely to deliver a decision in the first half of next year.

A few days after the court’s announcement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill banning abortions the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Together, these laws are the latest in a long line of challenges to abortion rights in the United States.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/06/11/abortion-rights-roe-v-wade/

California moves to make abortion cheaper, as other states work to restrict it

JUNE 7, 2021

SACRAMENTO — Even as most states are trying to make it harder to get an abortion, California could make it free for more people.

State lawmakers are debating a bill to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and payments toward deductibles for abortions and related services, including counseling. The measure, approved by the Senate and headed to the Assembly, would apply to most private health plans regulated by the state.

Continued: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-07/california-to-make-abortion-cheaper-unlike-many-states

Biden’s Budget Keeps Campaign Promise but Neglects Global Commitments


On May 28, President Biden fulfilled a critical campaign promise by submitting his budget without the Hyde Amendment for people enrolled in Medicaid, which for over 40 years has denied insurance coverage of abortion for people in the United States working to make ends meet. This is a historic step in the right direction and it was only made possible because of the critical leadership of women of color over the course of decades. Eliminating the Hyde Amendment from the presidential budget helps ensure that everyone in the U.S., no matter how much money they make, can make their own decisions about their future and health with dignity and respect.

Soon after he took office, President Biden committed to protect the
sexual and reproductive health and rights of people living in the U.S. and
abroad.  But by removing the Hyde
Amendment from his budget but leaving in the Helms Amendment, he kept only half
of that promise.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/06/04/biden-budget-helms-amendment-hyde-amendment-sexual-reproductive-health-rights/

USA – The Sound of Silence on Abortion

June 3, 2021
By Linda Greenhouse

Back in 2014, when the Arizona Legislature passed a bill to provide business owners with a religious excuse to discriminate against gay people, the N.F.L. threatened to move Super Bowl XLIX out of the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.

In 2015, when the N.C.A.A. led a pushback from its Indianapolis headquarters against a similar bill that the Indiana Legislature passed, Gov. Mike Pence said it was all a “great misunderstanding” and eventually signed a watered-down version that met the demands of the N.C.A.A. and other sports organizations that had protested.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/opinion/abortion-corporate-support.html

USA – The Stigma of “Late-Term Abortions” Is the Point

“It’s just normal folks who end up getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back.”

JUNE 3, 2021

When the Supreme Court decided recently to consider Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, Marjorie Dannenfelser from Susan B. Anthony List said: “This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions.”

Dannenfelser’s choice to invoke “late-term abortions” was pointed. Typically, the phrase refers to abortions performed after 21 weeks, but I’ve seen anti-abortion advocates in particular use “late term” in reference to abortions anywhere after 15 weeks. Crucially, there is no real definition or medical designation for what constitutes a late-term abortion, so it’s used somewhat haphazardly. Medical experts also criticize the term for implying that abortions are taking place after a pregnancy reaches “term” at 37 weeks—which does not happen—or a point in pregnancy referred to by obstetricians as “late term,” up to 41 weeks—which also does not happen.

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/06/definition-late-term-abortions-mississippi-15-week-ban-supreme-court/

USA – Clinics Close, but Abortion Continues

Even as abortion is restricted, telemedicine allows some women to end unwanted pregnancies using legal medications.

By Jane E. Brody
May 31, 2021

Abortion is once again a prominent source of controversy, restrictive legislation and, for many, great distress. A little background may help put this in perspective.

Fifty years ago last fall, after New York State adopted the most lenient abortion law in the country, many out-of-state women with unwanted pregnancies sought help from New York doctors.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/31/well/live/abortion-legal-medication.html

The last days of Roe v. Wade?


Pro-choice abortion advocates are warning ominously that the Supreme Court is about to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision. The head of the Center for Reproductive Rights said “alarm bells are ringing loudly” with the threat of overturning Roe. Democratic politicians are raising the same alarms.

The Republican-dominated Court agreed to review a Mississippi law that bans any abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Lower federal courts have ruled against the law. If the High Court reverses those decisions and upholds the Mississippi statute, it effectively would allow states to overturn Roe protections.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/556116-the-last-days-of-roe-v-wade

The looming battle over abortion in the US

By Pratiksha Ghildial, BBC News, Ohio
May 27, 2021

Pro-choice activists say that state lawmakers across the country are trying to restrict abortion at a pace not seen in decades. So what will this mean for a decades-long fight over the issue in America?

On a Friday night, Julie gets ready to go out with her partner while her two boys curl up on the sofa to watch a Disney movie with their babysitter.
It is a typical happy family scene, one that Julie probably never envisaged when, aged just 19, she was raped and took the decision to have an abortion.

PlannContinued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57208053

Biden’s Silence on Abortion Rights at a Key Moment Worries Liberals

As a case before the Supreme Court threatens Roe v. Wade and Democrats’ urgency grows, many activists believe the president needs to be bolder in defending reproductive rights.

By Lisa Lerer
May 27, 2021

State legislatures have introduced more than 500 restrictions on abortion over the past four months. The Supreme Court plans to take up a case that could weaken or even overturn the constitutional right to abortion enshrined nearly a half-century ago in Roe v. Wade.

And as reproductive rights advocates sound alarms about what they see as an existential threat to abortion rights, many worry that the leader they helped elect is not meeting the moment.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/27/us/politics/biden-abortion-democrats.html