In Europe and the US, abortion rights are under renewed threat

by Emma Reynolds, CNN
Sun November 1, 2020

(CNN)The Abortion Dream Team usually receives about 400 calls a month, from women seeking advice and information. Last week, the Polish advocacy group had 700 in the space of three days, according to team member Justyna Wydrzynska.

Some came from women who had just arrived at hospital to have abortions because of fetal defects -- only to be told to go home after Poland's highest court on October 22 imposed a near-total ban on abortion.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/01/europe/abortion-rights-poland-us-slovakia-intl/index.html


Poland Court Ruling Effectively Bans Legal Abortions

The decision, which cannot be appealed, halts pregnancy terminations for fetal abnormalities, virtually the only type currently performed in the country.

By Monika Pronczuk
Oct. 22, 2020

A constitutional tribunal in Poland ruled on Thursday that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the country’s Constitution, effectively imposing a near-total ban in a nation that already had some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.

The debate over a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, a divisive issue in a staunchly Roman Catholic country, mirrors the bitter polarization of a society caught between traditional religious values and more liberal ones.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/world/europe/poland-tribunal-abortions.html


Italy: Covid-19 Exacerbates Obstacles to Legal Abortion

Inadequate Measures Heighten Existing Risks for Health, Lives

July 30, 2020

(London) – Government inaction has left women and girls facing avoidable obstacles to accessing legal abortion in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today.

The government’s failure to ensure clear pathways to essential, time-sensitive medical care during the pandemic caused interruptions to abortion services and prevented some women from accessing abortion within the legal time limit, exacerbating longstanding barriers to safe and legal abortion in Italy.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/30/italy-covid-19-exacerbates-obstacles-legal-abortion


Protesting Poles engage in drive for abortion rights

Protesting Poles engage in drive for abortion rights

Joanna Plucinska, Reuters
April 14, 2020

WARSAW — Poles took to social media and their cars on Tuesday to oppose proposals set to be discussed in parliament this week to limit abortion rights and to criminalize sex education in conservative Poland.

As restrictions on movement to contain the novel coronavirus prevented street gatherings, protesters driving in their cars blocked off one of Warsaw’s main roundabouts, Rondo Dmowskiego.

Continued: https://nationalpost.com/pmn/health-pmn/protesting-poles-engage-in-drive-for-abortion-rights


Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed

Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed
Don’t Manipulate Pandemic to Endanger Women, Adolescents

April 14, 2020
Human Rights Watch

(London) – Poland’s Parliament will consider regressive legislation this week that would restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights and put the lives and well-being of women and adolescents at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The legislation is scheduled for reading on April 15 or 16, 2020 as the country remains under a COVID-19-related state of emergency that bans group gatherings.

The bills under consideration were originally introduced in March 2018 and October 2019, and have since been stalled or not moved forward under the Parliament elected in November 2019. Both were met by street protests.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/14/poland-reject-new-curbs-abortion-sex-ed


England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access

England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access
Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow

March 31, 2020
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – and governments across Europe – should swiftly follow suit.

The welcome decision follows outrage and confusion last week after the government announced the change only to reverse it hours later.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/31/england-leads-way-uk-after-u-turn-covid-19-abortion-access


Revealed: US-linked anti-abortion centres ‘lie’ and ‘scare women’ across Latin America

Revealed: US-linked anti-abortion centres ‘lie’ and ‘scare women’ across Latin America
Lawmakers in Mexico, Ecuador and Argentina demand action following “truly scandalous” misinformation revealed by openDemocracy..

Isabella Cota
12 February 2020

“Come on in my love, someone will be with you shortly,” a woman says, welcoming me into a ‘crisis centre’ for women with unwanted pregnancies in a suburb of Mexico City. "I'm going to give you a hug," she adds, with a kiss on the cheek.

The woman’s greeting is warm and it chimes with the centre’s online advertising, on a website called interrumpir-embarazo.com (‘interrupt-pregnancy.com’), as “a group of women who know how difficult it is to face an unwanted pregnancy”, who promise to “accompany you, with security and discretion”.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/revealed-us-linked-anti-abortion-centres-lie-and-scare-women-across-latin-america/


Slovakia may force women to get pre-abortion ultrasound

Slovakia may force women to get pre-abortion ultrasound

By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer
Nov. 29, 2019

LONDON (AP) — Lawmakers in Slovakia are scheduled to debate a proposed law Friday that would compel women seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat of the embryo or fetus, a move many groups have decried as a backward step for women’s rights.

The bill was submitted by three members of the conservative Slovak National Party, who wrote that it is intended “to ensure that women are informed about the current stage of their pregnancy” before having an abortion.

Continued: https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/medical/article/Slovakia-may-force-women-to-get-pre-abortion-14870030.php