Contemporary abortion restrictions and cautionary tales from history

Carla Ramazan
Dec 18, 2020
Reno Gazette Journal

Nearly 20 years ago, my aunt died obtaining an unsafe abortion in our home country, Romania, because federal laws made it impossible to safely terminate a pregnancy. Today, the United States is bordering on a reality where abortion is inaccessible, if not illegal, especially in Republican-controlled states such as Arkansas. This year, a federal court ruled that a variety of first-of-their-kind abortion regulations can be implemented in Arkansas. This decision will push those who seek abortion-care into dark situations.

Beginning this August, doctors in Arkansas
are prohibited from performing dilation and evacuation abortions on patients,
and consequences for not complying include up to six years in prison. Doctors
will also be required to notify local law enforcement when patients under the
age of 17 seek an abortion and will be forced to involve family members of the
patient in deciding how to dispose of fetal tissue remains.

Continued: https://www.rgj.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/12/19/contemporary-abortion-restrictions-and-cautionary-tales-history-ramazan/3953803001/


Abortion and Contraception in the Middle Ages

Both were far more common than you might think

By Roland Betancourt
on December 11, 2020

Today, conversations around abortion in modern Christianity tend to take as a given the longstanding moral, religious and legal prohibition of the practice. Stereotypes of medical knowledge in the ancient and medieval worlds sustain the misguided notion that abortive and contraceptive pharmaceuticals and surgeries could not have existed in the premodern past.

This could not be further from the truth.

Continued: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/abortion-and-contraception-in-the-middle-ages/


An Anti-Abortion Law Killed Rosie Jimenez 43 Years Ago. It’s Still In Effect

ZOE AVELLAN
OCTOBER 20, 2020

When I was younger, I always welcomed October — the change of seasons, the cooler weather, the whole autumn experience. Now, October reminds me of the struggles I overcame, and it makes me think about a young Tejana who faced similar struggles 43 years ago — with tragic consequences.

Rosie Jimenez was born and raised about an hour away from my hometown, in the region of southern Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley. She came from a family similar to mine, with Mexican roots and humble beginnings. But I only heard about her story a few years ago.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/10/10069843/hyde-amendment-abortion-funding-cost-care


This is the future of abortion in a post-Roe America

The fall of Roe v. Wade won’t end abortion. Here’s what it will do.

By Anna North 
Oct 12, 2020

If Roe v. Wade falls, what happens to abortion in America?

That’s the question on a lot of Americans’ minds after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with the Supreme Court on the brink of a 6-3 conservative majority. If the Senate confirms President Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, the Court will likely have the votes to overturn the landmark 1973 decision that established Americans’ right to terminate a pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/21504883/supreme-court-abortion-roe-v-wade-barrett


FIGO Supports Strengthening Access to Telemedicine/ Self-Managed Abortion

1 October 2020
Jameen Kaur, Advocating for Safe Abortion Project, FIGO

28 September 2020: on the 100th anniversary of the first law to legalise access to abortion, FIGO stands in solidarity with the international safe abortion campaign calls to strengthen access to telemedicine/self-managed abortion.

In recent months Alexandra Kollontai’s name has been shared within the reproductive rights community. It was Kollontai’s visionary leadership that led to Russia being the first country in the world to legalise abortion in 1920.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/figo-supports-strengthening-access-telemedicineself-managed-abortion


In Austria, a unique museum in the world dedicated to contraception and abortion

by Bhavi Mandalia 
September 28, 2020

The Austrian capital is home to a museum that is unique in the world: that of contraception and abortion. This little private museum was created in 2007 by gynecologist Christian Fiala who practiced in several African countries before settling in Vienna. He started from a simple observation: the history of contraception and that of abortion remain unknown for many.

Christian Fiala therefore decided to collect various objects that he exhibits by contextualizing them to allow visitors to better understand their fertility in order to better protect themselves.

Continued: https://pledgetimes.com/in-austria-a-unique-museum-in-the-world-dedicated-to-contraception-and-abortion/


USA – What’s at Stake: Access to Abortion

9/17/2020
by MARTHA BURK

What’s at Stake is a new bi-weekly series of abbreviated excepts from Ms. money editor Martha Burk’s book “Your Voice, Your Vote 2020-2021.”

Abortion was legal in the United States from the time the earliest settlers arrived, until states began to criminalize it in the 1800s. By 1910 it was illegal in all but one state, unless in a doctor’s judgment needed to save the woman’s life.

Since very few abortions could be certified as necessary to save a woman’s life, women were forced into the back alleys. In the years before the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade ruling, estimates of illegal abortions ranged as high as 1.2 million per year—some resulting in death.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2020/09/17/whats-at-stake-access-to-abortion/


Why Changes To India’s 50-Year-Old Abortion Law Fail Its Women

After decades of advocacy, it took the Lok Sabha only 15 days—without adequate consultation with those involved—to clear amendments to India’s abortion laws. Instead of making abortion easier for women who need it, such as rape survivors, the changes only make it more difficult.

Sept 6, 2020
SWETA DASH

New Delhi: In 2019, a 13-year-old rape survivor in Madhya Pradesh found out she was pregnant and in her 24th week. With the help of Nikita Sonawane, a lawyer associated with the Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAProject), an advocacy, she approached the High Court in June 2019. The court allowed her to go ahead with the termination of pregnancy—but only six weeks later, by which time she already  reached her 30th week.

“The doctors had to induce delivery. She was in labour for 24 hours,” said Sonawane. Her lawyers pleaded for mental-health support but the biggest government hospital in Madhya Pradesh did not have a child psychologist. "Finally, a psychiatrist was arranged, said Sonavane. "It was an immensely harrowing experience for her.”

Continued: https://www.article-14.com/post/why-changes-to-india-s-50-year-old-abortion-law-fail-its-women


How the taboo on Hindu widow remarriage led to liberal abortion norms in colonial India

While most abortion cases in colonial India were those of Hindu widows, the colonial state rarely prosecuted them, fearing it would add to their suffering.

Aug 10, 2020
Mitra Sharafi

The contours of gender-related reform campaigns also contributed to the lukewarm nature of anti-abortion efforts. From the early nineteenth century, a series of social movements about women emerged across colonial South Asia. One such movement was the campaign to permit and destigmatise the remarriage of Hindu widows. Traditionally, Hindu women in many upper-caste communities did not remarry after the death of their husbands. They lived under ritually and materially restricted conditions in the homes of their dead husbands’ families. The Hindu remarriage movement focused on the plight of young widows, including virgin widows whose husbands had died before adolescent cohabitation began. Unable to remarry, some widows of childbearing age had extramarital relationships and became pregnant. They turned to abortion to avoid social and economic ruin. Financial support from their dead husbands’ families was contingent upon the widows’ continuing celibacy, although occasionally the courts tried to soften this position.

Continued: https://scroll.in/article/963935/how-the-taboo-on-hindu-widow-remarriage-led-to-liberal-abortion-norms-in-colonial-india


When Soviet Women Won the Right to Abortion (For the Second Time)

When Soviet Women Won the Right to Abortion (For the Second Time)

03.08.2020
By Sasha Talaver

After a liberalization period following the Russian Revolution, the Stalin-era Soviet Union drastically restricted women’s right to abortion. But in the 1950s Soviet women won free and legal terminations — achieving the right to choose before almost all of their sisters in the West.

In today’s Russia, feminism is often regarded as something imported from the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union, just like foreign finance or the internet. In this context, the story of how Soviet women won the right to abortion is a sad case of lost memory — it having been forgotten that it was achieved here earlier than in Western countries. Yet this fight was an important example of Soviet women’s political activism — and a story that helps us reconstruct a wider history of socialist feminism in the USSR.

Continued: https://jacobinmag.com/2020/03/soviet-women-abortion-ussr-history-health-care