Justa Libertad: A Movement to Decriminalize Abortion in Ecuador

The Green Wave Continues to Make Strides in Latin America

April 15, 2024
Cristina Quijano Carrasco, Researcher, Women's Rights - Human Rights Watch

Justa Libertad, an Ecuadorian coalition of eight civil society organizations, recently filed a lawsuit before the Constitutional Court of Ecuador seeking to decriminalize abortion. This crucial initiative seeks to ensure that women, girls, and other pregnant people can access safe abortion care. It follows similar coalitions that achieved progress in other Latin American countries like Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina.

Abortion is currently penalized in Ecuador with up to three years in prison, with exceptions for cases in which the pregnancy represents a risk to the life or health of the pregnant woman or, after a 2021 Constitutional Court ruling, when the pregnancy is the result of sexual violence. Even for cases that fit these narrow exceptions, accessing abortion care remains challenging due to stigma among health personnel and other institutions that hold the belief that once pregnant, women and girls are obligated to become mothers.

Continued:  https://www.hrw.org/news/2024/04/15/justa-libertad-movement-decriminalize-abortion-ecuador

Jailed Protester Says Cuba Tried to Pressure Her to Have Abortion

By Graham Keeley
March 13, 2024

MADRID — A woman serving an eight-year prison sentence related to protests in Cuba says that prison authorities tried to force her to have an abortion.

Lisdany Rodriguez Isaac had always wanted a baby, so when the 25-year-old discovered she was pregnant after a conjugal visit from her partner, Luis Ernesto Jimenez, she was determined to have the baby.

Continued: https://www.voanews.com/a/jailed-protester-says-cuba-tried-to-pressure-her-to-have-abortion/7526323.html

Abortion in S. Korea: neither illegal nor legal

Despite 2019 Constitutional Court order, revision of abortion laws remains pending in National Assembly

By Lee Jaeeun
March 7, 2024

A 33-year-old woman surnamed Kim, living in Seoul, was taken by surprise when she found out she was pregnant late last year.

With no intention of getting married or having a child on her own, she began searching for hospitals that would terminate the pregnancy for her. While searching online, Kim encountered numerous advertisements and blogs listing prices for abortions by vacuum aspiration. The prices varied according to the stage of pregnancy: 600,000 won ($450) before week 7 and 900,000 won before week 10.

Continued: https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20240307050821

France Protects Abortion as a ‘Guaranteed Freedom’ in Constitution

Other Governments Should Follow Suit, Improve Protections for Reproductive Freedom

Hillary Margolis, Human Rights Watch

March 5, 2024

Yesterday at a special congress in Versailles, France’s parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to add the freedom to have an abortion to the country’s constitution. Though abortion has been legal in France since 1975, the historic move aims to establish a safeguard in the face of global attacks on abortion access and sexual and reproductive health rights: President Emmanuel Macron initiated it after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had constitutionalized the freedom to have an abortion as part of the right to privacy.

The vote, a global first in introducing explicit abortion protections in a national constitution, is a win for civil society organizations that have pushed for reproductive justice. This is an important move to uphold the right to autonomy, ensuring people can make informed decisions about their own lives, bodies, health, and wellbeing. That includes choices about sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2024/03/05/france-protects-abortion-guaranteed-freedom-constitution

Will Poland’s New Government Legalize Abortion?

Despite campaign promises, the fight for abortion rights seems far from over.

FEBRUARY 12, 2024
Foreign Policy

After Poland’s parliamentary election in October, many voters were hopeful that the new government would finally scrap the country’s strict abortion law. The law, which had been in place for three decades, was tightened further in 2020, leading to a near-total ban on abortion.

The election ended the eight-year rule of Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), with the opposition winning enough seats to form a coalition government. In the lead-up to the vote, two of the three groups that made up the opposition—the centrist Civic Coalition and the Left—pledged to legalize abortion up to or through 12 weeks of pregnancy; the former promised to do so within the first 100 days in office.

Continued: https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/02/12/poland-abortion-rights-pro-choice-election-coalition-pis-law-ban/

In Poland, I Saw What a Second Trump Term Could Do to America

by Michelle Goldberg
Photographs by Rafal Milach
Feb. 6, 2024

Adam Bodnar, Poland’s new justice minister, recently explained to me the immense challenge of rebuilding liberal democracy in his country after an eight-year slide toward authoritarianism. Imagine, he said, that Donald Trump had won the last election and been in power for two terms instead of one. “What would be the damage?” he asked.

After only four years of Trump, President Biden inherited a furiously divided nation, its courts seeded with right-wing apparatchiks and the nature of reality itself in deep dispute. But as even MAGA die-hards will acknowledge, Trump often failed to bend the state to his will, which is why his allies have a plan to do things differently next time, purging civil servants and replacing them with loyalists. Poland is a country that has just gone through something like what Trumpists hope to impose on us in a second term. Its institutions have been hollowed out. Many experienced technocrats and neutral judges have been replaced by lackeys and ideologues.

Continue: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/06/opinion/abortion-ban-poland-democracy.html

‘Try harder!’: Poland’s women demand Tusk act over abortion promises

Prime minister pledged to liberalise country’s strict laws within 100 days of taking office – but time is ticking away

Ashifa Kassam
Tue 6 Feb 2024

Wielding placards that read “The revolution has a uterus” and “My body, my choice,” they poured on to the streets of Poland, defying coronavirus restrictions and sub-zero temperatures to take part in the country’s largest protests since the fall of communism.

Three years on, the battle against Poland’s draconian abortion measures has moved from the streets to the country’s legislature, in what campaigners describe as a crucial test of the country’s new government.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/06/poland-women-donald-tusk-abortion-promises

Poland shows the difficulties of trying to reverse an abortion ban

By Kate Brady and Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post
January 27, 2024

PRENZLAU, Germany — Only 30 miles separate the two clinics where gynecologist Maria Kubisa works, but what’s legal at her clinic on this side of the border would be criminal at the clinic back in Poland.

So women have been crossing over to seek help from Kubisa on this side, especially in the past three years, since a Polish court backed by a ring-wing government imposed a near-ban on abortion.

Unlocked: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/27/poland-abortion-12-weeks-donald-tusk/

Arizona, Dominican Republic both grapple with 19th century abortion laws

DECEMBER 26, 2023

In Arizona, the state’s highest court is considering whether to restore a near-total abortion ban from 1864, and in the Dominican Republic, women are fighting against an all-out ban from 1884.

The just 20-year difference separating the two laws was striking for Sen. Anna Hernandez, D-Phoenix, who traveled to the Caribbean country earlier this month to learn what awaits women in Arizona if access to abortions is cut off.

Continued: https://www.azmirror.com/2023/12/26/arizona-dominican-republic-both-grapple-with-19th-century-abortion-laws/

European Court: Polish Abortion Verdict Violated Woman’s Rights

A Polish rights group representing the patient said the ruling "is a milestone and another argument that Polish law, which causes so much suffering for women in Poland, must change."

Dec 14, 2023

A court in Europe ruled Thursday that a 2020 Constitutional Tribunal judgment further restricting already limited abortion access in Poland violated a pregnant woman's right to respect for private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The applicant, a Warsaw resident identified in court papers as M.L., became pregnant in 2020. After her fetus was diagnosed with trisomy 21, or Down syndrome, she scheduled an appointment for an abortion at a Polish hospital. However, the Constitutional Tribunal determined that abortions because of fetal abnormalities are unconstitutional, a policy that took effect in January 2021.

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/news/poland-abortion