U.S. signs international declaration challenging right to abortion and upholding ‘role of the family’

By Miriam Berger
Oct. 22, 2020

The United States joined Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia and Uganda on Thursday to co-sponsor a nonbinding international antiabortion declaration, in a rebuke of United Nations human rights bodies that have sought to protect abortion access.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar participated in the virtual signing ceremony. The Geneva Consensus Declaration aims to promote women’s health, “defends the unborn and reiterates the vital importance of the family,” Pompeo said at the ceremony.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/10/22/trump-geneva-consensus-abortion-family/


Poland abortion: Top court ban almost all terminations

October 22, 2020

Poland's top court has ruled that abortions in cases of foetal defects are unconstitutional.

Poland's abortion laws were already among the strictest in Europe but the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling will mean an almost total ban.

Once the decision comes into effect, terminations will only be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother's health is at risk.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54642108


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


COVID-19 threatens women’s access to reproductive care

12-minute video
01.10.2020

The coronavirus is pushing more women to seek
illegal abortions, as lockdowns limit access to healthcare. In developing
countries, one in three terminations is carried out in dangerous conditions.
Women in Africa are at the highest risk of dying from an unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-threatens-womens-access-to-reproductive-care/av-55124691


How the pandemic has affected abortion rules around the world

By Miriam Berger
September 26, 2020

Argentina’s president was expected to propose a landmark law to decriminalize abortion, setting a new standard for Latin America. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The release date was delayed, indefinitely.

Ruth Zurbriggen, a reproductive rights activist with the group Socorristas en Red, felt “pain and rage.” But the group’s work continued — efforts, she said, made even more pressing as the pandemic took center stage.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/09/26/coronavirus-pandemic-global-abortion-access-reproductive-health


Brazil: Revoke Regulation Curtailing Abortion Access

Reporting Rape Survivors to Police Can Endanger Their Health

September 21, 2020

Human Rights Watch

Brazilian authorities should revoke a Health Ministry regulation that erects
new barriers to legal abortion access, Human Rights Watch said today.

Among other measures in the August 27, 2020 regulation that could discourage
women and girls from accessing legal abortion, it requires medical personnel to
report to the police anyone who seeks legal termination of a pregnancy after
rape, regardless of the rape survivor’s wishes. The Ministry of Family, Women,
and Human Rights has also announced it will create a hotline for medical
personnel that could be used to report women and girls whom they suspect had an
illegal abortion.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/09/21/brazil-revoke-regulation-curtailing-abortion-access


A 10-Year-Old Girl’s Ordeal to Have a Legal Abortion in Brazil

August 20, 2020
Delphine Starr, Coordinator, Children's Rights Division
Human Rights Watch

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old-girl in Espírito Santo State, Brazil, discovered she was pregnant after 4 years of repeated rape by her uncle, who threatened her to keep quiet. The girl, who lives with her extended family, wanted to end the pregnancy, which could have endangered her life at such a young age. Under Brazilian law, which allows abortions in cases of rape and when it is necessary to save the pregnant person’s life, she had the right to do so. However, the hospital where she was admitted refused to perform the abortion, alleging it did not have the authority to conduct the procedure. Following a judge’s intervention and a 900-mile journey to receive care, the girl finally had the abortion on August 17.

But her ordeal didn’t end there.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/08/20/10-year-old-girls-ordeal-have-legal-abortion-brazil


China – Xinjiang Hospitals Aborted, Killed Babies Outside Family Planning Limits: Uyghur Obstetrician

2020-08-17
Radio Free Asia

Hospitals in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) were forced to abort and kill babies born in excess of family planning limits or who were in utero less than three years after the mother’s previous birth, according to a Uyghur obstetrician and other sources.

Hasiyet Abdulla, who currently lives in Turkey, worked in multiple hospitals in Xinjiang over the course of 15 years, including the XUAR Hospital of Traditional Uyghur Medicine.

Continued: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/abortions-08172020144036.html


COVID-19 has “devastating” effect on women and girls

Sophie Cousins, The Lancet
August 01, 2020
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31679-2

Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund, is among experts warning about disrupted health services and a surge in gender-based violence. Sophie Cousins reports.

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, fears are increasing about the effect of the pandemic on women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and their access to care. In response to COVID-19, in March, WHO issued interim guidance for maintaining essential services during an outbreak, which included advice to prioritise services related to reproductive health and make efforts to avert maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31679-2/fulltext