Legal Yet Limited: Abortion Rights in Nepal

Gaps in Access and Equity Pose Challenges to Reproductive Rights

Shivani Mishra, Associate, Women's Rights Division
June 13, 2022

Following the deaths of countless women who had undergone unsafe abortions, Nepal legalized the procedure in 2002. In 2018, Nepal’s government went further to protect women, enacting legislation that recognizes seeking abortion as a fundamental human right. But more needs to be done to expand safe abortion access across the country.

Nepal’s abortion law permits women to seek abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of gestation, and up to 28 weeks in cases of rape or incest. Abortion is also legal up to 28 weeks of the pregnancy if a licensed medical practitioner identifies a risk to the woman’s mental or physical health or if the fetus is “likely to become non-viable.”


South Korea’s Constitutional Right to Abortion

Activists Fought Hard for Change

Lina Yoon, Senior Researcher, Asia Division
June 9, 2022

Abortion was decriminalized in South Korea by court order in 2021, and millions of women breathed sighs of relief.

In April 2019, South Korea’s Constitutional Court had ruled that making abortion a criminal offense was unconstitutional and ordered the legislature to revise the laws by the end of 2020. The judges said women and girls should have up to 22 weeks into their pregnancy to allow “sufficient time to make and carry out a holistic decision.”


Ireland and Latin America Can Inspire the US Abortion Fight

Analysis by Clara Ferreira Marques | Bloomberg
May 30, 2022

For decades, activists across the world have looked to Roe v. Wade, the landmark US ruling on abortion, as a model worthy of emulation. With the Supreme Court now set to overturn that decision, roles need to reverse: US rights groups must now turn to successful campaigns in Latin America and in Ireland for inspiration and advice on mobilizing voters, galvanizing legislators and widening support.

The impact of these popular movements is hard to overestimate. The Latin American marea verde, or green wave, emerged in Argentina in response to high rates of violence against women with the Ni Una Menos campaign, or Not One Less, and mass street protests. It expanded to include a demand for legal and safe abortions, and took its name from the green scarves women began to wear …

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The US Is Falling Behind Other Democracies When It Comes to Abortion

Centering on the Human Rights of Pregnant People Is Key

May 23, 2022
Macarena Sáez, Executive Director, Women's Rights Division

People in the US are awaiting a Supreme Court opinion that may redefine abortion rights in the country. They do so with a legitimate fear that the court may overturn Roe v. Wade, dismantling the half-century framework that has allowed millions of women to access legal abortion care.

The concern is justified. The erosion of reproductive rights in the US has been happening for several years, with states creating obstacles for healthcare professionals and clinics providing abortion services, while also imposing burdens on those seeking abortions, which delays and impedes them from exercising their human right to access an abortion.


Killed by abortion laws: five women whose stories we must never forget

As the US supreme court threatens to undo 49 years of access to safe and legal terminations, five women who died because of bans on abortion stand as warnings of what is at stake globally

Joe Parkin Daniels, Sarah Johnson, Weronika Strzyżyńska, Kaamil Ahmed and Mercy Kahenda
Sat 7 May 2022

[Stories about:]

Savita Halappanavar, Ireland
Olga Reyes, Nicaragua
‘Izabela’, Poland
‘Manuela’, El Salvador
‘Mildred’, Kenya


Abortion rights: While the US is on brink of rolling back Roe v Wade, where is Europe headed?

By Luke Hurst 
May 6, 2022

Europe is feeling the political shockwaves from the US Supreme Court’s proposed reversal of women’s reproductive rights.

Campaigners have been shocked by the leaked opinion, which suggests it is considering overruling the landmark Roe v Wade case which legalised abortion nationwide in 1973.


Activist faces trial in Poland for aiding abortion

Justyna Wydrzyńska faces a three-year prison term for providing abortion-inducing tablets to a pregnant woman.

By Anna Koslerova, Al Jazeera
Published On 4 Apr 2022

Justyna Wydrzyńska, 47-year-old mother of three, who has been helping women access abortion for more than 15 years, is set to face trial in Poland this week for violating the country’s strict abortion law.

She could be imprisoned for a maximum of three years if found guilty of providing abortion-inducing tablets to a pregnant woman.


International coalition to support filing of a suit to stop South Korea’s shutdown of

March 11, 2022
Women on Web

On December 13, 2020, the Korea Communication Standards Commission (KCSC) issued a ruling to block South Korea’s access to, Women on Web’s website that provides information on women’s health, sexual and reproductive rights, medical abortion, and thereby helps women to obtain safe, timely and affordable abortion care, charging that the website facilitates sale of unprescribed drugs by non-pharmacists.

The ruling to block the website follows a similar ruling on that was issued on March 11, 2019. the undersigned organizations including Open Net, Women on Web International Foundation, Human Rights Watch are concerned that KCSC’s ruling blindly follows a request to KCSC by Korea’s Food and Drug Agency (KFDA) to block the site within Korea for distributing drugs in ways unapproved, without an independent professional analysis based on communications governance and excessively restricts women’s access to knowledge.


Guatemala increases abortion penalty, bans same-sex marriage

While some countries in Latin America have expanded abortion access, Guatemala increased prison sentences for women who have abortions.

March 10, 2022
By Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemalan lawmakers have increased prison sentences for women who have abortions, bucking a recent trend in Latin America toward expanding access to the procedures.

As some of Latin America’s largest countries — Mexico, Argentina, Colombia — have expanded abortion access in the past two years, there remain countries where conservative religious trends continue to hold sway.


France Expands Abortion Access in Two Key Moves

Positive Steps Advance Reproductive Rights

March 1, 2022
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

Over the past 10 days, France made two notable advances for reproductive rights. On February 23, parliament voted to extend the legal timeframe for abortion under any circumstances from the twelfth to the fourteenth week of pregnancy. On February 19, the government eased access to medication abortion as an alternative to more invasive surgical procedures.

France’s 12-week time limit for abortion on request had forced thousands of women annually to travel outside of France to procure legal abortions. Its new 14-week limit mirrors that of Spain, while other European Union countries go further: abortion for any reason is legal in Sweden up to 18 weeks and in the Netherlands up to 24 weeks.