Abortions are legal in much of Africa. But few women may be aware, and providers don’t advertise it

By Maria Cheng And Misper Apawu, The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — When Efua, a 25-year-old fashion designer and single mother in Ghana, became pregnant last year, she sought an abortion at a health clinic but worried the procedure might be illegal. Health workers assured her abortions were lawful under certain conditions in the West African country, but Efua said she was still nervous.

“I had lots of questions, just to be sure I would be safe,” Efua told the Associated Press, on condition that only her middle name be used, for fear of reprisals from the growing anti-abortion movement in her country.

Continued: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/africa/abortions-are-legal-in-much-of-africa-but-few-women-may-be-aware-and-providers/article_24b7ad8d-aa20-5134-aa5f-a381fc7ea56c.html

‘I can’t bear the pain’: grieving the lives lost to the Dominican Republic’s abortion ban

A decade after Rossa Nelly Aquino died aged 20 in an illegal clinic, her family are still struggling to find answers. And campaigners are still fighting to update the 140-year-old law

Sarah Johnson in Santo Domingo
Mon 4 Mar 2024

One of the walls in Alba Nely Peña’s front room is adorned with graduation photos of her children. She gave birth to three boys and three girls, but only five smiling faces are on display in her house on the outskirts of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

“My youngest one died. I took her photo down because I can’t bear the pain,” she says, before going into a back room and digging out a framed collage of photos of her daughter. On it are written the words: “We will always remember you, Rossa.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2024/mar/04/i-cant-bear-the-pain-grieving-the-lives-lost-to-the-dominican-republics-abortion-ban

We Won’t Have True Reproductive Justice Until Palestine Is Free

A basic tenet of reproductive justice is the right to choose the circumstances in which to have and raise children.

By Rimsha Syed , TRUTHOUT
December 26, 2023

The reproductive justice movement’s call for bodily autonomy extends beyond walls and borders. As a framework that was coined by Black and Indigenous women and other women of color, the inherent need to place the most marginalized at the epicenter of reproductive freedom speaks to the many intersections of this cause. One cannot recognize the right to reproductive safety without acknowledging the ongoing reproductive violence in Palestine. The unconscionable atrocities against the Palestinian people, not only since October 7 but for the last 75 years, are staunchly antithetical to the reproductive justice movement.

Reproductive justice is both a theoretical objective and a structure for activists advocating around three human rights values: the right to safely choose not to have children; the right to have children under chosen circumstances; and the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. The horror we are witnessing in Gaza is a clear violation of the Palestinian people’s ability to parent their children in an environment free from state violence and settler colonialism.

Continued: https://truthout.org/articles/we-wont-have-true-reproductive-justice-until-palestine-is-free/

Global: People defending abortion rights are being ‘stigmatised, abused, discriminated against, even killed’ – major new report

24 November 2023
Amnesty International

People who are defending the right to have an abortion and those who provide them, and related essential services are being stigmatised, intimidated, attacked and subjected to unjust prosecutions, making this work increasingly difficult and dangerous to carry out, said Amnesty International in a major new report today (24 November).

In the 59-page report, An Unstoppable Movement: A global call to recognise and protect those who defend the right to abortion, reveals how many healthcare workers, activists and advocates around the world face abuse, arrest, prosecution and imprisonment for supporting the right of women, girls and people who can become pregnant to access abortions.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/global-people-defending-abortion-rights-are-being-stigmatised-abused-discriminated

World Contraception Day 2023: History, Significance, Celebration, Global Impact and Challenges

Nibandh Vinod, News18.com
SEPTEMBER 26, 2023

World Contraception Day (WCD) is an annual event observed on September 26. It was first established in 2007 by a coalition of international organizations and advocacy groups, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the United Nations Foundation, and the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health. The primary aim of World Contraception Day is to raise awareness about contraception, promote safe and accessible family planning methods, and advocate for reproductive health and rights worldwide. The day highlights the importance of contraceptive options in achieving broader societal goals related to health, gender equality, and sustainable development.

World Contraception Day History
World Contraception Day was created to address the global need for comprehensive education and access to contraception. Its origins are rooted in the understanding that family planning and contraception play crucial roles in women’s health, gender equality, and population control.

Continued: https://www.news18.com/lifestyle/world-contraception-day-2023-history-significance-celebration-global-impact-and-challenges-8590094.html

Women’s charities sound alarm as aid cuts hit equality spending

Millions of women and girls in poorer nations could be put at risk of unsafe abortion, domestic violence or teen pregnancy, experts say.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Aug. 22, 2023

Aid cuts could put more women and girls at risk of domestic violence, unsafe abortions and dropping out of school as rich nations’ spending to fight gender inequality stagnates for the first time in a decade, charities and policy experts say.

Countries such as Britain, the Netherlands and Japan pledged less money to tackle gender violence in 2020/21, and committed a smaller share of total aid to gender equality programmes for the first time since 2010, a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows.

Continued: https://www.eco-business.com/news/womens-charities-sound-alarm-as-aid-cuts-hit-equality-spending/

Poland to issue more detailed abortion guidelines after another pregnant woman dies

The 33-year-old from Poland, which has some of the strictest abortion rules, died of sepsis after the hospital waited for the foetus to die.

By Lauren Chadwick 

Polish health authorities have appointed a team to issue more detailed pregnancy termination guidelines for medical facilities after a pregnant woman died last month.

Authorities said on Monday that a 33-year-old woman, Dorota, had her rights violated after she died of sepsis in a hospital.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/next/2023/06/12/poland-to-issue-more-detailed-abortion-guidelines-after-another-pregnant-woman-dies

Safe havens? As some nations restrict access, a look at Europe’s abortion limits

Joanna YORK

As US states and nations such as Poland move towards restricting access to abortions, parts of Europe are seen as something of a safe haven for those looking to terminate pregnancies. However, a look at legislation across the continent shows vast discrepancies and how – even if the procedure is often legal – access to abortion is restricted by hurdles ranging from mandatory counselling to a lack of doctors willing to perform the procedure.

More than 95% of women in Europe live in countries that allow some access to abortion. Some 39 European countries have legalised abortion on request, albeit with some restrictions. Six countries have strict limits in place although only three (Andorra, Malta and San Marino) do not allow abortion at all.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20230419-safe-havens-as-some-nations-restrict-access-a-look-at-europe-s-limits-on-abortion

Getting abortion pills into Ukraine during a war meant having to be creative

March 8, 2023
Gregory Warner
6-minute listen with transcript

When Russia invaded Ukraine, the supply of abortion pills dwindled. NPR reporters follow a secret effort to resupply doctors and help women with pregnancies made complicated by war.

This story takes us to the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a covert effort to resupply Ukrainian doctors with abortion pills. The story comes from our podcast, Rough Translation. Because of the secrecy of the doctor's mission and because of medical privacy, most of the people in this story are referred to by just one name or, in one case, no name at all. Here is Rough Translation host Gregory Warner and reporter Katz Laszlo.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2023/03/08/1161859625/getting-abortion-pills-into-ukraine-during-a-war-meant-having-to-be-creative

Benin passed one of Africa’s most liberal abortion laws. Why are women still dying?

Social and spiritual factors mean that desperate women are still risking their lives by resorting to unsafe terminations

Sarah Johnson
Tue 28 Feb 2023

There is a patient Dr Véronique Tognifode, a gynaecologist, will always remember. About eight years ago, Abosede*, a student, visited her clinic in tears. Pregnant with an unwanted baby, she asked for an abortion, but the law in Benin at that time permitted termination only in cases of rape or incest, or where the mother’s life was at risk or the unborn child had a serious medical condition.

Tognifode counselled her, telling her a baby was a blessing and that she would help her through the pregnancy. Tognifode felt Abosede took all this on board, and “she left in a calmer state, saying she would come back for prenatal appointments”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2023/feb/28/benin-africa-liberal-abortion-laws-women-still-dying