By Lux Alptraum
JULY 8, 2022
For the past few years, medication abortions have been on the rise in the United States, accounting for 54 percent of abortions performed in 2020 (up from just 39 percent in 2017). With last month’s gutting overturn of Roe v. Wade, that number is now expected to spike even higher despite the legal risks in states where abortion is now criminalized. The reasons are obvious: Medication abortion — a.k.a. “the abortion pill” — offers a safe way to terminate a pregnancy from the comfort of your home, even in places where abortion is criminalized. Clinics may shut their doors and doctors may refuse to provide abortions, but pills remain readily available online.
Why Abortion Battles in America Won’t Halt Reform Abroad
By Nina Brooks, Minzee Kim, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, and Wesley Longhofer
June 16, 2022
Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will release a ruling that is likely to overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the case that affirmed a constitutional right to abortion. Reversing Roe would have profound implications for abortion access in the United States. Such a decision would also have ramifications abroad, particularly if a judicial ruling empowers future U.S. presidential administrations to push for restrictions on abortion in other parts of the world.
It is important, however, not to overstate U.S. influence on global abortion policy. The 1973 case was a landmark in allowing abortion access and served as an example to abortion advocates across the world. But in the 50 years since, the United States’ international messaging on abortion has been incoherent.
One analysis estimates the repeal would result in 19 million fewer unsafe abortions each year.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
By Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams
A group of pro-choice congresswomen launched a fresh bid this week to get rid of a policy that blocks U.S. foreign assistance funds from going to abortion care services and that its critics call a "stark example of neocolonialism."
Led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the group of lawmakers reintroduced on Tuesday the Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act, which would repeal the Helms Amendment.
Reproductive rights groups cautiously welcome Biden's reversal of Trump's abortion access restrictions
By Kara Fox and Nicole Gaouette, CNN
Sat January 30, 2021
For more than four years, countries that rely on American foreign aid have been reeling from the profound impact that Donald Trump's reinstatement of the Mexico City policy has had on women.
The policy, known as the "global gag rule" among opponents, prevents non-government organizations that provide abortions, give counseling about abortions, or advocate for safe access to abortion from receiving US funding.
JANUARY 21, 2021
By Emma Batha
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - President Joe Biden’s decision to scrap a “deadly” Trump-era policy banning funding for aid groups that discuss abortion could unleash billions in dollars for life-saving services in developing countries, women’s rights groups said on Thursday.
“It’s very, very good news. It sends a strong message that reproductive rights are human rights,” said Evelyne Opondo, Africa director at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Biden vowed to repeal the ‘global gag rule,’ but Trump’s ‘anti-woman rhetoric’ isn’t necessarily going away
Jan. 19, 2021
In 2019, Melvine Ouyo, a health policy expert and reproductive rights activist, attended a conference in her city of Nairobi, where antiabortion campaigners were protesting the event. Shortly after that, Ouyo said, she met a pregnant 14-year old girl who had no information about how she could access a safe abortion if she chose.
Ouyo said she believes that if the Trump administration’s “global gag rule” — a U.S. foreign aid policy that restricts funding for abortion-related services — had not been in place, the campaigners wouldn’t have had such a prominent platform, and the girl would have had more information about her reproductive health options.
Another Egregious Attack on Reproductive Health by Trump Administration
Undermining access to reproductive health services during COVID-19 is cruel and detrimental to women’s health and well-being.
by Anu Kumar
The Trump Administration’s latest attempt to roll back reproductive rights and deny essential health care is yet another step toward realizing their extreme anti-rights agenda.
In a letter to the United Nations (U.N.), John Barsa, the acting administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has asked for all references to sexual and reproductive health to be removed from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP).
Feminists Defend Abortion Access Amid Pandemic
May 7, 2020
Emily Keller, International Women’s Health Coalition
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and lockdowns are enforced to stop the spread, abortion access—which is limited even in the best of times—has come under threat worldwide.
While some governments have responded with efforts to expand access to abortion—including the easing of restrictions on abortion pills and self-managed abortion—others, including the United States, have rushed to declare abortion “nonessential,” shut down clinics, and pass legislation to further restrict access. Pregnancy does not stop during a crisis, nor does the need for quality, safe, affordable, and compassionate abortion care. In fact, Marie Stopes International estimates that up to 9.5 million women and girls could lose access to contraception and abortion services due to the pandemic.
(Podcast, 13 minutes) How The US Went From Advocate to Obstructionist
March 6, 2020
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in one of the most consequential abortion cases in decades. Meanwhile, next week brings world leaders to the United Nations — if coronavirus doesn’t intervene — to mark 25 years since reproductive rights were enshrined in international law. It happened in 1995 at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Since then, the US has exchanged its role as a prominent advocate for women’s rights for one that aims to obstruct international agreements that uphold them. Jessica Glenza, who covers health for The Guardian, has the story of how the Trump administration is seeking to re-write international norms about “women’s health,” “women’s rights,” and “gender equality” by seeking to erase those very words. She speaks with Françoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Sigrid Kaag, minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Netherlands, about what the changes mean for human rights and health outcomes around the world.
How to Give Yourself an Abortion
January 9, 2020
Posted by Arielle Swernoff
Illustrated by Matt Lubchansky
For as long as people have gotten pregnant, people have given themselves abortions. Historically, these methods have varied from the brutal to the toxic to the bizarre.
But history hasn’t always gotten it wrong. From the Bronze Age until the 1st or 2nd century BCE, silphium, a plant native to Libya, was used as a safe and effective contraceptive and abortifacient. It’s said the plant was so popular that it was harvested to extinction. More recently, enslaved black people in the American South devised numerous herbal treatments to terminate unwanted pregnancies, some of which are still used today.