In Mexico, legal struggle to free women jailed for abortion

By FABIOLA SÁNCHEZ
Dec 28, 2022

MEXICO CITY (AP) — About 200 women are still in prison in Mexico under outdated anti-abortion state laws even though the Supreme Court decriminalized abortion last year, advocates said.

Some of these women suffered miscarriages and never had an abortion procedure, advocates said. Yet they are still being punished under many state laws that consider abortion to be a form of homicide.

Continued: https://apnews.com/article/abortion-politics-mexico-reproductive-rights-government-67e1a36096bf3390e9d38bad9ff4bbdd


Salvadoran women jailed for abortion warn US of total ban

By LUIS ANDRES HENAO and JESSIE WARDARSKI
Jun 9, 2022

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was nine months pregnant and working at a school cafeteria when she felt extreme pain in her back, like the crack of a hammer. She called 911 seven times before fainting in a bathroom in a pool of blood.

The nightmare that followed is common in El Salvador, a heavily Catholic country where abortion is banned under all circumstances and even women who suffer miscarriages and stillbirths are sometimes accused of killing their babies and sentenced to years or even decades in prison.

Continued: https://apnews.com/article/abortion-politics-health-caribbean-religion-8dcebe19ea1d3f20ef288463f4392da4


USA – She was jailed for losing a pregnancy. Her nightmare could become more common

Chelsea Becker, prosecuted for murder after her stillbirth, spent 16 months in jail: ‘Why did the hospital call police?’

Sam Levin, The Guardian
Sat 4 Jun 2022

On 4 November 2019, TV stations across California blasted Chelsea Becker’s photo on their news editions. The “search was on” for a “troubled” 25-year-old woman wanted for the “murder of her unborn baby”, news anchors said, warning viewers not to approach if they spotted her but to call the authorities.

The next day, Becker was asleep at the home she was staying in when officers with the Hanford police department arrived. “The officer had a large automatic weapon pointed at me and a K-9 [dog],” Becker, now 28, recalled in a recent interview. “I walked out and surrendered.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/03/california-stillborn-prosecution-roe-v-wade


How will laws against abortion be enforced? Other countries offer chilling examples

In Argentina, midwives were prosecuted. In Brazil, clinics were raided. In Rwanda, hundreds of women went to jail

By GILLIAN KANE
MAY 25, 2022

Within the next month it is very likely the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the federal constitutional right to an abortion. When that happens, dormant trigger laws in many states will immediately go into effect and abortion will become a crime. Because abortion will be regulated at the state level, enforcement and penalties will vary greatly. Kentucky, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee, South Carolina and Missouri are just some of the states that would make providing an abortion a felony, with penalties including jail time up to 20 years. Other states, too impatient to wait for the court decision, have already moved to increase penalties for either having or providing an abortion. Louisiana attempted to classify abortion as a homicide, although lawmakers there have since walked back the effort. Texas is uniquely punitive, criminalizing abortion after six weeks and incentivizing enforcement through the private sector by offering bounties of $10,000 cash to deputized ordinary citizens who can sue anyone involved in providing an abortion.

Continued: https://www.salon.com/2022/05/25/how-will-laws-against-abortion-be-enforced-other-countries-offer-chilling-examples/


Texas Woman, 26, Charged With Murder After Alleged ‘Self-Induced Abortion’

The extreme move comes after Texas passed a draconian anti-abortion law last year that has forced thousands of women to seek care out of state.

Mary Papenfuss, Huffpost
Apr. 9, 2022

A 26-year-old Texas woman was finally released from jail Saturday after she was arrested and charged with murder for what authorities called a “self-induced abortion.”

Lizelle Herrera was arrested Thursday and held two nights in jail after officials said she “intentionally and knowingly cause[d] the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” according to a spokesperson for the Starr County Sheriff’s Office.

Continued: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/texas-murder-charge-self-induced-abortion_n_62510a34e4b06c2ea31d9ec3


Thousands march in El Salvador to demand abortion rights

06/03/2022

San Salvador (AFP) – Around 2,000 women marched in El Salvador's capital on Sunday to demand the legalization of abortion and a decrease in the killings of women in the Central American country.

With slogans such as "It's my body, abortion is my right," "No more patriarchal violence" and "Women are strong and together we take care of ourselves," they demonstrated in San Salvador wearing purple or green scarves around their necks in anticipation of International Women's Day on March 8.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220306-thousands-march-in-el-salvador-to-demand-abortion-rights


Latin American Abortion Laws Hurt Health Care and the Economy—a Lesson for a Post-Roe U.S.

A region with some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws has started to tentatively move in the opposite direction

By Emiliano Rodríguez Mega
on January 4, 2022

As the U.S. braces for the possible rollback of abortion rights later this year, seismic shifts are happening south of the border. A series of recent legal and legislative decisions has begun to loosen restrictions in Latin America, a region with some of the world’s harshest antiabortion laws. And they could chart a path toward reform for governments that still advocate for the procedure to remain illegal. The health and economic consequences of keeping longtime bans in place may provide cautionary lessons for the U.S. as a Supreme Court decision to scrap Roe v. Wade appears to be imminent.

El Salvador has stood out for its aggressive pursuit of pregnant people who seek an abortion or have a miscarriage. Since 1998 the country has upheld a total ban on abortion, even in cases of rape, incest and high-risk pregnancy. As a result, about 181 women were prosecuted between 2000 and 2019 for getting an abortion or suffering an obstetric emergency, according to data compiled by a human rights group.

Continued: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/latin-american-abortion-laws-hurt-health-care-and-the-economy-a-lesson-for-a-post-roe-u-s/


The Mexican Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion

In a landmark ruling, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared anti-abortion laws unconstitutional. But it’ll take mass organizing and legislative victory to cement reproductive rights in the country.

BY KURT HACKBARTH
09.16.2021

On September 7, the Mexican Supreme Court struck down a law from the State of Coahuila which penalized having or performing an abortion with one to three years of prison. In doing so, it took a historic step: in a unanimous ruling, it proceeded to declare the criminalization of abortion in general to be unconstitutional. “Never again must a woman or a person capable of gestating be criminally judged,” said Justice Luís María Aguilar, author of the ruling. “Today the threat of prison and the stigma that weighs on people who freely decide to interrupt their pregnancy are removed.”

In their concurring opinions, other members of the court were surprisingly frank about the grounds for their decision. “[T]he reasons that lead a woman to abort, the conditions of secrecy and insalubrity some are forced into, the consequences for their physical and mental health… produce unimaginable human suffering, especially for women who live in economic and social marginalization,” wrote the president of the court, Justice Arturo Zaldívar. “It is a crime that, in practice, punishes poverty.”

Continued: https://jacobinmag.com/2021/09/mexico-supreme-court-decriminalization-abortion-feminism-health-law


Mexico activists celebrate abortion ruling as a sign of culture change

Justices decision to decriminalise abortion was based on human rights arguments and will mean fewer criminal investigations

David Agren in Mexico City
Thu 9 Sep 2021

Activists in Mexico have hailed a supreme court decision to decriminalise abortion, saying it would stop the legal prosecution of women who terminate their pregnancies – and those reported to the authorities after suffering miscarriages.

The decision, handed down unanimously on Tuesday, declared that criminal sanctions for abortion in the northern state of Coahuila were unconstitutional. The decision sets precedent, according to lawyers involved in abortion cases, and will be applicable across the country.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/sep/09/mexico-ruling-decriminalise-abortion-activists


If You’re Jailed for Having an Abortion, This Fund Will Help With Bail

The Repro Legal Defense Fund is a new initiative that will support people who are investigated, arrested, or prosecuted for self-managed abortions.

Jun 9, 2021

Rafa Kidvai, Rewire

Since 2000, dozens of people have been unjustly accused of a crime for ending
their own pregnancy—that is, self-managing abortion outside of a clinical
setting—or for helping a loved one do so. And those are just the cases we know
of to date.

As lawyers and advocates for reproductive justice who fight attacks on
self-managed abortion, we’ve tracked these unjust investigations, arrests, and
prosecutions across the United States, both in localities where self-managed
abortion is explicitly criminalized and in places where police and prosecutors
have manipulated laws to target people.

Continued: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/article/2021/06/09/we-need-bail-funds-for-abortion-now-heres-why/