BPAS calls on the government to “prioritise women’s health” following an unprecedented demand for abortions

June 1, 2024

Demand for abortions hit a record high in 2022, according to new figures. Now, leading abortion service providers are calling on the next government to prioritise women’s health services amid the ongoing cost of living crisis – highlighting the “finite resources” that GPs and sexual health clinics are currently working with.

The latest statistics on access to abortion care across England and Wales have recently been released. The figures, which account for all of 2022, report that 251,377 abortions were carried out that year – the highest number since the Abortion Act was introduced and an increase of 17% on the previous year. The data also reveals a huge socio-economic disparity, with those living in the most deprived areas of England almost twice as likely to have an abortion than those living in the least deprived areas.

Continued: https://www.stylist.co.uk/news/politics/abortion-cost-of-living-women/891301

UK – Inside social media’s illicit abortion trade – where a late termination costs £350

In Britain, abortions are free on the NHS with pills available by post up to 10 weeks. But a fear of prosecution means women are still turning to illegal online sellers, and face deeply traumatic consequences.

Megan Harwood-Baynes
Saturday 25 May 2024

It's taken less than 10 minutes to find someone willing to sell me abortion pills.

Dr Jane* tells me she is based in Dubai but assures me the medication will arrive in the UK in a matter of days. How pregnant you are doesn't matter - she provides pills as late as eight months. But I am not in the late stages of pregnancy, and this is not the depths of the dark web we are messaging on.

Continued: https://news.sky.com/story/inside-social-medias-illicit-abortion-trade-where-a-late-termination-costs-350-13137631

Number of abortions in England and Wales hits record levels

Official figures show 251,377 abortions were carried out in 2022, a 17% increase on previous year

Caroline Davies and agency
Fri 24 May 2024

The number of abortions in England and Wales has reached record levels, with financial pressures believed to be a factor in why women are choosing not to have a baby.

There were 251,377 abortions for women resident in the two nations in 2022, official figures from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) show, which is the highest since the Abortion Act was introduced almost 60 years ago and a rise of 17% on the 2021 figure.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/24/number-abortions-england-wales-record-levels

We need to talk about how U.S. policy is sabotaging reproductive rights in Africa

A controversial US policy is jeopardizing family planning services and fueling a maternal health crisis in Ethiopia and Uganda.

By Annabel Rocha
May 20, 2024

The lack of reproductive health services in Uganda and Ethiopia leaves those experiencing unwanted pregnancies with few options, and poorer communities with even fewer. Only 13 to 16% of poor, married women in Uganda use modern contraception, according to Guttmacher, resulting in four in 10 births being unplanned. In Ethiopia, 4.5 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception, with 46% of the estimated 4.6 million pregnancies in the country unintended. To support family planning services, these governments rely on international and U.S. funding, which has devastating consequences for health initiatives when support is withdrawn.

Continued: https://www.reckon.news/family/2024/05/how-us-policy-is-sabotaging-reproductive-rights-in-africa.html

UK – Abolish this archaic law that makes criminals of innocent women

MPs have the chance to end the traumatic prosecutions of women suspected of ending their pregnancies

Observer editorial
Sun 12 May 2024

According to one leading provider of abortion services in the UK, police investigations into women suspected of unlawfully ending their own pregnancy have increased substantially in recent years.

Earlier this year, MSI Reproductive Choices reported that this type of criminal investigation was very rare before 2018, but that it was aware of many more happening since then. While the number of women prosecuted for this offence remains small – four in the past 20 years – these police investigations can be traumatic for women, some of whom may have lost their babies, and the risk of prosecution can hang over them for months.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/12/the-observer-view-on-abortion-abolish-this-archaic-law-that-makes-criminals-of-innocent-women

UK – Anti-abortion activists ramping up protests outside clinics after failure to introduce buffer zones

Exclusive: ‘They also hand out baby toys whose limbs have been removed which are covered in fake blood. They sometimes spit from their mouths at clients,’ says clinic manager

Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent

May 4, 2024

Anti-abortion activists are ramping up protests outside clinics in the wake of the government’s failure to introduce “buffer zones” outside medical centres, healthcare providers have warned.

MPs voted in favour of nationwide buffer zones outside abortion clinics in England and Wales in October 2022 but the Home Office has failed to roll them out. MSI Reproductive Choices, the UK’s leading abortion provider, called for the government to bring in the safe zones immediately. They are supposed to stop anti-abortion demonstrators standing outside or in close vicinity.

Continued; https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/anti-abortion-protestors-buffer-zones-b2538099.html

From America with cash: Right-wing groups want to end abortion in the UK

A right-wing political and media ecosystem pushing a US-style anti-abortion agenda is gaining traction in the UK

Sian Norris
19 April 2024

Conservative MPs, hard-right media personalities, and US-backed Christian anti-abortion charities are working to spread their anti-abortion agenda ahead of a parliamentary debate on legislation that would stop women being imprisoned for terminating a pregnancy after 24 weeks.

Emboldened by their success in the United States with the Dobbs decision – the 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned the right to safe and legal abortion in the US – groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Edmund Burke Foundation are now seeking to rollback progress on reproductive rights around the world.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/us-anti-abortion-culture-war-uk-stella-creasy-amendement-/

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

Meta and Google accused of restricting reproductive health information

Report claims posts on abortion and contraception have been deleted while misinformation on the feeds of social media users in Africa, Latin America and Asia has not been tackled

Weronika Strzyżyńska
Wed 27 Mar 2024

Meta and Google are accused in a new report of obstructing information on abortion and reproductive healthcare across Africa, Latin America and Asia.

MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) and the Center for Countering Digital Hate claim the platforms are restricting local abortion providers from advertising, but failing to tackle misinformation that undermines public access to reproductive healthcare.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2024/mar/27/meta-and-google-accused-of-restricting-reproductive-health-information

The Terrifying Global Reach of the American Anti-Abortion Movement

Conservatives have not limited their attack on reproductive rights to the United States. They’ve been busy imposing their will on other countries, too—with disastrous consequences for millions of poor women.

Jodi Enda
March 18, 2024

Because Editar Ochieng knew the three young men, she didn’t think twice when they beckoned her into a house in an isolated area near the Nairobi River. One was like a brother; the other two were her neighbors in the sprawling Kenyan slum of Kibera.

Ochieng did not know the woman who performed her abortion. She and a friend scoured Nairobi until they found her, an untrained practitioner who worked in the secrecy of her home and charged a fraction of what a medical professional would. Mostly, what Ochieng remembers is the agony when this stranger inserted something into her vagina and “pierced” her womb. “It was really very painful. Really, really, really painful,” she told me. Afterward, Ochieng said, she cut up her mattress to use in place of sanitary pads, which she could not afford. She was 16 years old.

Continued: https://newrepublic.com/article/179485/american-anti-abortion-movement-terrifying-global-reach