Is Europe next? Concerns over abortion rights rise after Supreme Court overturns Roe

“The fact it’s become a talking point is a massive step forward. Whatever anyone’s views are on abortion, it’s not helpful if we can’t talk about it,” one abortion rights opponent said.

Aug. 7, 2022
By Patrick Smith

LONDON — Abortion rights opponents have long been stuck on the fringes of politics in much of Western Europe. The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has many in the movement hoping that is about to change.

That abortion was thrust into the headlines and onto the agenda has been a big step forward, said Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, a co-director of March for Life U.K., an annual event in September in London.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/europe-concerns-abortion-rights-rise-supreme-court-overturns-roe-rcna38651


The plan to overturn abortion rights in Europe

The activists taking inspiration — and money — from US anti-abortion groups

BY CARLO MARTUSCELLI
June 28, 2022

When news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned decades of precedent and opened the door to abortion bans across the country, the reaction from opponents of the procedure in Europe was simple: We can do it too.

With support for legal abortion in Europe polling at the highest in the world, its opponents know they are rowing against the tide. But activists on the Continent got a practical demonstration of how a determined minority can make the impossible happen last weekend, when the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed a POLITICO scoop that it was repealing the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The decision made, or will soon make, abortion illegal across 16 states.

https://www.politico.eu/article/roe-vs-wade-us-the-european-activists-taking-inspiration-and-money-from-us-anti-abortion-groups/


US anti-abortion group targets Ukrainian refugees

Heartbeat International is appealing for money to fund its anti-abortion network in Ukraine and eastern Europe

Diana Cariboni
20 June 2022

US anti-abortion group Heartbeat International is taking advantage of Russia’s war in Ukraine to fundraise for ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ targeting refugees, openDemocracy has learnt.

Reproductive health experts fear the group could use its centres in Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Romania to gain access to vulnerable people and persuade them to continue with unwanted pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/heartbeat-exploits-ukraine-fundraising-anti-abortion-rape/


The network of organisations seeking to influence abortion policy across Europe

The ultra-Christian, anti-abortion and far-right network is allegedly seeking to replicate anti-choice efforts in the US

Angela Giuffrida in Rome and Flora Garamvolgyi
Thu 26 May 2022

A network of ultra-Christian, anti-abortion and far-right organisations is building momentum in its quest to influence abortion policy in Europe as the US supreme court considers striking down Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalised the procedure in America.

Elements of the network originally came together under the name Agenda Europe, holding yearly summits across the continent between 2013 until at least 2018, by which time it had grown to comprise 300 participants, including politicians and Vatican diplomats.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/26/the-network-of-organisations-seeking-to-influence-abortion-policy-across-europe


In a case at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, European groups supported criminalising women who had obstetric emergencies

Diana Cariboni and Tatev Hovhannisyan
3 December 2021

European right-wing groups backed the El Salvador government over the imprisonment and death of a woman for having a miscarriage. But they lost.

One of the groups was the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), a branch of the ultra-conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), led by Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/europe-us-right-groups-elsalvador-criminalising-abortion/


Most of Europe fails to guarantee access to abortion care

A new comprehensive atlas of abortion policies across Europe shows that women’s experience ‘largely depends on their postcode’

Tatev Hovhannisyan
28 September 2021

Women and girls in almost a third of European countries have problems accessing abortion care and some are even forced to continue pregnancies against their will, reveals the European Abortion Policies Atlas, published today on International Safe Abortion Day.

“It is startling how governments are cynically manipulating [the law] to prevent women’s access to abortion,” said Caroline Hickson, regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), co-author of the Atlas with the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF).

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/europe-access-abortion/


The mental health cost of Poland’s abortion ban

Seven months after severe restrictions against abortion came into effect, women are struggling with the emotional toll of the near-total ban.

by Ylenia Gostoli
22 Aug 2021

When Dominika Biernat took to the streets last October, joining the huge public protests against Poland’s near-total ban on abortion, little did she know that in a few months she would become one of its victims.

A single woman and a successful actress with
one of Warsaw’s most renowned theatre companies, her pregnancy was not planned.
But the father was a good friend and when she found out, the 39-year-old
thought it could be one of her last chances to become a mother.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/8/22/the-mental-health-costs-of-polands-abortion-ban


POLAND: Committee on Legal Abortion Without Compromises announced

International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
5 February 2021

Women’s Strike and other pro-choice groups held a press conference on the morning of 3 February in Warsaw. They announced the formation of a Committee on Legal Abortion Without Compromises , which includes: Women's Strike, Abortion Dream Team, Federation for Women and Family Planning, Łódź Dziewuchy Dziewuchom, Grand Coalition for Equality and Choice, and Women's Rights Centre.

The Committee announced that they had drafted a new bill to be tabled in the Polish parliament by the left coalition when sufficient signatures have been gathered; this is the result of cooperation between organisations and women's groups that have been fighting for the right to abortion for many years, and also includes eight women members of parliament from left-wing parties.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/newsletter-5-february-2021?e=372dd34034


Four reasons why Poland’s war on abortion should scare you

This is not just ‘Poland being Poland’. These actions are illegal, inhumane and could spread across Europe – and this is just the beginning.

Neil Datta
3 February 2021

Poland’s near-total abortion ban came into effect last week when it was published in the country’s official government gazette. Polish hospitals and medical practitioners are no longer allowed to carry out an abortion in the case of a foetal anomaly. Such cases made up the great majority of terminations performed in the country, which, even before the new ban, already had the harshest abortion law in Europe – now, abortions are only permitted in cases of rape and incest and when the mother’s life or health are endangered. 

What’s happening in Poland right now shouldn’t be seen as merely typical behaviour by the Polish state. This is not just ‘Poland being Poland’. These actions are illegal, inhumane and could infiltrate the rest of Europe – and this is just the beginning.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/four-reasons-why-polands-war-on-abortion-should-scare-you/


In Italy, religious organizations’ ‘fetus graves’ reignite abortion debate

Catholic and conservative groups are slowly chipping away at abortion rights in Italy, where abortion has been legal since 1978.

November 11, 2020
By Lucía Benavides

A recently discovered cemetery of aborted fetuses where the names of the women who had had abortions appeared on crosses has sparked outrage across Italy.

Retired gynecologist Silvana Agatone says the cemetery discovery renewed a conversation about growing anti-abortion sentiments in Italy, despite the practice being legal since 1978. Although every public hospital is required to provide abortions, she says only about 64% of them do.

Continued: https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-11-11/italy-religious-organizations-fetus-graves-reignite-abortion-debate