MAY 17, 2022
When a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in early May revealed that Rove v. Wade will likely be overturned, protests broke out across the country, as activists pushed for lawmakers to codify the landmark decision that protected a pregnant person’s right to choose abortion via the Women’s Health Protection Act. Over the weekend, the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America held a march and called on all the attendees to wear green and “bring your green bandana.” Similar protests were held in cities like Miami and Washington, D.C., where many attendees likewise sported green scarves on their wrists and necks.
While the green scarf may be the new symbol of the pro-abortion fight in the U.S, it's been around for at least a decade. In fact, it emerged in Argentina in the late 2010s, as the country’s activists fought to decriminalize abortion in a sweeping movement that earned them the title “Marea Verde” or “Green Wave.”
On September 22, 2021, a 30-year-old Polish woman named Izabela died of septic shock at the hospital after her unborn baby’s heart stopped beating. Her death initiated waves of protests across Poland and was seen as the direct consequence of a near total ban on abortion passed in 2020, which outlawed the termination of pregnancies even in the case of fetal defects. Under this new law, unlawful abortion could lead to up to eight years in prison. Terrified of the law and of its potential consequences, Izabela’s doctors waited too long to terminate the pregnancy despite knowing the potential risks for the mother—resulting in her death.
The case of Poland sheds light on a puzzling contemporary phenomenon. The right to abortion has recently been under attack in several countries where it was previously legalized in the late 20th century. In September 2021, the US Supreme Court refused to block legislation in Texas that would ban terminations of pregnancy after six weeks, which is after many women are even aware that they are pregnant. In Turkey, where abortion has been legal since 1983, President Erdogan’s conservative position on abortion is making it increasingly difficult for women to access abortions in public hospitals.
Abortion rights advocates focused on public health consequences of prohibition and disproportionate impact on women in poverty
By Taylor Boas, Mariela Daby, Mason Moseley and Amy Erica Smith
Jan. 18, 2021
Early on Dec. 30, Argentina became only the second democratic country in Latin America to legalize abortion. The Senate’s 38-to-29 vote on a bill passed by the legislature’s lower house was celebrated by masses of green-clad activists in the streets of Buenos Aires. In recent years, these activists have been mobilizing in larger and larger numbers for reproductive rights.
Abortion legalization failed in 2018. What changed?
In 2018, a similar bill was passed by Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies but came up short in the Senate. By 2020, advocates for legalization had President Alberto Fernández on their side; Fernández had defeated antiabortion incumbent President Mauricio Macri in 2019.
What really kicked off the movement was the brutal murders of women in 2015, including a 14-year-old pregnant girl, and led to the creation of the Ni Una Menos (Not One Woman Less) movement, which began highlighting the struggle Argentine women faced in getting underground abortions.
Updated: Jan 02, 2021
hindustantimes.com | Edited by Nilavro Ghosh
Argentina has become the largest South American nation to legalise abortion after massive demonstrations across the country by pro-abortion activists, who had seen several bills about the issue rejected until now. December 30 saw one of the most important moments in Argentina’s history when after more than 12 hours of debate, the Catholic church influenced government passed the law, which legalises abortion allowing terminations up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
“We managed to break the prejudice, and the discussion became a lot less dramatic. Society at large started to understand the debate in more moderate, less fanatic terms,” Lucila Crexell, a senator, was quoted by the New York Times.
Inside Italian public hospitals, I saw how a US-linked anti-abortion network is ‘humiliating’ women
An Italian federation of anti-abortion activists, linked to the US religious right, is “infiltrating” hospitals to stop abortions. I saw them in action. (In Italiano).
9 March 2020
At 8am on a winter Friday morning, the road to the San Pio hospital in Benevento, a small city in southern Italy, is covered by mist. The hospital’s corridors are quiet, except on the second floor, where abortion-related visits are scheduled to start.
More than forty years after abortions were legalised in Italy, they remain hard for women to access – especially in the south, where most doctors refuse to perform them. In 2017, the entire Benevento province was briefly left with no abortion provider after the only non-refuser at the San Pio hospital retired.
How the so-called pro-life movements are attacking women
The city council of Verona has approved a motion supporting local anti-abortion associations, and has declared Verona "a city in favor of life".
Oct 17, 2018
Why this story matters:
"Constitutional democracy was not born out of rights, but out of promises. It was not created containing, for example, the right to divorce, the right to terminate a pregnancy, or equal rights and obligations between spouses, and civil unions. In short, when we denounce the assault on these freedoms, we must keep in mind that these were not granted to us by constitutional democracy, but it is constitutional democracy that gave us the opportunity to pursue them" -- writes political scientist Nadia Urbinati in "La Repubblica" this week.
This means that enjoying those rights necessarily implies a constant struggle to defend them, to never consider them acquired once and for all. There are two reasons for this. The first is that, by definition, freedom is never fully acquired. For example, the laws on divorce and abortion in Italy, despite having represented veritable social revolutions, are nevertheless compromises leaving ample room for improvement.