Emma Campbell describes the long fight for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland
March 24, 2021
Northern Ireland has finally emerged from the shadow of a British law that wreaked untold misery on the island of Ireland. On 22 October 2019, tired but buoyed, we celebrated that people were no longer at risk of being charged with a criminal offence for accessing an abortion. After a long struggle, the women of Northern Ireland now have the best abortion law in the UK and Ireland.
Sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act criminalised doctors and abortion seekers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with punishment up to ‘penal servitude for life’. This remained in place until the 1967 Abortion Act allowed abortion to carried out legally in certain circumstances, even if it wasn’t fully decriminalised.
Anti-abortion activists are suing to block a new law allowing the procedure, and many doctors in conservative areas have declared themselves conscientious objectors.
By Daniel Politi, New York Times
March 7, 2021
BUENOS AIRES — For the first time in more
than a century, women in Argentina can legally get an abortion, but that
landmark shift in law may do them little good at hospitals like the one in
northern Jujuy Province where all but one obstetrician have a simple response:
Abortion opponents are reeling after a
measure legalizing the procedure was signed into law in December, but they have
hardly given up. They have filed lawsuits arguing that the new law is
unconstitutional. And they have made sure doctors know that they can refuse to
terminate pregnancies, a message that is being embraced by many in rural areas.
Bills that ban abortion and punish women and doctors under murder statutes have shown up in state legislatures recently
Fri 12 Feb 2021
At a church-style rally in Arizona, the state Republican lawmaker Walter Blackman described his “perfect” legislative proposal: to prosecute women who have abortions for homicide alongside the doctors who provide them.
Such a bill would be patently unconstitutional in the US – but for anti-abortion rights activists like Blackman that’s the point.
Prosecutors—with the help of doctors and nurses—are punishing pregnant people using laws intended to help them.
Feb 8, 2021
Purvi Patel was suffering from heavy vaginal bleeding when she walked into the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana. She insisted that the bleeding was not the result of pregnancy. After the doctors persisted, however, she admitted that she’d had a miscarriage, and, not knowing what to do, had placed the remains in a dumpster.
What came next is a cautionary tale about what can happen to Black and brown women when they face bias and betrayal by health-care workers who are supposed to help them, and the ways in which hospitals, which are supposed to be places of healing, can become carceral.
Jan. 11, 2021
BY SARAH KINOSIAN AND Mariela Nava
CARACAS (Reuters) - Women's activists in Venezuela have largely halted unofficial abortion services after the arrest of a university professor who helped a 13-year-old girl to end a pregnancy, according to 10 women's rights advocates interviewed by Reuters.
Police in October raided the home of Vannesa Rosales in the northwestern state of Merida and arrested her. Her lawyer says she will likely be charged with inducing an abortion and conspiring to commit a crime for her role in helping the girl terminate a pregnancy after being raped.
Hundreds of criminal cases could be halted following landmark change in legislation
Amy Booth in Buenos Aires
Sun 10 Jan 2021
Argentina has announced it will drop criminal charges against women accused of having abortions following the government’s historic decision to legalise the procedure.
The announcement offers hope to the mostly poor and marginalised women facing criminal sanctions. But lingering problems such as obstetric violence and sexism in the justice system show the struggle for reproductive justice is not over, according to campaigners.
Venezuela: Judicial harassment against woman
rights defender Vannesa Rosales
23 December 2020
Front Line Defenders
On 22 December 2020 the lawyers of woman human rights defender Vannesa Rosales
filed a constitutional appeal before the Court of Appeals of Merida. In the
appeal her lawyers requested that the authorities comply with the rights and
constitutional guarantees of the defender, in particular that she be allowed to
be free pending any legal process against her, and that she face charges only
based on her actions, not on her advocacy for women’s rights.
October 27, 2020
Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation could open the door to a world that many anti-abortion-rights activists have been envisioning for decades.
"I hope and pray that we will be in a world post-Roe v. Wade," said Carrie Murray Nellis, 41, an adoption attorney based in Georgia.
This week, the Republican National Convention has featured graphic and deceptive rails against abortion—the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that Trump has made mainstream over the last few years.
by ANDREA MILLER
This brand of over-the-top opposition to abortion (Abby Johnson promised “the most provocative, impassioned, memorable” anti-abortion speech in history) may seem like a departure from the genteel conservatism of past conventions.
But, in reality, nearly 40 years of GOP opposition to abortion and the party’s failure to respect the importance of making fundamental decisions about our reproductive lives has led us to this point.
What kind of nation allows people to be prosecuted for health care?
By Renee Bracey Sherman
July 15, 2020
Washington, D.C.—Last November, I drove more than 12 hours for an abortion. It wasn’t mine (I had mine in 2005); I picked up a young woman in rural Pennsylvania whom I’ll call Raquel. She needed a ride to a clinic in Maryland to get some pills that she would take back at her home to have a medication abortion. As we drove to the clinic, I told Raquel about what to expect during the appointment; after I finished I paused and said, “As much as I love getting to know you on this drive, did you know you could safely do this at home but the government won’t let you?” She was surprised. Like many people, she knew about limitations on abortion but didn’t know that very safe and basic methods are being restricted because of outdated FDA regulations on how they can be dispensed. The drive bonded us—we still keep in touch, and she approved the inclusion of her story here—but it was an unnecessary exercise, one that antiabortion politicians created to make yet another constitutional right as inaccessible as possible. The cruelty of the barricades along the journey is the point.