Monday, 5 October 2020
...so goes an old common blessing given to an Indian bride, talks of gender equality notwithstanding. While the small family norm slogan of 'hum do, hamare do' (we two, ours two) has rubbed in well the penchant for begetting at least one son has not waned.
Many modern Indian women find their womanhood incomplete without begetting a son. I know of several highly educated and professionally qualified young Indian women who heaved a sigh of relief and smug satisfaction on having a boy as their first or second born. A complete Indian family is envisaged as one with two kids- at least one of who ought be a son.
Anti-abortion groups hope to keep Americans voting Republican despite anger at leaders’ handling of the coronavirus, race and the economy. Abortion-rights groups say the issues are all linked.
By Maggie Astor
Aug. 18, 2020
It would be difficult to overstate the significance of this year’s elections for the future of abortion in America. The results could eventually determine whether Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court or codified by Congress.
Normally, stakes that high would make abortion a primary focus of the 2020 campaign. But normally, the country wouldn’t be experiencing a pandemic, a recession and a civil rights movement all at once. On Night 1 of the Democratic National Convention, the sum total of the attention abortion received was the second it took Kamala Harris to say “reproductive justice” in a video montage.
Reproductive justice is about much more than the freedom to choose to terminate a pregnancy or not – it challenges systems of oppression and discrimination and calls for a focused action plan for law reform.
By Tlaleng Mofokeng
14 August 2020
Dignity, bodily integrity, equality, safety and security, and health – including reproductive health – are human rights.
States must work to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, age, immigration or documentation status, geography or class, are able to access life-affirming and comprehensive healthcare. No circumstances or interventions should lead to discrimination, obstruction of access to abortion, or complications or death due to unsafe procedures.
With abortion services becoming available through telemedicine and self-managed abortions increasingly gaining traction globally, the relevance and legality of abortion law should be questioned as women demand reproductive justice, and feminists get organising.
By Marion Stevens
14 August 2020
Abortion has always been legal in South Africa, a fact which may surprise many people. The colonial government introduced Roman-Dutch law, which allowed abortions to take place under certain conditions.
The Abortion and Sterilisation Act 2 of 1975 reserved access to abortion for white women, while increasing control over black women’s bodies – all within a population control framework. Under this act, approximately 1,000 white women accessed abortion every year, while the number of black women seeking abortions was not even recorded.
by Corinne Ahrens
In June Medical Services v. Russo, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act—a predatory law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. If left unchecked, the law had the potential to virtually eliminate abortion access across the state, leaving thousands of Louisianan-residents with no way to obtain a safe, legal abortion.
The Louisiana law argued in June Medical is identical to a Texas law struck down in the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, as both required a 30-mile admitting privilege requirement for physicians. Both laws purport to protect those seeking an abortion—but were actually intended to shut down clinics and deny abortion care to those who need it most.
July 26, 2020
Across the country, abortion rights are yet again under threat. While Maine is luckily spared from many of these attacks due to our strong legal protections, we are not exempt from the impact that divisive language can have on reproductive rights and access.
The current discourse is saturated with problematic sound bites and overly simplistic messaging about abortion rights, leading to confusion, division and stigma. Well-intentioned politicians and supporters can unintentionally harm marginalized groups at a time when we should be centering those communities.
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.
As a Black abortion provider in Arizona, I am no stranger to abortion restrictions—or the vitriol and racism that comes with it.
Jul 10, 2020
As a physician and one of six African Americans in the country who own abortion clinics, I had been anxiously awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in June Medical Services v. Russo. We are witnessing a historic moment in the movement for Black lives in this country, with people taking to the streets in solidarity all over the world while reeling physically and economically from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the future of abortion access hung in the balance.
I find myself at the intersection of all of this, as a Black woman who performs abortions and owns a clinic in Arizona.
The idea that abortion is always a clear choice is far too simplistic and minimises the experiences of lots of those seeking abortion care
July 5, 2020
A conversation on how we think about abortion access and how inclusive our services are is long over due. For far too long, the abortion movement has championed access for all those that require abortion care but with little acknowledgement of the wider structures that govern our reproductive health.
While it is estimated that a quarter of all pregnancies end in abortion – the idea that abortion is always a clear choice is far too simplistic and minimises the experiences of lots of those seeking abortion care. Recent Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) data revealed that black women are more likely to report a consecutive abortion compared to their white and Asian counterparts.
The June Medical ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court illustrates how relying on stare decisis can only go so far in ensuring abortion access.
by Jennifer Taylor
3 Jul 2020
We often hear that we’re living in “unprecedented times.” What is not unprecedented is the precarious status of abortion access in the United States (and parts of Canada, too). While abortion rights seem slightly safer after the decision of the United States Supreme Court in June Medical Services LLC v Russo, this is a shaky victory.
If anything, June Medical proves that precedent is slippery — and political.