How the US scrapping of Roe v Wade threatens the global medical abortion revolution

Medical abortions are a global success story, and not one that will be easily derailed by the legislative backsliding in the US. Time, now, to close the access gaps, report Sally Howard and Geetanjali Krishna

BMJ 2022; 379
doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2349 (Published 19 October 2022)

Sally Howard, Geetanjali Krishna

In 2021, a 20 year old woman in Hyderabad, India, discovered she was pregnant.
A well educated, city girl, she was nevertheless afraid of the stigma attached
to unmarried pregnancy and did not know if she could legally terminate the
pregnancy. Around the same time, another young couple living together in
Bengaluru were in a similar predicament.

“Both women were not ready for a child but completely clueless about the
options they had, and the gestation period up to which abortion is legally
allowed in India,” says Anusha Pilli, a doctor who practises privately in
Hyderabad. Pilli helped both women to get medical abortions before their first
trimesters ended.

Continued: https://www.bmj.com/content/379/bmj.o2349


There’s a new surveillance state – and women are the target

Period tracking apps, car licence plate data and pregnancy registers are the latest tools experts warn are being harnessed to monitor women

By Harriet Barber,  GLOBAL HEALTH REPORTER
7 October 2022

Surveillance data and technology are being exploited to stoke fear and prevent abortions in countries including the United States, China, Hungary and Poland.

Period tracking apps, car licence plate data and pregnancy registers are the latest tools activists warn are being harnessed to stop women using legal or geographic loopholes for terminations. All four countries have reversed abortion rights over the past two years.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/women-and-girls/new-abortion-surveillance-state-keeping-tabs-women/


Roe v Wade: How its scrapping will affect women worldwide

The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the longstanding abortion ruling will have a chilling effect on reproductive healthcare provision in low income and middle income countries.

BMJ 2022; 378
doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o1844 (Published 11 August 2022)
Sally Howard, freelance journalist1,  Geetanjali Krishna, freelance journalist

In 2018 a reproductive health organisation in Kenya found that anti-abortion advocates had put the address of its reproductive rights helpline on social media. “It was a veiled threat,” its programme manager, Mina Mwangi, tells The BMJ. “They wanted us to know that they knew how to get us.”

On 24 June 2022 the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protected women’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.1 Sexual and reproductive health rights organisations across the world, including Mwangi’s, feared the effects of the overturning in terms of funding and potential attacks. “We are heightening our security because of how emboldened the opposition are,” Mwangi says, adding that she dreads a potential withdrawal of funds from US non-governmental organisations: her organisation receives over 50% of its funding from US donors.

Continued: https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj.o1844


Global reproductive and women’s rights groups react to overturn of Roe v. Wade

June 24, 2022
Malaka Gharib

How will the overturn of Roe v. Wade affect abortion rights and access outside the U.S.?

Groups that are opposed to abortion have welcomed the decision, including the Family Resource Council, which has called it "a major victory for life." But many global reproductive and women's rights groups are condemning the decision and warn that the U.S. overturning of the constitutional right to abortion will have far-reaching effects around the globe. Here's a sampling of reactions:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/06/24/1107370547/global-reproductive-and-womens-rights-groups-react-to-overturn-of-roe-v-wade


Roe v Wade: How People Globally Are Protesting to Support Abortion Rights & Why It Matters

Activists are highlighting the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade as a crisis for women’s health.

By Tess Lowery
May 19, 2022

Abortion rights supporters around the world reacted with outrage to the leak on May 3 of a draft opinion of a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling which safeguarded the right to abortion across the United States.

If the court were to end protections for abortion, at least 26 US states would be certain or very likely to outlaw abortion, experts say. But as many human rights advocates and activists have highlighted, outlawing abortion does not stop abortions from happening, it just makes them more dangerous for those seeking them.

Continued: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/roe-v-wade-how-people-globally-are-protesting-to-s/


US supreme court abortion reversal would be global ‘catastrophe’ for women

If Roe v Wade is overturned, it will encourage anti-choice groups – particularly in the developing world, activists warn

Wed 18 May 2022
The Guardian

The probable demise of abortion as a federal right in the US will be a “catastrophe” for women in low and middle-income countries, with an emboldened anti-choice movement likely to raise renewed pressure on hard-won gains, doctors and activists have warned.

The leak this month of the US supreme court’s draft majority opinion, which argued that the 1973 ruling effectively legalising abortion had been “egregiously wrong from the start”, stunned and enraged many in America.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/may/18/us-supreme-court-abortion-reversal-would-be-global-catastrophe-for-women


How the US abortion rights battle is affecting women across the world

US anti-choice groups are supporting local agencies in countries across Africa and are spreading stigma and false information about sexual and reproductive health, often putting women’s lives at risk

By Sarah Shaw
December 23, 2021

As the US Supreme Court prepares to rule on what would be the greatest abortion rights rollback since Roe v Wade enshrined access to terminations in law in 1973, the effect of its decision could send shockwaves across the world.

While the effect of US abortion policies overseas is not a new phenomenon, it’s likely that any move to constrain or repeal Roe v Wade would have an unprecedented chilling effect on abortion rights globally.

Continued: https://inews.co.uk/news/world/us-abortion-rights-battle-how-affect-woman-across-world-1365601


Texas abortion ban means ‘other US states will follow’, pro-choice campaigners warn

‘Rich women will have abortions, and poor women will die or have babies. That’s what’s going to happen in Texas’

By Jasmine Andersson, iNews UK
September 2, 2021

Texas’s strict new abortion ban puts women’s lives at risk and could cause other US states to follow suit, campaigners have warned.

In a major blow to abortion rights, the US Supreme Court refused to block the law – known as S.B. 8 – which bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

https://inews.co.uk/news/world/texas-abortion-law-ban-us-states-pro-choice-campaigners-1179534


A Biden Promise About Overseas Abortion Funding Could Prove Difficult To Implement

December 3, 2020
Nurith Aizenman

Among the promises that President elect-Biden is expected to fulfill immediately upon taking office: lifting a ban that President Trump imposed on U.S. foreign aid dollars related to abortion.

Specifically, the ban prohibits foreign aid funding for privately-run overseas-based groups that "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning" for women. Among the activities that are barred: providing referrals for abortion or offering advice or medical information on the procedure. And this is prohibited even if the group funds their communications around abortions with non-U.S. sources.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/12/03/933052858/a-biden-promise-about-overseas-abortion-funding-could-prove-difficult-to-impleme


In Europe and the US, abortion rights are under renewed threat

by Emma Reynolds, CNN
Sun November 1, 2020

(CNN)The Abortion Dream Team usually receives about 400 calls a month, from women seeking advice and information. Last week, the Polish advocacy group had 700 in the space of three days, according to team member Justyna Wydrzynska.

Some came from women who had just arrived at hospital to have abortions because of fetal defects -- only to be told to go home after Poland's highest court on October 22 imposed a near-total ban on abortion.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/01/europe/abortion-rights-poland-us-slovakia-intl/index.html