Abortion, sexuality, global health and more: A chat with South Africa’s ‘Dr T’

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 | NEWS

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng—known popularly as Dr T—you have somehow missed her ubiquitous presence on radio, TV, social media and numerous other platforms. She’s a medical doctor, sex expert and health activist. She’s a member of the South Africa Commission on Gender Equality and was recently appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Dr. Mofokeng is also the author of A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure. She took time from her busy schedule to field some questions from Ipas.

Congratulations on your recent appointment as a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health—and for being the first woman from Africa named to that post. What excites you most about this new role?

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/news/abortion-sexuality-global-health-and-more-a-chat-with-south-africas-dr-t/


Meeting Women’s Modern Contraceptive Needs Could Yield Dramatic Benefit

September 9, 2020
By Deekshita Ramanarayanan

“Achieving true progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights requires a comprehensive approach and a commitment to tackling deeply entrenched inequities and injustices of which marginalized communities continue to bear the brunt,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute. She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event where speakers analyzed findings from the Guttmacher Institute on the state of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally.

The current COVID-19 pandemic threatens to roll back progress made towards SRHR.  “A growing body of evidence shows that the pandemic is already limiting access to sexual and reproductive health care worldwide, especially in low- and middle- income countries,” said Sarah Barnes, Project Director of the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center. These impacts go unrecognized because they are indirect results of health system disruption rather than the direct impact of a virus, said Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at the Guttmacher Institute.

Continued: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2020/09/meeting-womens-modern-contraceptive-yield-dramatic-benefit/


Malaysia – LETTER | Reduce adolescent pregnancy, uphold sexual and reproductive health

Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia
Published 9 Sep 2020

LETTER | We, leaders and representatives of civil society organisations, professional societies, scientific associations, faith-based organisations, government agencies and departments, private for-profit entities, non-governmental, non-profit organisations, and citizens of Malaysia, are united to reduce unintended adolescent pregnancies in Malaysia.

We desire a society where every person below 18 years of age enjoys health and well-being, is treated with love and respect, and is capable of realising their fullest potential. However, we are concerned with the reported rising rate of unprotected adolescent sexual activity, of which the health and social impacts include unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion or miscarriages, disrupted education, child marriage, social stigma, and further victimisation.

Continued: https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/542003


Why Changes To India’s 50-Year-Old Abortion Law Fail Its Women

After decades of advocacy, it took the Lok Sabha only 15 days—without adequate consultation with those involved—to clear amendments to India’s abortion laws. Instead of making abortion easier for women who need it, such as rape survivors, the changes only make it more difficult.

Sept 6, 2020
SWETA DASH

New Delhi: In 2019, a 13-year-old rape survivor in Madhya Pradesh found out she was pregnant and in her 24th week. With the help of Nikita Sonawane, a lawyer associated with the Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAProject), an advocacy, she approached the High Court in June 2019. The court allowed her to go ahead with the termination of pregnancy—but only six weeks later, by which time she already  reached her 30th week.

“The doctors had to induce delivery. She was in labour for 24 hours,” said Sonawane. Her lawyers pleaded for mental-health support but the biggest government hospital in Madhya Pradesh did not have a child psychologist. "Finally, a psychiatrist was arranged, said Sonavane. "It was an immensely harrowing experience for her.”

Continued: https://www.article-14.com/post/why-changes-to-india-s-50-year-old-abortion-law-fail-its-women


Domesticate International Legal Frameworks on Women Health Rights, Nigerian Govt Urged

August 31, 2020

Nigerian government has been urged to domesticate all international and regional legal frameworks that promote Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (WSRH&R).

This was one of the outcomes of a three-day workshop for journalists on the Global Gag Rule (GGR) and its implications on women’s health.

Continued: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/08/31/domesticate-international-legal-frameworks-on-women-health-rights-nigerian-govt-urged/


Africa – Abortion is healthcare – and this makes it a human right

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.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-08-14-abortion-is-healthcare-and-this-makes-it-a-human-right/


NIGERIA – Workshop identifies harmful impacts of Global Gag Rule on developing nations

By Sam Oditah
Aug. 13, 2020

Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, a facilitator at an Ipas-organised workshop for journalists, says the US Global Gag Rule (GGR) has the potential to increase the rate of unsafe abortions in Nigeria and other developing nations across the world.

Akiyode-Afolabi’s said this on Thursday, while delivering a lecture on the “Exceptions in the GGR and its implications for Women and Girls in Nigeria” at a three-day workshop in Owerri.

Continued: https://naija247news.com/2020/08/13/workshop-identifies-harmful-impacts-of-global-gag-rule-on-developing-nations/#.Xzg5xjV7lPY


Putting young people first: Ensuring access to SRHR services

Stevie Emilia, The Jakarta Post
Jakarta  /  Tue, August 11, 2020

Calls for investments in young people have increased dramatically in recent years.

But the year 2020 is proving to be a difficult, life changing year as the pandemic has exposed deep inequalities in income, access to basic services and social protection for young people.

Continued: https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2020/08/11/putting-young-people-first-ensuring-access-to-srhr-services.html


Nigeria urged to review abortion laws

By Ojoma Akor
Aug 3, 2020

Experts have called for a review of the restrictive abortion laws in Nigeria to protect women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

They made the call at the weekend during a training for journalists on the Global Gag Rule and women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Keffi, Nasarawa state.

Continued: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/nigeria-urged-to-review-abortion-laws.html


COVID-19 has “devastating” effect on women and girls

Sophie Cousins, The Lancet
August 01, 2020
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31679-2

Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund, is among experts warning about disrupted health services and a surge in gender-based violence. Sophie Cousins reports.

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, fears are increasing about the effect of the pandemic on women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and their access to care. In response to COVID-19, in March, WHO issued interim guidance for maintaining essential services during an outbreak, which included advice to prioritise services related to reproductive health and make efforts to avert maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31679-2/fulltext