Australia – ‘I was shocked’: Catholic-run public hospitals refuse to provide birth control and abortion

Publicly funded Catholic hospitals across Australia are using the cover of religion to opt out of providing reproductive care – and experts say it has created a ‘postcode lottery’ for access to services

by Donna Lu and Melissa Davey
Mon 21 Aug 2023

When Sarah*, a Melbourne mother, was pregnant with her second child, her GP gave her a surprising warning: if she had any serious complications, concerns about the viability of the pregnancy or believed she might be miscarrying, she should go to the Royal Women’s hospital rather than the Mercy Hospital for Women, where she was planning to deliver the baby.

The reason, the GP told her, was that the Mercy – a public hospital in Melbourne’s north-east – would not assist in terminating a pregnancy due to its Catholic affiliation.


Idaho Governor Calls Abortion Law ‘Unwise’ but Signs It Anyway

The law, modeled after one in Texas, bans abortions after about six weeks and allows some people — including relatives of rapists — to sue abortion providers.

By Mike Baker
March 23, 2022

Gov. Brad Little of Idaho signed a strict new abortion bill into law on Wednesday, even as he expressed grave concerns about the wisdom and constitutionality of the measure and warned that it could retraumatize victims of sexual assault.

Modeled after a new law in Texas, the Idaho legislation bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy — before many women are aware they are pregnant — and allows family members of what it calls “a preborn child” to sue the abortion provider. Mr. Little, a Republican, said the law could conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which established a constitutional right to abortion.


Faith and Access: The Conflict Inside Catholic Hospitals

Why should publicly funded hospitals get to limit access on religious grounds?

Feb. 23, 2022 / MARCH-APRIL 2022 issue, Walrus Magazine

IN THE FALL OF 2020, Susan Camm was among a small group of employees touring a brand new seventeen-storey tower at St. Michael’s Hospital, in downtown Toronto. She liked the large single-patient rooms—a hallmark of modern hospital design—and the big windows that filled the space with sunshine. But something caught her eye: a brass crucifix on the wall. “I had an almost visceral reaction,” she recalls.

Camm, who was then a clinical manager at the hospital, had come across crucifixes at St. Michael’s before. But most had been taken down over the years. What shocked her is that the Christian symbols were in brand new rooms. This wasn’t a decision someone had made decades ago; it was one made in 2020. Later, when she had the chance to enter a patient room alone, she dragged a stool over to the crucifix, stood up, and tried to pull the figure off the wall. Unlike the ones in older rooms, it wasn’t simply hanging on a nail. She would have needed a chisel to pry it off.


Turkey – Restriction on access to abortion is human rights violation: Top court

September 11 2020

Turkey’s top court has ruled that a woman’s rights were violated when she was denied an abortion for a pregnancy that was the result of sexual assault.

A 17-year-old young woman got pregnant as a result of sexual assault in 2017 and the survivor’s family complained about the perpetrator in the southern province of Mersin, according to the Constitutional Court’s decision.


OPINION: Sexual violence continues in conflict and so must our care for survivors

OPINION: Sexual violence continues in conflict and so must our care for survivors

by Alvaro Bermejo | International Planned Parenthood Federation
Thursday, 23 May 2019

In the humanitarian sector, we are often asked why sexual and reproductive healthcare is necessary in situations of conflict and fragility.

The answer is clear. Women and girls all too often bear the brunt of humanitarian crises. Lacking the usual protective measures such as the family unit or home, women and girls become more vulnerable to sexual violence. It can be more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict.


USA – Misogyny Is At The Core Of The Anti-Abortion Movement

Misogyny Is At The Core Of The Anti-Abortion Movement

Ebony Tucker, Shaina Goodman
April 10, 2019

From the White House to the Senate, from courthouses to state legislatures, everywhere you look across the country, men in power are simultaneously dismissing women’s experiences of sexual assault and further restricting access to abortion care.

There’s the cruel irony of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, declaring in one of his first opinions from the bench that he would support upholding an anti-abortion law in Louisiana, only months after he was confirmed despite the protests of women bravely sharing their stories of sexual assault.


The Catholic Church Has No Moral Argument on Abortions

The Catholic Church Has No Moral Argument on Abortions
After the pope revealed nuns were forced to get abortions while being held as sex slaves, the Church doesn’t seem well positioned to lecture on what women should or should not do with their bodies.

By Jennifer Wright
Feb 11 2019

If you are going to get your information regarding abortion from anyone, perhaps it is best not to get it from an institution that has no women in its higher orders, and is keeping women as sex slaves.

Like, for instance, the Catholic Church. This week Pope Francis admitted there has been clerical abuse of nuns, including sexual slavery. The BBC reports, "He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was 'still going on.'"

Holy shit.

The African ‘Women’s Wave’ is powered by pro-choice Christian feminists

The African ‘Women’s Wave’ is powered by pro-choice Christian feminists

January 18, 2019
Meagan Clark

As a young girl without much education, Anwuli moved more than 500 km (or 300 miles) to the sprawling megacity of Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, to find work as a maid. She never imagined her employer, or “master” as the term is still used, a family man with two children, would rape her.

When Anwuli’s pregnant belly began showing, the man’s wife threw her out of the house before anyone could find out what her husband had done. Unemployed and living with a girl friend, Anwuli met a woman named Olive Iroegbu, a community health worker for a Christian organization that aims to educate youth about sexual health and help victims of sexual abuse.


I Saw A Woman Die From A Self-Induced Abortion — That’s The Cost Of Our Silence

I Saw A Woman Die From A Self-Induced Abortion — That's The Cost Of Our Silence

By Nisha Verma
May 1, 2018

A few months ago, I got a tattoo of a coat hanger on my right wrist. When people ask me what it means, I tell them the story of the woman I once met who didn't deserve to die. I tell them about the lack of access to safe and legal abortion that killed her.

Warning: Some readers may find the following details graphic and triggering.

At the time, I worked as a resident at a hospital in Botswana. This woman had tried to end her pregnancy with a "coat hanger abortion" — in her case, by placing sticks through her vagina into her uterus. She was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital. She was 22 years old. She died because she lived in a country where safe and legal abortion did not exist. 


Ireland – Women should have option of abortion in event of rape or incest, group claims

Women should have option of abortion in event of rape or incest, group claims
Removing Eighth Amendment will reduce shame associated with being victim of sexual assault, says Together for Yes

Apr 6, 2018
Sarah Bardon

Women should be given the option to terminate their pregnancies if they are the victim of rape or incest, the Together for Yes campaign has said.

Maeve Eogan, medical director of the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital, said women who conceive as a result of sexual violence currently have two options available to them - to travel abroad or to continue with their pregnancy.