Group Takes Legal Action Over Lack of Abortion Services in Northern Ireland

A human rights group says the government’s inaction has left a health care void in a country where the procedure was legalized in 2019, but remains largely unavailable.

By Megan Specia
Jan. 11, 2021

A human rights group in Northern Ireland is taking legal action against the government over its failure to provide abortion access, the group announced on Monday, highlighting the continuing struggle for safe abortions more than a year after the procedure was legalized in the region.

The organization, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, cited deep concerns about a lack of abortion services, which it says has left a health care void for many women and girls.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/world/europe/northern-ireland-abortion.html


Covid: Locked-down women turn to pills amid Malta abortion ban

Catholic Malta has the strictest ban on abortion in the EU, but during the pandemic more Maltese women have been ordering abortion pills from abroad, unable to travel because of the lockdown.

By Sophia Smith-Galer, BBC World Service
January 8, 2021

Veronica - not her real name - was among them. "It was a big burden for me. I already have two kids with learning difficulties. I came off the pill, as the doctor suggested I switch to an IUD for health reasons. I was waiting for the appointment, but Covid came and cancelled all the hospital appointments."

Not long after that Veronica got pregnant. "I had to decide what is best for me and the children," she says. "The best for my health, the best financially… plus the father immediately told me to abort."

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55579339


Brazilian women head to Argentina to avoid abortion ban

David Biller, Almudena Calatrava and Tatiana Pollastri - The Associated Press
Published Thursday, January 7, 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO -- With her 21st birthday fast approaching, Sara left the home she shares with her mother for her first trip on a plane. She didn't tell her family the real reason she'd taken out a loan for 5,000 Brazilian reais (US$1,000).

Two days later and several hundred miles away, a 25-year-old woman packed a backpack in her one-bedroom Sao Paulo apartment and left for the airport with her boyfriend.

Both women were bound for the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, seeking something forbidden in Brazil: an abortion.

Continued: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/brazilian-women-head-to-argentina-to-avoid-abortion-ban-1.5257305


Polish women travel abroad for abortions ahead of law change

Support services in Poland and abroad say numbers increasing even before legislation is tightened

Shaun Walker and Anna Koslerova in Prague
Sun 13 Dec 2020

Polish women are increasingly being forced to travel abroad to seek abortions even though a court ruling to tighten the country’s already strict laws has not yet coming into force, activists have said.

The constitutional court ruled in October
that abortion was illegal even in cases where there were severe foetal
abnormalities. Around 1,000 abortions a year – almost all of the country’s
legal abortion procedures – are carried out for this reason.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/13/polish-women-travel-abroad-for-abortions-ahead-of-new-law


Iceland – Two Conservative MPs Disagree Over Abortion Issue

Published November 17, 2020
by Jess Distill

Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir says that she disagrees with her party colleague, Ásmundur Friðriksson, who says too many abortions are being carried out in Iceland. Vísir reports.

A heated debate arose in Parliament on the parliamentary proposal, submitted by Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir, which would permit women from Europe who are not allowed to undergo abortions in their home country to be able to travel to Iceland for the procedure.

Continued: https://grapevine.is/news/2020/11/17/two-conservative-mps-disagree-over-abortion-issue/


Women struggle to access abortion as pandemic adds to hurdles in Europe

By Catarina Demony
NOVEMBER 16, 2020

LISBON (Reuters) - Helplines across Europe have reported higher demand for their services as the coronavirus pandemic adds to the hurdles many women face to access abortion.

While abortion is legal in most of Europe, some women have struggled to get appointments in public health systems overwhelmed by the pandemic. Others could not escape abusive partners because of lockdowns, non-governmental organisations and some women who chose to have an abortion told Reuters.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-europe-abortion/women-struggle-to-access-abortion-as-pandemic-adds-to-hurdles-in-europe-idUSKBN27W11P


‘Traumatized’ Poles look abroad after abortion ruling

Anna Maria Jakubek and Isabel Guigui
Agence France-Presse Warsaw and Berlin  
Wed, November 11, 2020

Abortion charities are reporting a sharp increase in the number of Polish women turning to them for help after a constitutional court ruling last month to tighten legislation.

For Ciocia Basia (Aunt Basia), a Berlin-based group helping Polish women with abortions in Germany, the ruling worsens a situation already complicated by the pandemic.

Continued: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/11/11/traumatized-poles-look-abroad-after-abortion-ruling-.html


Polish woman’s quest for abortion exposes conflicted society

By Alicja Ptak
OCTOBER 19, 2020

WARSAW (Reuters) - In April, in the midst of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Poland, Katarzyna found out that the baby she was carrying had a severe genetic disorder and would probably die before birth or shortly after.

She immediately decided to terminate the pregnancy. When she finally managed to, five weeks later and after meeting some 10 doctors, securing a fallback plan in Germany and researching home methods, she knew she would not try to get pregnant again.

Continued: https://ca.reuters.com/article/idCAKBN27429N


’Let down’: calls for Gibraltar’s Covid-delayed abortion vote to take place

Pro-choice activists demand decriminalisation referendum happen despite conservative opposition

Darcy Jimenez
Tue 29 Sep 2020

Earlier this year, pro-choice activists in Gibraltar were hopeful that their territory’s abortion laws – the harshest in Europe – could soon be overturned.

Terminations are banned in the tiny British territory, even in the cases of rape, incest, or foetal abnormality where the foetus will not survive. Abortions are punishable by life imprisonment, except when the woman’s life is in danger.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/29/the-gibraltarians-demanding-covid-delayed-abortion-vote-takes-place


An Abortion Doula On Canada’s Problematic Lack Of Access

Sarah Ratchford
Last Updated July 28, 2020

As an abortion doula, Shannon Hardy spends her days driving people to appointments or taking care of them afterwards. That all changed when the pandemic started. Sharing a car with a stranger, not to mention helping them convalesce, has been out of the question since COVID-19, leaving many without access to this crucial healthcare service.

Getting an abortion in Atlantic Canada, where Hardy lives, was a challenge even before coronavirus. Though abortions have been decriminalized in Canada since 1988, provinces have jurisdiction over access. As a result, where and at what point in a pregnancy you can get an abortion is influenced by the local political climate, and varies widely. Mifegymiso, the pill that induces what's called a medical abortion, is available and covered by provincial healthcare, but not every doctor will prescribe it. In some places, there's access to surgical abortions, but parts or all of it are not covered or you have to pay up front and seek reimbursement afterward.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/abortion-doula-canada-access