By: Cristina Eloisa Baclig
November 07, 2022
MANILA, Philippines—The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) called on the Philippine government to decriminalize abortion and improve sexual and reproductive health services such as post-abortion healthcare in the country.
UNHRC, in a recently released concluding observation at its 136th session, said it acknowledged the Philippines’ “efforts to reduce unsafe abortion and maternal mortality.”
Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
November 5, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The UN Human Rights Committee is pushing for the Philippines to pass a flurry of legislative reforms aimed at keeping the country in line with an international treaty on civil and political rights.
Among the proposals being brought forward by the UN panel composed of human rights experts are the decriminalization of abortion, the legalization of divorce and the enactment of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law.
11 August 2022
By Remi Fernandez, Specialist, Human Rights & Social Issues, and Betina Vaz Boni, Senior Analyst, Governance, PRI
The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, has raised pressing questions about the role of investors and their investee companies in contributing to the political landscape, and how decent work and human rights can be ensured for everyone.
The ruling ended the constitutional right to an abortion in the US and will impact other aspects of reproductive rights such as contraception, sexual health and sex education. There are also concerns that this ruling may set a precedent when it comes to other civil and human rights such as same-sex marriage.
Jul 1, 2022
The past 50 years have been characterized by an unmistakable trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws, particularly in the industrialized world.
Each year, around 73 million abortions take place worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. This translates to about 39 abortions per 1,000 women globally, a rate that has stayed roughly the same since 1990. Notably, rates have diverged between countries with fewer restrictions and those with more: Between 1990–94 and 2015–19, the average abortion rate in countries with generally legal abortion (excluding China and India) declined by 43 percent.
16 May 2021
The issue of abortion has gained particular momentum in the past few months with two interesting developments in very different parts of the world- the passage of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) in India and the recent passage of the Argentinian abortion bill, that legalises abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy. While the MTP (Amendment) Bill 2020 extends the existing time period within which abortion can be conducted in India to 24 weeks in some cases, the Argentinian bill replaces the prior abortion law based on the 'exception model', where three exceptions were allowed to an otherwise blanket criminal prohibition- when a pregnancy endangers the life or health of a woman, girl, or pregnant person, or when it results from rape. After the Argentinian Senate narrowly rejected a bill to decriminalize abortion in 2018, the lower house of Congress finally passed the bill this January.
As reluctant as Pompeo and the rest of the Trump administration may be to follow the law, the fact remains: The U.S. is party to a number of human rights treaties that protect abortion rights—and adhering to these treaties is a legal requirement.
by MERRITE JOHNSON
Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration, a U.S.-led document that fired yet another shot across the bow at reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy. Bookended by a bizarre montage video, the signing ceremony was touted as a watershed moment in the fight against an international movement to declare a right to abortion at the expense of traditional family values. The only problem? There very much is an international right to abortion.
Abortion Law: Global Comparisons
A recent spate of state laws to restrict abortion services in the United States has reignited debate over the procedure. How does the United States’ regulation of abortion compare to the rest of the world?
by Rachel B. Vogelstein and Rebecca Turkington
July 15, 2019
The past fifty years have been characterized by an unmistakable trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws, particularly in the industrialized world. Amid ongoing debate over the procedure, the trend has coincided with a drop in abortion rates worldwide. As nations across the globe have expanded the grounds on which women can access reproductive health services, the quality and safety of abortion care has improved, as has maternal survival.
Abortion rates are relatively similar between countries with highly restrictive abortion laws and those where the procedure is permitted without restriction, at between 34 and 37 per 1,000 women annually [PDF], but the safety of the procedure diverges widely: almost 90 percent of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared with only 25 percent of those in countries in which abortion is banned.
UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE – General comment No. 36 (2018) on article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on the right to life, 30 October 2018 (CCPR/C/GC/36)
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 2, 2018
This document contains 70 paragraphs on the meaning of the right to life, one of which (para.8) is about abortion. Paragraph 8 calls for a right to safe abortion, and prohibits any restriction that might lead to an unsafe abortion or risk of death from unsafe abortion. It calls on states to reform their laws, and not to apply criminal sanctions against women and girls undergoing abortion or against medical service providers assisting them in doing so, since taking such measures compel women and girls to resort to unsafe abortion.
The first two paragraphs quoted below from the document define the right to life, followed by paragraph 8 on abortion, para.60 on children, and para 61 against discrimination. References to para.8 are also included.
Amicus Brief: Decriminalization on Abortion in South Korea
May 22, 2018
Human Rights Watch has the honor of submitting this amicus brief in connection with case 2017Hun-Ba127, which is before the Constitutional Court of Korea (Constitutional Court). This case involves a review of the constitutionality of the Republic of Korea (South Korea)’s criminal law on abortion.
Under articles 269 and 270 of the Criminal Act, abortion is a crime, and any woman who undergoes an abortion risks up to one year of imprisonment or fines up to 2 million won (US$1850). Healthcare workers who provide abortions can face up to two years in prison, or more under certain circumstances.
Exporting Censorship: How U.S. Restrictions on Abortion Speech and Funding Violate International Law, Part 2
May 7, 2018
Akila Radhakrishnan & Kristin Smith
Part 2: The Global Gag Rule and Freedom of Association
This is the second of a two-part post illustrating how U.S. abortion restrictions violate the ICCPR’s requirements for lawful restrictions on the freedom of speech and association, which is examined in more detail in the Global Justice Center’s recent brief. Although the Helms and Siljander Amendments (discussed in Part 1) also violate the freedom of association in various ways, this post focuses on the Global Gag Rule and its unique effects on the freedom of association.