‘Missing’ girls: selective abortion in Albania fuels gender gap

Feb 6, 2024

Tirana (AFP) – When Lina discovered she was pregnant with another girl, she decided to terminate the pregnancy, after her husband grew increasingly violent over the prospect of having a fourth daughter instead of a boy.

The decision was one that has become relatively common in her native Albania and across the Balkans, where a dominant patriarchal culture has pushed many families to pin their hopes on a son.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20240206-missing-girls-selective-abortion-in-albania-fuels-gender-gap

Welcome to El Salvador where a miscarriage sends you to jail

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
By Moraa Obiria, The Nation

What you need to know:
The country in Central America has laws tormenting women and girls with the harshest abortion laws under the sun.
Should a woman abort, regardless of circumstances, the law sends them to jail for between two to eight years.
A 19-year-old woman who miscarried after a rape ordeal was charged with aggravated homicide-intentional and premeditated killing of another person - and jailed for 30 years.

Continued: https://nation.africa/kenya/news/gender/welcome-to-el-salvador-where-a-miscarriage-sends-you-to-jail-4499792

How Dominican women fight child marriage and teen pregnancy while facing total abortion bans

January 2, 2024

AZUA, Dominican Republic (AP) — It was a busy Saturday morning at Marcia González’s church. A bishop was visiting, and normally she would have been there helping with logistics, but on this day she was teaching sex education at a local school.

“I coordinate activities at the church and my husband is a deacon,” González said. “The bishop comes once a year and children are being confirmed, but I am here because this is important for my community.”

For 40 years, González and her husband have pushed for broader sex education in the Dominican Republic, one of four Latin American nations that criminalizes abortion without exceptions. Women face up to 2 years in prison for having an abortion; penalties for doctors or midwives range from 5 to 20 years.

Continued: https://apnews.com/article/dominican-republic-abortion-child-marriage-teen-pregnancy-45a2dd71fc006c413ae1386f601e912d

We Won’t Have True Reproductive Justice Until Palestine Is Free

A basic tenet of reproductive justice is the right to choose the circumstances in which to have and raise children.

By Rimsha Syed , TRUTHOUT
December 26, 2023

The reproductive justice movement’s call for bodily autonomy extends beyond walls and borders. As a framework that was coined by Black and Indigenous women and other women of color, the inherent need to place the most marginalized at the epicenter of reproductive freedom speaks to the many intersections of this cause. One cannot recognize the right to reproductive safety without acknowledging the ongoing reproductive violence in Palestine. The unconscionable atrocities against the Palestinian people, not only since October 7 but for the last 75 years, are staunchly antithetical to the reproductive justice movement.

Reproductive justice is both a theoretical objective and a structure for activists advocating around three human rights values: the right to safely choose not to have children; the right to have children under chosen circumstances; and the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. The horror we are witnessing in Gaza is a clear violation of the Palestinian people’s ability to parent their children in an environment free from state violence and settler colonialism.

Continued: https://truthout.org/articles/we-wont-have-true-reproductive-justice-until-palestine-is-free/

Vietnam struggles with high abortion rates as consequence of gender selection: ‘people have to rely on their sons’

Vietnam has the second-highest abortion rate in the world, according to a UN estimate, with girls accounting for most of the aborted fetuses

5 Dec, 2023

Northern Vietnam’s largest cemetery for aborted fetuses stretches over more than 1,000 square metres (10,700 square feet).

Located beside rice paddies in Soc Son district on the northern outskirts of Hanoi, Doi Coc Cemetery is a home for those who never had a chance to live.

Visitors to the cemetery pass through a wall filled with small clay pots before arriving at a cold, abandoned house. Inside, there are two 400-litre freezers, containing about 300 fetuses. Outside, you see tightly packed rows of graves.

Continued: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3243777/vietnam-struggles-high-abortion-rates-are-consequences-gender-selection

Nigeria: UNFPA Supplies Family Planning Commodities to 700 Kaduna Health Facilities – Official

29 OCTOBER 2023

"There is also the problem of unsafe abortion when people are not ready, and the solution is simply contraceptives."
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says it supplies family planning commodities to over 700 health facilities across Kaduna State every quarter.

The Reproductive Health Analyst, UNFPA Kaduna, Elvis Evborein, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202310300025.html

PEPFAR Reauthorization: The Debate About Abortion

Kellie Moss and Jennifer Kates
Sep 21, 2023

Despite a long history of broad and bipartisan support, reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is currently being held up by congressional debate around abortion. PEPFAR, first created in 2003 by President George W. Bush and reauthorized three times thus far, is the U.S. government’s signature global health effort in the fight against HIV. Widely regarded as one of the most successful programs in global health history, PEPFAR reports having saved 25 million lives due to its efforts, and KFF analyses have found a significant impact of the program beyond HIV, including large reductions in both maternal and child mortality and significant increases in some childhood immunization rates. Still, its fourth reauthorization has been drawn into broader U.S. political debate about abortion, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision (which overturned the nationwide right to obtain an abortion), even though U.S. law prohibits the use of U.S. foreign assistance, including PEPFAR funding, for abortion. This policy watch provides an overview of the current debate and issues.

Continued: https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/pepfar-reauthorization-the-debate-about-abortion/

Abortion: Women more at risk of death in fragile and conflict-affected settings

5 September 2023
Médecins Sans Frontières

Complications following unsafe abortions are up to seven times more severe in fragile or conflict-affected settings: these are the findings of one of the very first studies on the subject, carried out in two referral hospitals in Bangui in the Central African Republic and Jigawa State in northern Nigeria. Behind the statistics, real stories of real women – and a universal vulnerability.

“I was distraught. I had drunk the traditional medicine. Before that, someone had shown me how to insert a piece of iron into my vagina... It was a piece of iron like this [she shows the interviewer the size],” says Rasha*, a 32-year-old woman admitted to Bangui referral hospital with potentially life-threatening abortion-related complications.

Continued: https://www.msf.org/abortion-women-more-risk-death-fragile-and-conflict-affected-settings

UNFPA Deploys U-Plan, a Family Planning WhatsApp Chatbot Revolutionizing Reproductive Health Education

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has deployed an applaudable innovation called U-Plan

by Joan Aimuengheuwa 
August 23, 2023

The WhatsApp chatbot is designed to provide accurate and adequate information on contraception as well as contraceptive methods to AYP, PWD and all Women of Reproductive Age. This will be done in the comfort of their homes, in utmost confidentiality, with linkages provided to the Service Delivery Points.

In an interview with an officer from UNFPA, part of the inspiration that birthed U-Plan was revealed as an effort to mitigate challenges young people encounter in accessing contraceptives due to social and cultural beliefs.

Continued: https://techeconomy.ng/unfpa-deploys-u-plan-a-family-planning-whatsapp-chatbot-revolutionizing-reproductive-health-education/

Decriminalising abortion in Asia: Perspectives from India and Nepal

Decriminalising abortion encourages access to safe abortion and proper post-abortion care. It does not mean that the law would no longer regulate abortion, but that no one would be punished for providing or having an abortion, and the law provides a positive framework to ensure access to safe abortion.

MAY 28, 2023

“FIFTEEN-year-old Sita (name changed), who got pregnant due to rape, ended her pregnancy by consuming medical pills her father obtained from a local pharmacist. Sita’s district court statement noted that she sought an abortion to safeguard her and her family’s reputation. The court convicted Sita of illegal abortion and sentenced her based on her admission.” – Center for Reproductive Rights & Forum for Women, Law and Development, Decriminalization of Abortion in Nepal: Imperative to Uphold Women’s Rights, 2021

The ability to make and exercise decisions about one’s body, sexuality and reproduction is at the core of gender, economic and social justice. Under international human rights law, States are obliged to respect, protect and fulfil rights related to sexual and reproductive health, including the rights to life, health, privacy, information, freedom from ill-treatment, non-discrimination and equality. States are also required to guarantee access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and care, including abortion services.

Continued: https://theleaflet.in/decriminalising-abortion-in-asia-perspectives-from-india-and-nepal/