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


Poland’s abortion ban: a crushing blow to reproductive rights

BMJ Opinion
November 4, 2020

On 22 October 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland ruled that abortion on the grounds of fetal abnormality was unconstitutional, further restricting Poland’s already stringent 1993 abortion law. This verdict means that only two of the previous three grounds for pregnancy termination remain valid: when the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the mother’s health, or when it is a result of a criminal act. Abortions justified by these conditions constitute only 2% of legal abortions carried out in Poland. Poland is the only EU state that does not allow for abortion on request nor on socio-economic grounds. Even prior to the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling last week, obtaining an abortion on any of the legal grounds was remarkably difficult, with doctors and hospitals resorting to conscientious objection, or purposefully referring women for additional and unnecessary tests in order to exceed the gestational limit of fetal viability.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/11/04/polands-abortion-ban-a-crushing-blow-to-reproductive-rights/


Use of ‘at-home abortion pills’ rises amid pandemic – and faces new threats

Medication abortions have are a safe and accessible method of terminating pregnancy, but they have been targeted by onerous FDA restrictions

Cecilia Nowell
Sun 1 Nov 2020

With six conservative justices now sitting on the supreme court, the future of abortion access in US looks increasingly uncertain. But in addition to concerns about whether abortion clinics can stay open, activists are warning that lesser-known abortion medications are also under threat.

Medication abortions have been proven to be a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancy, and because they can be completed without doctor supervision, they serve as a crucial alternative for those who have had other abortion services shuttered in their state, or who do not feel safe accessing traditional health services.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/01/at-home-abortion-pills-increasingly-in-demand-amid-pandemic-under-new-threats


Abortion increasingly hard to access in Turkey

By FARIBA NAWA
Oct 6, 2020
Listen: 6:43 podcast

When Sevilay, a 38-year-old, stay-at-home mom in Istanbul, learned she was pregnant with a third child, she agonized over what to do.

“I became very upset when I learned about my
pregnancy. I wondered whether I could do it or not. I was already having a hard
time with two kids. There was nobody that could help me.”

Continued:   https://news.wbfo.org/post/abortion-increasingly-hard-access-turkey


How the pandemic has affected abortion rules around the world

By Miriam Berger
September 26, 2020

Argentina’s president was expected to propose a landmark law to decriminalize abortion, setting a new standard for Latin America. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The release date was delayed, indefinitely.

Ruth Zurbriggen, a reproductive rights activist with the group Socorristas en Red, felt “pain and rage.” But the group’s work continued — efforts, she said, made even more pressing as the pandemic took center stage.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/09/26/coronavirus-pandemic-global-abortion-access-reproductive-health


Dutch abortion activist lands on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential list

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

Rebecca Gomperts is one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people this year. The Dutch activist has dedicated her life to trying to get women safe access to abortions in countries where abortion is illegal.

Gomperts is the founder of Women on Waves, which involves a ship with an on board abortion clinic. Women are taken from countries where abortion is illegal by boat to this ship on international waters, where they can get the treatment they need.

Continued: https://nltimes.nl/2020/09/23/dutch-abortion-activist-lands-time-magazines-100-influential-list


TIME 100: Rebecca Gomperts is among the 100 most influential people of 2020

For immediate release, September 23nd, 2020

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Web, Women on Waves and AidAccess, has been chosen among the 100 most influential people of the world in 2020 by Time magazine.

Cecile Richards writes for Time 100: "In this moment of fear and uncertainty, Gomperts is a beacon of hope, standing up for the principle that safe abortion is a human right."

The full list of the Time most influential people of 2020 can be seen here: time.com/time100  

Continued: https://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/7616/time-100-rebecca-gomperts-founder-of-women-on-web-is-among-the-100-most-influ


No More Shame says 29 requests for abortion pills have been sent from Gibraltar between January and June this year

22nd July 2020

From the start of this year to June, 29 requests for abortion pills have been sent from Gibraltar, according to pro-choice campaigners, No More Shame. The group says that its sources at Women on Web - an organisation that provides access to such pills - have provided these statistics.

No More Shame claims that 20 requests for abortion pills were sent from Gibraltar in 2019 to Women on Web. By comparison, it says, 29 requests were sent during the first six months of this year, which reflects an increase of 190%. The group claims that many of these requests were made during the lockdown period, and demonstrates that women in Gibraltar are opting for abortion pills. The group claims that Clinica Ginesur Algeciras has provided its services to 15 Gibraltar residents between January and June of this year. It says there were 21 Gibraltar residents accessing their services for all of 2019.

Continued: https://www.gbc.gi/news/no-more-shame-says-29-requests-abortion-pills-have-been-sent-gibraltar-between-january-and-june-year


Abortion is a protected right in Spain. But the govt blocked a website that provides abortion info and pills.

Since becoming legal in 1985, right-wing politicians have periodically made feeble attempts to limit or ban access to abortions. Each time it happens though, the action is met with strong pushback from the public.

July 16, 2020
By Shauna Blackmon and Lucía Benavides

Access to abortion in Spain is sacrosanct. The procedures are free — covered by the public national health care system — and allowed up until the 14th week of pregnancy for any reason; until the 22nd week with a doctor’s note; and sometimes after 22 weeks if there are issues with either the fetus’ or the mother’s health.

Since abortion become legal in 1985, right-wing politicians have periodically made feeble attempts to limit or ban access to it. Each time it happens, though, the action is met with strong pushback from the public.

Continued:  https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-07-16/abortion-protected-right-spain-govt-blocked-website-provides-abortion-info-and


Sudan, Where Illegal Abortions remain Dangerous and Deadly

Sudan, Where Illegal Abortions remain Dangerous and Deadly

By Reem Abbas

KHARTOUM, Jun 22 2020 (IPS) - Omnia Nabil*, a Sudanese doctor, who worked in one of the largest hospitals in Khartoum, the country’s capital, was devastated to witness the deaths of 50 young women who had unsafe abortions during a space of just three months.

“I would see 16 cases of failed abortions on a given day. I would insert my hand and pull out syringes or leaves, unsanitary items that were inserted by midwives to induce a miscarriage,” Nabil told IPS.

Continued: http://www.ipsnews.net/2020/06/sudan-where-illegal-abortions-remain-dangerous-and-deadly/