Fauci: US to repeal anti-abortion rule on aid and join Covax vaccine scheme

US medical adviser’s speech to WHO signals major turnaround on global health policy by Biden administration

Michael Safi, The Guardian
Thu 21 Jan 2021

The Biden administration will repeal anti-abortion restrictions on American aid and join the international vaccine-sharing scheme Covax, Anthony Fauci has announced in remarks signalling a major turnaround in US global health policy.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced the changes in a speech to the World Health Organization on Thursday morning after being chosen to head the US delegation to the global health group in one of the first acts of Joe Biden’s presidency.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/21/fauci-us-repeal-anti-abortion-rule-aid-join-covax-vaccine-scheme

Biden Administration Prepares To Overturn Trump Abortion Rule

January 21, 2021
Sarah McCammon

President Biden is preparing to reverse a Trump administration policy that prohibits U.S. funding for nongovernmental groups that provide or refer patients for abortions — the first of several moves reproductive rights advocates are hoping to see from the Biden administration.

In prepared remarks released by the White House on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci tells the World Health Organization's executive board that Biden will soon revoke the Mexico City Policy "as part of his broader commitment to protect women's health and advance gender equality at home and around the world."

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/president-biden-takes-office/2021/01/21/959170860/biden-administration-prepares-to-overturn-trump-abortion-rule

Honduras: UN experts deplore further attacks against right to safe abortion

United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
19 January 2021

GENEVA – UN human rights experts* today condemned a proposed bill that would basically block any potential progress on women's and girls' sexual and reproductive rights in Honduras, a country where one in four girls has been pregnant at least once before reaching age 19**.

The Constitutional amendment presented by a
deputy from the National Party and Vice-President of the Honduran Congress on
11 January would incorporate the absolute prohibition of abortion in article 67
of the national Constitution.

Continued: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26675&LangID=E

What Argentina’s ‘green handkerchief’ movement is all about

Dec 29, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, there's a bright spot at the tail end of a long, dark year: Argentina just made women's rights history.

On Wednesday, a majority of its Senate voted yes on a bill to legalize abortion up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy -- a significant liberalization of the current law, which generally prohibits the procedure, and only allows exceptions for rape and the pregnant woman's health. President Alberto Fernández has pledged to sign the bill into law, which will make Argentina the largest nation in Latin America to legalize abortion, and one of just a tiny handful of countries in the region where women are allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to continue a pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.kctv5.com/what-argentinas-green-handkerchief-movement-is-all-about/article_0cdb4f0a-c868-563b-9113-bcecd21dc8d7.html

Abortion is legal in Namibia, but only if a woman is in danger or has been sexually abused.

Activists are demanding reform.

By Aisha Salaudeen, and Bukola Adebayo, CNN
Thu November 26, 2020

(CNN) What do you do when your country is torn between decriminalizing abortion and maintaining its colonial abortion laws? Start a debate.

That's the idea being put forward by Esther Muinjangue, Namibia's deputy minister of health and social services.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/26/africa/namibia-abortion-reform-intl/index.html

Trump administration in ‘staggering’ isolation at UN on health issues

US left with few allies as it tries to change wording on topic of reproductive healthcare

Julian Borger in Washington
Thu 19 Nov 2020

The US permanent representative, Kelly Craft, said the US objected to wording in the UN resolutions designed to ‘promote the global abortion industry’. Photograph: Mike Segar/AFP/Getty Images

The outgoing Trump administration’s final
days at the United Nations have resulted in a deepening of US isolation on
social and health issues, with only a handful of allies including Russia, Belarus
and Syria.

In one vote this week, the US was entirely alone in backing its own amendment
to a seemingly uncontroversial resolution about efforts to treat medical
complications from childbirth. It called for the removal of references to the
World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Population Fund.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/19/trump-administration-in-staggering-isolation-at-un-on-health-issues

Factbox: Abortion rights in Europe

NOVEMBER 16, 2020
By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - Despite it being legal in most of Europe, women face difficulties in getting access to abortion in some countries. The problem has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic which has stretched healthcare services and closed borders.

Here are some facts on abortion rights in Europe, based on data from the Centre for Reproductive Rights and the World Health Organization:

Continued:   https://in.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-europe-abortion-right/factbox-abortion-rights-in-europe-idINL1N2HZ0YS

Easy access to ‘morning-after’ pill vital for women’s rights

November 7, 2020

The government is weighing plans to allow over-the-counter access to emergency contraceptive pills without a doctor’s prescription.

The proposal, which is expected to be part of the government's fifth basic plan to promote gender equality set to start next fiscal year, would help prevent unwanted pregnancies and protect the rights of women.

Continued:   http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13909166

Indonesia criticized for signing anti-abortion convention

Ardila Syakriah and Dian Septiari, Jakarta
Sat, October 31 2020

A coalition of Indonesian women rights groups have lambasted the government for signing an anti-abortion convention rolled out by the United States, saying the government cosponsored it without proper public consultation. 

The coalition deemed the signing of the convention unconstitutional and harmful to the sexual and reproductive health of Indonesian women because it might lead to more unsafe abortion practices and subsequently, more maternal deaths. 

Continued: https://www.thejakartapost.com/paper/2020/10/30/indonesia-criticized-for-signing-anti-abortion-convention.html

Swaziland needs to talk about illegal abortions

Because pregnancies can only be terminated legally in extreme instances such as rape, many women find other ways. And many do not survive the process.

By: Cebelihle Mbuyisa
27 Oct 2020

On 22 May 2000, Elizabeth Matimba and Joyce Mdluli sat on benches in the High Court of Swaziland (eSwatini) in Mbabane and heard Judge Thomas Masuku denounce them for the crime of abortion. Matimba had, in 1998, taken her pregnant daughter to Mdluli, then a nurse at Mbabane Government Hospital, and asked that she terminate the pregnancy. Mdluli obliged. For this crime, the women were both sentenced to five years in jail.

The case later went to the appeal court, where Judge Jules Browde spoke out strongly against abortion. He nevertheless reduced Matimba’s sentence to three years. The nurse’s conviction and sentence were set aside on the grounds that the crown had failed to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Continued: https://www.newframe.com/eswatini-needs-to-talk-about-illegal-abortions/