‘I’ve been spat on, I’ve been abused,’ says former Green Party leader Clare Bailey, who used to volunteer at a private Belfast clinic
Sat Sep 30 2023
On one of Belfast’s busiest streets, Clare Bailey is blinking away tears. Looking up at signage attached to a lamp-post around the corner from an NHS clinic providing abortions, she breaks into a smile. Her daughter, Jude, insists on taking her photograph.
It is seven years since Bailey, a former Northern Ireland Green Party leader and Assembly member, tabled a Private Members’ Bill at Stormont calling for the introduction of so-called buffer zones to prevent anti-abortion protests and harassment outside healthcare facilities offering terminations.
Anti-abortion activists lost every referendum on the issue in 2022 and the right is scrambling to find a way to talk about a political hot potato
Wed 27 Sep 2023
The post-Roe v Wade battle over abortion rights may just torpedo Republicans’ shot at the White House next year, and they know it.
Anti-abortion activists lost every abortion-related voter referendum last year, while ire over the fall of Roe has been credited with boosting Democrats in the 2022 midterms. Now, Republicans in the presidential primary are scrambling to figure out how to talk about and legislate abortion. But they’re regurgitating some common anti-abortion myths to make their case.
SEP 26, 2023
Notes from Poland
A man will face court for helping his partner to unlawfully terminate her pregnancy, a crime in Poland that can carry a prison sentence of up to three years. The woman herself is not facing charges as, although helping someone obtain an unlawful abortion is a criminal offence, having one yourself is not.
…In May this year, police in Pinczów, a town of 11,000 inhabitants in southern Poland, received information that a 29-year-old woman had had a miscarriage and that she and her 30-year-old partner had buried the foetus.
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.
The Face Act penalizes people for blockading and threatening abortion clinics. Anti-abortion activists want it repealed
Sat 16 Sep 2023
The inside of the abortion clinic was chaotic. Anti-abortion protesters lined the walls. A few had sat down on the clinic’s lime green chairs and draped themselves in chains. “Please inspire these parents to keep their babies!” one man shouted, before he started singing about the Virgin Mary. As some of the protesters sang and prayed loudly, the police officers crowded inside the clinic tried to urge them to move. They didn’t want to budge.
It was 22 October 2020, and one anti-abortion advocate was livestreaming a group of activists who were at the Washington DC-area clinic to, in their view, “rescue” people from having abortions. One redheaded young woman turned to the camera.
Anti-abortion protests and calls to the police have ramped up since so-called buffer zones were voted in, writes Maya Oppenheim
Sept 16, 2023
Standing outside a Chinese takeaway plastered with funfair adverts in south London, two women can be seen clutching pink and blue plastic rosary beads as they solemnly recite prayers under their breath. In front of them, a framed print of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is strapped to an easel next to a sign which reads “Love them both” and a photo of a smiling baby.
“Pregnant, Need Help?” another poster reads. “Housing Help, Financial support, Moral support offered here, Just ask us or call 0800 096 2518”. The women have set up camp opposite an abortion clinic in Brixton to protest against terminations being legal in the UK. Across a busy road, another member of their group stands directly outside the clinic clasping leaflets to hand to those going inside.
Sept. 14, 2023
By Patrick Adams
Nearly three years ago, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal effectively ended legal abortion in the country. Since then, the Polish government has vigorously repressed the nation’s reproductive rights movement and ramped up surveillance of women who are suspected of terminating their pregnancies. Authorities have violently dispersed demonstrations, threatened activists with prison time and ordered doctors to record all pregnancies in a new national database.
Even before Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer, Poland’s draconian crackdown, which was spearheaded by the governing right-wing Law and Justice party, should have been alarming to American supporters of abortion rights. It was always possible that some aspects of what has happened there could happen here.
Criminalization, Pursuit of Alleged Offenders Violates Rights
September 14, 2023
Human Rights Watch
(London) – Poland’s government is targeting people for alleged abortion-related activities, intensifying a climate of fear that heightens risks for women and girls, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released a video highlighting how the government’s dubious use of its powers to chase down alleged abortion-related activity threatens people’s rights to privacy, autonomy, and health, amongst others.
Since a near-ban on legal abortion in 2020, Polish officials have increasingly opened investigations on questionable legal grounds against women and girls seeking medical care for miscarriages or after legal medication abortions, as well as against doctors. Polish law does not criminalize having an abortion but rather anyone who provides or assists someone in having an abortion outside of highly restricted grounds. The government is apparently attempting to find a basis for prosecuting family members, friends, and healthcare providers for illegally providing or assisting abortions.
A year-long investigation reveals how powerful anti-rights groups are influencing politics and protecting donors
Paulette Desormeaux, Catalina Gaete
13 September 2023
A wealthy and well-connected anti-abortion group has gone to court to block the disclosure of its private donors following an investigation by openDemocracy and La Pública.
It comes after a year-long effort by the two news organisations that reveals how three powerful anti-rights nonprofits in Chile are using legal loopholes to protect the identity of funders while influencing politicians to limit reproductive and equal rights for women and LGBTIQ communities.
Anti-abortion activists and elected officials hope to keep abortion seekers walled in within the borders of their home states.
by SHOSHANNA EHRLICH, Ms. Magazine
In 1991, Kathrin K. and her husband were stopped by German border guards as they crossed back into the country on their way home from neighboring Holland on the suspicion they were carrying illegal drugs. Instead of drugs, however, the guards found “incriminating evidence”—specifically, a plastic bag containing a nightgown, sanitary pad and towels. These items suggested that Kathrin had crossed the border into Holland to obtain an abortion—a crime under German law, even if legal where performed. She was transported to a nearby hospital and subjected to a degrading forced vaginal exam.
It is difficult for me to imagine a day when guards are stationed at the Texas-New Mexico border, or along travel routes leading from an abortion ban state into a protective one, with the power to detain those transporting pregnant persons suspected of seeking cross-border abortion services. And yet, on my more cynical or despairing days, I wonder, given the latest plan by Mark Lee Dickson, a pastor at Sovereign Love Church in East Texas, aimed at halting so-called abortion trafficking, if this dystopic vision of intrastate abortion border guards might someday become a reality.