New England Advocates Build a Regional Model for Abortion Rights


On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Massachusetts-based Reproductive Equity Now, formerly NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, announced an expansion of its work into Connecticut and New Hampshire to create a regional organization to strengthen abortion access across New England. As more states ban abortion, advocates hope this regional strategy will ensure abortion healthcare for New Englanders and patients traveling to the region for care.

“Reproductive Equity Now’s expansion reflects the urgency we face as a region in demanding, protecting, and expanding abortion access and reproductive equity for all,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, president of Reproductive Equity Now. “As 20 states have moved to restrict or ban abortion, wiping out access to care in broad regions of our country, we must focus on state-by-state work to build regional blocks for abortion access. This work will begin in New England, and we hope that this model can be replicated to advance reproductive freedom nationwide.”


Dear Supreme Court of Brazil, Use Your Power to Protect Women

Video by Eliza Capai (11:34 minutes)
Text by Joanna Erdman
Sep 26, 2023

Ms. Capai is a Brazilian filmmaker. This short film is adapted from her feature-length documentary “Incompatible With Life.” Ms. Erdman is a professor of health law and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, state anti-abortion laws came into immediate effect, clinics closed the same day, and people desperately searched for care against the clock of pregnancy. That is to say, there is an urgency to injustice, much as the time for justice is always now.

These lessons are being tested in Brazil. Last week Brazil’s Supreme Court opened voting in a case to decriminalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This would be a sea change in the country, as explored in the film above. Today Brazil prohibits abortion, with only narrow exceptions in cases of rape, risk to life and a fatal fetal condition known as anencephaly.


World Contraception Day 2023: History, Significance, Celebration, Global Impact and Challenges

Nibandh Vinod,
SEPTEMBER 26, 2023

World Contraception Day (WCD) is an annual event observed on September 26. It was first established in 2007 by a coalition of international organizations and advocacy groups, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the United Nations Foundation, and the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health. The primary aim of World Contraception Day is to raise awareness about contraception, promote safe and accessible family planning methods, and advocate for reproductive health and rights worldwide. The day highlights the importance of contraceptive options in achieving broader societal goals related to health, gender equality, and sustainable development.

World Contraception Day History
World Contraception Day was created to address the global need for comprehensive education and access to contraception. Its origins are rooted in the understanding that family planning and contraception play crucial roles in women’s health, gender equality, and population control.


Australia – Need for Diverse Contraception Options for Informed Decisions

25 Sept 2023
Sustainable Population Australia

In the lead-up to World Contraception Day (WCD) on 26 September, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) has called for potentially fertile people everywhere to have information about, and access to, a range of contraceptive options so that they can make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

Contraceptive methods include hormonal options like birth control pills, patches, and injections; barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms; and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants.


Nepal – Contraceptives shortage looms

Government cites lack of funds. Fears of unsafe abortions, increase in maternal deaths.

Arjun Poudel
September 25, 2023

Health facilities nationwide could soon run out of contraceptives such as condoms, pills, implants and emergency pills as the Ministry of Health and Population lacks funds to procure them.

Officials blamed the reduction in the health budget as the main reason for their inability to purchase essential contraceptives to be distributed from health care facilities. A possible shortage of the items will eventually cause multiple problems including a rise in unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.


A New Border Crossing: Americans Turn to Mexico for Abortions

American women are seeking help from Mexico for abortions, crystallizing the shifting policies of two nations that once held vastly different positions on the procedure.

By Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Edyra Espriella
Sept. 25, 2023

The text message Cynthia Menchaca received this summer was one she was seeing more and more: A woman living in Texas said she had left a violent relationship only to discover she was pregnant, and she desperately wanted an abortion. The woman had learned that Ms. Menchaca could send her abortion pills from Mexico, where the procedure has been decriminalized in several states.

But the growing U.S. demand for abortion care is not limited to deliveries of medication, according to advocates like Ms. Menchaca, who lives in Coahuila state in northeastern Mexico.


Breaking Down Barriers: The Quest for Equitable Abortion Access in Canada

By Annie Ding, The McGill International Review
Sep 25, 2023

It’s been just over a year since Roe v. Wade was overturned in the United States, removing the constitutional protection of abortion rights in the country, and marking a significant setback in reproductive rights. While Canada has often been viewed as a leader in comprehensive abortion access, it’s not as black and white as it may seem. The impact of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reverberates beyond U.S. borders and fueled anti-abortion sentiments worldwide. To provide some context, the Dobbs case involved a Mississippi state law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which directly challenged Roe v. Wade and women’s established right to choose abortion before the fetus reaches viability (usually at approximately 24 weeks). The Supreme Court’s ruling in this case thus undermined the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, and opened the door to states across the country to further restrict abortion access, furthering fuel for anti-abortion groups across the country.

Contrary to mainstream narratives, Canada is not a stranger to these anti-abortion sentiments. Abortion access is nowhere near as seamless as it is often cited as in comparison to the U.S. 


‘Feels horrible to say no’: abortion funds run out of money as US demand surges

A lifeline for many in states with abortion restrictions, abortion funds are being pushed to the brink due to rising costs and a drop in donations

Carter Sherman
Fri 22 Sep 2023

Laurie Bertram Roberts never expected Americans to keep forking over money to pay for other people’s abortions. But the abortion fund director didn’t think it would get this dire.

When the US supreme court overturned Roe v Wade last year, people donated tens of thousands of dollars to Roberts’ organization, the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, which is dedicated to helping people afford abortions and the many costs that come with it. But, in August, Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund had to stop funding abortions. It’s now closed until January 2024.


We Must Fight for Abortion and LGBTQ Rights—and Our Own Bodies

The right to bodily autonomy is sacrosanct, whether you’re someone who needs an abortion, gender-affirming care, or simply want to live your truth openly.

Martha Plimpton
Sep. 21, 2023

It’s been more than a year since Roe v. Wade was struck down, and abortion rights are clearly in a dire crisis. Fifteen states have total abortion bans in effect and two others have six-week bans. Most of the Southeast and Midwest are now abortion deserts and pregnant people are forced to travel hundreds, even thousands, of miles to access abortion care.

I’ve watched the escalating attacks on abortion rights with a mix of horror and outrage. I’ve had more than one abortion in my life, and for a variety of reasons—because I was too young to have kids, or not in a stable relationship, or as a result of illness and complications early on. Each time I made that decision, I was sure it was the right one for me and I was fortunate to have access to the care that I needed. I’m not ashamed of my abortions—I’m grateful.


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.