Poor Access to Safe Abortions Is Killing South Asian Women

Even in countries where abortion is legal, access to safe abortions remains challenging

By Bansari Kamdar
June 15, 2021

One in every four maternal deaths around the world happens in South Asia. Lack of access to safe and legal abortions and contraceptives is a leading reason for the region’s high maternal mortality rate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than half the abortions in South and Central Asia were safe.

In Bhutan, which has a 1.4 percent case fatality rate, one of the main reasons for maternal mortality is abortion complications. Section 146 of Bhutan’s Penal Code legalizes abortion only if it is to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy resulted from incest and rape or the mother is not of sound mental condition. Denied access to safe abortion, many Bhutanese women cross the border to neighboring India, where abortion, while legal on most grounds, remains dangerous.

Continued: https://thediplomat.com/2021/06/poor-access-to-safe-abortions-is-killing-south-asian-women/


New evidence-based learning on abortions in India

This will not only significantly increase the options for women seeking abortion services but also leverage the potential of medical abortion technology.

By IANS 
Published: 10th Jun 2021

New Delhi: Abortion in India continues to face high levels of stigma — this stigma pushes women who seek it away from legal services; curtails free dissemination of information on abortion; and affects the delivery of essential services in the public health system.

Consequently, millions of women prefer not to go to public health facilities for abortion services. It is estimated that 78 per cent of the 15.6 million abortions that take place each year in India occur in non-facility settings, mainly through medical abortion pills.

Continued: https://telanganatoday.com/new-evidence-based-learning-on-abortions-in-india


End all legal barriers to abortion, say leading European politicians

Belgium’s prime minister among signatories to open letter backing global right to safe abortions and reopening of clinics closed in pandemic

Liz Ford
Wed 9 Jun 2021

Government ministers from five European countries, including Belgium’s prime minister, Alexander de Croo, are among 29 politicians, healthcare and women’s rights activists who have signed an open letter calling for the removal of all legal barriers to abortion.

The letter, signed by gender and equality ministers from France, Canada and Norway, and international development ministers from Sweden and the Netherlands, states that women’s right to safe, legal abortion is being eroded by misinformation and attacks on services. It calls for the reopening of abortion clinics closed during the pandemic.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jun/09/end-all-legal-barriers-to-abortion-say-leading-european-politicians


COVID-19 impacted access to abortion care all over Europe

Access to abortion care is an important and politically charged topic. It is a human rights issue affecting essential aspects of women’s healthcare. As a global disruptive event, COVID-19 affected abortion access in many European countries.

Jun 9, 2021
University of Oulu

Government policies on abortion are a longstanding topic of heated political debate. The COVID-19 pandemic shook health care systems to the core adding to the complexity of the issue, as the imposed national lockdowns and mobility restrictions affected millions of women’s timely access to abortion care across the globe. Researchers from Finland and France examined how all of the European Union countries and the United Kingdom responded to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis in terms of providing access to abortion care.

Continued: https://www.oulu.fi/en/news/covid-19-impacted-access-abortion-care-all-over-europe


International Leaders Join Call for End to All Legal Barriers to Abortion

"Women must have the right to decide about their own bodies—that is a human right."

JULIA CONLEY, Common Dreams
June 9, 2021

Several international lawmakers and leaders joined rights activists Wednesday in a call for all legal barriers to abortion care to be removed worldwide, demanding clinics that were shut down during the pandemic be reopened and for a "global campaign of factual and unbiased information" to counter well-funded anti-choice groups.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo was among the signatories of the letter organized by the SheDecides movement, as well as equality ministers from France, Canada, and Norway; Parliament members from Belgium and Zimbabwe; and international development ministers from Sweden and the Netherlands.

Continued: https://www.laprogressive.com/legal-barriers-to-abortion/


Japan – Calls for Support During Unintended Pregnancies

June 8, 2021
Video: 3:36 minutes

Unintended pregnancies often force women to
make hard choices under pressure. Every year, in extreme cases, they even
result in the deaths of unplanned children. Shirai Chiaki, a professor at
Shizuoka University, says it's time for Japanese society to build a new
consensus that supports women through potentially life-changing decisions.

Continued: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/videos/20210608133815578/


‘A perilous future’: UK aid budget cuts will ‘cause’ 23,500 maternal deaths

Exclusive: Cuts will leave extra 6.5 million people unable to get contraception

Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent
June 7, 2021

The UK’s cuts to the aid budget will result in 23,500 women dying while pregnant, during childbirth or from unsafe abortions which go wrong, experts have warned.

MSI Reproductive Choices, a leading reproductive health charity, estimates the maternal deaths will be the result of cuts to its services, leaving an extra 6.5 million people in the most “marginalised, remote” areas not able to get the contraception they “desperately” require.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-aid-budget-cuts-maternal-deaths-b1861066.html


California moves to make abortion cheaper, as other states work to restrict it

By RACHEL BLUTH, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
JUNE 7, 2021

SACRAMENTO — Even as most states are trying to make it harder to get an abortion, California could make it free for more people.

State lawmakers are debating a bill to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and payments toward deductibles for abortions and related services, including counseling. The measure, approved by the Senate and headed to the Assembly, would apply to most private health plans regulated by the state.

Continued: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-07/california-to-make-abortion-cheaper-unlike-many-states


USA – The Stigma of “Late-Term Abortions” Is the Point

“It’s just normal folks who end up getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back.”

JUNE 3, 2021
BECCA ANDREWS

When the Supreme Court decided recently to consider Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, Marjorie Dannenfelser from Susan B. Anthony List said: “This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions.”

Dannenfelser’s choice to invoke “late-term abortions” was pointed. Typically, the phrase refers to abortions performed after 21 weeks, but I’ve seen anti-abortion advocates in particular use “late term” in reference to abortions anywhere after 15 weeks. Crucially, there is no real definition or medical designation for what constitutes a late-term abortion, so it’s used somewhat haphazardly. Medical experts also criticize the term for implying that abortions are taking place after a pregnancy reaches “term” at 37 weeks—which does not happen—or a point in pregnancy referred to by obstetricians as “late term,” up to 41 weeks—which also does not happen.

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/06/definition-late-term-abortions-mississippi-15-week-ban-supreme-court/


Abortion in a Post-Roe World? “People Are Resilient and Resourceful”

Thanks to new medications and innovative organizations committed to reproductive health and bodily self-determination, a reversal of Roe v. Wade would not send us back to the pre-Roe world of coat hangers and hospital wards full of deathly ill women.

6/3/2021
by CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine

The day after the Supreme Court announced they would hear the Mississippi abortion ban case, internet searches related to self-managed abortion surged across the United States—especially in states hostile to abortion rights. Online searches for terms related to abortion pills such as “misoprostol” and “medical abortion” exploded by more than 5,000 percent in the 24 hours after the court’s announcement.

“We see a definite spike in visitors to our website when there is news about abortion bans,” said Elisa Wells, co-founder and co-director of Plan C Pills, which provides up-to-date information on how to access abortion pills online. “People are looking for ways to access abortion pills. The need for abortion is never going to go away. When you cut off mainstream supply of it through clinical means, people will look for other ways to access the service.”

Continued:  https://msmagazine.com/2021/06/03/misoprostol-medical-abortion-post-roe-v-wade-abortion-pill-plan-c-aid-access-self-managed-abortion/