Lawmaker urges Malta to stop criminalising women who seek abortions

By Emma Batha, Thomson Reuters Foundation
MAY 12, 2021

LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Maltese lawmaker made history on Wednesday by calling for the decriminalisation of abortion in the Mediterranean island, which has one of the world’s strictest bans.

In the first such move to amend the country’s tough abortion laws, independent MP Marlene Farrugia presented a bill which would remove criminal sanctions for women who seek terminations.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/malta-law-abortion/lawmaker-urges-malta-to-stop-criminalising-women-who-seek-abortions-idUSL8N2MZ4QE


USA – The EACH Act would overturn a “blatantly racist” abortion rule. Will it pass?

By Clare Busch
May 12, 2021

When Stephanie Loraine Piñeiro was 17, she found out she was pregnant. Loraine Piñeiro decided to have an abortion, but because she was Medicaid recipient — like more than 72 million other Americans — her insurance wouldn’t cover the costs of the procedure. So, Loraine Piñeiro picked up extra shifts at her restaurant job, earning $2.17 per hour in base pay, to earn the necessary $450. She was still in high school.

She was in that position thanks to the Hyde Amendment, a policy dating back to 1976 that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, except in the case of rape, incest, or if the pregnant person’s life is in danger. “When I learned about the Hyde Amendment, I realized how much it affected my life,” Loraine Piñeiro tells Mic. “I had no idea how I would figure out how to pay for an abortion. Those types of resources aren't easily available.”

Continued: https://www.mic.com/p/the-each-act-would-overturn-a-blatantly-racist-abortion-rule-will-it-pass-77726691


New Zealand – Clearer Guidance Needed For Abortion Clinic ‘safe Areas’

Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Press Release: New Zealand Law Society

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa has told a parliamentary select committee that the definition of "prohibited behaviour" in proposed ‘safe areas’ for abortion facilities is inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and needs to be reconsidered.

The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill proposes amending the 1977 Act to provide for regulations to set up safe areas around specific abortion facilities on a case-by-case basis.

Continued: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2105/S00097/clearer-guidance-needed-for-abortion-clinic-safe-areas.htm


US – The Supreme Court considers an important showdown over abortion this week

The Court has been surprisingly hesitant to weigh in on abortion. But a pending case is likely to force its hand.

By Ian Millhiser 
May 11, 2021

The Supreme Court has been sitting on a potentially very significant abortion case for the last two months, one that the Court’s rules say it should dismiss. We’re likely to find out this week whether the Court will dismiss this case, however, and that decision could tell us a great deal about how fast the Court plans to move in rolling back abortion rights.

In February, about a month after President Joe Biden took office, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear three consolidated cases challenging a Trump administration policy targeting abortion clinics.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/22428611/supreme-court-abortion-gag-rule-title-x-american-medical-association-becerra-biden-trump


Ecuador abortion rights victory hailed as latest in ‘tidal wave’

Advocates say court ruling that decriminalises abortion in rape cases is an important step, but struggle continues.

By Vincent Ricci
7 May 2021

Quito, Ecuador – Women’s rights advocates have hailed a recent court ruling that will ease restrictions on abortion in cases of rape in Ecuador, the latest country in Latin America to be swept up in the “green wave” abortion rights movement.

In a 7-2 vote on April 28, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador deemed unconstitutional a previous ban that outlawed abortions except in cases where a woman’s life was in danger, or if a woman with a mental disability was raped.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/7/ecuador-abortion-rights-victory-hailed-as-latest-in-tidal-wave


Texas anti-abortion legislation paves way for every right-to-lifer to sue abortion doctors

Someone who provides funds for an abortion could also be sued, even if they didn’t know that’s what the money was being used for.

May 6, 2021
By Marina Garrett, advocate for survivors of sexual assault

Texas has spent years attacking access to abortion. After the state exploited the Covid-19 crisis last spring to try to close abortion clinics, it was hard to imagine it could get more extreme.

But the Texas Legislature is poised to do just that, by approving legislation being billed as the first of its kind for the tactics it uses to prevent access to abortion. The measure has already been passed by the state Senate and is set to clear a House procedural vote on Thursday. The reconciled version is expected to get the governor’s approval when it reaches his desk.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/texas-anti-abortion-legislation-paves-way-every-right-lifer-sue-ncna1266396


Down’s syndrome: Abortion case heads to High Court

May 5, 2021

Campaigners are set to have a review of abortion law relating to Down's syndrome heard at the High Court.

Heidi Carter, of Coventry, and Máire
Lea-Wilson from Brentford, west London, are challenging the government over a
clause in the current law which allows abortion for up to birth for a foetus
with Down's syndrome.

Mrs Carter, 25, who has the condition, said the current law is "not
fair".

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-56982646


Reproductive Rights Advocates Call for Biden to Curb Foreign Abortion Restrictions

5/5/2021
by MICHELLE ONELLO, Ms. Magazine

A coalition of over 140 reproductive rights and health care advocates is calling on President Biden to mitigate the harm caused by the over-implementation of U.S. foreign aid restrictions, especially the 50-year-old Helms Amendment, which has limited access to and information about abortion overseas.

In the April 29 letter, advocates highlighted
the direct harm these restrictions cause women, especially victims of
conflict-related sexual violence, and their violation of the U.S.’s human
rights obligations to ensure gender equality and non-discriminatory,
comprehensive health care. While these restrictions were enacted by Congress,
the coalition is advocating for the Biden administration to curb their impact
and support efforts currently underway to repeal them—both to fulfill his
stated policy of support for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
and to provide the same bold leadership on abortion that he has shown in other
areas such as climate change, jobs and infrastructure.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/05/05/reproductive-rights-biden-foreign-abortion-restrictions-helms-hyde/


Italy’s futile abortion laws

Despite legislation, far-right politicians and religious organisations have entrenched ways to deny women their right to an abortion and shame those who do terminate a pregnancy.

By: Alex Čizmić
5 May 2021

There are laws that are enacted to bring about real-life change. There are others that are pushed through simply to give the illusion of progress. The latter seems to be the case in Italy with Law 194/78.

This legislation from 22 May 1978 decriminalises and regulates the procedure for accessing an abortion but, according to a report by the minister of health published in 2019 on the implementation of the law, conscientious objection among gynaecologists reached 68.4% on average with peaks of 100% in certain hospitals.

Continued: https://www.newframe.com/italys-futile-abortion-laws/


Unprecedented Surge in Anti-Abortion Laws Proposed and Passed Across the U.S.

5/4/2021
by CARRIE N. BAKER

In the first four months of 2021, anti-abortion lawmakers introduced 536 abortion restrictions in 46 states, including 146 abortion bans, according to a report released by the Guttmacher Institute on Friday. They enacted 61 restrictions in 13 states, including eight bans that would go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Governors signed 28 restrictions into law in eight states just last week.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/05/04/anti-abortion-laws-texas-arizona-arkansas-indiana-west-virginia-kentucky-oklahoma-south-dakota-wyoming/