USA – The Unlikely Women Fighting for Abortion Rights

The end of Roe has turned women who terminated pregnancies for medical reasons into a political force.

By Kate Zernike
May 27, 2024

For a long time, many women who had abortions because of catastrophic fetal diagnoses told their stories only privately. Grieving pregnancies they dearly wanted and fearing the stigma of abortion, they sought the closely guarded comfort of online communities identified by the way many doctors had described the procedure — TFMR, or “termination for medical reasons.”

In the two years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, their pain has been compounded into anger by new abortion bans across the country. While these women account for a fraction of abortions in the United States, they have emerged as the most powerful voices in the nation’s post-Roe debate, speaking out against bans with their stories of being forced across state lines and left to feel like criminals in seeking care.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/27/us/abortion-women-tfmr.html


In Morocco, Women Turn To Booming Online Abortion Pill Market

By Claire GOUNON
May 26, 2024

Asmaa was terrified at the thought of giving birth again, but with abortion largely illegal in Morocco she turned to the thriving illicit online pills market to end her pregnancy.

The 37-year-old mother of one went on Facebook after her gynaecologist told her about other women who had managed to get their hands on abortion pills through the platform.

Continued: https://www.barrons.com/news/in-morocco-women-turn-to-booming-online-abortion-pill-market-62a86370


Abortion rights activists rally voters for EU election

Civil society groups are encouraging voters to stop a far-right surge.

MAY 24, 2024
BY CLAUDIA CHIAPPA

Activists behind a campaign calling for EU-wide abortion rights are urging people to vote against a far-right surge in the European Parliament.

Campaigners will gather Friday evening in Hénin-Beaumont, South of Lille in France, where National Rally leader Jordan Bardella and former leader Marine Le Pen are set to host a party meeting.

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/abortion-rights-activists-rally-voters-for-eu-election/


Why Poland’s new government is challenged by abortion

Published: May 24, 2024
Patrice McMahon

When Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk formed a coalition government in 2023 committed to making “historic changes,” he promised to improve the country’s track record on women’s rights. Noticeably absent in the coalition’s agreement, however, was any specific wording on access to abortion, one of the most controversial issues under the previous government.

The coalition parties are united in their opposition to the conservative Law and Justice Party, PiS, which led the government for eight years. PiS weakened Poland’s democracy by undermining the independence of the judiciary and placing restrictions on the media, and it strained its relationship with the European Union. PiS also ushered in some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, with the help of hand-picked judges from Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/why-polands-new-government-is-challenged-by-abortion-228863


USA – The New Autonomy of Abortion

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion freedom now hinges on access to pills.

BY ANDRÉA BECKER
MAY 23, 2024

When 18-year-old Rachel discovered she was unexpectedly pregnant, she made what she thought was a natural first step: call Planned Parenthood to schedule an abortion. “I wasn’t ready to be a parent or a mom,” she says. “And I didn’t want to go through giving birth just to give the kid away.” Even in an abortion-friendly state like Illinois, the nearest Planned Parenthood was one hour away, and there wasn’t an available appointment for another month.

When Rachel consulted ob-gyns, they either told her they wouldn’t provide an abortion or declined to provide recommendations. And since her insurance doesn’t cover abortion care, she’d have to pay the expensive fee out of pocket. “I just wanted it to be over with,” she says.

Continued: https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/access/2024/05/23/the-new-autonomy-of-abortion


Abortion Bans Are Undermining Disabled People’s Decision-Making and Autonomy

May 22, 2024
Bridget Winkler

Becoming pregnant in a state where abortion is either severely restricted or banned can be a matter of life or death. This risk can be even more dangerous for disabled people. For example, Flora Ellis was born with a connective-tissue disorder that prevents her body from properly making collagen, so a pregnancy could lead to organ rupture. Because Ellis’ health issues prevent her from using some forms of birth control, she has chosen to stockpile morning-after pills as a means of protecting her health. 

Disabled people have sex too, and expression of sexuality shouldn’t come with the risk of death or severe health implications. The current system of abortion bans undermines the rights of disabled people to autonomy, safety, and self-determination.

Continued: https://nwlc.org/abortion-bans-are-undermining-disabled-peoples-decision-making-and-autonomy/


Canada – Trudeau government not planning to legislate further protection for abortion rights, health minister says

May 21, 2024
By Tonda MacCharles, Ottawa Bureau Chief

OTTAWA — Despite warning of looming threats to abortion rights in Canada, the Trudeau government does not plan to enshrine legislative protections of a woman’s right to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy, says Health Minister Mark Holland.

Although the 2021 Liberal platform promised regulations to ensure accessibility to “publicly available sexual and reproductive health services,” Holland said his priority is to work with the provinces, which are responsible for health care, so that abortion services are expanded.

Continued: https://www.thestar.com/politics/trudeau-government-not-planning-to-legislate-further-protection-for-abortion-rights-health-minister-says/article_f213d5e2-17ac-11ef-9e45-7fa4b3c84b1f.html


Malawi – Legal restrictions fail to stop unsafe abortions – COPUA

May 21, 2024

Despite current legal restrictions, unsafe abortions are still widespread in Malawi as over 100,000 abortions take place every year, country-wide.

Citing the research results by the College of Medicine and Guttmacher Institute which shows that over 141,000 abortions happened in Malawi in 2015 alone, Coalition for the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion (COPUA) Vice Chairperson, Dr Amos Nyaka wants the law process to continue.

Continued: https://www.nyasatimes.com/legal-restrictions-fail-to-stop-unsafe-abortions-copua/


We need to talk about how U.S. policy is sabotaging reproductive rights in Africa

A controversial US policy is jeopardizing family planning services and fueling a maternal health crisis in Ethiopia and Uganda.

By Annabel Rocha
May 20, 2024

The lack of reproductive health services in Uganda and Ethiopia leaves those experiencing unwanted pregnancies with few options, and poorer communities with even fewer. Only 13 to 16% of poor, married women in Uganda use modern contraception, according to Guttmacher, resulting in four in 10 births being unplanned. In Ethiopia, 4.5 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception, with 46% of the estimated 4.6 million pregnancies in the country unintended. To support family planning services, these governments rely on international and U.S. funding, which has devastating consequences for health initiatives when support is withdrawn.

Continued: https://www.reckon.news/family/2024/05/how-us-policy-is-sabotaging-reproductive-rights-in-africa.html


UK – Jury discharged in illegal abortion trial

May 20, 2024
Chloe Harcombe & PA Media, BBC News, Gloucestershire

The jury in the trial of a woman accused of arranging her own illegal abortion has been discharged for legal reasons.

Sophie Harvey, 25, was on trial at Gloucester Crown Court accused of procuring a poison, procuring her own miscarriage by poison and attempting to pervert the course of public justice.

Her partner Elliot Benham, 25, was also on trial accused of attempting to pervert the course of public justice.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c4nnrj1zjvyo