Malta – PM in strong defence of abortion reform, says women’s health is not negotiable

Robert Abela invokes the ghosts of reforms past, from divorce to marriage equality, in his defence of abortion legislation

4 December 2022
by Nicole Meilak

Women’s health is non-negotiable, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday, as he recalled past reforms on civil liberties to defend government’s next reform on abortion legislation.

During a political activity in Fgura on Sunday, Abela listed through several reforms that the Nationalist Party campaigned against over the years.

Continued: https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/120154/pm_in_strong_defence_of_abortion_reform_says_womens_health_is_not_negotiable#.Y41b3HbMKrQ


Poland: Lawmaker Faces Charges for Pro-Choice Protest

Targeting MP Escalates Attacks on Women’s Rights, Free Speech

December 4, 2022

(Berlin) – Poland’s government should immediately drop charges against a member of parliament who participated in a pro-choice protest and stop targeting reproductive rights activists, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 29, 2022, the Toruń prosecutor’s office charged Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, a member of the Left (Lewica) party, with “offending religious feelings” and “malicious interference with religious worship.” Each offense carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. She pleaded not guilty.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/04/poland-lawmaker-faces-charges-pro-choice-protest


Some Republicans say the midterms were a mandate for further abortion restrictions

Many GOP lawmakers who sailed to victory in states with anti-abortion laws are planning to use their expanded power.

By MEGAN MESSERLY
12/03/2022

Republicans racked up big wins in more than a dozen state legislatures this fall — and now they’re planning to use their expanded power to crack down on abortions come January.

With sweeping abortion legislation having little chance in a divided Congress, conservative state legislators are stepping into the void, proposing to limit when the procedure can take place, enact new regulations on abortion pills and strengthen penalties for doctors who break the law. Taken together, the legislation could make it harder for tens of millions of people to obtain abortions — particularly in Southern states that still permit most abortions, like Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, which have become havens for access since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/03/anti-abortion-republican-party-roe-00071988


Italy – Feminists protest against Meloni over abortion rights

By Federica Pascale | EURACTIV.it
 Nov 27, 2022

Feminists protested in Rome against new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, calling her a fascist and saying her government threatens the right to abortion in the country.

The protest aimed first at decrying the violence perpetrated against women and showing support for Iranian women but turned into denouncing Meloni’s government which protesters claimed threatened the right to abortion.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/feminists-protest-against-meloni-over-abortion-rights/


Abortion will remain illegal in Malta, penalties will apply says PM

By Alice Taylor | EURACTIV.com
 Nov 27, 2022

Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela confirmed that abortion will remain illegal in Malta and anyone found abusing new legislation designed to allow pregnant mothers to be treated even if such treatment could result in a termination, will face legal consequences.

Malta is home to some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws with the procedure being a criminal offence in all circumstances including rape, incest, or if they mother’s life is at risk.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/abortion-will-remain-illegal-in-malta-penalties-will-apply-says-pm/


Malta – UK parliamentarians write to Abela over ‘extreme concern’ about abortion laws

Small group of parliamentarians say UK's similar wording led to 'abortion on demand'

November 26, 2022
Times of Malta

Three UK parliamentarians and a number of members of the UK's House of Lords have written an open letter to Prime Minister Robert Abela to express "extreme concern" about proposed changes to Malta's abortion laws.

The letter was sent to Abela after the government unveiled legislative amendments that would allow doctors to terminate a pregnancy when a woman’s life or health is at serious risk.

Continued: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/three-uk-mps-lords-write-abela-extreme-concern-abortion-laws.997614


USA – What we know (and don’t know) about how abortion affected the midterms

November 25, 2022
Danielle Kurtzleben

Ahead of the midterms, pollsters and strategists and — yes, journalists — were obsessed with voters' top issues. In poll after poll, including polling at NPR, voters reported inflation to be the most important issue. Despite this, a lot of people do not vote with a single issue top-of-mind, and that makes it hard to know how much abortion swayed the midterms.

This year's midterms were certainly unusual — when the president's approval is below 50 percent (as President Biden's is), their party loses 43 House seats in midterm elections, on average. This year, Democratic losses may be in the single digits. As a result, less than six months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, both sides are working to figure out how big a part abortion played in the midterms.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2022/11/25/1139040227/abortion-midterm-elections-2022-republicans-democrats-roe-dobbs


French vote for right to abortion in constitution

Nov 25, 2022
By Paul Kirby, BBC News

France's National Assembly has backed a bid to enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution, prompted largely by increased restrictions elsewhere. Lawmakers voted by a large majority to include a clause guaranteeing "the effectiveness and equal access to the right to end pregnancy voluntarily".

Left-wing MP Mathilde Panot, who is behind the change, said it was to protect against the "backsliding" seen in the US and Poland. But the bill will face a tough passage.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63754796


France moves closer to making abortion a constitutional right

Lower house approves resolution to guarantee access to ‘the right to voluntarily end a pregnancy’

Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
Thu 24 Nov 2022

France has moved a step closer to becoming the first country in the world to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right, after lawmakers approved a resolution in the lower house to guarantee access to “the right to voluntarily end a pregnancy”.

In a rare cross-party move, members of parliament from the left’s La France Insoumise party and Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition agreed on the wording of a clause that could be added to the constitution. It read: “The law guarantees the effectiveness and equal access to the right to voluntarily end a pregnancy.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/24/france-moves-closer-to-making-abortion-a-constitutional-right


France takes 1st step to add abortion right to constitution

Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press
November 24, 2022

PARIS – Lawmakers in France's lower house of parliament on Thursday adopted a bill to enshrine abortion rights in the country’s constitution, the first step in a lengthy and uncertain legislative battle prompted by the rollback of abortion rights in the United States.

The measure was approved with 337 lawmakers voting for and 32 against in the 557-member National Assembly. To be added into the constitution, any measure must be first approved by majorities in the National Assembly and the upper house, the Senate, and then in a nationwide referendum.

Continued: https://www.clickondetroit.com/health/2022/11/24/france-debates-enshrining-abortion-rights-in-constitution/