Belgian Green MPs table abortion reform proposal

By Nina Chabot |
Sep 28, 2023

A bill to reform Belgium’s abortion laws, particularly by extending the legal period for abortion and decriminalising it, was tabled by two Ecolo-Green (EELV) MPs on Thursday.

Séverine de Laveleye (Ecolo, EELV) and Eva Platteau (Groen, EELV) presented this project on the occasion of the International Day for Free and Safe Abortion on Thursday.

In their tabled bill, the two MPs seek to extend the period in which abortion can be performed from 12 to 18 weeks and to abolish the six-day waiting period before an abortion can be performed.


Consent issue casts shadow on safe abortion in Japan

Sep 28, 2023

As the world observes International Safe Abortion Day on Thursday, there is growing focus on the movement in Japan for safe and accessible abortion practices. The recent approval of the first abortion pill in the nation offers a glimmer of hope, but archaic rules governing consent — rooted in Japan's eugenics history — persist, casting a shadow on safe access.

The 1996 Maternal Health Act, which includes the spousal consent law, evolved from the 1948 Eugenic Protection Act, which opened the path for legal abortion. The former abolished eugenic provisions to create the law Japan follows today.


Brazil senators call for plebiscite on abortion; Supreme Court considers decriminalization

September 26, 2023

Brasilia (EFE) – A group of Brazilian senators announced Tuesday that they will call for a referendum so the entire population can decide on abortion, just as the Supreme Court deliberates on whether to approve its decriminalization until 12 weeks of gestation.

Senator Rogério Marinho said in statements to journalists that the initiative has the support of 45 senators, the number needed to secure the approval of a legislative decree to convene the plebiscite.


Polish activist says she won’t stop swearing after guilty ruling

Sept 23, 2023

Julia Landowska never thought of herself as a crusader for free speech until she got a $15 fine for swearing in public during a protest against Poland’s strict abortion laws.

Ms. Landowska is a 23-year-old medical student in Gdansk and rarely paid much attention to politics until October, 2020, when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling that banned access to abortion in all circumstances except cases of sexual assault or incest or if the woman’s life or health were at risk. The decision prompted widespread demonstrations against the populist Law and Justice party, or PiS, which has been accused of politicizing the tribunal.


Nebraska Mom Gets 2 Years in Prison After Buying Abortion Pills for Her Teen Daughter

“Here's the audacity: Self-managed abortion is not even a crime in fucking Nebraska,” an advocate told Jezebel. The case is a harbinger of more criminalization.

By Susan Rinkunas
Sep 22, 2023

On Friday, a Nebraska judge sentenced Jessica Burgess to two years in prison after she bought abortion pills for her teen daughter and helped bury the fetal remains in early 2022, according to reporters from Norfolk Daily News and Courthouse News. The sentencing went forward without a court-ordered psychological evaluation that the judge canceled for lack of funding last week. Burgess had faced up to five years in prison after she accepted a plea deal. With good behavior, she could be released in a year.

Burgess pled guilty in July to three charges (tampering with human remains, false reporting, and abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation) in exchange for prosecutors dropping two others (concealing the death of another person and abortion by someone other than a licensed physician). ​​States have criminalized people for their pregnancy outcomes for decades—even, as in this case, while​​ Roe v. Wade stood—but advocates worry these types of charges, against people seeking abortion and those who help them, will only become more frequent as millions of people live under state abortion bans.


Abortion in America: From Roe to Dobbs and beyond

Why is abortion in America so polarized? How did we get where we are today, and what lies ahead? Leading legal expert and historian Mary Ziegler, JD, weighs in.

By Stacy Weiner, Senior Staff Writer
Sept. 21, 2023

Few U.S. Supreme Court cases have ignited as much passion as the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established a constitutional right to an abortion and the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning it.

…Mary Ziegler, JD, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis, and one of the world’s leading experts on reproductive rights, has been watching — and assessing — as the abortion landscape shifts in a post-Dobbs world.


Abortion Rules in Chile Survive Threat of Constitutional Rewrite

Eduardo Thomson, Bloomberg News
Sep 15, 2023

An clause in the draft of Chile’s new constitution that would have annulled current abortion rules in the South American country failed to reach enough support in a vote Friday.

The article stating “all human beings are persons” won 29 votes in favor, 17 against and 4 abstentions at the Constitutional Council. It needed 30 votes to pass. Several council members had warned the clause would have made current abortion rules unconstitutional.

Chile allows abortions only in three cases: rape, risks to the mother’s life, or if the baby has a medical condition that means it isn’t expected to survive. The current law was approved in 2017 during the second government of Michelle Bachelet.

The abstentions Friday were among council members from the center-right Chile Vamos coalition and show a break from the majority right-wing Republicanos party, Claudio Fuentes, a political scientist at Universidad Diego Portales, said on social media.


Abortion rights center stage in Democrats’ 2024 US election campaign

By Nandita Bose
September 1, 2023

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Abortion rights helped Democrats stave off a hefty defeat at midterm elections last year and the party aims to put the issue at the center of the 2024 fight for the White House.

As Republican candidates propose new measures to restrict abortions and Republican-led states roll out tighter controls, President Joe Biden's re-election campaign last week released a new ad titled "These Guys", part of a $25 million campaign focused on women in key battleground states.


Not just Ohio: Biased language is the hot new tactic to thwart ballot measures

Wording can affect a measure’s support among voters

AUGUST 31, 2023

Abortion-rights supporters filed a lawsuit Monday against what they call “deceptive” ballot language produced by Ohio officials for the state’s closely-watched upcoming referendum on the issue. But it isn’t just the Buckeye State that’s lately seeing fierce battles over the once-obscure topic of ballot language.

In recent weeks, officials in Missouri — where another abortion-rights measure is at issue — and Idaho also have been accused in lawsuits of seeking to thwart citizen initiatives they oppose by using biased and negative ballot language to describe the issue to voters. Arkansas last year saw a similar court fight after a state board rejected a proposed ballot measure that had gained the required number of signatures, claiming the ballot language didn’t explain the issue in enough detail.


Republicans have made it clear: No state is safe from abortion bans


Most Americans believe abortion should be legal in most cases. In every state where voters have voted on the issue since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, voters have sided with reproductive freedom and against abortion bans.

But the Republican presidential debate made it clear that those facts will not stop Republican politicians from doing what is being demanded by the party’s anti-choice zealots: pass a nationwide abortion ban.