Italy passes measures to allow anti-abortion activists to enter abortion clinics

Opposition parties say women’s rights dealt blow after package approved by Georgia Meloni’s cabinet

Angela Giuffrida in Rome
Tue 16 Apr 2024

Italian opposition parties have said women’s rights in Italy have been dealt a “heavy” blow after parliament passed a measure by Giorgia Meloni’s far-right government allowing anti-abortion activists to enter abortion consultation clinics.

The measure forms part of a package of initiatives approved by Meloni’s cabinet that will be funded by the EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund, of which Italy is the biggest beneficiary, and was put to the lower house in a confidence vote on Tuesday. The package of measures is expected to comfortably pass in the senate, too.


Poland has a strict abortion law – and many abortions. Lawmakers are now tackling the legislation

By Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press
April 11, 2024

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s parliament held a long-awaited debate Thursday on liberalizing the country’s strict abortion law. The traditionally Catholic nation has one of the most restrictive laws in Europe, but many women terminate pregnancies at home with pills mailed from abroad.

Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament considered four proposals and will vote Friday on whether to send them for further work.


As U.S. Faces a Rising Tide of Abortion Bans and Restrictions, France Enshrines Freedom of Access in the Constitution

The U.S. and France offer starkly different environments for women—but both countries share a strong feminist tradition. How do we explain their radically different abortion trajectories?


In 2023, seeking “to avoid a U.S.-like scenario for women in France, as hard-right groups are gaining ground,” President Emmanuel Macron promised a constitutional amendment affirming women’s right to abortion and to control over their own bodies. The amendment subsequently passed by a crushing majority of 780 to 72 votes and was inserted ceremoniously into the French Constitution on March 8, 2024, International Women’s Day.

In celebration, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the message “My Body, My Choice.” This global first came approximately 50 years after the French Parliament first voted to decriminalize abortion with the passage of the Veil Law, named for feminist minister of health Simone Veil, who championed the reform.


Syria – Despite risks, Women resort to unsafe abortions in Idlib

Enab Baladi

Women in Idlib province face societal difficulties and pressures when they decide to undergo an abortion. These pressures come from relatives, neighbors, and even doctors, despite the woman’s need for the procedure in some cases.

Some believe that abortion is religiously forbidden in Islam and other religions, and this applies not only to Idlib but to many countries that criminalize such operations, considering it as taking a life.


The Virgin Mary features heavily in anti-abortion activism – and many Catholics are worried

February 20, 2024

Sarah-Jane Page, Pam Lowe – The Conversation

If you’ve ever come across an anti-abortion protest, particularly outside of a clinic, you may have been struck by the use of the Virgin Mary. Images of Mary and other religious signs and symbols are frequently used in anti-abortion activism in Britain, as in other countries*.

At one level this is understandable because, as our research has shown, anti-abortion activists in the UK are overwhelmingly highly religious, with most aligned with conservative forms of Catholicism and a smaller number of evangelicals. Yet the use of these images also reveals important information about the activists’ motivations and understandings, such as ideas about the nature of women. And many Catholics are concerned about the way their religion is being portrayed.


Anti-abortion centers raked in $1.4bn in year Roe fell, including federal money

Exclusive: memo shows anti-abortion pregnancy centers received at least $344m in government money in 2022

Carter Sherman
Wed 14 Feb 2024

Anti-abortion facilities raked in at least $1.4bn in revenue in the 2022 fiscal year, the year Roe v Wade fell – a staggering haul that includes at least $344m in government money, according to a memo analyzing the centers’ tax documents that was compiled by a pro-abortion rights group and shared exclusively with the Guardian.

These facilities, frequently known as anti-abortion pregnancy centers or crisis pregnancy centers, aim to convince people to keep their pregnancies. But in the aftermath of Roe’s demise, the anti-abortion movement has framed anti-abortion pregnancy centers as a key source of aid for desperate women who have lost the legal right to end their pregnancies and been left with little choice but to give birth.


Catholic activists work to help Hispanic women reconcile abortion rights with their religious faith

Jan 28, 2024

In a corner of their Mexico City office, activists from Catholics for the Right to Decide keep an image of the Virgin Mary close to a green scarf that reads: “Mary was consulted to be mother of God.”

For these Catholic women, prayer does not conflict with their fight for abortion access nor does their devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe prevent them from supporting LGBTQ+ rights.

“You might think that one cannot be a feminist and a Catholic,” said activist Cinthya Ramírez. “But being women of faith does not mean that we oppose progressivity, human rights or sexual diversity.”


USA – The Catholic Hospital System Killing Women

How Ascension hospitals are fueling the maternal death rate

JAN 11, 2024

Earlier this week, The New Yorker published a piece about a young woman killed by Texas’ abortion ban. Yeniifer Alvarez-Estrada Glick, the first reported post-Dobbs death, had diabetes, hypertension, and a history of pulmonary edema; she went to the emergency room with breathing problems just seven weeks into her pregnancy, and multiple times thereafter with ever-increasing issues. Yet even as Yeni got sicker and sicker, at no point did a doctor advise an abortion. No one even mentioned the possibility.

… The very same day that Yeni’s story was shared with the world, National Nurses United (NNU) released a report showing how Ascension is fueling the U.S. maternal mortality crisis. In fact, NNU called Ascension, which has 140 hospitals in 19 states, “one of the nation’s worst offenders for closing obstetrics units.”


What does a total abortion ban look like in Dominican Republic?

January 2, 2024

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic is one of four Latin American nations that criminalizes abortion without exceptions. Women face up to 2 years in prison for having an abortion, while the penalties for doctors or midwives range from 5 to 20 years. Abortion rights activists argue that the country’s total abortion ban not only restricts women’s reproductive choices but also puts their lives in danger.

Here’s a look at the country’s ban.


Russian Orthodox Church Says Equates Abortion to ‘Cardinal Sin’ of Murder

Dec 28, 2023
Moscow Times

The Russian Orthodox Church announced it has adopted a document equating abortion to murder amid growing ultra-conservative calls for a nationwide ban and several regions restricting the procedure.

“The Church unequivocally equates arbitrary surgical or medical abortion to murder, regardless of the gestational age and the manner in which it is carried out,” Church spokesman Vladimir Legoyda said in a statement Wednesday evening.