Abortion cannot be permitted on mental health grounds, declares Polish church

SEP 5, 2023
Notes from Poland

Poland’s Catholic church has declared that it is not legal, ethical or beneficial to women to allow abortion on the grounds that the mother suffers from a mental health problem. Permitting this would effectively mean “the relegalisation of abortion on demand”, warn the bishops.

Their position – which is contradicted by leading medical bodies – has been rejected by reproductive rights organisations in Poland, who also argue that the church has misinterpreted or misrepresented the law.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2023/09/05/abortion-cannot-be-permitted-on-mental-health-grounds-declares-polish-church/

Australia – These women were told their babies would not survive – but Catholic-run public hospitals refused to provide abortions

Both Jennifer and Amy were devastated when their wanted pregnancies were deemed unviable, but they were forced to go elsewhere when Catholic-run public hospitals would not terminate

by Donna Lu
Tue 5 Sep 2023

When Jennifer* fell pregnant for the first time in August 2019, there was no indication that anything was amiss. But the Melbourne-based healthcare worker was given bad news at her 12-week ultrasound scan: her foetus had a severe genetic condition.

“They detected a severe abnormality in the baby, which I already knew was a girl, so I’d already gotten a bit excited about having a daughter,” Jennifer recalls. “They said … essentially you could choose to bring the baby to term and give birth to her but if you do, she’ll be placed into palliative care immediately, so we’re recommending that you strongly consider a medical termination.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/sep/05/the-women-refused-medical-terminations-abortions-catholic-public-hospitals-australia

Australia – ‘I was shocked’: Catholic-run public hospitals refuse to provide birth control and abortion

Publicly funded Catholic hospitals across Australia are using the cover of religion to opt out of providing reproductive care – and experts say it has created a ‘postcode lottery’ for access to services

by Donna Lu and Melissa Davey
Mon 21 Aug 2023

When Sarah*, a Melbourne mother, was pregnant with her second child, her GP gave her a surprising warning: if she had any serious complications, concerns about the viability of the pregnancy or believed she might be miscarrying, she should go to the Royal Women’s hospital rather than the Mercy Hospital for Women, where she was planning to deliver the baby.

The reason, the GP told her, was that the Mercy – a public hospital in Melbourne’s north-east – would not assist in terminating a pregnancy due to its Catholic affiliation.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/aug/22/do-australian-catholic-hospitals-perform-abortions-provide-contraception-reproductive-care

Pastors say they support ‘sanctity of life’ after case involving 11-year-old girl

Friday, August 18, 2023

AFTER an 11-year-old girl allegedly impregnated by her mother’s boyfriend aborted the baby with pills procured by her mother, two prominent religious leaders said yesterday that many churchgoers still oppose abortion in such circumstances.

...Alicia Wallace, director of Equality Bahamas, said given the degree of gender-based violence in The Bahamas, it is “ridiculous and inhumane to expect women or children to suffer through unwanted pregnancies”.

"There is absolutely no reason to criminalise a child or the people who helped her to access critical healthcare that likely saved her life, preventing further physical and mental harm,” she said on Wednesday.

Continued: http://www.tribune242.com/news/2023/aug/18/we-oppose-abortion-even-case-rape-pastors-say-they/

A legal scholar sizes up the religious argument against abortion bans

JULY 9, 2023

(JTA) — The abortion debate is often portrayed as a clash between religious beliefs on the pro-life side and secular or humanist convictions on the pro-choice side. Indeed, lawmakers and activists have often invoked God in enacting state bans on abortion since the Supreme Court, in last year’s Dobbs decision, struck down a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Some clergy and faith groups, however, including a number of Jews, are pushing back. In efforts to overturn these restrictions, they have been pressing a legal strategy claiming that abortion bans violate their religious liberty. In Kentucky, a case brought by three Jewish women argues that the state’s near-total abortion ban violates their religious beliefs about when life begins and protecting a mother’s life. In Indiana, a suit brought by Hoosier Jews for Choice and four women who represent a variety of faiths demands exemptions from the state’s abortion ban for people whose religions support abortion rights.

Continued: https://www.jta.org/2023/07/09/ideas/a-legal-scholar-sizes-up-the-religious-argument-against-abortion-bans

Majority of Kenyans against abortion, new study shows

Monday, July 03, 2023
By Angela Oketch, Health and Science reporter

Nine out of 10 Kenyan adults say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases,  a new study shows.

A 24-country study by the Pew Research Center found that attitudes varied widely across countries, with religiously unaffiliated adults, people on the ideological left and women more likely to support legal abortion.

Continued: https://nation.africa/kenya/health/majority-of-kenyans-against-abortion-new-study-shows-4291138

Pro-choice Catholics fight to seize the narrative from the religious right

Maya Yang
Mon 3 Jul 2023

Since the supreme court overturned Roe v Wade a year ago, reproductive rights have become an even more contentious issue in an already polarized landscape. With more than 1,500 politicians – mostly men – helping ban abortions since Roe fell, Catholic and pro-choice organizations are increasingly trying to carve out space for themselves in the nationwide dialogue to center their own messaging: that being Catholic and pro-choice are not mutually exclusive.

One organization trying to dismantle religious stigma surrounding abortions is Catholics For Choice, a Washington-DC based Catholic abortion rights advocacy group. For CFC, the belief in individual reproductive rights comes as a result of the Catholic faith, not in spite of.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/03/pro-choice-catholics-us

Nonreligious Americans Are The New Abortion Voters

By Daniel Cox and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
JUN. 29, 2023

When Roe v. Wade was overturned last year, many white evangelical Protestants didn’t just see the Supreme Court’s ruling as a political win — it was a spiritual victory. For decades, religious conservatives have been singularly focused on ending the constitutional right to abortion, a priority that few other demographic groups shared. White evangelical Protestants — a group that has, since the 1980s, voted overwhelmingly for Republicans — were much more likely than other religious groups to say that abortion was a high priority.

The fall of Roe appears to be changing that. In 2021, the share of religiously unaffiliated Americans (a group that includes atheists, agnostics and people who identify with no religion in particular) who said abortion was a critical issue started to rise. And for the first time in 2022, the year the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the share of religiously unaffiliated Americans who said that abortion was a critical issue was higher than the share of white evangelicals who said the same.

Continued: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/nonreligious-americans-are-the-new-abortion-voters/

Poland – MPs who vote for abortion cannot receive holy communion, says head of Polish episcopate

JUN 22, 2023
Notes from Poland

Members of parliament who vote to allow abortion are “committing a grave sin and thus cannot receive holy communion”, the head of the Catholic church in Poland has warned.

His remarks come after all of Poland’s main opposition parties – most of whom have leaders who are practising Catholics – have expressed support for ending the current near-total ban on abortion, which is supported by the church.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2023/06/22/mps-who-vote-for-abortion-cannot-receive-holy-communion-says-head-of-polish-episcopate/

USA – The loss of abortion access demands a day of collective mourning

One year into the reversal of Roe v. Wade, it is clear that forced birth takes lives

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
June 22, 2023

The one-year anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision — the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and ended federal protections on our Constitutionally guaranteed right to abortion access — arrives this Shabbat, on June 24.

Jews must mark this day as a time of collective mourning for all those whose lives were taken from them because the government stripped them of their right to abortion access.

Continued: https://forward.com/opinion/551585/dobbs-anniversary-collective-mourning-abortion-access/