Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Independent: Spaniards take to the streets in protest over new abortion laws, by Alasdair Fotheringham:
Thousands of protesters marched through central Madrid and other major cities in Spain yesterday in the latest wave of demonstrations against controversial proposed reforms of the country's abortion laws.
Yesterday's International Women's Day gave fresh impetus to the protests against changes to abortion laws. Some 80 per cent of Spaniards are opposed to any changes to abortion laws, according to polls. . . .
Sunday, March 2, 2014
NPR - Parallels blog: Anti-Abortion Push Has Spain Debating Definition Of 'Progress,' by Lauren Frayer:
. . . The Spanish government is on its way to creating one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe — a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or grave risk to the mother's health. Serious birth defects will no longer be grounds for terminating a pregnancy.
In Europe, only the tiny island nation of Malta has a complete ban on abortion. . . .
Listen to the story here.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Anibel Faundes, et al., have posted Brazilians Have Different Views on When Abortion Should Be Legal, But Most Do Not Agree with Imprisoning Women for Abortion on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Unsafe abortions remain a major public health problem in countries with very restrictive abortion laws. In Brazil, parliamentarians − who have the power to change the law − are influenced by “public opinion”, often obtained through surveys and opinion polls. This paper presents the findings from two studies. One was carried out in February–December 2010 among 1,660 public servants and the other in February–July 2011 with 874 medical students from three medical schools, both in São Paulo State, Brazil. Both groups of respondents were asked two sets of questions to obtain their opinion about abortion: 1) under which circumstances abortion should be permitted by law, and 2) whether or not women in general and women they knew who had had an abortion should be punished with prison, as Brazilian law mandates. The differences in their answers were enormous: the majority of respondents were against putting women who have had abortions in prison. Almost 60% of civil servants and 25% of medical students knew at least one woman who had had an illegal abortion; 85% of medical students and 83% of civil servants thought this person(s) should not be jailed. Brazilian parliamentarians who are currently reviewing a reform in the Penal Code need to have this information urgently. . . .
Saturday, January 25, 2014
TIME: Effectiveness of Emergency Contraception for Overweight Women Reviewed in Europe, by Alexandra Sifferlin:
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) — the European version of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — launched a broad review of whether body weight influences the ability of emergency contraceptives to prevent unintended pregnancies.
The agency recently required makers of the European version of Plan B, called Norlevo, to add an alert that the product may be less effective for overweight women. . . .
Monday, January 20, 2014
The New York Times: Proposed Abortion Restrictions in Spain Face Backlash, by Raphael Minder:
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s proposal to enact some of the toughest abortion restrictions in Europe has exposed his already unpopular government to a building political backlash and criticism from the European Parliament, while reinvigorating his Socialist opponents and opening divisions in his own conservative Popular Party.
On Sunday, demonstrators gathered in downtown Madrid to protest the government’s health care cuts and the abortion proposal, which was introduced in December and would allow the termination of a pregnancy only if it was the result of rape or if having the baby would significantly endanger the mother’s health. . . .
Monday, December 30, 2013
The Times of India: Argentina Court Grants Abortion for Teen Rape Victim:
BUENOS AIRES: A court in Argentina ruled on Friday that a 14-year old rape victim could have an abortion, overturning a judge's earlier decision barring the girl from seeking the procedure.
The teenage girl discovered early last month that she was pregnant after being raped by her mother's partner. . . .
The News International: Huge crowds hold Madrid mass after new abortion law:
MADRID: Tens of thousands of Roman Catholics joined in an open-air mass in central Madrid on Sunday to celebrate the Holy Family, just days after the Spanish government agreed to tighten the abortion law.
As large crowds of believers packed the central Plaza de Colon square, many of them urged the government to go even further and implement an outright abortion ban without exceptions. . . .
Spain had only just liberalized its abortion laws in 2010.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Slate - Atlas Obscura blog: Cabbages and Condoms: The Restaurant That Serves Green Curry and Birth Control, by Ella Morton:
"Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy," boasts the slogan of Cabbages and Condoms, a Bangkok restaurant with a focus on family planning.
Mechai Viravaidya, a safe-sex activist and founder of Thailand's Population and Community Development Association (PDA), established the eatery with the philosophy that birth control should be as accessible and mundane as cabbages.
Visit the Cabbages and Condoms website here.
Friday, December 13, 2013
PBS - Religion & Ethics Newsweekly: El Salvador Abortion Ban:
Strongly influenced by Catholic teachings, the country of El Salvador now forbids all abortions. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from San Salvador on the consequences for many women when abortion is considered murder, regardless of the circumstances.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Washington Post: As the world mourns Nelson Mandela, abortion foes protest, by David Gibson:
As world leaders and ordinary citizens gathered in a South African sports stadium on Tuesday (Dec. 10) to remember Nelson Mandela, abortion foes pushed a message that went against the global outpouring of praise: The anti-apartheid leader, they argued, backed a sweeping abortion rights law that negates any good he achieved. . . .
Abortion opponents began blogging and tweeting their objections, often in blistering tones, almost as soon as Mandela died on Dec. 5. . . . But the anti-abortion objections grew when Catholic leaders joined in the chorus of praise for Mandela. Pope Francis lauded Mandela for “promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and for forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth.” . . .
Friday, December 6, 2013
Al Jazeera America - op-ed: The French Abortion Compromise, by Jill Filipovic:
I could live with stronger restrictions on abortion, if the U.S. improved reproductive and maternity benefits for women
Is an abortion compromise possible? After decades of political fighting between pro-choicers and pro-lifers, most Americans would surely like to see the issue laid to rest. And yet, all signs point to there being no end in sight. . . .
Monday, November 25, 2013
NBCNews.com/Reuters: Putin signs law banning advertisements for abortion in Russia, by Ian Bateson:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning advertisements for abortion, the Kremlin said on Monday, a step activists said would infringe on the reproductive rights of women.
Putin has made stemming a post-Soviet population decline a priority during 14 years in power and struck a conservative tone in his new term, praising what he calls traditional values and holding up the Russian Orthodox Church as a moral guide. . . .
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Miami Herald: Unsafe abortions: Haiti’s abortion crisis, by Jacqueline Charles:
. . .Abortion is illegal in Haiti but women and girls are losing their uteruses and their lives as they turn to clandestine, increasingly deadly ways to terminate their pregnancies. These unsafe abortions are leading to a public health crisis in a region with one of the world’s highest rates of unintended pregnancies, experts say. . . .
news.com.au: Tas abortion reform removes stigma: govt:
TASMANIA'S new abortion laws will help remove the stigma around the procedure, the state's health minister says.
Minister Michelle O'Byrne's private members bill to remove abortion from Tasmania's criminal code has resulted in the state becoming the third jurisdiction in Australia to do so, joining Victoria and the ACT.
Ms O'Byrne said abortion should be dealt with as a health matter, not a criminal matter. . . .
The Guardian (opinion column): Abortion in Tasmania is decriminalised, but it wasn't an easy battle, by Briony Kidd:
Tasmania has removed abortion from its criminal laws after seven months of deliberations in parliament – but politicians have had to face a barrage of anti-choice tactics in the process
In the last days of her prime ministership this June, Julia Gillard attempted to warn of "abortion [becoming] the political plaything of men who think they know better” and was smacked down hard, first by the media and then her own party, for "cynically" raising the issue.
That same month in Tasmania, Labor health minister Michelle O'Byrne and pro-choicers were facing fierce opposition as they spearheaded a bill decriminalising abortion. The bill, which had passed through the lower house in April, was now debated by the largely conservative upper house. It finally passed this week. . . .
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Atlantic: Is This the End of One of the World's Harshest Abortion Laws, by Erica Hellerstein:
In July, a harrowing story dominated headlines in Chile: "Belen," an 11-year-old girl from the southern city of Puerto Montt, had been raped and impregnated by her mother's partner—and was not legally permitted to have an abortion. Belen vowed on television to have the baby. Chile's president praised her "depth and maturity." Outraged pro-abortion activists ransacked a cathedral in the capital, Santiago.
Now, four months later, the country is once again at a crossroads on abortion. On November 17, for the first time in history, Chileans will cast ballots in a presidential election where the top two candidates are women—not to mention childhood playmates with a turbulent past. And the outcome of the race could have major implications for reproductive rights in one of the few countries in the world where getting an abortion can still land you in jail. . . .
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The New Republic: Germany Now Lets Parents Check "No Gender" on a Baby's Birth Certificate, by Nelson Jones:
A new law, which came into force today in Germany, provides that the box on a birth certificate specifying a child's gender should be left blank in cases where the child is neither obviously male nor female. This will, an Interior Ministry spokesman explained, "take the pressure off parents to commit themselves to gender immediately after birth"—thus allowing for greater delay before drastic, life-defining and perhaps mistaken surgery is carried out on an infant too young to decide for itself what it wants to be. . . .
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Voting on a non-binding resolution calling for abortion to be made legal across the EU “as a human rights and public health” concern was postponed by MEPs this afternoon, with a majority voting to send it back to the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee.
The report, which was drafted by Portuguese Socialist MEP Edite Estrela, had fuelled intense lobbying from anti-abortion groups, particularly over the human rights argument and on its calls to ensure that conscientious objection to providing abortion should be monitored to ensure that it does not limit access to safe abortions. . . .
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Slate Magazine: Women Jailed for Miscarriages in El Salvador, by Amanda Marcotte:
El Salvador received plenty of international attention this summer for its strict ban on abortion, which led the government to deny an abortion to a woman who was near death and whose pregnancy had no chance in resulting in a live baby. The government eventually allowed her to end her pregnancy, as long as it was performed in the maximally dangerous way through cesarean section, but that doesn't mean that things are getting any better for women in El Salvador. As the BBC reported on Thursday, one major side effect of the country's anti-abortion law is that women are being jailed simply because their bodies failed to sustain a pregnancy. Showing up at a public hospital with a miscarriage is risky business in El Salvador, because instead of medical care, you might find yourself being cuffed to the bed and accused of "murder." . . .
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Ramya Kumar (Dalla Lana School of Public Health) has posted Misoprostol and the Politics of Abortion in Sri Lanka on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Misoprostol, a WHO essential medicine indicated for labour induction, management of miscarriage and post-partum hemorrhage, as well as for induced abortion and treatment of post-abortion complications, came up for registration in Sri Lanka in December 2010. The decision on registration was postponed, indefinitely. This has wide-ranging implications, as misoprostol is widely available and used, including by health professionals in Sri Lanka, without guidance or training in its use. This paper attempts to situate the failure to register misoprostol within the broader context of unsafe abortion, drawing on data from interviews with physicians and health policymakers in Sri Lanka. It demonstrates how personal opposition to abortion infiltrates policy decisions and prevents the issue of unsafe abortion being resolved. Any move to reform abortion law and policy in Sri Lanka will require a concerted effort, spearheaded by civil society. Women and communities affected by the consequences of unsafe abortion need to be involved in these efforts. Regardless of the law, women will access abortion services if they need them, and providers will provide them. Decriminalizing abortion and registering abortion medications will make provision of abortion services safer, less expensive and more equitable.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Nation: Mexico's Abortion Wars, American-Style, by Kathryn Smith:
After Mexico City liberalized its abortion law, a fierce backlash followed. Is its striking resemblance to the US “pro-life” movement a coincidence?
When Mexico City’s law changed in 2007, allowing elective abortions in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, it was a substantial victory for reproductive rights advocates in a country, and a region, where the Catholic Church dominates daily life. Across Latin America, access to legal abortion is a rarity, and in 2007, all eyes turned to Mexico City to see how the experiment would play out—and whether it could be replicated. . . .
After decriminalization, however, a fierce backlash unfurled across Mexico. . . .