Summary of 2012 Global Abortion Laws

As abortion, reproductive freedom and the power to choose continue to be hot topics during the 2012 presidential election (even though it is soon coming to a close), it is also interesting to know what laws concerning abortion exists in different nations. The Center for Reproductive Rights have created an interactive world map that does just that, compares and explain abortion laws all over the world.

The map provides interesting information in different ways:

Country icon key: Different icons express the conditions under which abortion is allowed or prohibited. There are many icons (all explained on the website), but here are a few examples.

R – rape
F – fetal impairment
MH – mental health
I –incest
SA – spousal authorization needed
PA – parental authorization needed

For example, in the United Arab Emirates, both spousal authorization and parental authorization is needed for an abortion. In Iraq, the icon NE describes that the “law does not make an explicit exception to save a woman’s life”. In Argentina abortion is permitted in cases of rape, whereas France have a gestational limit of 14 weeks and New Zealand concludes that abortion is permitted in cases of incest, fetal impairment and to preserve a woman’s mental health. [Read more...]

Abortion Law Harms Kenyan Women and Girls

Anyone who believes that making abortion illegal saves lives has probably never experienced desperation or been affected by misinformation. When access to safe abortion is denied, women turn to dangerous back alley and at-home methods of abortion. Women in countries that outlaw abortions will drink turpentine or bleach, jump from stairs or a rooftop and place foreign bodies such as the classic clothes hanger into their uterus in order to end a pregnancy. 

Any of these methods and others used by women around the world can cause injury and even death. The Center for Reproductive Rights released the report In Harm’s Way: The impact of Kenya’s restrictive abortion law, which details how women are dying because of fuzzy legal language and the criminalization of abortion.

Women in Africa are not more or less likely to have an abortion than any other women in the world. However, women in Africa are more likely to have unsafe abortions and Kenya has one of the highest rates of abortion related deaths. “In Kenya, 35% of maternal deaths are attributable to unsafe abortion.”

Kenya’s current law about abortion states:

Any person who, with intent to procure miscarriage of a woman…unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison…or uses force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”
[Read more...]

The Center for Reproductive Rights – Columbia Law School Fellowship

I know there are plenty of feminists out there that are not only passionate Columbia_law_madisonabout reproductive justice, but the law as well. If that happens to be you, consider this new fellowship offered by Columbia Law School and The Center for Reproductive Rights. It is a two year, post-graduate fellowship that will begin in July of 2010.

This sounds like an amazing opportunity to do great work for reproductive rights. Here is a description of the program

The CRR-CLS Fellowship is a full-time, residential fellowship for up to two full years starting in July 2010. The Fellow will be a member of the community of graduate fellows at the Law School and will be integrated into the legal and policy work of the Center and will have work space at both locations. The Fellow will also have access to law school facilities, including the library and on-line research resources, and faculty events. It is expected that the Fellow will work closely with an assigned Law School faculty mentor. Fellows will pursue independent research and scholarship in preparation for entering the legal academic job market at the conclusion of their first Fellowship year. Fellows are expected to produce a work of serious scholarship during their Fellowship tenure. Fellows will also have responsibility for the planning and hosting of academic conferences and/or roundtable discussions and creation of curricular materials as part of their work at CRR. The scope and detail of the Fellows’ work will be agreed upon in consultation with their faculty mentor and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

[Read more...]