Abortion on medical and eugenic grounds has been legal in most European countries for several years. In Austria, abortions are performed following obligatory counseling, and physicians can abstain conscientiously from performing them. In Denmark, first trimester abortion is performed on request for women over age 17. Abortion has been legal in Finland since 1950; the abortion rate reached its peak in 1973, and has been declining since then. First trimester abortion is legal in France, but a woman seeking admission to a hospital must present a physician's certificate, a counselor's certificate, and her own written consent. Delays in the processing of the application are not unusual and the whole procedure can be lengthy and discouraging. First trimester abortion was legalized in the German Democratic Republic in 1972, and in 1973 in the Federal Republic of Germany, where 79% of abortions are requested on grave social grounds. Applications for abortions are seldom refused in Hungary, where the abortion rate reached 81.1/1000 women in 1971. Abortion on request is expected to be legalized shortly in Norway, while it prevails in Poland, where 98% of abortions are performed for social indications. In Sweden, abortion is performed only in public hospitals, and contraceptive advice and fitting is free. The availability of abortion in the United Kingdom is limited by the restrictive attitude of some National Health Service physicians, and nearly all abortions on nonresidents (32% in 1973) are performed on private premises. In Yugoslavia, abortion is the constitutional right of every woman, but only the Republic of Slovenia has, so far, legislated fertility regulation as a whole, and termination of pregnancy can be performed only with the approval of a special committee.
Statistics on legal abortion in Britain between 1968-1974 are presented. There was a mortality rate of 10+ or -2 per 100,000 abortions: 27+ or -11 in 1968-1969, 12+ or -4 in 1970-1972, and 6+ or -3 in 1973-1974. Legal abortion mortality increased from 4+ or -3 when performed at gestation under 9 weeks to 5+ or -2 at 9-12 weeks, 13+ or -7 at 13-16 weeks, and 62+ or -33 at 17 weeks and over. The ratio was 11+ or -6 for women under 20 years of age, increasing to 5+ or -3 at age 20-29, 10+ or -6 at age 30-39, and 23+ or -19 at age 40 and over. The parity had little influence on abortion mortality, but the technique used had a great influence. Hysterotomy, hypertonic saline, and abortifacient paste were the most dangerous, in increasing order, with mortality rates of 39+ or -30, 106+ or -75, and 152+ or -89, respectively. The rates for aspiration and curretage were 4+ or -2 and 4+ or -3, respectively. There was a higher mortality risk with abortion with sterilization. The main causes of legal abortion mortality were infection, pulmonary embolism, and complications of general anesthesia. The high incidence of mortality associated with legal abortion in Britain is partially caused by: 1) high incidence of concurrent sterilization, 2) former use of dangerous techniques, 3) significant incidence of second trimester abortion, 4) routine use of general anesthesia, and 5) previous ill health of some of the women.
Changes in homicide and arrest rates were compared among cohorts born before and after legalization of abortion and those who were unexposed to legalized abortion. It was found that legalized abortion improved the lives of many women as they could avoid unwanted births.
Guttmacher, Alan F.; And Others
A roundtable discussion on legal abortion includes Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, President of The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Robert Hall, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Christopher Tietze, a diretor of The Population Council, and Harriet Pilpel, a lawyer.…
Spitz, A M; Oberle, M; Zaro, S M
According to data reported to the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR), the number of induced abortions performedin Georgia in 1980 decreased for the 1st time since 1968 when the state legalized abortion. To verify this reported decrease, the DHR data were compared with statistics obtained by the Alan Guttmacher Institute in a 1980 survey of abortion providers in Georgia. Since the AGI contacts providers directly, its statistics are considered a more accurate reflection of abortions performed. According to the DHR, the number of abortions dropped from 36,579 in 1979 to 33,288 in 1980, a 9% decrease, and the abortion rate fell from 26.6/1000 women ages 15-44 years to 23.9/1000. AGI data indicated a drop from 38,760 abortions in 1979 to 37,890 in 1980, a 2% decrease. Since both sources noted a similar trend despite differences in data collection methods, the 1980 decline in abortion procedures in Georgia is considered to represent a true decline rather than s statistical artifact. The sociodemographic characteristics of women obtaining abortions in Georgia in 1980 were also analyzed on the basis of DHR data. Although the number of abortions in Georgia performed on Georgia residents increased 2.5% from 1979-80 to 90.7%, the abortion ratio for residents decreased from 367.7 to 327.4 abortions/1000 live births. There was little change in the age, race, or marital status distribution of women receiving abortions. The ratio for white women was 317 abortions/1000 live births and that for blacks was 342/1000. The abortion ratio for unmarried women (1166/1000) was 13 times that for married women (88/1000). The number of repeat abortions decreased form 34% in 1979 to 29% in 1980. Moreover, 93% of women obtaining abortions did so in the 1st 12 weeks of gestation compared with 89% in 1979. The percentage of abortions performed in clinics increased from 66.5% in 1979 to 75.3% in 1980, with suction curettage accounting for 85% of all abortions in the 1st 12 weeks of
Gerdts, Caitlin; DePiñeres, Teresa; Hajri, Selma; Harries, Jane; Hossain, Altaf; Puri, Mahesh; Vohra, Divya; Foster, Diana Greene
Background Factors such as poverty, stigma, lack of knowledge about the legal status of abortion, and geographical distance from a provider may prevent women from accessing safe abortion services, even where abortion is legal. Data on the consequences of abortion denial outside of the US, however, are scarce. Methods In this article we present data from studies among women seeking legal abortion services in four countries (Colombia, Nepal, South Africa and Tunisia) to assess sociodemographic characteristics of legal abortion seekers, as well as the frequency and reasons that women are denied abortion care. Results The proportion of women denied abortion services and the reasons for which they were denied varied widely by country. In Colombia, 2% of women surveyed did not receive the abortions they were seeking; in South Africa, 45% of women did not receive abortions on the day they were seeking abortion services. In both Tunisia and Nepal, 26% of women were denied their wanted abortions. Conclusions The denial of legal abortion services may have serious consequences for women's health and wellbeing. Additional evidence on the risk factors for presenting later in pregnancy, predictors of seeking unsafe illegal abortion, and the health consequences of illegal abortion and childbirth after an unwanted pregnancy is needed. Such data would assist the development of programmes and policies aimed at increasing access to and utilisation of safe abortion services where abortion is legal, and harm reduction models for women who are unable to access legal abortion services. PMID:25511805
Gerhardt, A J
The worldwide trend towards liberalizing abortion laws has resulted in reduced abortion-related mortality in areas where legal abortion is accessible. In countries considering abortion reform, policy-makers and health care providers have a responsibility to ensure that provisions of any new law can be met. Preparations underway to prepare for South Africa's new abortion law can serve as a guideline for such action. A new abortion law calls for policy changes that may include 1) developing new standards, protocols, and guidelines for abortion care services; 2) ensuring provision of adequate trained staff willing to provide abortions; 3) streamlining administrative regulations to avoid delays; 4) establishing regulations and mechanisms for drug and equipment supply and distribution; 5) restructuring the health system to accommodate provision of abortion services; 6) allocating funds for new abortion services; and 7) reviewing and revising security measures. In addition, health professionals will require training in abortion provision, staff will need information updates about aspects of the legislation, and administrators and providers in a position to impede provision of services must be made aware of the affect of unsafe abortion on maternal health. Researchers should document the effect of the new law on women's health, the provision of reproductive health services, and the community. IEC (information, education, communication) activities will be required to inform the public about the new law and services, establish sex education programs in schools and health facilities, and mobilize family planning organizations and programs to help reduce the incidence of repeat abortions.
Ananat, Elizabeth Oltmans; Gruber, Jonathan; Levine, Phillip
The early-1970s abortion legalization led to a significant drop in fertility. We investigate whether this decline represented a delay in births or a permanent reduction in fertility. We combine Census and Vital Statistics data to compare the lifetime fertility of women born in early-legalizing states, whose peak childbearing years occurred in the…
An analysis of the Roman Catholic Church's arguments against abortion rights suggests that its opposition is grounded more in outmoded views regarding women's roles than in concern for protecting fetal life. The 1st argument raised by Catholics and other anti-abortion forces is that abortion represents the unjustifiable destruction of a human life. A 2nd argument focuses on the status of the fetus as a person from the moment of conception, making abortion murder. A 3rd equates the fetus's potential for personhood with the pregnant woman's actual personhood. Despite the vehement sentiments expressed by Catholic leaders against abortion, the majority of Catholics support legal abortion. The assignment of personhood status to the fetus is contraindicated by actual practice in the Church, where aborted or miscarried products of early pregnancy are not baptized. Also, the Church does not forbid the taking of human life in war or to preserve political freedom. Finally, in countries such as Poland where abortion has been made illegal through religious pressure, there have been drastic cuts in health care and child care programs.
The required interview with a counselor before legal abortion in France can become depressing for the counselor because almost all clients are already committed, interpret it as one more bureaucratic barrier, and in mass appear as numerous cases of failure. Despite this the author tries to be open and nonjudgemental in order to permit free exchange and reconsideration, and to dispense information on contraception and social services. She encountered only 4 reconsiderations in hundreds of interviews.
Stanhope, Kaitlyn; Rochat, Roger; Fink, Lauren; Richardson, Kalie; Brack, Chelsey; Comeau, Dawn
Since the decriminalisation of abortion in 2006, women in Colombia have continued to seek clandestine abortions, endangering their health and contributing to maternal mortality and morbidity. The goal of this study was to explore physicians' opinions towards and knowledge about legal abortion in Bogotá, Colombia, and key barriers to the legal abortion access. We conducted 13 key informant interviews followed by a survey with a probability sample of 49 doctors working in public hospitals in Bogotá. Interview and survey data showed lack of technical experience in the provision of abortion and nuanced opinions towards its practice. Key informants described ignorance and lack of abortion training in medical schools as key barriers to provision. In the survey, 16/49 respondents had performed an abortion, 24/49 had referred a woman for an abortion and only 33/49 showed correct knowledge of the law.
Robertson, John A
Stigma marks both surrogacy and abortion. Legal change lessens stigma but may not remove it altogether. Post-legalization regulation may reinstall stigma by surrounding a legalized practice with barriers that make exercise of that right more difficult. As a result, law may reenact stigma even as it purports to take it away.
Grimes, D A; Kafrissen, M E; O'Reilly, K R; Binkin, N J
Deaths from hemorrhage associated with legal induced abortion should not occur. Yet hemorrhage was the third most frequent cause of death from legal abortion in the United States between 1972 and 1979. This study was undertaken to document the scope of the problem, to identify risk factors for fatal hemorrhage and to recommend ways of preventing these deaths. Deaths were identified through the CDC's nationwide surveillance of deaths from abortions; information on numbers and characteristics of women having legal abortions was obtained from CDC and the Alan Guttmacher Institute. Twenty-four women died from hemorrhage after legal abortion in the United States from 1972 to 1979, for a death-to-case rate of 0.3 deaths per 100,000 abortions (95 per cent confidence interval 0.2 to 0.5). Women who died from hemorrhage were significantly older than those who died from other causes (27.6 versus 24.4 years; p less than 0.05). Documented uterine perforation or rupture was far more frequent among women who died from hemorrhage than those who died from other causes (71 versus 8 per cent; p less than 0.001). Women who sustained uterine perforation or rupture were over 1,000 times more likely to die from hemorrhage than those who did not. Deaths from hemorrhage can be eliminated by preventing uterine trauma during abortion and by rapidly diagnosing and treating hemorrhage if it occurs.
Almost 2 decades after the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, nurses' refusal to assist in abortions is still in question. There are about 1.6 million abortions a year. If Congress passes the Freedom of Choice Act, American women will be guaranteed continued access to abortion. But the effect of new regulations on 2 million nurses is the issue. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects those who refuse to participate in abortions because of their religious beliefs. Several states have also enacted laws giving the right to health care workers to refuse to participate on ethical grounds. In Florida a staffer at an ambulatory care center was demoted after refusing to assist in an abortion. The appeals court ruled in the nurse's favor, stating that she should have been given a different assignment. Nurses who oppose abortion are advised by attorneys not to accept jobs where they are likely to be expected to assist in them. A New York City nurse refused to assist in an abortion and was reassigned to an administrative position, which she contested. The arbitrator restored her to her original position indicating that if the Freedom of Choice Act is passed it will not eliminate a nurse's right not to assist. In 1988 the so-called gag rule was issued barring caregivers at 4000 federally funded family planning clinics serving nearly 5 million women/year from recommending abortion to patients.
Bloomer, Fiona; O'Dowd, Kellie
Access to abortion remains a controversial issue worldwide. In Ireland, both north and south, legal restrictions have resulted in thousands of women travelling to England and Wales and further afield to obtain abortions in the last decade alone, while others purchase the 'abortion pill' from Internet sources. This paper considers the socio-legal context in both jurisdictions, the data on those travelling to access abortion and the barriers to legal reform. It argues that moral conservatism in Ireland, north and south, has contributed to the restricted access to abortion, impacting on the experience of thousands of women, resulting in these individuals becoming 'abortion tourists'.
Johnson, Brooke R; Kismödi, Eszter; Dragoman, Monica V; Temmerman, Marleen
Despite advances in scientific evidence, technologies, and human rights rationale for providing safe abortion, a broad range of cultural, regulatory, and health system barriers that deter access to abortion continues to exist in many countries. When conscientious objection to provision of abortion becomes one of these barriers, it can create risks to women's health and the enjoyment of their human rights. To eliminate this barrier, states should implement regulations for healthcare providers on how to invoke conscientious objection without jeopardizing women's access to safe, legal abortion services, especially with regard to timely referral for care and in emergency cases when referral is not possible. In addition, states should take all necessary measures to ensure that all women and adolescents have the means to prevent unintended pregnancies and to obtain safe abortion.
Törnbom, M; Ingelhammar, E; Lilja, H; Möller, A; Svanberg, B
In a study of 404 women (simple random sample), 20-29 years of age, 201 (group A) applying for abortion and 203 (group B) continuing their pregnancies, the women were given a questionnaire and in addition were interviewed. The aim of the study was to evaluate the spontaneous personal motives of women for abortion at a time when age is not supposed to be a common reason. The results showed that more than half of the women expressed that a bad relationship with the partner in one way or another was a motive for the abortion. Other important motives included characteristics of the women and their partners, mainly immaturity, work/studies and unsuitable life situation for having a child. Less common motives seemed to be economy, dwelling and medical and health factors. It is obvious that women in this study wanted to have a stable relationship to the child's father before they dared or wanted to have a child. Social networks in modern society seem to be too weak. The women do not want to face social and emotional problems as lonely mothers. Political decisions in the society, for example with parental benefit according to your income discourage women from continuing their pregnancies during their studies. It also seems important for the woman to feel mature enough to have a child. The provision and encouragement of methods for safer sex may be a possible way by which to reduce the number of abortions.
Aguirre Zozaya, F; Iglesias, M; Reyes, R M; Iturralde, G; Martínez, M; Pineda Hernández, C
The history of abortion is a very long one. Every people and nation used different and widely varied methods during the centuries to get rid of unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, in most instances, the great majority of these methods was equivalent to zero effectiveness, or, too often, to suicide. Legal aspects of induced abortion have changed considerably with the passing of time and according to countries; these days 36% of the world countries admit abortion on request, 24% for specific reasons only, 16% for medical reasons only, and 8% still consider it an illegal practice. In Mexico abortion is legal only when pregnancy would imply death of the mother, when it is the result of rape of minors, or when it is done on women with very serious mental pathology. Obviously abortion is not the solution to unwanted pregnancies; an improvement in the socioeconomic condition and in the quality of life of many people would be a much better, and more difficult, approach to the solution. Psychosocial factors of abortion involve concepts which are difficult to define, such as those of the wanted or of the unwanted child, and can cause problems which are very difficult to handle. Health education, and sex education in particular, should not only teach the fundamentals of reproduction, but respect and consideration for the phenomenon of procreation, and a strong sense of personal and social responsibility toward family planning.
The debate over abortion is still controversial as ever. As one of every four people in the world is of the Muslim religion, it is important to learn more about the Islamic point of view toward this dilemma in medical ethics. The first part of this paper gives a general view of the sources of Islamic law and discusses modern developments in Islamic medical ethics regarding abortion. The second part focuses on the legal aspects of abortion in different Islamic states, dealing with the need to supply solutions to women who for different reasons wish to abort and at the same time enact laws that would not contradict Islamic principles. A study of three Muslim states (Egypt, Kuwait and Tunisia) demonstrates three different approaches toward legalizing abortion--a conservative approach, a more lenient approach, and a liberal one--all within Islamic oriented states. This leads to a conclusion that a more liberal attitude regarding abortion is possible in Islamic states, as long as traditional principles are taken into account.
Ferris, Lori E.
Focuses on ethical and legal issues that arose in the evaluation of abortion services. Discusses the development of decision rules and tradeoffs in dealing with these issues to reach rational and objective decisions. Places the discussion in the context of balancing usefulness and propriety with respect to informed consent and privacy and makes…
Zamberlin, Nina; Romero, Mariana; Ramos, Silvina
Abortion is legally restricted in most of Latin America where 95% of the 4.4 million abortions performed annually are unsafe. Medical abortion (MA) refers to the use of a drug or a combination of drugs to terminate pregnancy. Mifepristone followed by misoprostol is the most effective and recommended regime. In settings where mifepristone is not available, misoprostol alone is used.Medical abortion has radically changed abortion practices worldwide, and particularly in legally restricted contexts. In Latin America women have been using misoprostol for self-induced home abortions for over two decades.This article summarizes the findings of a literature review on women's experiences with medical abortion in Latin American countries where voluntary abortion is illegal.Women's personal experiences with medical abortion are diverse and vary according to context, age, reproductive history, social and educational level, knowledge about medical abortion, and the physical, emotional, and social circumstances linked to the pregnancy. But most importantly, experiences are determined by whether or not women have the chance to access: 1) a medically supervised abortion in a clandestine clinic or 2) complete and accurate information on medical abortion. Other key factors are access to economic resources and emotional support.Women value the safety and effectiveness of MA as well as the privacy that it allows and the possibility of having their partner, a friend or a person of their choice nearby during the process. Women perceive MA as less painful, easier, safer, more practical, less expensive, more natural and less traumatic than other abortion methods. The fact that it is self-induced and that it avoids surgery are also pointed out as advantages. Main disadvantages identified by women are that MA is painful and takes time to complete. Other negatively evaluated aspects have to do with side effects, prolonged bleeding, the possibility that it might not be effective, and the
Abortion is legally restricted in most of Latin America where 95% of the 4.4 million abortions performed annually are unsafe. Medical abortion (MA) refers to the use of a drug or a combination of drugs to terminate pregnancy. Mifepristone followed by misoprostol is the most effective and recommended regime. In settings where mifepristone is not available, misoprostol alone is used. Medical abortion has radically changed abortion practices worldwide, and particularly in legally restricted contexts. In Latin America women have been using misoprostol for self-induced home abortions for over two decades. This article summarizes the findings of a literature review on women’s experiences with medical abortion in Latin American countries where voluntary abortion is illegal. Women’s personal experiences with medical abortion are diverse and vary according to context, age, reproductive history, social and educational level, knowledge about medical abortion, and the physical, emotional, and social circumstances linked to the pregnancy. But most importantly, experiences are determined by whether or not women have the chance to access: 1) a medically supervised abortion in a clandestine clinic or 2) complete and accurate information on medical abortion. Other key factors are access to economic resources and emotional support. Women value the safety and effectiveness of MA as well as the privacy that it allows and the possibility of having their partner, a friend or a person of their choice nearby during the process. Women perceive MA as less painful, easier, safer, more practical, less expensive, more natural and less traumatic than other abortion methods. The fact that it is self-induced and that it avoids surgery are also pointed out as advantages. Main disadvantages identified by women are that MA is painful and takes time to complete. Other negatively evaluated aspects have to do with side effects, prolonged bleeding, the possibility that it might not be effective, and
Cutler, S J; Lentz, S A; Muha, M J; Riter, R N
Cohort changes in attitudes about the availability of legal abortions are traced over a twelve year period using data from seven national surveys. Contrary to the aging-conservatism hypothesis, trends in the direction of increasingly favorable attitudes between 1965 and 1973 and general stability thereafter characterize all cohorts. On this issue, there is no evidence of growing conservatism, attitudinal rigidity, or change at a slower rate among the older cohorts.
This analysis examines whether the legalization of abortion changed high school graduation rates among the children selected into birth. Unless women in all socio-economic circumstances sought abortions to the same extent, increased use of abortion must have changed the distribution of child development inputs. I find that higher abortion ratios…
The Alan Guttmacher Institute's State Reproductive Health Monitor "Legislative Proposals and Actions" provides US legislative information on abortion. The listing contains information on pending bills: the state, the identifying legislative number, the sponsor, the committee, the date the bill was introduced, a description of the bill, and when available the bill's status. The bills cover: 1) clinic licensing, e.g., requiring outpatient health care facilities in which abortions are performed, to have malpractice liability insurance; 2) comprehensive statues, which require parental notification before minor may obtain abortions, mandate abortion counseling to all women 24 hours before the abortion can be performed and prohibit disciplining or discharging a state employee for refusing to provide abortion counseling; 3) fetal personhood and rights, e.g. providing that life is vested in each person at fertilization; 4) fetal research and remains; 5) gender of fetus, which regulate abortions relative to sex selection in pregnancies; 6) harassment regulation; 7) informed consent and waiting periods detailing the risks and alternatives to abortion, and the 24-hour waiting period; 8) insurance coverage, e.g., eliminating language banning the coverage of abortions for state workers, and prohibiting disclosure by a health insurance carrier to the employer of a claimant that the claimant had a surgical abortion; 9) legality of abortion, urging Congress to reject he Freedom of Choice Act; 10) parental consent and notification; 11) postviability requirements; 12) public funding; 13) reporting requirements; 14) reproductive rights, and 15) spousal and paternal consent and notification.
Talbutt, Lou Culler
Reviews court cases dealing with abortion and the counselor's legal responsibility to both the student and parents. Provides practical recommendations on abortion counseling with minors and suggests that counselors urge minors to discuss abortion plans with parents. Counselor should consider local mores and be knowledgeable about appropriate…
In Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (2007) and an earlier article in this journal, "Defending Abortion Philosophically"(2006), Francis Beckwith argues that fetuses are, from conception, prima facie wrong to kill. His arguments are based on what he calls a "metaphysics of the human person" known as "The Substance View." I argue that Beckwith's metaphysics does not support his abortion ethic: Moral, not metaphysical, claims that are part of this Substance View are the foundation of the argument, and Beckwith inadequately defends these moral claims. Thus, Beckwith's arguments do not provide strong support for what he calls the "pro-life" view of abortion.
Policy Abstract Empirical analyses of the effect of abortion regulation on demographic and health outcomes has been hampered by the difficulty of...For analysts trying to explore the effect of these legal rules on abortion and fertility rates and on maternal and infant health, simply establishing...section broadening the justifications for legal abortions to include cases in which: (a) death or grave impairment of the physical or mental health
Dourlen-rollier, A M
The historical and current (1969) abortion laws in France as well as those in other Western countries are analyzed. France has had a series of punitive abortion codes since the Napoleonic Code of 1810 prescribing solitary confinement for the woman. The reforms of 1920 and 1923 made provocation of abortion or contraceptional propaganda a "crime" (felony), later a "delit" (misdemeanor), called for trial before magistr ate instead of jury, but resulted in only about 200 convictions a year. The decree of 1939 extended the misdemeanor to women who aborted even if they were not pregnant, and provided for professional licenses such as that of surgeon or pharmacist to be suspended. The law of 1942 made abortion a social crime and increased the maximum penalty to capital punishment, which was exercised in 2 cases. About 4000 per year were convicted from 1942-1944. Now the law still applies to all who intend to abort, whether or not pregnant or successful, but punishemnt is limited to 1-5 years imprisonment, and 72,000 francs fine, or suspension of medical practice for 5 years. About 500 have been convicted per year. Since 1955 legal abortion has been available (to about 130 women over 4 years) if it is the only means to save the woman's life. Although pregnancy tests are controlled, the population desregards the law by resorting to clandestine abortion. The wealthy travel to Switzerland (where 68% of legal abortions are done on French women) or to England. Numbers are estimated by the French government at 250,000-300,000 per year, or 1 for every 2 live births, but by hospital statistics at 400,000-1,000,000 per year. The rest of the review covers abortion laws in Scandinavian, Central European, and individual US states as of 1969.
Hajri, Selma; Raifman, Sarah; Gerdts, Caitlin; Baum, Sarah; Foster, Diana Greene
Barriers to accessing legal abortion services in Tunisia are increasing, despite a liberal abortion law, and women are often denied wanted legal abortion services. In this paper, we seek to explore the reasons for abortion denial and whether these reasons had a legal or medical basis. We also identify barriers women faced in accessing abortion and make recommendations for improved access to quality abortion care. We recruited women immediately after they had been turned away from legal abortion services at two facilities in Tunis, Tunisia. Thirteen women consented to participate in qualitative interviews two months after they were turned away from the facility. Women were denied abortion care on the day they were recruited due to three main reasons: gestational age, health conditions, and logistical barriers. Nine women ultimately terminated their pregnancies at another facility, and four women carried to term. None of the women attempted illegal abortion services or self-induction. Further research is needed in order to assess abortion denial from the perspective of providers and medical staff. PMID:26684189
Hajri, Selma; Raifman, Sarah; Gerdts, Caitlin; Baum, Sarah; Foster, Diana Greene
Barriers to accessing legal abortion services in Tunisia are increasing, despite a liberal abortion law, and women are often denied wanted legal abortion services. In this paper, we seek to explore the reasons for abortion denial and whether these reasons had a legal or medical basis. We also identify barriers women faced in accessing abortion and make recommendations for improved access to quality abortion care. We recruited women immediately after they had been turned away from legal abortion services at two facilities in Tunis, Tunisia. Thirteen women consented to participate in qualitative interviews two months after they were turned away from the facility. Women were denied abortion care on the day they were recruited due to three main reasons: gestational age, health conditions, and logistical barriers. Nine women ultimately terminated their pregnancies at another facility, and four women carried to term. None of the women attempted illegal abortion services or self-induction. Further research is needed in order to assess abortion denial from the perspective of providers and medical staff.
Teklehaimanot, K I; Smith, C Hord
A number of countries adopt abortion laws recognizing rape as a legal ground for access to safe abortion service. As rape is a crime, these abortion laws carry with them criminal and health care elements that in turn result in the involvement of legal and medical expertise. The most common objective of the laws should be providing safe abortion services to women survivors of rape. Depending on purposes of a given abortion law, the laws usually require women to undergo a medical examination to qualify for a legal abortion. Some abortion laws are so vague as to result in uncertainties regarding the steps health personnel must follow in conducting medical examination. Another group of abortion laws do not leave room for regulation and remain too rigid to respond to changing socio-economic circumstances. Still others require medical examination as a prerequisite for abortion. As a result, a number of abortion laws remain on the books. The paper attempts to analyze legal and practical issues related to medical examination in rape cases.
Belton, Suzanne; Whittaker, Andrea; Fonseca, Zulmira; Wells-Brown, Tanya; Pais, Patricia
The new Penal Code in 2009 was an opportunity for Timor-Leste to allow some legal grounds for abortion, which was highly restricted under Indonesian rule. Public debate was contentious before ratification of the new code, which allowed abortion to save a woman's life and health. A month later, 13 amendments to the code were passed, highly restricting abortion again. This paper describes the socio-legal context of unsafe abortion in Timor-Leste, based on research in 2006-08 on national laws and policies and interviews with legal professionals, police, doctors and midwives, and community-based focus group discussions. Data on unsafe abortions in Timor-Leste are rarely recorded. A small number of cases of abortion and infanticide are reported but are rarely prosecuted, due to deficiencies in evidence and procedure. While there are voices supporting law reform, the Roman Catholic church heavily influences public policy and opinion. Professional views on when abortion should be legal varied, but in the community people believed that saving women's lives was paramount and came before the law. The revised Penal Code is insufficient to reduce unsafe abortion and maternal mortality. Change will be slow, but access to safe abortion and modern contraception are crucial to women's ability to participate fully as citizens in Timor-Leste.
Valencia Rodríguez, Jorge; Wilson, Kate S; Díaz Olavarrieta, Claudia; García, Sandra G; Sánchez Fuentes, Maria Luisa
In opposition to Mexico City's legalization of first-trimester abortion, 17 Mexican states (53 percent) have introduced initiatives or reforms to ban abortion entirely, and other states have similar legislation pending. We conducted an opinion survey in eight states--four where constitutional amendments have already been approved and four with pending amendments. Using logistic regression analyses, we found that higher education, political party affiliation, and awareness of reforms/initiatives were significantly associated with support for the Mexico City law. Legal abortion was supported by a large proportion of respondents in cases of rape (45-70 percent), risk to a woman's life (55-71 percent), and risk to a woman's health (48-68 percent). A larger percentage of respondents favored the Mexico City law, which limits elective legal abortion to the first 12 weeks of gestation (32-54 percent), than elective abortion without regard to gestational limit (14-31 percent).
Machado, Carolina Leme; Fernandes, Arlete Maria Dos Santos; Osis, Maria José Duarte; Makuch, Maria Yolanda
In Brazil, abortion is permitted by law in cases of rape-related pregnancy. This study reports on various aspects in the experience of women that have been sexually assaulted: diagnosis of the pregnancy, seeking legal abortion, and hospitalization in a university hospital. This was a qualitative study that interviewed ten women 18 to 38 years of age, with at least eight years of schooling, one to five years after legal abortion. The women had been previously unaware of their right to a legal abortion, were ashamed about the sexual assault, kept it secret, and had not sought immediate care. The diagnosis of pregnancy provoked anxiety and the wish to undergo an abortion. Women treated through private health plans received either insufficient orientation or none at all. Respectful treatment by the healthcare staff proved relevant for the women to cope with the abortion. The study highlights the need to publicize the right to abortion in cases of rape-related pregnancy and the healthcare services that perform legal abortion, in addition to training healthcare and law enforcement teams to handle such cases.
Donohue, John J., III; Levitt, Steven D.
Joyce's failure to uncover a negative relationship between crime and abortion was because of his decision to concentrate on a non-representative six-year period. Evidence supporting the claims that the crack-cocaine epidemic hit the high-abortion early-legalizing states earlier and more severely than other states of the U.S in 1970 is presented.
Low, Wah-Yun; Tong, Wen-Ting; Wong, Yut-Lin; Jegasothy, Ravindran; Choong, Sim-Poey
Malaysia has an abortion law, which permits termination of pregnancy to save a woman's life and to preserve her physical and mental health (Penal Code Section 312, amended in 1989). However, lack of clear interpretation and understanding of the law results in women facing difficulties in accessing abortion information and services. Some health care providers were unaware of the legalities of abortion in Malaysia and influenced by their personal beliefs with regard to provision of abortion services. Accessibility to safer abortion techniques is also an issue. The development of the 2012 Guidelines on Termination of Pregnancy and Guidelines for Management of Sexual and Reproductive Health among Adolescents in Health Clinics by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, is a step forward toward increasing women's accessibility to safe abortion services in Malaysia. This article provides an account of women's accessibility to abortion in Malaysia and the health sector response in addressing the barriers.
Rodriguez, Maria Isabel; Mendoza, Willis Simancas; Guerra-Palacio, Camilo; Guzman, Nelson Alvis; Tolosa, Jorge E
The majority of abortions in Colombia continue to take place outside the formal health system under a range of conditions, with the majority of women obtaining misoprostol from a thriving black market for the drug and self-administering the medication. We conducted a cost analysis to compare the costs to the health system of three approaches to the provision of abortion care in Colombia: post-abortion care for complications of unsafe abortions, and for legal abortions in a health facility, misoprostol-only medical abortion and vacuum aspiration abortion. Hospital billing records from three institutions, two large maternity hospitals and one specialist reproductive health clinic, were analysed for procedure and complication rates, and costs by diagnosis. The majority of visits (94%) were to the two hospitals for post-abortion care; the other 6% were for legal abortions. Only one minor complication was found among the women having legal abortions, a complication rate of less than 1%. Among the women presenting for post-abortion care, 5% had complications during their treatment, mainly from infection or haemorrhage. Legal abortions were associated not only with far fewer complications for women, but also lower costs for the health system than for post-abortion care. We calculated based on our findings that for every 1,000 women receiving post-abortion care instead of a legal abortion within the health system, 16 women experienced avoidable complications, and the health system spent US $48,000 managing them. Increasing women's access to safe abortion care would not only reduce complications for women, but would also be a cost-saving strategy for the health system.
Hiersche, H D
On February 2, 1975 the Federal Constitutional Court gave the indications for abortion. But the regulations are often misunderstood and are often contravened by mistake. Hence the following explanations are for the assistance of physicians. The sections discussed are sec. 218 (abortion), 218a (indications for abortion), 218b (abortion without advising the woman), 219 (abortion without a physician's order), 219a (wrongful physician's order), 219b (soliciting abortion), 219c (transporting the instruments used for abortion), and 219d (definition). The law recognizes only medical indications for abortion: the purely medical indication, the indication of damage to the fetus, the criminological indication, and the indication from extreme emergency. The law states clearly that no one is compelled to perform an abortion, whatever the consequences for the mother and fetus might be. The law provides for stages of notification: 1) the personal physician must provide in writing a well-grounded indication for abortion; 2) in the absence of a purely medical indication, the woman must at least 3 days before rupture request assistance from a social service agency or a physician with appropriate knowledge and skill; 3) the woman must have explained to her all aspects of abortion, not only the purely medical, but also the arguments of various kinds against it; and 4) the physician who undertakes to do the abortion is responsible for ensuring that all provisions of the law have been satisfied. The law provides that abortion may be done only in a hospital, i.e., a place where special arrangements for it may be made; it cannot be done on an outpatient basis.
In 1978 the abortion law was liberalised in Norway. It permits abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and after that with the agreement of a medical commission, taking the woman's own views into consideration. In 2003, 96% of abortions took place before 12 weeks of pregnancy. There is considerable support among the population for the current law, and the right to abortion does not seem to be under threat, yet opponents of abortion attack the law frequently. Debates on recent biotechnology laws and difficulties introducing the abortion pill, on the spurious grounds that it would make abortion too easy, imply continuing moral qualms about abortion. While abortion among young, unmarried women is more accepted, many married women feel they have to justify their decision. Women are expected to feel sorrow, shame and guilt because of their sexual conduct for many reasons, but especially if the result is an unwanted pregnancy. It is easier to protect the law when there is recognition of the moral right to choose abortion. The legal battle has been won, but winning the moral battle is important in Norway now. I believe that until having an abortion is considered as acceptable morally as using contraception, women will not have gained their full reproductive rights.
Warakamin, Suwanna; Boonthai, Nongluk; Tangcharoensathien, Viroj
Abortion is illegal in Thailand unless the woman's health is at risk or pregnancy is due to rape. This study, carried out in 1999 in 787 government hospitals, examined the magnitude and profile of abortion in Thailand, using data collected prospectively through a review of 45,990 case records (of which 28.5% were classified as induced and 71.5% as spontaneous abortions) and face-to-face interviews with a sub-set of 1854 women patients. The estimated induced abortion ratio was 19.5 per 1000 live births. Almost half the induced abortions were in young women under 25 years of age, many of whom had little or no access to contraception. Socio-economic reasons accounted for 60.2% of abortions. Serious complications were observed in almost a third of cases, especially following abortions performed by non-health personnel. Government physicians' current provision of induced abortion went beyond the provisions of the law in almost half of cases, most commonly for intrauterine death and for congenital anomalies. The paper proposes a framework for policy discussions of the grey areas of maternal and fetal indications leading to legal reform, in order to facilitate safe abortion. A recommendation to amend the abortion law has been proposed to the Ministry of Public Health and the Thai Medical Council.
Nunes, J P
Abortion is the interruption of a dynamic process in a final and irreversible form. The legalization of abortion is applied to human ontogenesis, that is, the development of the human being. However, the embryo that is growing in the uterus is not a human being because a human being is a complex organism with differentiated systems, its own identity and intrinsic autonomy in its process of development. There are basically four levels of the analysis of the problem of abortion: 1) fundamental emotional arguments; 2) profound ignorance of technical and scientific facts; 3) rational positions obfuscated by the dramatic intensity of everyday situations; and 4) the conjunction of deliberated position where culpability is avoided with solidarity for all subjects of the process with a socially oriented view. The phenomenon of abortion from an epidemiological point of view summons the facts with which it is associated: poverty, illiteracy, shortage or lack of community health resources, absence of centers for adolescents, degradation of the environment, and precariousness of employment.
Paul, Maureen; Norton, Mary E
Restrictions on access to abortion in the United States have reached proportions unprecedented since the nationwide legalization of abortion in 1973. Although some restrictions aim to discourage women from having abortions, many others impede access by affecting the timeliness, affordability, or availability of services. Evidence indicates that these restrictions do not increase abortion safety; rather, they create logistic barriers for women seeking abortion, and they have the greatest effect on women with the fewest resources. In this commentary, we recall the important role that obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) have played, both before and after Roe v. Wade, in facilitating access to safe abortion care. Using the literature on abortion safety and access as a foundation, we propose several practical ideas about what we as ob-gyns can do to address the current threat to abortion access, whether or not we provide abortion services in practice. We hope that this commentary will encourage discourse within our profession and prompt other suggestions. As ob-gyns who are dedicated to addressing health disparities and promoting the health and well-being of our patients, we can make a difference.
Melese, Tadele; Habte, Dereje; Tsima, Billy M.; Mogobe, Keitshokile Dintle; Chabaesele, Kesegofetse; Rankgoane, Goabaone; Keakabetse, Tshiamo R.; Masweu, Mabole; Mokotedi, Mosidi; Motana, Mpho; Moreri-Ntshabele, Badani
Background Maternal mortality due to abortion complications stands among the three leading causes of maternal death in Botswana where there is a restrictive abortion law. This study aimed at assessing the patterns and determinants of post-abortion complications. Methods A retrospective institution based cross-sectional study was conducted at four hospitals from January to August 2014. Data were extracted from patients’ records with regards to their socio-demographic variables, abortion complications and length of hospital stay. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis were employed. Result A total of 619 patients’ records were reviewed with a mean (SD) age of 27.12 (5.97) years. The majority of abortions (95.5%) were reported to be spontaneous and 3.9% of the abortions were induced by the patient. Two thirds of the patients were admitted as their first visit to the hospitals and one third were referrals from other health facilities. Two thirds of the patients were admitted as a result of incomplete abortion followed by inevitable abortion (16.8%). Offensive vaginal discharge (17.9%), tender uterus (11.3%), septic shock (3.9%) and pelvic peritonitis (2.4%) were among the physical findings recorded on admission. Clinically detectable anaemia evidenced by pallor was found to be the leading major complication in 193 (31.2%) of the cases followed by hypovolemic and septic shock 65 (10.5%). There were a total of 9 abortion related deaths with a case fatality rate of 1.5%. Self-induced abortion and delayed uterine evacuation of more than six hours were found to have significant association with post-abortion complications (p-values of 0.018 and 0.035 respectively). Conclusion Abortion related complications and deaths are high in our setting where abortion is illegal. Mechanisms need to be devised in the health facilities to evacuate the uterus in good time whenever it is indicated and to be equipped to handle the fatal complications. There is an indication for
Petersen, Kerry A
Mifepristone is a safe, effective and relatively cheap drug that plays an important role in women's health care and is widely used for early medical abortion in many countries. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) can authorise mifepristone to be imported into and marketed in Australia. To date, no pharmaceutical company has applied to register mifepristone in Australia. The TGA can also permit medical practitioners to prescribe medicine that is not approved for marketing in Australia under the Authorised Prescribers scheme. The number of approvals for mifepristone has gradually increased, in spite of a complicated and protracted application process. Approval under the Authorised Prescribers scheme requires medical practitioners to comply with state or territory legislation. Abortion laws in Australia vary between jurisdictions, and in some states the law is unclear and confusing. The decriminalisation of abortion in all Australian jurisdictions would protect medical practitioners from criminal liability, promote the health interests of Australian women, and discourage the illegal importation of abortifacients that are being used without quality controls or medical supervision. The Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 is one legislative model for this.
In Mexico City the Christian Women's Collective's open letter to the Catholic Church is a response to the Catholic bishops' threats of excommunication of lawmakers in Chiapas State, Mexico, who may have approved a bill legalizing abortion. The bishops maintain that God is a just and merciful God who loves women and suffers with them. The Collective cannot ignore the 2 million women, 1.72 million of whom are Catholics, who undergo illegal abortions annually in Mexico. They tend to be poor and in a union and to have large families. The Collective does not advocate abortion, but recognized that almost all women who have had an abortion were not at all happy to do so. Instead they suffer depression, solitude, shame, and pain. In addition to the moral punishment, these women are at high risk of dying (150,000-200,000 women die annually from illegal abortions). Economic circumstances, health problems, rape, and abandonment threaten their lives, so abortion is a last resort. The Collective maintains that the Catholic Church must understand that God empathized with women's pain, and in sending Jesus, has become one with humanity. The Church must seriously consider this sorrowful and very complex situation and reflect on the circumstances leading to abortion rather than condemn it. It must realize that by choosing abortion women want to avoid harm in those cases where pregnancy could cause death, avoid injustice when rape caused the pregnancy, or avoid giving birth to an infant that society or family cannot sustain. The present adverse and unjust situation contributing to unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion is a social sin. The Catholic Church needs to build a new pastoral program with women at its center emphasizing sexuality, maternity, and contraception. Indeed, confronting the true social, moral, and political causes of abortion, and avoiding punishment, incarceration, or excommunication will resolve the issue.
This article explores the work of the Calgary Birth Control Association with a particular focus on their referral service to help Albertan women obtain abortions in Seattle. The fact that Canadian women were travelling to the United States for abortions highlights the shortcomings of the Canadian health-care system and the legal changes in the 1969 omnibus bill. Cross-border travel is also compelling evidence for the argument that reproductive rights are an international issue. More particularly, this study demonstrates the tensions that reproductive-rights activists faced in addressing the needs of individual women vs the long-term objective of changing the laws and improving accessibility.
In regulating the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, English law has accorded particular significance to two biological events. First, ‘viability’, the moment when a fetus is said to acquire the capacity for independent life, plays an important role in grounding restrictions on access to legal abortion later in pregnancy. Second, equally significantly but far less frequently discussed, ‘implantation’ marks the point in pregnancy from which abortion laws apply. This paper focuses on this earlier biological event. It suggests that an unquestioning reliance on implantation as marking an appropriate moment of transition between two radically different legal frameworks is deeply problematic and is rendered still less sustainable in the light of the development of new technologies that potentially operate shortly after the moment of implantation. PMID:26085334
Trueman, Karen A; Magwentshu, Makgoale
The importance of South Africa as a model for reproductive self-determination in Africa cannot be underestimated. Abortion has been legal since 1996, and the country has some of the most developed government systems for the provision of abortion care on the continent. Yet in the same way opponents of abortion in the United States have whittled away at access with increased bureaucracy, South Africa faces similar assaults that leave women without safe care and threaten to turn back achievements made during the past 16 years. I explore the history of the law, subsequent legal challenges, and new threats to women's access to abortion services, including service delivery issues that may influence the future of public health in the country.
Hung, Suet Lin
This paper reports on a qualitative study in 2007-08 on the abortion experiences of teenage women from deprived backgrounds in Hong Kong. Twenty-nine young women aged 13-24 who had undergone one or more induced abortions in their teen years were interviewed and participated in group empowerment sessions. Ten were unemployed, four were students, the rest were employed on low pay in unskilled occupations. Abortion services are legal and available in public and private services, but they charge fees ranging from HK$310 to $10,000, and do abortions only up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Many young women resort to poor quality illegal clinics and clinics in mainland China because the cost is lower, they do not wish to tell their parents, who would be asked for consent, and/or they want to protect their sex partners, who may be reported and prosecuted if the girl is under-age. There is a need to strengthen services for teenage women in Hong Kong, especially those who are pregnant and from deprived backgrounds. There is also a need for professionals who deliver adolescent health and social welfare services, and for society to rethink and re-examine its views and attitudes towards teenage pregnancy, sexuality and abortion.
An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or ... personal. If you are thinking of having an abortion, most healthcare providers advise counseling.
Unsafe abortion's significant contribution to maternal mortality and morbidity was a critical factor leading to liberalization of Nepal's restrictive abortion law in 2002. Careful, comprehensive planning among a range of multisectoral stakeholders, led by Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population, enabled the country subsequently to introduce and scale up safe abortion services in a remarkably short timeframe. This paper examines factors that contributed to rapid, successful implementation of legal abortion in this mountainous republic, including deliberate attention to the key areas of policy, health system capacity, equipment and supplies, and information dissemination. Important elements of this successful model of scaling up safe legal abortion include: the pre-existence of postabortion care services, through which health-care providers were already familiar with the main clinical technique for safe abortion; government leadership in coordinating complementary contributions from a wide range of public- and private-sector actors; reliance on public-health evidence in formulating policies governing abortion provision, which led to the embrace of medical abortion and authorization of midlevel providers as key strategies for decentralizing care; and integration of abortion care into existing Safe Motherhood and the broader health system. While challenges remain in ensuring that all Nepali women can readily exercise their legal right to early pregnancy termination, the national safe abortion program has already yielded strong positive results. Nepal's experience making high-quality abortion care widely accessible in a short period of time offers important lessons for other countries seeking to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity from unsafe abortion and to achieve Millennium Development Goals. PMID:22475782
Background Unsafe abortion has been a significant cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in Nepal. Since legalization in 2002, more than 1,200 providers have been trained and 487 sites have been certified for the provision of safe abortion services. Little is known about health care workers’ views on abortion legalization, such as their perceptions of women seeking abortion and the implications of legalization for abortion-related health care. Methods To complement a quantitative study of the health effects of abortion legalization in Nepal, we conducted 35 in-depth interviews with physicians, nurses, counsellors and hospital administrators involved in abortion care and post-abortion complication treatment services at four major government hospitals. Thematic analysis techniques were used to analyze the data. Results Overall, participants had positive views of abortion legalization – many believed the severity of abortion complications had declined, contributing to lower maternal mortality and morbidity in the country. A number of participants indicated that the proportion of women obtaining abortion services from approved health facilities was increasing; however, others noted an increase in the number of women using unregulated medicines for abortion, contributing to rising complications. Some providers held negative judgments about abortion patients, including their reasons for abortion. Unmarried women were subject to especially strong negative perceptions. A few of the health workers felt that the law change was encouraging unmarried sexual activity and carelessness around pregnancy prevention and abortion, and that repeat abortion was becoming a problem. Many providers believed that although patients were less fearful than before legalization, they remained hesitant to disclose a history of induced abortion for fear of judgment or mistreatment. Conclusions Providers were generally positive about the implications of abortion legalization for the country
Farias, Rejane Santos; Cavalcanti, Ludmila Fontenele
The scope of this study was to analyze perceptions of health professionals at Fernando Magalhães Public Hospital regarding situations involving the practice of legal abortion. With this in mind, we sought to characterize the professionals interviewed, understand the qualifying process for assistance of women requiring abortion and identify the perceptions of the professionals regarding the practice of legal abortion. The quantitative and qualitative approach in terms of methodology was adopted. The instruments used were analysis of institutional documentation and semi-structured interviews based on a script with informed consent. The results of this research revealed: the inappropriate use of the right to conscientious objection by health professionals; the existence of difficulties faced by professionals in construction of a posture that ensures access to legally sanctioned abortion; and the interference of ethical and religious values as an important element in professional attitudes that discourage the practice of legal abortion. Measures for the ongoing education of professionals and the monitoring of actions applied to technical norms are recommended.
Somerville, A C
A survey of 886 adults over 16 was conducted regarding abortion in Papanui, New Zealand. Only 7.79% thought a person should never have an abortion under any circumstances, 16.70% thought the decision to have an abortion should be decided by a panel of two doctors, a social worker, and a statutory committee set up by the government. 44.4% thought the decision should be between a woman and the doctor of her choice. 20.54% thought the decision should be made solely by the woman concerned. The respondants had thought about the question. Other surveys in different electorates reflected similar views. It is hoped that people's opinions will influence legislators to enact more liberal abortion laws.
Francis Beckwith's Defending life: a moral and legal case against abortion choice defends the pro-life position on moral, legal and political grounds. In this critical notice I consider three key issues and argue that Beckwith's treatment of each of them is unpersuasive. The issues are: (1) whether abortion is politically justified by the principle that we should err on the side of liberty in the face of reasonable disagreement over the moral status of the fetus; (2) whether the fetus's natural capacity or genetic propensity to develop rationality and communication is sufficient to give it a moral right to life; and (3) whether abortion is morally justified on the basis of bodily rights. I also show that Beckwith's book fails to consider several important issues and arguments.
Faúndes, Aníbal; Duarte, Graciana Alves; de Sousa, Maria Helena; Soares Camargo, Rodrigo Paupério; Pacagnella, Rodolfo Carvalho
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.
Abortion is common. Data on abortion rates are inexact but can be used to explore trends. Globally, the estimated rate in the period 2010-2014 was 35 abortions per 1000 women (aged 15-44 years), five points less than the rate of 40 for the period 1990-1994. Abortion laws vary around the world but are generally more restrictive in developing countries. Restrictive laws do not necessarily deter women from seeking abortion but often lead to unsafe practice with significant mortality and morbidity. While a legal framework for abortion is a prerequisite for availability, many laws, which are not evidence based, restrict availability and delay access. Abortion should be available in the interests of public health and any legal framework should be as permissive as possible in order to promote access. In the absence of legal access, harm reduction strategies are needed to reduce abortion-related mortality and morbidity. Abortion can be performed surgically (in the first trimester, by manual or electric vacuum aspiration) or with medication: both are safe and effective. Cervical priming facilitates surgery and reduces the risk of incomplete abortion. Diagnosis of incomplete abortion should be made on clinical grounds, not by ultrasound. Septic abortion is a common cause of maternal death almost always following unsafe abortion and thus largely preventable. While routine follow-up after abortion is unnecessary, all women should be offered a contraceptive method immediately after the abortion. This, together with improved education and other interventions, may succeed in reducing unintended pregnancy.
Background Unsafe abortion is a major public health problem in Ghana; despite its liberal abortion law, access to safe, legal abortion in public health facilities is limited. Theory is often neglected as a tool for providing evidence to inform better practice; in this study we investigated the reasons for poor implementation of the policy in Ghana using Lipsky’s theory of street-level bureaucracy to better understand how providers shape and implement policy and how provider-level barriers might be overcome. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 43 health professionals of different levels (managers, obstetricians, midwives) at three hospitals in Accra, as well as staff from smaller and private sector facilities. Relevant policy and related documents were also analysed. Results Findings confirm that health providers’ views shape provision of safe-abortion services. Most prominently, providers experience conflicts between their religious and moral beliefs about the sanctity of (foetal) life and their duty to provide safe-abortion care. Obstetricians were more exposed to international debates, treaties, and safe-abortion practices and had better awareness of national research on the public health implications of unsafe abortions; these factors tempered their religious views. Midwives were more driven by fundamental religious values condemning abortion as sinful. In addition to personal views and dilemmas, ‘social pressures’ (perceived views of others concerning abortion) and the actions of facility managers affected providers’ decision to (openly) provide abortion services. In order to achieve a workable balance between these pressures and duties, providers use their ‘discretion’ in deciding if and when to provide abortion services, and develop ‘coping mechanisms’ which impede implementation of abortion policy. Conclusions The application of theory confirmed its utility in a lower-middle income setting and expanded its scope by showing that
Becker, Davida; Díaz-Olavarrieta, Claudia; Juárez, Clara; García, Sandra G.; Sanhueza, Patricio; Harper, Cynthia C.
Context In 2007 the Mexico City legislature made the groundbreaking decision to legalize first trimester abortion. Limited research has been conducted to understand clients’ perceptions of the abortion services available in public sector facilities. Methods We measured clients’ perceptions of quality of care at three public sector sites in Mexico City in 2009 (n=402). We assessed six domains of quality of care (client-staff interaction, information provision, technical competence, post-abortion contraceptive services, accessibility, and the facility environment), and conducted ordinal logistic regression analysis to identify which domains were important to women for their overall evaluation of care. We measured the association of overall service evaluation with socio-demographic factors and abortion-visit characteristics, in addition to specific quality of care domains. Results Clients reported a high quality of care for abortion services with an overall mean rating of 8.8 out of 10. Multivariable analysis showed that important domains for high evaluation included client perception of doctor as technically skilled (p<0.05), comfort with doctor (p<0.001), perception of confidentiality (p<.01), perception that receptionist was respectful (p<.05) and counseling on self-care at home following the abortion and post-abortion emotions (p<0.05 and p<0.01). Other relevant domains for high evaluation were convenient site hours (p<0.01), waiting time (p<0.001) and clean facility (p<0.05). Nulliparous women rated their care less favorably than parous women (p<0.05). Conclusions Our findings highlight important domains of service quality to women’s overall evaluations of abortion care in Mexico City. Strategies to improve clients’ service experiences should focus on improving counseling, service accessibility and waiting time. PMID:22227626
Ngwena, Charles G
Women in the African region are overburdened with unsafe abortion. Abortion regimes that fail to translate any given abortion rights into tangible access are partly to blame. Historically, African abortion laws have been highly restrictive. However, the post-independence era has witnessed a change toward liberalizing abortion law, even if incremental for many jurisdictions. Furthermore, Article 14 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa has significantly augmented the regional trend toward liberalization by recognizing abortion as a human right in given circumstances. However, states are failing to implement abortion laws. The jurisprudence that is emerging from the European Court of Human Rights and United Nations treaty bodies is a tool that can be used to render African governments accountable for failure to implement domestic abortion laws.
Savage, W; Francome, C
In 2008, we investigated the attitudes and practice of British consultant gynaecologists towards induced abortion, and made comparisons with our similar survey in 1989. A random sample of one in six (217) was selected from the register of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). The response to the postal questionnaire was 70% (152). Satisfaction with the way the 1967 Abortion Act is operating was expressed by 59% (76% in 1989) and an upper limit of 24 weeks was supported by 50% (77% in 1989). Abortion after 20 weeks was approved to protect health by 92%; after rape by 60% and for serious fetal handicap by 87%. A change in the regulations to require the signature of only one doctor (rather than two) to certify the need for abortion was supported by 65%. Only a minority (41%) provided 2nd trimester abortion in person; 61% would separate abortion provision from general gynaecology; 57% suggested there should be separate abortion units for gestations over 13 weeks and 56% felt that fertility control should become be a sub-specialty. Satisfaction with the Abortion Act 1967 has decreased during the last 20 years. Gynaecologists' attitudes to the indications for 2nd trimester abortion remain wide, with clear implications for women seeking abortion. The service to women would be improved if abortion on request was permitted in the 1st trimester and after only one medical signature in the 2nd trimester. Our view is that the decision to end a pregnancy should be made by the woman and that abortion should be decriminalised.
Denniston, L; Banisky, S
On January 24, 1994, the US Supreme Court ruled that abortion clinics may utilize anti-racketeering law in suits against anti-abortion blockaders. The 1970 anti-rackets law permits triple damages in cases of criminal activity that fits a pattern. The Court has not yet defined the First Amendment free-speech rights of anti-abortion demonstrators who attempt to shut down abortion clinics. The decision was issued in response to a 1986 lawsuit filed by 2 abortion clinics and the National Organization for Women. The suit cited hundreds of acts of arson, assault, clinic invasions and trespasses, and the theft of 4000 fetuses. Women sought damages from Operation Rescue and the Pro-Life Action League under both federal anti-racketeering and antitrust laws. Lower courts had previously ruled against both these claims, and the Supreme Court consented only to consider the anti-racketeering portion of the claim.
Holcombe, Sarah Jane; Berhe, Aster; Cherie, Amsale
In 2005, Ethiopia liberalized its abortion law and subsequently authorized midwives to offer abortion services. Using a 2013 survey of 188 midwives and 12 interviews with third-year midwifery students, this cross-sectional research examines midwives' attitudes toward abortion to understand their decisions about service provision. Most midwives were willing to provide abortion services. This willingness was positively and significantly related to clinical experience with abortion, but negatively and significantly related to religiosity, belief that providers have the right to refuse to provide services, and care of patients from periurban as opposed to rural areas. No significant relationship was found with perceptions of abortion stigma, years of work as a midwife, or knowledge of the law. Interview data suggest complex dynamics underlying midwives' willingness to offer services, including conflicts between professional norms and religious beliefs. Findings can inform Ethiopia's efforts to reduce maternal mortality through task-shifting to midwives and can aid other countries that are confronting provider shortages and high levels of maternal mortality and morbidity, particularly due to unsafe abortion.
Bessett, Danielle; Gerdts, Caitlin; Littman, Lisa L; Kavanaugh, Megan L; Norris, Alison
Recently, the hypothesis that state-level political context influences individuals' cultural values--the 'red states v. blue states' hypothesis--has been invoked to explain the hyper-polarisation of politics in the USA. To test this hypothesis, we examined individuals' knowledge about abortion in relation to the political context of their current state of residence. Drawing from an internet-survey of 586 reproductive-age individuals in the USA, we assessed two types of abortion knowledge: health-related and legality. We found that state-level conservatism does not modify the existing relationships between individual predictors and each of the two types of abortion knowledge. Hence, our findings do not support the 'red states' versus 'blue states' hypothesis. Additionally, we find that knowledge about abortion's health effects in the USA is low: 7% of our sample thought abortion before 12 weeks gestation was illegal.
McNaughton Reyes, Heathe Luz; Hord, Charlotte E; Mitchell, Ellen M H; Blandon, Marta Maria
Human rights and public health advocates working to compel states to guarantee access to legal abortion services face obstacles. We describe the challenges faced by "Rosa", a nine-year old Nicaraguan girl, whose pregnancy following rape sparked international controversy. The health and human rights arguments utilized either to support or undermine her family's petition for access to legal abortion are explored. Rosa's case highlights how laws that narrowly restrict abortion and make access contingent upon health care providers' approval undermine human rights principles. The article analyzes the strengths, limitations, and complementarity of health and human rights approaches for achieving access to safe, legal services in restrictive contexts. The importance of strategic alliances and implications for future cases are considered.
Gruskin, Sofia; Singh, Nakul; Kiang, Mathew V.; Chen, Jarvis T.; Waterman, Pamela D.; Gottlieb, Jillian; Beckfield, Jason; Coull, Brent A.
US infant death rates for 1960 to 1980 declined most quickly in (1) 1970 to 1973 in states that legalized abortion in 1970, especially for infants in the lowest 3 income quintiles (annual percentage change = −11.6; 95% confidence interval = −18.7, −3.8), and (2) the mid-to-late 1960s, also in low-income quintiles, for both Black and White infants, albeit unrelated to abortion laws. These results imply that research is warranted on whether currently rising restrictions on abortions may be affecting infant mortality. PMID:25713932
Loureiro, David Câmara; Vieira, Elisabeth Meloni
This study focused on the knowledge and opinions of physicians regarding legal and ethical aspects of abortion. A self-administered questionnaire was filled out by 57 physicians working in the emergency rooms of two hospitals in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo State, Brazil in 2001. The questionnaire had 38 questions on general knowledge, legislation, and attitudes towards abortion. Interviewees' mean age was 28.3, most were females, 52.6% were single, 42.1% were married, 54.4% were Catholic, and 21% were Spiritists. Although most of the physicians had a good level of overall knowledge on abortion (70%), one in five was not aware that abortion is the main cause of maternal mortality in Brazil. Most accepted the prevailing legal conditions for performing an abortion in Brazil but would also include fetal malformation incompatible with life, while opposing decriminalization of abortion on other grounds. Limited knowledge is revealed by misconceptions concerning enforcement of the prevailing legislation in practice. The study strongly suggests that many physicians lack knowledge or face difficulties in conforming to the Brazilian legislation on abortion.
Schulz, S; Henning, G
Statistics on legal abortions at the Women's Clinic, Karl Marx University, Leipzig, East Germany, are reported. Between 1960-June 30, 1972, there were 3955 abortions and 53,972 births. Of these, 1368 abortions and 1831 births occurred in 1972; a similar large increase in abortions has been reported from other socialist countries. Average age of patients was 30.6 years in 1960, 27.7 years in 1972. In 1960, 83.1% of patients were married, but only 66.4% in 1972. Average hospital stay was 10.3 days in 1960, 3.7 days in 1972. Complications were seen in 32.5% of cases in 1960, and in 8.3% in 1972. Statistics for each year, 1960-1972, are given, and the implications of this information for medical practice and social policy are discussed.
Surjadjaja, Claudia; Mayhew, Susannah H
The relevance and importance of research for understanding policy processes and influencing policies has been much debated, but studies on the effectiveness of policy theories for predicting and informing opportunities for policy change (i.e. prospective policy analysis) are rare. The case study presented in this paper is drawn from a policy analysis of a contemporary process of policy debate on legalization of abortion in Indonesia, which was in flux at the time of the research and provided a unique opportunity for prospective analysis. Applying a combination of policy analysis theories, this case study provides an analysis of processes, power and relationships between actors involved in the amendment of the Health Law in Indonesia. It uses a series of practical stakeholder mapping tools to identify power relations between key actors and what strategic approaches should be employed to manage these to enhance the possibility of policy change. The findings show how the moves to legalize abortion have been supported or constrained according to the balance of political and religious powers operating in a macro-political context defined increasingly by a polarized Islamic-authoritarian—Western-liberal agenda. The issue of reproductive health constituted a battlefield where these two ideologies met and the debate on the current health law amendment became a contest, which still continues, for the larger future of Indonesia. The findings confirm the utility of policy analysis theories and stakeholder mapping tools for predicting the likelihood of policy change and informing the strategic approaches for achieving such change. They also highlight opportunities and dilemmas in prospective policy analysis and raise questions about whether research on policy processes and actors can or should be used to inform, or even influence, policies in ‘real-time’. PMID:21183461
This brief summary presents information on the epidemiology of abortion requested by IPPF. In 1975, 8% of the world's population lived in areas where the law prohibits abortion completely, and 27% lived in areas where abortions are severely restricted. Over 2 years, 40,000 hospitalizations for abortion complications were reported in such countries, with 168 deaths. 21% of women hospitalized for a diagnosis related to abortion died. In Latin America, hospitalization and death because of illegal abortion led to epidemiological studies. In Chile, surveys indicate that 1/4 women has had an abortion. Colombia data state that 10 women die/week from abortion complications. Bangladesh identified 31 abortion deaths. When related to live births occurring in the area from which the deaths were reported, the abortion mortality ratio was 19/1000,000 live births. Data from Romania showed that before 1966, when abortion was legal, there were fewer than 100 reported deaths. After 1966, when abortion was restricted, crude birth rate increased from 15-40/1000 total population. During the following 4 years, the birth rate dropped until it was below 25, but concomitant deaths due to abortion increased. In 1965, 64 abortion-related deaths occurred, whereas by 1971, abortion-related deaths increased to 364. In North America abortion deaths and number of illegal abortions decreased dramatically after 1973, when abortion became legal in the U.S. In 1972, illegal abortions led to the deaths of 41 women, but in 1974 only 5 such deaths occurred. If women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies all underwent abortion within the 1st 8 weeks of pregnancy, 90% of the deaths due to legal abortion could be prevented.
Wohlert, M; Larsen, F M
Sociomedical factors were compared for a group for 531 women seeking abortion and 285 pregnant women, in order to give a differentiated picture of the social conditions which may motivate a woman to seek abortion and the stress which bearing a child can cause. Married women tended to want to carry the pregnancy to term in all age groups. Among the abortion seekers there was a significant overrepresentation of unskilled workers and students. The abortion frequency increased with the number of children. Each woman was classified according to whether her situation was characterized by a chronic social stress, an imminent social stress, or no social stress. The group designated by imminent social stress was significantly predominated by single women, the other two by married women. This group also had a significantly higher representation of students and unskilled workers. (p .0005) The chronic social stress group more often lived in apartments and had more children living at home. Among the abortion seekers, those with chronic situations most often gave as a reason for applying for abortion that they had enough children, that they were alone or had marital problems. Among the imminent stress group the reasons most often given were that the woman was too young or still pursuing her education. Among the group with no social stress, the most frequent reasons for seeking abortion were that the woman was too old or had enough children. It was concluded that bearing a child would cause actual social stress among ca. 50% of the women studied.
Stubblefield, P G; Grimes, D A
Abortion-related deaths, which account for 47% of total maternal mortality in the world, result primarily from sepsis and are widespread in developing countries where abortion is illegal or inaccessible. Septic abortion offers opportunities for prevention on the primary, secondary, and tertiary level of medial care. Primary prevention of septic abortion encompasses the provision of effective contraception, provision of safe and legal abortion in cases of contraceptive failure, and appropriate medical management of abortion. Secondary prevention involves the prompt diagnosis of endometriosis and effective treatment to avert more serious infection. The diagnosis of septic abortion should be considered when women of reproductive age present to health facilities with vaginal bleeding, lower abdominal pain, and fever. Tertiary prevention is aimed at avoiding the serious complications of postabortal infection, including hysterectomy and death. Women with high fever, pelvic peritonitis, and tachycardia should undergo uterine evacuation and parental antibiotic therapy. Supportive care for cardiovascular system and other organs may be essential. The medical technology needed to avert serious complications and deaths from septic abortion is available. Lacking is a political commitment on the part of many governments and health care agencies to address this avoidable contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality.
Stotland, Nada L
The subject of abortion is fraught with politics, emotions, and misinformation. A widespread practice reaching far back in history, abortion is again in the news. Psychiatry sits at the intersection of the religious, ethical, psychological, sociological, medical, and legal facets of the abortion issue. Although the religions that forbid abortion are more prominent in the media, many religions have more liberal approaches. While the basic right to abortion has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, several limitations have been permitted, including parental notification or consent (with the possibility of judicial bypass) for minors, waiting periods, and mandatory provision of certain, sometimes biased, information. Before the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in 1973, many women were maimed or killed by illegal abortions, and psychiatrists were sometimes asked to certify that abortions were justified on psychiatric grounds. Currently, there are active attempts to convince the public and women considering abortion that abortion frequently has negative psychiatric consequences. This assertion is not borne out by the literature: the vast majority of women tolerate abortion without psychiatric sequelae. The psychiatric outcome of abortion is best when patients are able to make autonomous, supported decisions. Psychiatrists need to know the medical and psychiatric facts about abortion. Psychiatrists can then help patients prevent unwanted pregnancies, make informed decisions consonant with their own values and circumstances when they become pregnant, and find appropriate social and medical resources whatever their decisions may be.
Macleod, Catriona Ida; Hansjee, Jateen
Discursive constructions of abortion are embedded in the social and gendered power relations of a particular socio-historical space. As part of research on public discourses concerning abortion in South Africa where there has been a radical liberalisation of abortion legislation, we collected data from male group discussions about a vignette concerning abortion, and newspaper articles written by men about abortion. Our analysis revealed how discourses of equality, support and rights may be used by men to subtly undermine women's reproductive right to 'choose' an abortion. Within an Equal Partnership discourse, abortion, paired with the assumption of foetal personhood, was equated with violating an equal heterosexual partnership and a man's patriarchal duty to protect a child. A New Man discourse, which positions men as supportive of women, was paired with the assumption of men as rational and women as irrational in decision-making, to allow for the possibility of men dissuading women from terminating a pregnancy. A Rights discourse was invoked to suggest that abortion violates men's paternal rights.
Peres, Simone Ouvinha; Heilborn, Maria Luiza
This article aims to unveil the notion of abortion as an element in young people's thoughts on teenage pregnancy. The study analyzes data from semi-structured interviews with 123 young men and women 18-24 years of age in Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador, Brazil, belonging to different social strata. Based on information concerning their affective, sexual, and reproductive circumstances, an abortion typology was established with a gradient ranging from considering the act to the attempt to materialize it, actually submitting to abortion, and even ruling out the possibility of interrupting the pregnancy. According to the data, 73% of interviewees had considered the possibility of an abortion, demonstrating an important presence of this notion as a recourse vis-à-vis an unpredicted pregnancy, even in the Brazilian context where abortion is illegal. Among the 86 young people who had experienced a pregnancy, 27 reported having resorted to abortion (20 males and seven females). The results indicate gender differences and contribute to an understanding of teenage pregnancy by examining induced abortion, a hidden dimension in the public and scientific debate on this issue.
Greydanus, D E; Railsback, L D
This article reviews the difficult but complex subject of abortion in adolescents. Methods of abortion are outlined and additional aspects are presented: psychological effects, counseling issues, and legal parameters. It is our conclusion that intense efforts should be aimed at education of youth about sexuality and prevention of pregnancy, utilizing appropriate contraceptive services. When confronted with a youth having an unwanted pregnancy, all legal options need to be carefully explored: delivery, adoption, or abortion. The decision belongs to the youth and important individuals in her environment. Understanding developmental aspects of adolescence will help the clinician deal with the pregnant teenagers. If abortion is selected, a first trimester procedure is best. Finally, physicians are urged to be aware of the specific, ever changing legal dynamics concerning this subject which are present in their states. Abortion is a phenomenon which has become an emotional but undeniably important aspect of adolescent sexuality and adolescent health care, in this country and around the world.
Ramos, Silvina; Romero, Mariana; Aizenberg, Lila
This article presents the findings of a qualitative study exploring the experiences of women living in Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, Argentina, with the use of misoprostol for inducing an abortion. We asked women about the range of decisions they had to make, their emotions, the physical experience, strategies they needed to use, including seeking health care advice and in dealing with a clandestine medical abortion, and their overall evaluation of the experience. An in-depth interview schedule was used. The women had either used misoprostol and sought counselling or care at a public hospital (n=24) or had used misoprostol based on the advice of a local hotline, information from the internet or from other women (n=21). Four stages in the women's experiences were identified: how the decision to terminate the pregnancy was taken, how the medication was obtained, how the tablets were used, and reflections on the outcome whether or not they sought medical advice. Safety and privacy were key in deciding to use medical abortion. Access to the medication was the main obstacle, requiring a prescription or a friendly drugstore. Correct information about the number of pills to use and dosage intervals was the least easy to obtain and caused concerns. The possibility of choosing a time of privacy and having the company of a close one was highlighted as a unique advantage of medical abortion. Efforts to improve abortion law, policy and service provision in Argentina in order to ensure the best possible conditions for use of medical abortion by women should be redoubled.
... Education & Events Advocacy For Patients About ACOG Induced Abortion Home For Patients Search FAQs Induced Abortion Page ... Induced Abortion FAQ043, May 2015 PDF Format Induced Abortion Special Procedures What is an induced abortion? What ...
Geary, Cynthia Waszak; Gebreselassie, Hailemichael; Awah, Paschal; Pearson, Erin
Despite Zambia's relatively progressive abortion law, women continue to seek unsafe, illegal abortions. Four domains of abortion attitudes - support for legalization, immorality, rights, and access to services - were measured in 4 communities. A total of 668 people were interviewed. Associations among the 4 domains were inconsistent with expectations. The belief that abortion is immoral was widespread, but was not associated with lack of support for legalization. Instead, it was associated with belief that women need access to safe services. These findings suggest that increasing awareness about abortion law in Zambia may be important for encouraging more favorable attitudes.
Fromer, M J
of ensoulment. The fetus is owed some moral obligations because of its greatly increased potentiality. After a certain point it deserves legal and moral protection. A woman would have the right to be relieved of carrying the fetus, but she would not have the right to the death of the fetus. A significant moral difference exists in these 2 concepts, and it is this issue that forms the basis of the debate concerning the conflict between maternal and fetal rights. When the rights of the fetus and those of the pregnant woman come into direct conflict the rights of the fetus are always subordinated to those of the women. The 3rd ethical foundation of the abortion debate, that of circumstances of horror and hardship surrounding the pregnancy, is really a combination of the first two. A fetus that is known to suffer from disease or deformity has as many or as few rights vis-a-vis the pregnant woman as does a perfectly healthy fetus. The assignment and hierarchy of fetal rights is not dependent upon the circumstances of conception. The next concern is whether the state can enter the private social spheres to regulate the personal activities of individuals. The Supreme court has never made a statement regarding the moral permissibility of abortion. The Court simply has prevented individual states from interfering with a woman's action based on her personal convictions. This is an important difference, and no step should be taken to abrogate this fundamental civil right.
Duncan, Jack A.; Moffett, Catherine F.
Abortion counseling is now legally within the purview of the school counselor. It is therefore essential that counselors determine their role in abortion counseling, the kind of training necessary, and whether professional organizations should develop counseling guidelines. (RP)
Suction curettage; Surgical abortion; Elective abortion - surgical; Therapeutic abortion - surgical ... Surgical abortion involves dilating the opening to the uterus (cervix) and placing a small suction tube into the uterus. ...
Kottow Lang, Miguel Hugo
Voluntarily induced abortion has been under permanent dispute and legal regulations, because societies invariably condemn extramarital pregnancies. In recent decades, a measure of societal tolerance has led to decriminalize and legalize abortion in accordance with one of two models: a more restricted and conservative model known as therapeutic abortion, and the model that accepts voluntary abortion within the first trimester of pregnancy. Liberalization of abortion aims at ending clandestine abortions and decriminalizes the practice in order to increase reproductive education and accessibility of contraceptive methods, dissuade women from interrupting their pregnancy and, ultimately, make abortion a medically safe procedure within the boundaries of the law, inspired by efforts to reduce the incidence of this practice. The current legal initiative to decriminalize abortion in Chile proposes a notably rigid set of indications which would not resolve the three main objectives that need to be considered: 1) Establish the legal framework of abortion; 2) Contribute to reduce social unrest; 3) Solve the public health issue of clandestine, illegal abortions. Debate must urgently be opened to include alternatives in line with the general tendency to respect women's decision within the first trimester of pregnancy.
"Individual and social attitudes toward abortion are unstable," the author notes, as he reviews the history of such attitudes in the United States and Britain. In both countries abortion was legal in 1800, but had become illegal by 1900, largely due to changing attitudes within the medical profession, including the desire to protect the profession against the activities of non-physicians. In the U.S., religious groups took little interset in the issue until late in the 19th century. Today, years after the legalization of abortion in Britain (1967) and the U.S. (1974), there is a chance that public attitudes will be influenced for a second time by a vocal few, again restricting legal access to abortion. The commercial success of MDs who specialize in abortions is a complicating factor, making it easier for opposition groups to recruit supporters. The abortion debate concerns unprovable interpretations of observable facts; it is an exercise in religious toleration. The most important role of physicians is to help establish a liberal and civilized framework within which colleagues of different persuasions can make free and objective choices regarding the delivery of abortion services.
Ogland, Curtis P; Verona, Ana Paula
This study examines the association between religion and attitudes toward the practice of abortion and abortion policy in Brazil. Drawing upon data from the 2002 Brazilian Social Research Survey (BSRS), we test a number of hypotheses with regard to the role of religion on opposition to the practice of abortion and its legalization. Findings indicate that frequently attending Pentecostals demonstrate the strongest opposition to the practice of abortion and both frequently attending Pentecostals and Catholics demonstrate the strongest opposition to its legalization. Additional religious factors, such as a commitment to biblical literalism, were also found to be significantly associated with opposition to both abortion issues. Ultimately, the findings have implications for the future of public policy on abortion and other contentious social issues in Brazil.
Handy, J A
The literature concerning psychosocial aspects of induced abortion is reviewed. Key areas discussed are: the legal context of abortion in Britain, psychological characteristics of abortion-seekers, pre- and post-abortion contraceptive use, pre- and post-abortion counselling, the actual abortion and the effects of termination versus refused abortion. Women seeking termination are found to demonstrate more psychological disturbance than other women, however this is probably temporary and related to the short-term stresses of abortion. Inadequate contraception is frequent prior to abortion but improves afterwards. Few women find the decision to terminate easy and most welcome opportunities for non-judgemental counselling. Although some women experience adverse psychological sequelae after abortion the great majority do not. In contrast, refused abortion often results in psychological distress for the mother and an impoverished environment for the ensuing offspring.
Across four decades of political and social action, Nepal changed from a country strongly enforcing oppressive abortion restrictions, causing many poor women's long imprisonment and high rates of abortion-related maternal mortality, into a modern democracy with a liberal abortion law. The medical and public health communities supported women's rights activists in invoking legal principles of equality and non-discrimination as a basis for change. Legislative reform of the criminal ban in 2002 and the adoption of an Interim Constitution recognizing women's reproductive rights as fundamental rights in 2007 inspired the Supreme Court in 2009 to rule that denial of women's access to abortion services because of poverty violated their constitutional rights. The government must now provide services under criteria for access without charge, and services must be decentralized to promote equitable access. A strong legal foundation now exists for progress in social justice to broaden abortion access and reduce abortion stigma.
Devine, P E
The introduction to this essay, which presents and defends the "conservative" position on abortion, explains that this position holds that 1) abortion is wrong because it destroys the fetus; 2) the fetus has full personhood from conception (or very near conception); 3) abortion is only justified under special circumstances, such as when the pregnancy poses a threat to the woman's life; and 4) these conclusions should be reflected in law and public policy. Part 2 sets forth the moral foundations for this position. The third part considers the status of the fetus and reviews the various arguments that have been forwarded to resolve the question, such as the species principle, the potentiality principle, the sentience principle, and the conventionalist principle. Part 4 applies the conservative position to problems posed by hard cases, determines that abortion is a form of homicide from two weeks after fertilization (at the latest), reviews circumstances in which various legal definitions of homicide are applicable, argues for the denial of abortion funding by the state, and notes that violent militancy is not the appropriate response to a belief that abortion should be illegal. Section 5 refutes objections to the conservative position based on the fact that some opponents of abortion also oppose contraception, based on feminist ideals, and based on calls for religious freedom in a pluralistic society. In conclusion, the labels applied to the abortion debate are examined, and it is suggested that "communitarian" is the best term for the conservative position.
Responses to the question as to whether abortions should be performed at the woman's request during the first trimester of pregnancy were evenly divided. There was support for abortion on socioeconomic grounds, during the first trimester, from 61.5% of the respondents. Termination of pregnancy beyond the first trimester was supported by a majority of the respondents only in cases in which the woman's life is in danger (73.9%) or in which there is evidence of a severe physical abnormality in the fetus (70.6%) or in cases in which the woman's physical health is in danger (55.5%). Those who said they would not support abortion under any circumstances constitute, at most, 5.1% of the respondents. Support for the maintenance or the elimination of therapeutic abortion committees was addressed in two questions and in both cases the respondents were evenly divided. The responses to these two questions were compared and found to be logically consistent. Only physicians should perform abortions, and they should be performed in hospitals with the woman either as an inpatient or, during the first trimester, as an outpatient. The performance of first-trimester abortions in provincially approved abortion clinics was supported by 47.3% of the respondents. Of the 885 respondents who wished to see some amendment to the Criminal Code, 409 stated that the term "health" as used in the Criminal Code relative to the legal grounds for therapeutic abortion should be defined. PMID:6861064
Kinaro, Joyce; Ali, Tag Elsir Mohamed; Schlangen, Rhonda; Mack, Jessica
Unsafe abortion in Sudan results in significant morbidity and mortality. This study of treatment for complications of unsafe abortion in five hospitals in Khartoum, Sudan, included a review of hospital records and a survey of 726 patients seeking abortion-related care from 27 October 2007 to 31 January 2008, an interview of a provider of post-abortion care and focus group discussions with community leaders. Findings demonstrate enormous unmet need for safe abortion services. Abortion is legally restricted in Sudan to circumstances where the woman's life is at risk or in cases of rape. Post-abortion care is not easily accessible. In a country struggling with poverty, internal displacement, rural dwelling, and a dearth of trained doctors, mid-level providers are not allowed to provide post-abortion care or prescribe contraception. The vast majority of the 726 abortion patients in the five hospitals were treated with dilatation and curettage (D&C), and only 12.3% were discharged with a contraceptive method. Some women waited long hours before treatment was provided; 14.5% of them had to wait for 5-8 hours and 7.3% for 9-12 hours. Mid-level providers should be trained in safe abortion care and post-abortion care to make these services accessible to a wider community in Sudan. Guidelines should be developed on quality of care and should mandate the use of manual vacuum aspiration or misoprostol for medical abortion instead of D&C.
Wolleat, Patricia L.
A number of questions relating to providing abortion information to teenagers can be raised from legal, ethical and philosophical standpoints. The purpose of this article is to examine abortion information-giving from the perspective of counseling and guidance theory and practice. (Author)
Rogo, K O
Unsafe abortions and their complications are a major cause of maternal mortality. Hospital based studies from most African countries confirm that up to 50% of maternal deaths are due to abortion. This paper reviews problem of induced abortion in sub-Saharan Africa. Issues of prevalence and prevention are addressed while acknowledging the need to review the legal regimes operating in these countries.
Shostak, Arthur B.
Reports on emotions of males when a near-fatherhood experience ends in a legal abortion. A sizeable minority of males find their abortion experience more frustrating, trying, and emotionally costly than public and academic neglect of this subject would suggest. Options are suggested to help males deal with abortion's aspects. (Author)
Adamek, R J
Various arguments against abortion are discussed. Lack of consensus concerning the moment of personhood leaves the question in the realm of value judgments which could, in the future, lead to discrimination. A woman has the right to protect her body against a conception; once conception occurs, the fetus also possesses rights. Legal abortion has been shown by various studies to be more risky than childbirth for the mother: 1) studies showing higher mortality rates for legal abortion, 2) studies showing increased risk of future pregnancy-related and other health disorders, and 3) studies indicating that illegal abortion rises with a rise in legal abortions. The social problems which are aggravated by unwanted pregnancies should be solved instead of eliminating the unwanted child. Legalized abortion does not even solve the problem of population control.
In Sri Lanka, women do not have access to legal abortion except under life-saving circumstances. Clandestine abortion services are, however, available and quite accessible. Although safe specialist services are available to women who can afford them, others access services under unsafe and exploitative conditions. At the time of this writing, a draft bill that will legalize abortion in instances of rape, incest, and fetal abnormalities awaits approval, amid opposition. In this article, I explore the current push for legal reform as a solution to unsafe abortion. Although a welcome effort, this amendment alone will be insufficient to address the public health consequences of unsafe abortion in Sri Lanka because most women seek abortions for other reasons. Much broader legal and policy reform will be required.
Cohen, I Glenn; Sayeed, Sadath
In early 2010, the Nebraska state legislature passed a new abortion restricting law asserting a new, compelling state interest in preventing fetal pain. In this article, we review existing constitutional abortion doctrine and note difficulties presented by persistent legal attention to a socially derived viability construct. We then offer a substantive biological, ethical, and legal critique of the new fetal pain rationale.
In this article we address the issue, with a tentative empirical application to the Italian data, of the relationship, very debated mainly in north America, between abortion legalization and reduction of crime rates of youth. The rationale of this relationship is that there is a causal factor at work: the more unwanted pregnancies aborted, the less unwanted children breeding their criminal attitude in an hostile/deprived family environment. Many methodological and empirical criticisms have been raised against the proof of the existence of such a relationship: our attempt to test if this link is valid for Italy cannot endorse its existence. The data we used made necessary some assumptions and the reliability of official estimates of crime rates was debatable (probably downward biased). We conclude that, at least for Italy, the suggested relationship is unproven: other reasons for the need of legal abortion have been and should be put forward.
Edwards, R B
This essay seeks to reveal the weakness in arguments against public funding of abortions and abortion counseling in the US based on economic, ethico-religious, anti-racist, and logical-consistency objections and to show that public funding of abortion is strongly supported by appeals to basic human rights, to freedom of speech, to informed consent, to protection from great harm, to justice, and to equal protection under the law. The first part of the article presents the case against public funding with detailed considerations of the economic argument, the ethico/religious argument, the argument that such funding supports racist genocide or eugenic quality control, and arguments that a logical inconsistency exists between the principles used to justify the legalization of abortions and arguments for public funding. The second part of the article presents the case for public funding by discussing the spending of public funds on morally offensive programs, arguments for public funding of abortion counseling for the poor, and arguments for public funding of abortions for the poor. It is concluded that it is morally unacceptable and rationally unjustifiable to refuse to expend public funds for abortions for low income women, because after all most money for legal abortions for the poor comes from welfare payments made to women. If conservative forces want to insure that no public funds pay for abortions, they must stop all welfare payments to pregnant women.
Lindell, M E; Olsson, H M
The Swedish abortion legislation of 1975 gave women the right to make a decision about abortion before the end of the 18th week of pregnancy. The number of abortions is rising in Sweden as a chosen method of birth control. The attitudes of students toward abortion were studied in 1986-1987. A questionnaire containing items on how sex education is taught, the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases, and legal abortion was answered by 421 high school students. Results pertaining to the students' attitudes toward abortion are reported. Two thirds of the students believed that the decision about an abortion should be made by the man and woman together. Nearly all respondents believed that abortion should not be considered a method of birth control. These results may be considered a guide for interventions to prevent the need for abortion. One fourth of all pregnancies in Sweden terminate in abortion. The students in the present study thought of abortion as a solution. Authors studying samples with different cultural backgrounds have reported similar attitudes.
The field of abortion counseling originated in the abortion rights movement of the 1970s. During its evolution to the present day, it has faced significant challenges, primarily arising from the increasing politicization and stigmatization of abortion since legalization. Abortion counseling has been affected not only by the imposition of antiabortion statutes, but also by the changing needs of patients who have come of age in a very different era than when this occupation was first developed. One major innovation--head and heart counseling--departs in significant ways from previous conventions of the field and illustrates the complex and changing political meanings of abortion and therefore the challenges to abortion providers in the years following Roe v Wade.
A summary of an article which describes how persons form attitudes toward abortion is presented. 3 parameters play roles in the formation of attitudes toward abortion. One such parameter is the decision for which cases abortion is to be allowed. A second parameter is the person's conception of when life commences. A third parameter is formed by unconscious or non-reasoned attitudes which relate to abortion. A model depicts the interaction of these parameters to form opinions about abortion ranging from "abortion is murder" to "liberalize abortion." This leads to the consideration of more general ethical problems. Arguments for and against abortion are listed, as well as improtant statistics concerning abortion from 1975.
Read, Christine Margaret
I recently watched a fascinating documentary about the crusade of Dr Bertram Wainer in the 1960s to bring the practice of illegal abortion in Victoria to an end. It documented the profound horror of the backyard abortion that so often ended in infection, sterility or death, and served as a potent reminder of a practice to which we must never return. Of course that cant happen again, abortion is legal now, isnt it? In Victoria in 1969 a Supreme Court judge ruled that an abortion is not unlawful if a doctor believed that: the abortion is necessary to preserve the woman from serious danger to her life or physical or mental health (Menhennit ruling). In Australia today however, abortion law remains conditional, unclear and inconsistent and, except in the ACT, is still part of criminal statutes.
... an undesired pregnancy. The medicine helps remove the fetus and placenta from the mother's womb (uterus). There are different types of medical abortions: Therapeutic medical abortion is done because the woman ...
Spinelli, A; Grandolfo, M E
This article discusses the legal and epidemiologic status of abortion in Italy, and its relationship to fertility and contraception. Enacted in May 1978, Italy's abortion law allows the operation to be performed during the 1st 90 days of gestation for a broad range of health, social, and psychological reasons. Women under 18 must receive written permission from a parent, guardian, or judge in order to undergo an abortion. The operation is free of charge. Health workers who object to abortion because of religious or moral reasons are exempt from participating. Regional differences exist concerning the availability of abortion, easy to procure in some places and difficult to obtain in others. After an initial increase following legalization, the abortion rate was 13.5/1000 women aged 15-44 and the abortion ratio was 309/1000 live births -- an intermediate rate and ratio compared to other countries. By the time the Abortion Act of 1978 was adopted, Italy already had one of the lowest fertility levels in Europe. Thus, the legalization of abortion has had no impact on fertility trends. Contrary to initial fears that the legalization of abortion would make abortion a method of family planning, 80% of the women who sought an abortion in 1983-88 were using birth control at the time (withdrawal being the most common method used by this group). In fact, most women who undergo abortions are married, between the ages of 25-34, and with at least one child. Evidence indicates widespread ignorance concerning reproduction. In a 1989 survey, only 65% of women could identify the fertile period of the menstrual cycle. Italy has no sex education in schools or national family planning programs. Compared to most of Europe, Italy still has low levels of reliable contraceptive usage. This points to the need to guarantee the availability of abortion.
An attempt is made to identify and document the problems of comparative evaluation of the more recent studies of psychiatric morbidity after abortion and to determine the current consensus so that when the results of the joint RCGP/RCOG study of the sequelae of induced abortion become available they can be viewed in a more informed context. The legalization of abortion has provided more opportunities for studies of subsequent morbidity. New laws have contributed to the changing attitudes of society, and the increasing acceptability of the operation has probably influenced the occurrence of psychiatric sequelae. The complexity of measuring psychiatric sequelae is evident from the many terms used to describe symptomatology and behavioral patterns and from the number of assessment techniques involved. Numerous techniques have been used to quantify psychiatric sequelae. Several authors conclude that few psychiatric problems follow an induced abortion, but many studies were deficient in methodology, material, or length of follow-up. A British study in 1975 reported a favorable outcome for a "representative sample" of 50 National Health Service patients: 68% of these patients had an absence of or only mild feelings of guilt, loss, or self reproach and considered abortion as the best solution to their problem. The 32% who had an adverse outcome reported moderate to severe feelings of guilt, regret, loss, and self reproach, and there was evidence of mental illness. In most of these cases the adverse outcome was related to the patient's environment since the abortion. A follow-up study of 126 women, which compared the overall reaction to therapeutic abortion between women with a history of previous mild psychiatric illness and those without reported that a significantly different emotional reaction could not be demonstrated between the 2 groups. In a survey among women seeking an abortion 271 who were referred for a psychiatric opinion regarding terminations of pregnancy
Cook, R J; Dickens, B M; Horga, M
In 2003, the World Health Organization published its well referenced handbook Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems to address the estimated almost 20 million induced abortions each year that are unsafe, imposing a burden of approximately 67 thousand deaths annually. It is a global injustice that 95% of unsafe abortions occur in developing countries. The focus of guidance is on abortion procedures that are lawful within the countries in which they occur, noting that in almost all countries, the law permits abortion to save a woman's life. The guidance treats unsafe abortion as a public health challenge, and responds to the problem through strategies concerning improved clinical care for women undergoing procedures, and the appropriate placement of necessary services. Legal and policy considerations are explored, and annexes present guidance to further reading, international consensus documents on safe abortion, and on manual vacuum aspiration and post-abortion contraception.
Henshaw, S K
This article presents current estimates of the number, rate, and proportion of abortions for all countries which make such data available. 76% of the world's population lives in countries where induced abortion is legal at least for health reasons. Abortion is legal in almost all developed countries. Most developing countries have some laws against abortion, but it is permitted at least for health reasons in the countries of 67% of the developing world's population. The other 33%--over 1 billion persons--reside mainly in subSaharan Africa, Latin America, and the most orthodox Muslim countries. By the beginning of the 20th century, abortion had been made illegal in most of the world, with rules in Africa, Asia, and Latin America similar to those in Europe and North America. Abortion legislation began to change first in a few industrialized countries prior to World War II and in Japan in 1948. Socialist European countries made abortion legal in the first trimester in the 1950s, and most of the industrialized world followed suit in the 1960s and 1970s. The worldwide trend toward relaxed abortion restrictions continues today, with governments giving varying reasons for the changes. Nearly 33 million legal abortions are estimated to be performed annually in the world, with 14 million of them in China and 11 million in the USSR. The estimated total rises to 40-60 million when illegal abortions added. On a worldwide basis some 37-55 abortions are estimated to occur for each 1000 women aged 15-44 years. There are probably 24-32 abortions per 100 pregnancies. The USSR has the highest abortion rate among developed countries, 181/1000 women aged 15-44, followed by Rumania with 91/1000, many of them illegal. The large number of abortions in some countries is due to scarcity of modern contraception. Among developing countries, China apparently has the highest rate, 62/1000 women aged 15-44. Cuba's rate is 59/1000. It is very difficult to calculate abortion rates in countries
Mumford, S D
The national security implications of abortion have not been addressed in a public forum but could come to be the single most important facet of the abortion debate. Abortion has been and will continue to be an essential variable in fertility control. Any serious effort at population growth control in the next few decades will have to recognize the role abortion has in birth rate decline. At this time an estimated 40-50 million abortions are performed worldwide each year; 1/2 of them are illegal. In the absence of abortion, annual growth would approach approximately 120 million. Growth of this magnitude would probably place intolerable strains on the economics and environments of some nations. To recognize the role of abortion in fertility control is to emphasize the inescapable need for abortion as 1 element in any comprehensive family planning service. Excessive population growth leads to chronic unemployment and the frustration of the goals of hundreds of millions of people. While this new threat to the security of individual nations and ultimately to global security has not been widely acknowledged, it is beginning to gain the attention of people of different professions and distinctive political persuasions. In many ways, rampant population growth is an even more dangerous and subtle threat to the world than thermonuclear war, for it is intrinsically less subject to rational safeguards and less amenable to organized control. Possibly the greatest and most pervasive problem is the declining ability to meet human needs in the areas of food, raw material, and resources, counterpoised against what are clearly rising expectations of growing populations. The following facts cannot be disputed: world population is a threat to the security of all nations, including the U.S.; abortion is essential to any effective population growth control effort; abortion is a national security issue; and as the availability of legal abortion in the U.S. goes, so goes the availability
García, Sandra G; Tatum, Carrie; Becker, Davida; Swanson, Karen A; Lockwood, Karin; Ellertson, Charlotte
In Mexico, recent political events have drawn increased public attention to the subject of abortion. In 2000, using a national probability sample, we surveyed 3000 Mexicans aged 15-65 about their knowledge and opinions on abortion. Forty-five per cent knew that abortion was sometimes legal in their state, and 79% felt that abortion should be legal in some circumstances. A majority of participants believed that abortion should be legal when a woman's life is at risk (82%), a woman's health is in danger (76%), pregnancy results from rape (64%) or there is a risk of fetal impairment (53%). Far fewer respondents supported legal abortion when a woman is a minor (21%), for economic reasons (17%), when a woman is single (11%) or because of contraceptive failure (11%). In spite of the influence of the Church, most Mexican Catholics believed the Church and legislators' personal religious beliefs should not factor into abortion legislation, and most supported provision of abortions in public health services in cases when abortion is legal. To improve safe, legal abortion access in Mexico, efforts should focus on increasing public knowledge of legal abortion, decreasing the Church's political influence on abortion legislation, reducing the social stigma associated with sexuality and abortion, and training health care providers to offer safe, legal abortions.
Kismödi, Eszter; de Mesquita, Judith Bueno; Ibañez, Ximena Andión; Khosla, Rajat; Sepúlveda, Lilian
In 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) issued two landmark decisions. In Alyne da Silva Pimentel v. Brazil, the first maternal death case decided by an international human rights body, it confirms that States have a human rights obligation to guarantee that all women, irrespective of their income or racial background, have access to timely, non-discriminatory, and appropriate maternal health services. In L.C. v. Peru, concerning a 13-year-old rape victim who was denied a therapeutic abortion and had an operation on her spine delayed that left her seriously disabled as a result, it established that the State should guarantee access to abortion when a woman's physical or mental health is in danger, decriminalise abortion when pregnancy results from rape or sexual abuse, review its restrictive interpretation of therapeutic abortion and establish a mechanism to ensure that reproductive rights are understood and observed in all health care facilities. Both cases affirm that accessible and good quality health services are vital to women's human rights and expand States' obligations in relation to these. They also affirm that States must ensure national accountability for sexual and reproductive health rights, and provide remedies and redress in the event of violations. And they reaffirm the importance of international human rights bodies as sources of accountability for sexual and reproductive rights violations, especially where national accountability is absent or ineffective.
Mihciokur, Sare; Akin, Ayse; Dogan, Bahar Guciz; Ozvaris, Sevkat Bahar
Abortion has been legal and safe in Turkey since 1983, but the unmet need for safe abortion services remains high. Many medical practitioners believe that the introduction of medical abortion would address this. However, since 2012 there has been political opposition to the provision of abortion services. The government has been threatening to restrict the law, and following an administrative change in booking of appointments, some hospital clinics that provided family planning and abortion services had to stop providing abortions. Thus, the availability of safe abortion depends not only on permissive legislation but also political support and the ability of health professionals to provide it. We conducted a study among university medical school students in three provinces on their knowledge of abortion and abortion methods, to try to understand their future practice intentions. Pre-tested, structured, self-administered questionnaires were answered by 209 final-year medical students. The students' level of knowledge of abortion and abortion methods was very low. More than three-quarters had heard of surgical abortion, but only 56% mentioned medical abortion. Although nearly 90% supported making abortion services available in Turkey, their willingness to provide surgical abortion (16%) or medical abortion (15%) was low, due to lack of knowledge. Abortion care, including medical abortion, needs to be included in the medical school curriculum in order to safeguard this women's health service.
This article answers several questions relating to the moral issue of abortion, the value of life, and the rights of women. Women all over the world have been having abortions, legal or illegal, since time immemorial for reasons which are difficult to document. While legal and safe abortions do not compromise the physical and psychological health of the woman, more than ten thousand women suffer and die from complications of illegal abortions especially in countries where women are denied of their reproductive rights. Though abortion remained illegal in many countries such as Brazil and Latin America, legal restrictions do little to reduce the incidence of abortion. Meanwhile, the question on when the fetus has life is viewed differently by the scientific, medical, legal and religious communities. But even with the conviction that abortion involves taking the life of a person, it is indeed a responsibility to respect the views of other religions. Finally, although the decision to have abortion should belong to the couple, the last word should belong to the woman.
Hamrick, Michael H.; And Others
A college survey showed strong support by a majority for legalized abortion, governmental support of abortion and family planning services, voluntary sterilization, and sex education and birth control information and/or services in the schools. Important differences of opinion among subgroups were, however, indicated. (Author/MJB)
In Sweden abortion has been free and on demand since 1975. The philosophy behind this law is that the pregnant women is the best judge of whether she should have an abortion. Any attempt to change the legal status of abortion should be strongly fought. Criminalizing abortion has never amounted to any good in any country that has tried it. A critical aspect of abortion is that it must be prevented with effective sexual education and free access to contraception. This is the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and thus abortion. Still even in Sweden 25% of all pregnancies end in abortion. Planned parenthood is essential in a country with a high standard of living in order to maintain an adequate level of births. Many countries with high standards of living have very low births rates because they do not offer parental leave, short working hours, or day care.
In 1987, 20,830 legal abortions were performed in Denmark. 2,845 involved women below the age of 20, and 532 involved women terminating pregnancy after the 12th week. Danish law permits all of its female citizens to have an abortion free-of-charge before the 12th week of pregnancy. After the 12th week, the abortion must be applied for through a committee of 3 members, and all counties in Denmark have a committee. It is felt in Denmark that a woman has a right to an abortion if she decides to have one. It she makes that choice, doctors and nurses are supportive. Since 1970, sex education has been mandatory in Danish schools. Teachers often collaborate closely with school doctors and nurses in this education. All counties are required to have at least 1 clinic that provides contraceptive counselling. It was recently found that the lowest number of pregnancies among teenaged girls was found in a county in Jutland where all 9th grade students visit the county clinic to learn about contraceptives, pregnancy, and abortion. Within 1 year after Copenhagen had adopted this practice, the number of abortions among teenagers declined by 20%. One fourth of all pharmacies also collaborate with schools to promote sex education, instructing students about contraceptives and pregnancy tests. The Danish Family Planning Association has produced a film on abortion, and plans to produce videos on abortion for use in schools. The organization also holds training programs for health care personnel on contraception, pregnancy, and abortion. By means of the practices described above, it is hoped that the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies in Denmark will be reduced.
In Latin American countries abortion on demand is legal only in Cuba and must be performed there in hospitals within the 1st 12 weeks of pregnancy. After the 1st trimester, it can be performed only for medical reasons. With regard to the other 18 Latin American countries, abortion is illegal in 2 of them even for saving the life of the pregnant women. In 9 countries therapeutic abortion is permitted only to save the woman's life. It is allowed in 4 countries in the case of severe disease that will be aggravated if the pregnancy continues. In the 3 remaining countries, in addition to medical reasons, it is legal if pregnancy is the consequence of incest or rape. Despite the law, induced abortion is often performed. The complications of illegal abortion are reviewed along with mortality and morbidity and abortions in adolescents. In Colombia in 1974, 58,717 women were hospitalized for complications of abortion. 42,160 women were hospitalized in Chile in 1974 with the same diagnosis. As Colombia and Chile both have family planning programs and effecive contraceptives are easily obtained, the rate could be even higher in those countries without programs or contraceptive availability. From surveys conducted in these 2 countries, it may be concluded that only 1 out of 3 induced abortions is complicated and requires hospitalization. The hospitalization for complications of abortion/1000 women of fertile age in Colombia and Chile suggests that there is an annual average of 15 hospitalized cases/1000 women of fertile age throughout Latin America. Presuming reasonable accuracy for these surveys, the rate of induced abortion in the entire continent can be estimated to be at least 45/1000 women of fertile age. From this, without considering Cuba, a conservative estimate of 3.4 million illegal induced abortions are performed annually in Latin America. It seems that illegal abortions are performed at an even higher rate than that observed in countries where abortion is legal and
McMurtrie, Stephanie M; García, Sandra G; Wilson, Kate S; Diaz-Olavarrieta, Claudia; Fawcett, Gillian M
A nationally representative survey was conducted among 3000 Catholics in Mexico during 2009 and 2010. Respondents were presented with a hypothetical situation about a young woman who decided to have an abortion and were asked their personal opinion of her. On the basis of a stigma index, it was found that the majority (61%) had stigmatizing attitudes about abortion; however, 81% believed that abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances. Respondents were significantly more likely to stigmatize abortion if they disagreed with the Mexico City law legalizing the procedure (odds ratio 1.66; 95% CI, 1.30-2.11) and believed that abortion should be prohibited in all cases (odds ratio 3.13; 95% CI, 2.28-4.30). Such stigma can lead women to seek unsafe abortions to avoid judgment by society.
Nicholson, R H
Europe is experiencing the same conflict over abortion that the US is having. In Germany the unification has resulted in not 1, but 2 abortion laws. Each law apples to the old borders, but a new law is to be formulated by 1992. The most restrictive abortion laws are in Ireland where there is total prohibition. The most permissive laws are in the Netherlands where it is available on demand until the 24th week. France, Belgium, Spain, Italy have all relaxed their laws to some degree; however, there is no common European position on abortion. Eastern European countries have seen abortion banned, to increase the population to survive a war with the West, to having it become the primary form of birth control decades later. In Poland, as well as many other Eastern European countries, abortion is beginning to become illegal again as independence allows the freedom of the citizens to choose their own laws and rights. The development of new drugs, such as RU486 or mifepristone, has also influenced a change in abortion policy. Currently it is legal in France and Great Britain.
Van Look, Paul F A; Cottingham, Jane C
An estimated 60 000-70 000 women die annually from complications of unsafe abortion and hundreds of thousands more suffer long-term consequences which include chronic pelvic pain and infertility. The reasons for the continuing high incidence of unwanted pregnancy leading to unsafe abortion include lack of access to, or misuse of and misinformation about, effective contraceptive methods, coerced sex which prohibits women from protecting themselves, and contraceptive failure. Unsafe abortion is closely associated with restrictive legal environments and administrative and policy barriers hampering access to existing services. Vacuum aspiration and medical methods combining mifepristone and a prostaglandin for early abortion are simple and safe. For second trimester abortion, the main choices are repeat doses of prostaglandin with or without prior mifepristone, and dilatation and evacuation by experienced providers. Strategies for preventing unsafe abortion include: upgrading providers' skills; further development of medical methods for pregnancy termination and their introduction into national programmes; improving the quality of contraceptive and abortion services; and improving partner communication.
Cook, R J; Erdman, J N; Dickens, B M
National and international courts and tribunals are increasingly ruling that although states may aim to deter unlawful abortion by criminal penalties, they bear a parallel duty to inform physicians and patients of when abortion is lawful. The fear is that women are unjustly denied safe medical procedures to which they are legally entitled, because without such information physicians are deterred from involvement. With particular attention to the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Constitutional Court of Colombia, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, and the US Supreme Court, decisions are explained that show the responsibility of states to make rights to legal abortion transparent. Litigants are persuading judges to apply rights to reproductive health and human rights to require states' explanations of when abortion is lawful, and governments are increasingly inspired to publicize regulations or guidelines on when abortion will attract neither police nor prosecutors' scrutiny.
McLachlan, H V
The issue of abortion is discussed with reference to the claim that people have a right of control over their own bodies. Do people "own" their own bodies? If so, what would be entailed? These questions are discussed in commonsense terms and also in relation to the jurisprudence of Hohfeld, Honore, Munzer and Waldron. It is argued that whether or not women are morally and/or should be legally entitled to have abortions, such entitlements cannot be derived from a general moral entitlement to do what we will with our own bodies since there is no such entitlement. Whether or not we "own" them, we can have rights duties, liabilities, restrictions and disadvantages as well as rights concerning our own bodies.
In the 1984 election, Ronald Reagan, the Republican presidential incumbent and an opponent of legal abortion, defeated Walter Mondale, a prochoice Democrat, by a wide margin. Despite Reagan's sweep of 49 states, however, conservatives lost a little ground in the Senate, where four of the seven new senators elected take a prochoice position on abortion. On the other hand, antiabortion forces registered some gains in the House of Representatives. The voting groups were more divided over the abortion issue in 1984 than they had been in 1980: In 1980, Reagan voters and Carter voters did not differ significantly in their attitudes toward abortion, but in 1984, Reagan voters were significantly more likely to be opposed to abortion than were Mondale voters. Nevertheless, only a small minority of voters considered abortion to be a major national issue, and the two voter groups were far more divided on several other issues than they were on abortion. There was no antiabortion consensus among the electorate as a whole, or among Reagan voters in particular. The level of approval for legalized abortion has, in fact, remained quite stable since 1973, and a popular base in favor of banning abortion seems to be lacking.
Mavroforou, Anna; Giannoukas, Athanasios; Michalodimitrakis, Emmanuel
As medical abortion becomes more widely used and available in Greece, several issues are emerging and require clarification. Health care providers often face a dilemma when dealing with an adolescent requesting abortion. Parents' consent is mandatory before delivering any kind of treatment to minors. However, as it appears in the case presented here, the circumstances are not always straightforward. A critical review of the Greek legal framework in relation to the current social context is attempted through an interesting case aiming to elicit potential defects of the law that should be addressed by the legislator.
Von Baross, J
The commentary on West German abortion law, particularly in illegal abortion in the Netherlands, finds the law restrictive and in violation of the dignity and rights of women. The Max-Planck Institute in 1990 published a study that found that a main point of prosecution between 1976 and 1986, as reported by Der Spiegal, was in border crossings from the Netherlands. It is estimated that 10,000 annually have abortions abroad, and 6,000 to 7,000 in the Netherlands. The procedure was for an official to stop a young person and query about drugs; later the woman would admit to an abortion, and be forced into a medical examination. The German Penal Code Section 218 stipulates abortion only for certain reasons testified to by a doctor other than the one performing the abortion. Counseling on available social assistance must be completed 3 days prior to the abortion. Many counseling offices are church related and opposed to abortions. Many doctors refuse legally to certify, and access to abortion is limited. The required hospital stay is 3-4 nights with no day care facilities. Penal Code Section 5 No. 9 allows prosecution for uncounseled illegal abortion. Abortion law reform is anticipated by the end of 1992 in the Bundestag due to the Treaty or the Unification of Germany. The Treaty states that the rights of the unborn child must be protected and that pregnant women relieve their distress in a way compatible with the Constitution, but improved over legal regulations from either West or East Germany, which permits abortion on request within 12 weeks of conception without counseling. It is hoped that the law will be liberalized and Penal Code Section 5 No. 9 will be abolished.
On October 24, the Sejm (Poland's lower house of parliament) voted 228 to 195 (with 16 abstentions) to amend Poland's March 1993 ban on abortions. The amendment legalizes abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy for women who face financial hardship or difficult personal circumstances. Client counseling by a doctor who will not perform the abortion and a 3-day wait are required. Abortions will be permitted in licensed private clinics, as well as in public hospitals. Anyone performing an illegal abortion can receive 2 years' imprisonment. The government will subsidize contraceptive pills, and a sex education curriculum will be developed for schools. Abortion had been legal and widely available under communist rule; however, a Catholic-aligned government limited abortion to cases where a woman's life or health was endangered, where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, or where the fetus had a severe anomaly. The Catholic Church opposed the new measure, and the Senat (Poland's upper house), on October 3, had voted 40 to 52 (with 2 abstentions) against the amendment. Although the Sejm had previously voted 208 to 61 (with 15 abstentions) in favor of the amendment, 120 of those opposed to the measure, primarily members of the Polish Peasants Party (part of Poland's ruling coalition), had walked out in protest just before an August tally. The Democratic Left Alliance, the other coalition partner, supports the amendment. The most recent vote in the Sejm overturns the Senat veto; however, before the law can go into effect in 1997, it must be signed by President Aleksandr Kwasniewski (a supporter) after a review by Poland's conservative constitutional tribunal.
Basinga, Paulin; Moore, Ann M; Singh, Susheela D; Carlin, Elizabeth E; Birungi, Francine; Ngabo, Fidele
Abortion is illegal in Rwanda except when necessary to protect a woman's physical health or to save her life. Many women in Rwanda obtain unsafe abortions, and some experience health complications as a result. To estimate the incidence of induced abortion, we conducted a national sample survey of health facilities that provide postabortion care and a purposive sample survey of key informants knowledgeable about abortion conditions. We found that more than 16,700 women received care for complications resulting from induced abortion in Rwanda in 2009, or 7 per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Approximately 40 percent of abortions are estimated to lead to complications requiring treatment, but about a third of those who experienced a complication did not obtain treatment. Nationally, the estimated induced abortion rate is 25 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, or approximately 60,000 abortions annually. An urgent need exists in Rwanda to address unmet need for contraception, to strengthen family planning services, to broaden access to legal abortion, and to improve postabortion care.
Data on unsafe abortions, defined as those provided by persons lacking the necessary skills in an environment failing to meet medical standards, are scarce given the legal and ethical implications of reporting such procedures. However, the World Health Organization estimates that 20 million unsafe abortions occur each year, 90% of them in developing countries under conditions of illegality. The rate is 8/1000 women of reproductive age in more developed countries compared with 17/1000 in less developed countries; the highest rate (47/1000) exists in Latin America. Worldwide, there are an estimated 70,000 unsafe abortion-related deaths each year; again, the risk of mortality is at least 15 times higher in developing than developed countries. In addition, about 20-30% of unsafe abortions result in reproductive tract infections, many of which produce infertility. Of concern is the increase in unsafe abortion among unmarried adolescents who lack access to fertility control services. Urged is a reframing of the abortion issue on the basis of a commitment to women's reproductive health and well-being.
Johnson, B R; Horga, M; Andronache, L
After the downfall of the Ceausescu regime in December, 1989, the new Government of Romania abolished the law that prohibited abortions on request. Subsequently, the rate of legally induced abortions increased significantly while the rate of maternal mortality declined dramatically. Despite the large number of women who request induced abortions, most women and gynaecologists say that they would prefer to prevent unwanted pregnancies through the use of modern contraception. In this paper we examine factors that contribute to the disparity between women's desire to use modern contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies and their practice of having induced abortions to prevent unwanted births. The results show that women (and suggest that men) need a wide choice of dependably available high-quality contraceptives; they need to be able to obtain information, counselling, and methods from a wide range of sources/health-care providers; both women's and men's perceptions about, and use of, modern contraception could be positively affected through sexual education started in secondary school; and, to reduce repeat abortions, women's post-abortion family-planning needs must not be neglected.
Mhango, Chisale; Philbin, Jesse; Chimwaza, Wanangwa; Chipeta, Effie; Msusa, Ausbert
Background In Malawi, abortion is legal only if performed to save a woman’s life; other attempts to procure an abortion are punishable by 7–14 years imprisonment. Most induced abortions in Malawi are performed under unsafe conditions, contributing to Malawi’s high maternal mortality ratio. Malawians are currently debating whether to provide additional exceptions under which an abortion may be legally obtained. An estimated 67,300 induced abortions occurred in Malawi in 2009 (equivalent to 23 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44), but changes since 2009, including dramatic increases in contraceptive prevalence, may have impacted abortion rates. Methods We conducted a nationally representative survey of health facilities to estimate the number of cases of post-abortion care, as well as a survey of knowledgeable informants to estimate the probability of needing and obtaining post-abortion care following induced abortion. These data were combined with national population and fertility data to determine current estimates of induced abortion and unintended pregnancy in Malawi using the Abortion Incidence Complications Methodology. Results We estimate that approximately 141,044 (95% CI: 121,161–160,928) induced abortions occurred in Malawi in 2015, translating to a national rate of 38 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49 (95% CI: 32 to 43); which varied by geographical zone (range: 28–61). We estimate that 53% of pregnancies in Malawi are unintended, and that 30% of unintended pregnancies end in abortion. Given the challenges of estimating induced abortion, and the assumptions required for calculation, results should be viewed as approximate estimates, rather than exact measures. Conclusions The estimated abortion rate in 2015 is higher than in 2009 (potentially due to methodological differences), but similar to recent estimates from nearby countries including Tanzania (36), Uganda (39), and regional estimates in Eastern and Southern Africa (34–35). Over
Omo-Aghoja, L O; Omo-Aghoja, V W; Feyi-Waboso, P; Onowhakpor, E A
Abortion continues to be a major public health issue that evokes social, political, legal, cultural and religious sentiments and debates in all societies. This is particularly so in countries with restrictive abortion laws. It is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. Despite variations in the legal status of abortions in favor of restrictiveness in developing countries compared with developed countries, overall rates are quite higher in the developing countries. This review article therefore, examines the historical perspectives of induced abortion as well as the issues and controversies associated with induced abortion. Also, a review of the Nigeria national abortion law is made. We believe that this is capable of identifying useful interventions for designing programs that will lead to a reduction in the burden of unsafe abortion in developing countries.
Thanks to initiatives since 1994, most reproductive health programmes for refugee women now include family planning and safe delivery care. Emergency contraception and post-abortion care for complications of unsafe abortion are recommended, but provision of these services has lagged behind, while services for women who wish to terminate an unwanted pregnancy are almost non-existent. Given conditions in refugee settings, including high levels of sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies are of particular concern. Yet the extent of need for abortion services among refugee women remains undocumented. UNFPA estimates that 25-50% of maternal deaths in refugee settings are due to complications of unsafe abortion. Barriers to providing abortion services may include internal and external political pressure, legal restrictions, or the religious affiliation of service providers. Women too may be pressured to continue pregnancies and are often unable to express their needs or assert their rights. Abortion advocacy efforts should highlight the specific needs of refugee women and encourage provision of services where abortion is legally indicated, especially in cases of rape or incest, and risk to a woman's physical and mental health. Implementation of existing guidelines on reducing the occurrence and consequences of sexual violence in refugee settings is also important. Including refugee women in international campaigns for expanded access to safe abortion is critical in addressing the specific needs of this population.
Dresser, R S
The current shortage of US physicians willing to perform induced abortions has created a conflict between women's legal right to access to pregnancy termination and physicians' right to refuse participation in a procedure they regard as morally objectionable. According to a 1993 survey, 84% of US counties (housing 30% of women of reproductive age) had no abortion provider. This situation has been exacerbated by a trend to isolate abortion from other medical procedures; in 1992, only 12% of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology routinely offered training on first-trimester abortion. Also contributing to physician reluctance to become abortion providers have been the violence, death threats, property damage, and harassment of abortion seekers perpetrated by anti-abortion groups. To ameliorate the abortion access crisis, without intruding on the religious convictions of individual physicians, there must be greater collaboration between professional and community groups. Local community officials and pro-choice supporters are urged to use their influence to protect abortion providers from harassment. Professional organizations should provide both symbolic and practical support, e.g. increased status and remuneration, to physicians who commit to the hardship of abortion provision. Older physicians, most aware of the threat to women's health posed by any erosion of abortion rights, should educate their younger colleagues about the importance of safe abortion. Finally, training on abortion techniques should be integrated into the medical school curriculum and rotations should be established at local abortion clinics.
Bergallo, Paola; Ramón Michel, Agustina
For most of the 20th Century, restrictive abortion laws were in place in continental Latin America. In recent years, reforms have caused a liberalizing shift, supported by constitutional decisions of the countries' high courts. The present article offers an overview of the turn toward more liberal rules and the resolution of abortion disputes by reference to national constitutions. For such purpose, the main legal changes of abortion laws in the last decade are first surveyed. Landmark decisions of the high courts of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico are then analyzed. It is shown that courts have accepted the need to balance interests and competing rights to ground less restrictive laws. In doing so, they have articulated limits to protection of fetal interests, and basic ideas of women's dignity, autonomy, and equality. The process of constitutionalization has only just begun. Constitutional judgments are not the last word, but they are important contributions in reinforcing the legality of abortion.
Cook, R J; Dickens, B M
During the period between 1977 and the first quarter of 1988, 35 countries liberalized their abortion laws and four countries limited grounds for the procedure. Most legislation has extended abortion eligibility through traditional indications such as danger to maternal health or fetal handicap, but a number of other indications have been created such as adolescence, advanced maternal age, family circumstances, and AIDS or HIV infection. A number of countries have redesigned their abortion laws as part of a comprehensive package to facilitate access to and delivery of contraception, voluntary sterilization, and abortion services. Abortion litigation has increased and stimulated the liberalization of abortion provisions and the support of women's autonomous choice within the law. In Canada, the entire criminal prohibition of abortion was held unconstitutional for violating women's integrity and security. In contrast, Latin American and other constitutional developments may limit legal abortion to instances of danger to women's lives. PMID:3048126
In January 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country's archaic abortion law on the ground that it imposed arbitrary delays and unfair disparities in access to abortion across the country. Since then, the conservative government of Canada has made a few attempts to introduce a new abortion policy, but it did not get passed in the parliament because the revised bills failed to protect women's right to 'life, liberty, and security of the person' within the meaning of the Canadian Charter. Canada has been without an abortion law for over four years and there has been a wide range of provincial policies and confusion in the country. Despite the legal vacuum, Canadian women are not frenziedly having abortions. However, the militancy of the anti-abortion groups has steadily intensified with continued assault on a woman's right to make reproductive choices. Since no law, short of banning abortions altogether, is going to satisfy abortion opponents, the abortion battle will rage on in Canada.
Johansson, A; Nga, N T; Huy, T Q; Dat, D D; Holmgren, K
This study analyzes the involvement of men in abortion in Vietnam, where induced abortion is legal and abortion rates are among the highest in the world. Twenty men were interviewed in 1996 about the role they played in their wives' abortions and about their feelings and ethical views concerning the procedure. The results showed that both husbands and wives considered the husband to be the main decisionmaker regarding family size, which included the decision to have an abortion, but that, in fact, some women had undergone an abortion without consulting their husbands in advance. Parents and in-laws were usually not consulted; the couples thought they might object to the decision on moral grounds. Respondents' ethical perspectives on abortion are discussed. When faced with an unwanted pregnancy, the husbands adopted an ethics of care and responsibility toward family and children, although some felt that abortion was immoral. The study highlights the importance of understanding husbands' perspectives on their responsibilities and rights in reproductive decisionmaking and their ethical and other concerns related to abortion.
Legalization of abortion in Italy generates never ending discussions. The problem should have been solved years ago with a national campaign for family planning, with the setting up of well organized family centers, and with contraception available and free to all. If it seems right and proper to perform abortion under certain circumstances, it does not seem proper to take into consideration socioeconomic conditions, and certainly not abortion on request; a new life must not be wasted because a woman does not feel like having a new child. Abortion, on the other hand, is certainly to be considered in case of danger for the mother, in case of fetal abnormalities, or when the pregnancy is result of incest or of rape. Abortion for psychological reasons is very valid if the reasons are real, evident, and have been thoroughly evaluated.
Sedgh, Gilda; Sylla, Amadou Hassane; Philbin, Jesse; Keogh, Sarah; Ndiaye, Salif
CONTEXT Abortion is highly restricted by law in Senegal. Although women seek care for abortion complications, no national estimate of abortion incidence exists. METHODS Data on postabortion care and abortion in Senegal were collected in 2013 using surveys of a nationally representative sample of 168 health facilities that provide postabortion care and of 110 professionals knowledgeable about abortion service provision. Indirect estimation techniques were applied to the data to estimate the incidence of induced abortion in the country. Abortion rates and ratios were calculated for the nation and separately for the Dakar region and the rest of the country. The distribution of pregnancies by planning status and by outcome was estimated. RESULTS In 2012, an estimated 51,500 induced abortions were performed in Senegal, and 16,700 (32%) resulted in complications that were treated at health facilities. The estimated abortion rate was 17 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 and the abortion ratio was 10 per 100 live births. The rate was higher in Dakar (21 per 1,000) than in the rest of the country (16 per 1,000). Poor women were far more likely to experience abortion complications, and less likely to receive treatment for complications, than nonpoor women. About 31% of pregnancies were unintended, and 24% of unintended pregnancies (8% of all pregnancies) ended in abortion. CONCLUSIONS Unsafe abortion exacts a heavy toll on women in Senegal. Reducing the barriers to effective contraceptive use and ensuring access to postabortion care without the risk of legal consequences may reduce the incidence of and complications from unsafe abortion. PMID:25856233
Tey, Nai-peng; Yew, Siew-yong; Low, Wah-yun; Su’ut, Lela; Renjhen, Prachi; Huang, M. S. L.; Tong, Wen-ting; Lai, Siow-li
Background Abortion is a serious public health issue, and it poses high risks to the health and life of women. Yet safe abortion services are not readily available because few doctors are trained to provide such services. Many doctors are unaware of laws pertaining to abortion. This article reports survey findings on Malaysian medical students’ attitudes toward abortion education and presents a case for including abortion education in medical schools. Methods and Results A survey on knowledge of and attitudes toward abortion among medical students was conducted in two public universities and a private university in Malaysia in 2011. A total of 1,060 students returned the completed questionnaires. The survey covered about 90% of medical students in Years 1, 3, and 5 in the three universities. About 90% of the students wanted more training on the general knowledge and legal aspects of abortion, and pre-and post-abortion counseling. Overall, 75.9% and 81.0% of the students were in favor of including in medical education the training on surgical abortion techniques and medical abortion, respectively. Only 2.4% and 1.7% were opposed to the inclusion of training of these two methods in the curriculum. The remaining respondents were neutral in their stand. Desire for more abortion education was associated with students’ pro-choice index, their intention to provide abortion services in future practice, and year of study. However, students’ attitudes toward abortion were not significantly associated with gender, type of university, or ethnicity. Conclusions Most students wanted more training on abortion. Some students also expressed their intention to provide abortion counseling and services in their future practice. Their desire for more training on abortion should be taken into account in the new curriculum. Abortion education is an important step towards making available safe abortion services to enable women to exercise their reproductive rights. PMID:23300600
Henry, N F; Harvey, M E
Abortion rates in the United States have risen annually since the 1973 Supreme Court decision. The regions with the greatest rate increases are the Southern and Plains states; the lowest rate increases were in regions which had high abortion rates soon after abortion was legalized. While spatial contiguity appears to influence abortion rates, that is, states with high rates of abortion are clustered spatially, social and political influence are also evident. Ratification of the equal rights amendment, the seeking of abortion outside the state of residence, and the degree of urbanization within a state are variables which influenced U.S. abortion rates between 1973 and 1977.
Sevestre, Henri; Mention, Jacques; Lefebvre, Jean-François; Eb, François; Hamdad, Farida
Chlamydial infection of the upper genital tract after abortion is well recognized, but routine screening for infection before termination is rare, and few centres are aware of the prevalence of post-abortion complications in their patient population. Knowledge of the patient population is the best guide for developing screening strategies. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of chlamydial infection in patients presenting for legal termination of pregnancy, and to assess the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis by PCR on specimens collected in either PreservCyt (ThinPrep) or 2-sucrose phosphate (2-SP) transport medium. Two hundred and eleven single, sexually active women, aged 15-26 years, attending the Gynaecology and Obstetric Hospital, Amiens, France, for surgical termination of pregnancy were enrolled in this study from June 2002 to June 2003. C. trachomatis detection using a Cobas Amplicor PCR test (Roche Diagnostics) targeting a 207 bp segment of the common cryptic plasmid and a quantitative LightCycler real-time PCR (LC-PCR) (Roche Diagnostics) targeting a 123 bp fragment within the highly conserved constant domain 3 of the single-chromosome-copy ompA gene were performed on endocervical swabs in 2-SP, and on specimens collected using a cytobrush and placed in PreservCyt medium. The in-house LC-PCR was used as a chromosomal diagnosis method and to determine the load of C. trachomatis. This method was able to detect the mutant Swedish variant with a deletion of 377 bp in the target area in the cryptic plasmid, which is the region targeted by the Cobas Amplicor PCR test. C. trachomatis was detected in 19/211 patients (9 %) by both PCR methods. Among the 19 infected women, C. trachomatis was detected by the Cobas Amplicor PCR in 16 specimens in PreservCyt (7.6 %) and in 12 endocervical swabs in 2-SP (5.7 %). Specimens from only nine women were PCR-positive in both PreservCyt and 2-SP media by this method. Cobas Amplicor PCR revealed that 10.9 and 2
Aubeny, E; Brunerie, J; Missey-kolb, H
Induced abortion has been legal in New York State since 1970. In 1978 there were 1,540,000 legal abortions in the U.S.; more than half of the abortions take place within the 8th week of pregnancy; 75% of abortions are done on an outpatient basis, most of them not in large hospitals, but in free standing clinics. 30% of abortions are done under general anesthesia and require about 3 hours of hospitalization. 70% are done under local anesthesia, usually paracervical block, and require about 2 hours of hospitalization. Most women requesting abortions are between 19-24, nulliparous, and between the 7-10 week of gestation. Dilatation is usually done with Pratt dilators and evacuation by curettage. Between 1972-78 a total of 6,311,000 abortions were performed within the 1st 12 weeks; the mortality rate was 0.8/100,000. Probability of mortality is not only minimal between the 1st-8th week, but is the same whether the abortion is done in a hospital or an outpatient clinic. Rates of serious complications range from 0.3% for the 1st 6 weeks to 0.8% from the 11-12th week. Rates for serious and minor complications taken together are 7.8%. Serious complications occur more frequently in patients under total anesthesia, especially cervical laceration and hemorrhage. Induced abortion does not increase the risk of secondary sterility. Between the 12th-17th week, abortion is usually done by dilatation and evacuation, and after the 17th week by drug infusion.
This article talks about the position on abortion held by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC). The discussion is based on an electronic mail message sent in response to a question on a Church reform listserve discussion group. CFCC believes that abortion is a serious matter that requires reflection, including dialogue with partners and trusted advisors. In a Catholic theological context and in the realm of morality, respect for women's right to abortion should be based on these facts: 1) there is no firm position within the Catholic Church on when the fetus becomes a person; 2) the principle of probabilism in Roman Catholicism holds that where the Church cannot speak definitively on a matter of fact, the consciences of individual Catholics must be primary and respected; and 3) the absolute prohibition on abortion by the Church is not infallible. For CFFC, a central value in this complex matter is the recognition that women are competent, capable moral agents who must be recognized as having the moral and legal right to make the decision about whether or not to have an abortion with minimal state intervention.
There will always be women who need abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, and their reasons are often compelling. Although second trimester abortions carry relatively more risks than first trimester abortions, abortion is still very safe throughout the second trimester if done in safe conditions. This paper is about law and policy on second trimester abortions, which are allowed on more restrictive grounds than first trimester abortions in most countries, if at all. It focuses on countries where most or at least some second trimester abortions are allowed, including in Europe, where many women are still forced to travel for second trimester abortions, and countries in the developing world, where most second trimester abortions remain unsafe. The need for second trimester abortion should be met in a safe, timely and sympathetic manner. Abortion should be legal at the woman's request up to 24 weeks and on therapeutic grounds after that, and no other barriers or hurdles should be imposed on women seeking second trimester abortion. In-depth, country-based research is needed, to bring out the facts on second trimester abortion, as evidence of why it should be treated as a legitimate form of women's health care and supported in public health policy.
Pheterson, Gail; Azize, Yamila
Small island exigencies and a legacy of colonial jurisprudence set the stage for this three-year study in 2001-2003 of abortion practice on several islands of the northeast Caribbean: St. Martin, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua and St Kitts. Based on in-depth interviews with 26 physicians, 16 of whom were performing abortions, it found that licensed physicians are routinely providing abortions in contravention of the law, and that those services, tolerated by governments and legitimised by European norms, are clearly the mainstay of abortion care on these islands. Medical abortion was being used both under medical supervision and through self-medication. Women travelled to find anonymous services, and also to access a particular method, provider or facility. Sometimes they settled for a less acceptable method if they could not afford a more comfortable one. Significantly, legality was not the main determinant of choice. Most abortion providers accepted the current situation as satisfactory. However, our findings suggest that restrictive laws were hindering access to services and compromising quality of care. Whereas doctors may have the liberty and knowledge to practise illegal abortions, women have no legal right to these services. Interviews suggest that an increasing number of women are self-inducing misoprostol abortions to avoid doctors, high fees and public stigma. The Caribbean Initiative on Abortion and Contraception is organising meetings, training providers and creating a public forum to advocate decriminalisation of abortion and enhance abortion care.
Topics of interest to women were discussed at a 1-day conference. 85% of the participants were women. The theme was, "Can the abortion rate be changed?" The number of abortions rose from 19,919 in 1985 to 21,199 in 1988, a rate of 6%. The previous 8 years had shown a steady decrease from 25,662 in 1977. This was especially pronounced in women under 25. The birth rate climbed 10% at the same time. With the exception of Ireland, free access to abortion is the rule in the majority of the countries of Europe. Prenatal diagnosis (PD)--chorionic villus biopsies and amniocentesis--was begun in 1970 in Denmark. Investigation of placental biopsies was begun in 1983. The number of diagnoses rose sharply after this. From 1980-1988 the number of legally induced abortions was between 20,000 and 23,000. The number of spontaneous abortions rose from 8000 to over 9000. There were approximately 70 abortions because of PD. This figure reached 133 in 1980. Women aged 35 and above have made increasing use of PD. After PD was brought about, the number of legal abortions dropped. 42% of pregnant women over 35 carried to term;l 46% chose legal abortion. In the 40-year age group, the figures were 23% and 60%, respectively. Data on 140 abortion seekers (AS) (ages 16-21) in Denmark (73.6% replied) were compared to 201 sexually active youngsters who were not pregnant. The abortion seekers showed no difference from those not pregnant. However, more among the AS had started sexual intercourse with the 1st 2 years after menarche; they had had many different sexual partners. 73.9% of the AS used contraception at 1st intercourse, compared to 82.1% of those not pregnant. In the abortion-seeking group, about 1/3 became pregnant despite the use of contraception (generally a condom). 44% had most recently used a pill. In 1973, a law was passed permitting abortion before the end of the 12th week of pregnancy. In the last 17 years, abortions have become more frequent among young career women. The
There is a global trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws driven by women’s rights, public health, and human rights advocates. This trend reflects the recognition of women’s access to legal abortion services as a matter of women’s rights and self-determination and an understanding of the dire public health implications of criminalizing abortion. Nonetheless, legal strategies to introduce barriers that impede access to legal abortion services, such as mandatory waiting periods, biased counseling requirements, and the unregulated practice of conscientious objection, are emerging in response to this trend. These barriers stigmatize and demean women and compromise their health. Public health evidence and human rights guarantees provide a compelling rationale for challenging abortion bans and these restrictions. PMID:23409915
Finer, Louise; Fine, Johanna B
There is a global trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws driven by women's rights, public health, and human rights advocates. This trend reflects the recognition of women's access to legal abortion services as a matter of women's rights and self-determination and an understanding of the dire public health implications of criminalizing abortion. Nonetheless, legal strategies to introduce barriers that impede access to legal abortion services, such as mandatory waiting periods, biased counseling requirements, and the unregulated practice of conscientious objection, are emerging in response to this trend. These barriers stigmatize and demean women and compromise their health. Public health evidence and human rights guarantees provide a compelling rationale for challenging abortion bans and these restrictions.
Becker, Davida; Díaz Olavarrieta, Claudia
In April 2007, the Mexico City, Mexico, legislature passed landmark legislation decriminalizing elective abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In Mexico City, safe abortion services are now available to women through the Mexico City Ministry of Health's free public sector legal abortion program and in the private sector, and more than 89 000 legal abortions have been performed. By contrast, abortion has continued to be restricted across the Mexican states (each state makes its own abortion laws), and there has been an antichoice backlash against the legislation in 16 states. Mexico City's abortion legislation is an important first step in improving reproductive rights, but unsafe abortions will only be eliminated if similar abortion legislation is adopted across the entire country.
Cook, Rebecca J; Dickens, Bernard M
The legal approach to abortion is evolving from criminal prohibition towards accommodation as a life-preserving and health-preserving option, particularly in light of data on maternal mortality and morbidity. Modern momentum for liberalization comes from international adoption of the concept of reproductive health, and wider recognition that the resort to safe and dignified healthcare is a major human right. Respect for women's reproductive self-determination legitimizes abortion as a choice when family planning services have failed, been inaccessible, or been denied by rape. Recognition of women's rights of equal citizenship with men requires that their choices for self-determination be legally respected, not criminalized.
Ethical investment funds have traditionally boycotted the arms industry, companies known to pollute the environment, and those involved in animal research. However, recent newspaper reports suggest that some investment funds plan to also boycott hospitals and pharmaceutical companies involved in abortion-related activities. Ethical Financial, anti-abortion independent financial advisors, are encouraging a boycott of investment in private hospitals and manufacturers of equipment involved in abortions, and pharmaceutical firms which produce postcoital contraception or conduct embryo research. Ethical Financial claims that Family Assurance has agreed to invest along anti-abortion lines, Aberdeen Investment is already boycotting companies linked to abortion, and Hendersons ethical fund plans to follow suit. There is speculation that Standard Life, the largest mutual insurer in Europe, will also refuse to invest in abortion-related concerns when it launches its ethical fund in the spring. Managers of ethical funds should, however, understand that, contrary to the claims of the anti-choice lobby, there is extensive public support for legal abortion, emergency contraception, and embryo research. Individuals and institutions which contribute to the development of reproductive health care services are working to alleviate the distress of unwanted pregnancy and infertility, laudable humanitarian goals which should be encouraged. Those who try to restrict the development of abortion methods and services simply show contempt for women, treating them as people devoid of conscience who are incapable of making moral choices.
Cagiano De Azevedo, R
The adoption of a recent law on abortion (1978) makes available in Italy new statistics at both the national and regional levels. Following the official source of ISTAT, the abortion rate/100 livebirths in 1979 was about 28%, about 40% in the northern part of Italy, and only 16% in Mezzogiorno. This abortion rate, as an average data at the national level, corresponds to a normal position among similar rates in western countries; closer to EEC member states. But the regional variability seems a very interesting new aspect of the Italian tryptic (north, center, south) largely presented in many demographic indicators. 3 factors are presented as a possible explication of this variability: a real different attitude of women and couples towards abortion from cultural, religious, and political points of view; the coexistence of legal and illegal abortion despite the adoption of a new liberal law; and the very important disequilibrium in the distribution of structures and medical services available to assure abortions in different parts of the country. Some other demographic points related to abortion are also presented here, particularly in connection with age structure of women and their marital status. Future trends in abortion with subsequent effects on fertility are also discussed at the end of this article. The arguments follow 2 alternatives presented in Italy by the National Committee on Population and the Committee of Demographic Studies. (author's modified)
Discusses the U.S. Supreme Court's recent indication of willingness to accept state restrictions on a woman's right to abortion. Presents several key reasons why parental involvement should not be legally required for minors' abortions, and suggests that family practitioners are in an excellent position to inform the public and policymakers about…
This article compares the number of legal abortions performed in the United States and Great Britain. It reveals that the rate of abortion in the United States is more than twice that of Britain. The author analyzes the reasons for the different rates.
Jotkowitz, Alan; Zivotofsky, Ari Z
Abortion remains a highly contentious moral issue, with the debate usually framed as a battle between the fetus's right to life and the woman's right to choose. Often overlooked in this debate is the impact of the concurrent legalization of abortion and the development of new prenatal screening tests on the birth prevalence of many inherited diseases. Most proponents of abortion support abortion for fetuses with severe congenital diseases, but there has unfortunately been, in our opinion, too little debate over the moral appropriateness of abortion for much less severe congenital conditions such as Down's syndrome, deafness, and dwarfism. Due to scientific advances, we are looking at a future in which prenatal diagnosis will be safer and more accurate, raising the specter, and the concomitant ethical concerns, of wholesale abortions. Herein, we present a reframing of the abortion debate that better encompasses these conditions and offers a more nuanced position.
Jones, Kiera; Chaloner, Chris
In England, Scotland and Wales legislation has facilitated the process of procuring an abortion to the point at which, in 2007, it appears to have been effectively assimilated into contemporary life. However, despite the legal acceptance of abortion it remains an ethically contentious subject. Arguments in favour of, or in opposition to, abortion can arouse vociferous and, on occasions, extreme reactions. At the heart of the abortion debate lie questions concerning rights, autonomy and the way in which society views disability (if a pregnancy is terminated for this reason alone). It is important that health professionals comprehend the basis of the abortion debate, from the perspective of their profession, society as a whole and the individual woman who may have had or is considering an abortion or has been affected by the subject in some way. This article examines some of the key ethical issues concerning abortion.
Pollock, John Crothers; And Others
Examines coverage of the abortion issue prior to, during, and after the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing elective abortion in daily newspapers in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. Considers the effect on news coverage of local religious composition, income levels, race, and abortion rate. (GW)
The document describes research on womens' attitudes toward abortion and their decision-making when pregnant leading to either birth or abortion. The objective was "to explore how womens' perceptions of the option of legal abortion have affected their pregnancy decision-making behavior" and to note the impact of their particular choices on their…
Basnett, Indira; Shrestha, Dirgha Raj; Shrestha, Meena Kumari; Shah, Mukta; Aryal, Shilu
Introduction The termination of unwanted pregnancies up to 12 weeks’ gestation became legal in Nepal in 2002. Many interventions have taken place to expand access to comprehensive abortion care services. However, comprehensive abortion care services remain out of reach for women in rural and remote areas. This article describes a training and support strategy to train auxiliary nurse‐midwives (ANMs), already certified as skilled birth attendants, as medical abortion providers and expand geographic access to safe abortion care to the community level in Nepal. Methods This was a descriptive program evaluation. Sites and trainees were selected using standardized assessment tools to determine minimum facility requirements and willingness to provide medical abortion after training. Training was evaluated via posttests and observational checklists. Service statistics were collected through the government's facility logbook for safe abortion services (HMIS‐11). Results By the end of June 2014, medical abortion service had been expanded to 25 districts through 463 listed ANMs at 290 listed primary‐level facilities and served 25,187 women. Providers report a high level of confidence in their medical abortion skills and considerable clinical knowledge and capacity in medical abortion. Discussion The Nepali experience demonstrates that safe induced abortion care can be provided by ANMs, even in remote primary‐level health facilities. Post‐training support for providers is critical in helping ANMs handle potential barriers to medical abortion service provision and build lasting capacity in medical abortion. PMID:26860072
Maternowska, M Catherine; Mashu, Alexio; Moyo, Precious; Withers, Mellissa; Chipato, Tsungai
In Zimbabwe, abortions are legally restricted and complications from unsafe abortions are a major public health concern. This study in 2012 explored women's and providers' perspectives in Zimbabwe on the acceptability of the use of misoprostol as a form of treatment for complications of abortion in post-abortion care. In-depth interviews were conducted with 115 participants at seven post-abortion care facilities. Participants included 73 women of reproductive age who received services for incomplete abortion and 42 providers, including physicians, nurses, midwives, general practitioners and casualty staff. Only 29 providers had previously used misoprostol with their own patients, and only 21 had received any formal training in its use. Nearly all women and providers preferred misoprostol to surgical abortion methods because it was perceived as less invasive, safer and more affordable. Women also generally preferred the non-surgical method, when given the option, as fears around surgery and risk were high. Most providers favoured removing legal restrictions on abortion, particularly medical abortion. Approving use of misoprostol for post-abortion care in Zimbabwe is important in order to reduce unsafe abortion and its related sequelae. Legal, policy and practice reforms must be accompanied by effective reproductive health curricula updates in medical, nursing and midwifery schools, as well as through updated training for current and potential providers of post-abortion care services nationwide. Our findings support the use of misoprostol in national post-abortion care programmes, as it is an acceptable and potentially life-saving treatment option.
Though pregnancy termination is highly restricted in Kenya, induced abortion remains common. Illegal abortion is often unsafe, putting women at risk of death or severe complications. In eastern Africa as a whole, an estimated 14% of all pregnancies end in abortion, and nearly one in five maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortion.
Moseley, D T; Follingstad, D R; Harley, H; Heckel, R V
Investigated demographic and psychological factors related to positive or negative reactions to legal abortions performed during the first trimester of pregnancy in 62 females in an urban southern community. Results suggest that the social context and the degree of support from a series of significant persons rather than demographic variables were most predictive of a positive reaction.
Cresswell, Jenny A; Schroeder, Rosalyn; Dennis, Mardieh; Owolabi, Onikepe; Vwalika, Bellington; Musheke, Maurice; Campbell, Oona; Filippi, Veronique
Objectives In Zambia, despite a relatively liberal legal framework, there remains a substantial burden of unsafe abortion. Many women do not use skilled providers in a well-equipped setting, even where these are available. The aim of this study was to describe women's knowledge of the law relating to abortion and attitudes towards abortion in Zambia. Setting Community-based survey in Central, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces. Participants 1484 women of reproductive age (15–44 years). Primary and secondary outcome measures Correct knowledge of the legal grounds for abortion, attitudes towards abortion services and the previous abortions of friends, family or other confidants. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression were used to analyse how knowledge and attitudes varied according to sociodemographic characteristics. Results Overall, just 16% (95% CI 11% to 21%) of women of reproductive age correctly identified the grounds for which abortion is legal. Only 40% (95% CI 32% to 45% of women of reproductive age knew that abortion was legally permitted in the extreme situation where the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. Even in urban areas of Lusaka province, only 55% (95% CI 41% to 67%) of women knew that an abortion could legally take place to save the mother's life. Attitudes remain conservative. Women with correct knowledge of abortion law in Zambia tended to have more liberal attitudes towards abortion and access to safe abortion services. Neither correct knowledge of the law nor attitudes towards abortion were associated with knowing someone who previously had an induced abortion. Conclusions Poor knowledge and conservative attitudes are important obstacles to accessing safe abortion services. Changing knowledge and attitudes can be challenging for policymakers and public health practitioners alike. Zambia could draw on its previous experience in dealing with its large HIV epidemic to learn cross-cutting lessons in effective mass
Stone, R; Waszak, C
A focus-group study of adolescents from cities across the United States revealed that they lacked accurate knowledge about abortion and the laws governing it. Most expressed erroneous beliefs about abortion, describing it as medically dangerous, emotionally damaging and widely illegal. The study also revealed that antiabortion views, conservative morality and religious beliefs were the primary sources of these adolescents' attitudes toward abortion. In general, the participants in the study said they were personally opposed to abortion, but supported its continued legality as a woman's choice. Although most of the teenagers expressed positive feelings toward parents, they did not feel that mandatory parental involvement would be helpful, and in some cases could cause harm.
Legal abortions are authorized medical procedures, and as such, they are or can be recorded at the health facility where they are performed. The incidence of illegal, often unsafe, induced abortion has to be estimated, however. In the literature, no fewer than eight methods have been used to estimate the frequency of induced abortion: the "illegal abortion provider survey," the "complications statistics" approach, the "mortality statistics" approach, self-reporting techniques, prospective studies, the "residual" method, anonymous third party reports, and experts' estimates. This article describes the methodological requirements of each of these methods and discusses their biases. Empirical records for each method are reviewed, with particular attention paid to the contexts in which the method has been employed successfully. Finally, the choice of an appropriate method of estimation is discussed, depending on the context in which it is to be applied and on the goal of the estimation effort.
Britton, Laura E; Mercier, Rebecca J; Buchbinder, Mara; Bryant, Amy G
Most studies on the impact of restrictive abortion laws have focused on patient-level outcomes. To better understand how such laws affect providers, we conducted a qualitative study of 27 abortion providers working under a restrictive law in North Carolina. Providers derived professional identity from their motivations, values, and experiences of pride related to abortion provision. The law affected their professional identities by perpetuating negative characterizations of their profession, requiring changes to patient care and communication, and creating conflicts between professional values and legal obligations. We conclude that a holistic understanding of the impact of abortion laws should include providers' perspectives.
Wilson, Kate S; Garcia, Sandra G; Olavarrieta, Claudia Díaz; McMurtrie, Stephanie M; Valencia, Jorge Armando; Diaz de Leon, Fernanda; Sanchez Fuentes, Maria Luisa
Lawyers are important actors shaping the abortion debate in Mexico. Of 250 private and public sector criminal lawyers surveyed from four regions, the majority knew about abortion laws in their states. At least 80% agreed with abortion in cases of rape, risk to a woman's life or health, and fetal malformations. Overall, 61% agreed with the Mexico City law and 84% would defend a woman denied a legal abortion. In multivariate analysis, being very knowledgeable of abortion laws was a significant predictor of more "progressive" abortion opinions, support for the Mexico City law, and support for the health indication.
Cook, R J; Dickens, B M; Bliss, L E
OBJECTIVES: In 2 successive decades since 1967, legal accommodation of abortion has grown in many countries. The objective of this study was to assess whether liberalizing trends have been maintained in the last decade and whether increased protection of women's human rights has influenced legal reform. METHODS: A worldwide review was conducted of legislation and judicial rulings affecting abortion, and legal reforms were measured against governmental commitments made under international human rights treaties and at United Nations conferences. RESULTS: Since 1987, 26 jurisdictions have extended grounds for lawful abortion, and 4 countries have restricted grounds. Additional limits on access to legal abortion services include restrictions on funding of services, mandatory counseling and reflection delay requirements, third-party authorizations, and blockades of abortion clinics. CONCLUSIONS: Progressive liberalization has moved abortion laws from a focus on punishment toward concern with women's health and welfare and with their human rights. However, widespread maternal mortality and morbidity show that reform must be accompanied by accessible abortion services and improved contraceptive care and information. PMID:10191808
Abortion is illegal in Thailand, except in cases when it is considered necessary for a woman's health or in the case of rape. Yet abortions remain common and an important public health issue for women in Thailand. Based upon eight months' ethnographic research carried out in Northeast Thailand, this paper presents findings from a survey of 164 women of reproductive age in rural villages and from interviews with 19 women who have had illegal abortions. A range of techniques to induce abortions are used, including the consumption of abortifacients, massage, and uterine injections by untrained practitioners, and procedures carried out by trained medical personnel. This paper examines the effects of the current laws through the experiences of women who have undergone illegal abortions. Within the restrictive legal context, risk is stratified along economic lines. Poorer women have little choice but to resort to abortions by untrained practitioners. There is evidence of wide public support for the reform of the abortion laws to widen the circumstances under which abortion is legal. An ongoing movement, led by women's groups, medical and legal professionals, seeks to reform the law.
Bradley, J; Sikazwe, N; Healy, J
In this commentary, the impact of the introduction of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) for incomplete abortion patients and for early uterine evacuation is discussed for the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. This 3-year training and service delivery program was begun in 1988 after it was clear that 15% of maternal deaths were due to illegally induced abortion. The prior procedure of dilation and curettage (D and C) required use of the main operating room and general anesthesia, which resulted in severe congestion and treatment delays. As a result of the new MVA procedure, congestion has decreased substantially, treatment is safer and more timely, and the staff's ability to provide abortions has increased. Family planning counseling is provided to postabortion patients in a more thorough fashion, and the savings in time has improved the quality of patient-staff interactions. Specifically, the patient flow has improved from a 12-hour wait to a 4-6 hour wait and rarely requires overnight hospitalization. The demand for the main operating room had decreased which frees space, time, and commodities for other gynecological treatment. The shorter procedure and release time means a minimal loss of earnings and productivity, and allows for greater privacy in explaining absences to families, schools, or employers. The improved quality of are is reflected in the figures for number treated, i.e., in 1989, 74% were treated with MVA for incomplete abortion 12 weeks and pregnancy termination 8 weeks compared with 26% treated with D and C. In 1990, the figures were 86% with MVA and 14% with D and C. The likelihood of complications from hemorrhage and sepsis have also been reduced. The MVA procedure is also less traumatic for the patient. The increased access to safe legal abortion services is reflected in the ratio of induced to incomplete abortions between 1988-1990 (1:25 to 1:5). Family planning counseling is provided by a full-time counselor who counsels preabortion
Mercier, Rebecca J; Buchbinder, Mara; Bryant, Amy
Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws) are proliferating in the United States and have increased barriers to abortion access. In order to comply with these laws, abortion providers make significant changes to facilities and clinical practices. In this article, we draw attention to an often unacknowledged area of public health threat: how providers adapt to increasing regulation, and the resultant strains on the abortion provider workforce. Current US legal standards for abortion regulations have led to an increase in laws that target abortion providers. We describe recent research with abortion providers in North Carolina to illustrate how providers adapt to new regulations, and how compliance with regulation leads to increased workload and increased financial and emotional burdens on providers. We use the concept of invisible labor to highlight the critical work undertaken by abortion providers not only to comply with regulations, but also to minimize the burden that new laws impose on patients. This labor provides a crucial bridge in the preservation of abortion access. The impact of TRAP laws on abortion providers should be included in the consideration of the public health impact of abortion laws. PMID:27570376
Mercier, Rebecca J; Buchbinder, Mara; Bryant, Amy
Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws) are proliferating in the United States and have increased barriers to abortion access. In order to comply with these laws, abortion providers make significant changes to facilities and clinical practices. In this article, we draw attention to an often unacknowledged area of public health threat: how providers adapt to increasing regulation, and the resultant strains on the abortion provider workforce. Current US legal standards for abortion regulations have led to an increase in laws that target abortion providers. We describe recent research with abortion providers in North Carolina to illustrate how providers adapt to new regulations, and how compliance with regulation leads to increased workload and increased financial and emotional burdens on providers. We use the concept of invisible labor to highlight the critical work undertaken by abortion providers not only to comply with regulations, but also to minimize the burden that new laws impose on patients. This labor provides a crucial bridge in the preservation of abortion access. The impact of TRAP laws on abortion providers should be included in the consideration of the public health impact of abortion laws.
Cook, R J; Dickens, B M
International developments in abortion laws have been diverse, but the general thrust of legislation and court decisions has been towards decriminalization and liberalization of laws and the reduction of legal barriers to access to therapuetic abortion services presented by spousal and parental authorization requirements. Most legislation has extended abortion eligibility through traditional indications such as danger to maternal health or fetal handicap, but other indications have also been created, such as adolescence, advanced maternal age, family circumstances and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection. Several jurisdictions established stages of early gestation within which abortion could be undertaken with minimal legal scrutiny. In Canada, the entire prohibition of abortion was held unconstitutional for violating women's integrity and security. Under medical and public health guidance, several countries have amended their constitutions to recognize and protect human life from contraception. Cyprus, Italy, and Taiwan have created an indication for abortion of welfare of the women's family, while France and the Netherlands recognize the women's distress and Hungary cites cases where the women is single or separated for 6 months, where appropriate housing is lacking or where she is 35 years or older and has had 3 deliveries. National health services and insurance schemes vary in their coverage of abortion costs, but generally tend to fund the major park of lawful services. In Britain, France, Israel, the US and Yugoslavia husband's claims to veto abortions have been rejected. Courts have also established that mature adolescents, although legally minors, may give autonomous consent to abortion and are entitled to confidentiality. Few countries' laws define when criminal abortion liability commences or when conception occurs, but the law has moved to restrict abortion in Israel, Honduras, Romania and Finland.
Ortiz Ortega, A
"Abortion practiced under conditions of risk" is a phrase used to refer to illegal abortion. The phrase does not highlight the disappearance of risk when legislation changes. Rather, it calls attention to the fact that legal restrictions significantly increase dangers while failing to discourage women determined to terminate pregnancies. The International Planned Parenthood Federation defines abortion under conditions of risk as the use of nonoptimal technology, lack of counseling and services to orient the woman's decision and provide postabortion counseling, and the limitation of freedom to make the decision. The phrase encompasses concealment, illegality, corruption, and negligence. It is designed to impose a reproductive health perspective in response to an unresolved social conflict. Steps have been developed to improve the situation of women undergoing abortion even without a change in its legal status. Such steps include training and purchase of equipment for treatment of incomplete abortions and development of counseling and family planning services. The central difficulty of abortion induced in conditions of risk derives from the laws imposing the need for secrecy. In Mexico, the abortion decision belongs to the government and the society, while individual absorb the consequences of the practice of abortion. Public decision making about abortion is dominated by the concept that the female has an obligation to carry any pregnancy to term. Women who interfere with male descendency and practice a sexuality distinct from reproduction are made to pay a price in health and emotional balance. Resolution of the problem of abortion will require new concepts in terms of legal status, public health issues, and the rights of women. The problem becomes more pressing as abortion becomes more common in a country anxious to advance in the demographic transition. Only a commitment to the reproductive health of women and the full development of their rights as citizens will
Shellenberg, Kristen M; Moore, Ann M; Bankole, Akinrinola; Juarez, Fatima; Omideyi, Adekunbi Kehinde; Palomino, Nancy; Sathar, Zeba; Singh, Susheela; Tsui, Amy O
It is well recognised that unsafe abortions have significant implications for women's physical health; however, women's perceptions and experiences with abortion-related stigma and disclosure about abortion are not well understood. This paper examines the presence and intensity of abortion stigma in five countries, and seeks to understand how stigma is perceived and experienced by women who terminate an unintended pregnancy and influences her subsequent disclosure behaviours. The paper is based upon focus groups and semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with women and men in Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and the United States (USA) in 2006. The stigma of abortion was perceived similarly in both legally liberal and restrictive settings although it was more evident in countries where abortion is highly restricted. Personal accounts of experienced stigma were limited, although participants cited numerous social consequences of having an abortion. Abortion-related stigma played an important role in disclosure of individual abortion behaviour.
Medical abortion using methotrexate and misoprostol and manual vacuum aspiration are two new methods for pregnancy termination during the first 8 weeks of gestation. Compared to the regimen of mifepristone (RU 486) and misoprostol, both methods offer high rates of complete abortion and acceptability to users. Limitations of the new two-drug regimen compared with mifepristone include a longer time to effect abortion, transient gastrointestinal side effects, and risk of potential teratogenicity from methotrexate's cytotoxicity. Compared to standard surgical abortion, both methods allow women to avoid surgery, are more privately performed, and may be more easily accessible. The safety of first-trimester abortion provided by nurse practitioners and physician assistants has been established. Whether midwives and either new method to their practices depends on several factors. These include obtaining appropriate training, overcoming legal restrictions, and meeting professional and personal challenges inherent in providing early abortion care.
te Braake, T A
National abortion laws usually do not allow abortion when a foetus is independently viable, i.e. from a gestational age of about 24 weeks. Fetal anomalies, which may be a reason to seek abortion, are sometimes detected only in an advanced stage of pregnancy. National legislatures who want to allow 'late' abortion need to account for the protection the fetus may derive from the European Convention for the protection of human rights. As yet it remains unclear to what extent the fetus can in fact derive protection from the Convention, although several national abortion laws have been tested against it by the European Commission. The significance of the reports of the Commission on the question whether national legislation allowing abortion of a viable fetus is in conflict with the Convention, is explored. It is concluded that there is no European legal standard in terms of duration of pregnancy to which national legislatures are committed.
In early 1991 the abortion debate in Poland entered its new stage. The prolife and prochoice options had already clashed in the early 1930s over a new penal code and backstreet abortions. According to the code of 1932, induced abortion was allowed in cases of rape, incest, or for medical indications. Abortion was legalized in 1956, but subsequently it came under attack from Catholic circles, and by 1989 the Unborn Child Protection Bill was drafted which criminalized abortion. Only 11% of Polish women use modern contraceptives. The less efficient methods are the most prevalent: the natural method (Ogino-Knaus calendar), 35% of couples; coitus interruptus, 34%; condoms, 15%; oral contraceptives 7%; chemical spermicides, 2.5%; and the IUD 2%. According to size of Catholic Church estimate there are 600,000 abortions yearly. In contrast, official statistics indicate that the number of abortions is decreasing: 137,950 in 1980; 105,300 in 1988; 80,100 in 1989; 59,400 in 1990. In January 1991 the Constitutional Tribunal dismissed the motion of the Polish Feminist Association against the restrictive regulations of the Ministry of Health concerning abortion. After a parliamentary stalemate on the Unborn Child Protection Bill a commission consisting of 46 persona (1.2 of them women, 20 persons from the prochoice and 24 from the prolife lobby) continued the debate on the bill. Public opinion polls conducted by independent groups in November 1990 showed that about 60% of citizens were against the Senate's draft. Since then interest in the abortion issue has dwindled, and only 200 women and men took part in a prochoice demonstration in front of the parliament on January 25, 1991. In the spring of 1989 and in September 1990 thousands had participated in similar demonstrations. The prevailing attitude is that if the antiabortion bill is passed nothing can be done.
In both the Republic of Ireland and the North of Ireland, it is impossible to obtain a legal abortion unless the life of the mother would otherwise be lost. Thus, an estimated 10-12,000 women travel from Ireland to England each year to have an abortion. These women can receive support from the Irish Women's Abortion Support Group (IWASG) which is made up of volunteer women who are Irish or of Irish descent. The IWASG provides accommodations, emotional and practical support, and information about how to obtain an abortion in the UK. It makes appointments, negotiates fees, and monitors services offered. The group can also provide financial assistance to women in need. IWASG liaises with pro-choice groups in Ireland, such as the underground Women's Information Network (WIN), which has branches in Dublin, Galway, and Cork. WIN provides confidential, nondirective counseling to women in need. Abortion is a very difficult choice for Irish women because of the legal strictures and because of the guilt which often results from government and religious propaganda. The prospect of finding their way around London is often as daunting to the Irish women as the procedure itself, and many of the women travel to England absolutely alone with no one at home even aware of what they are doing. IWASG is seeking new members to help them support these women. For information, write IWASG, 52 Featherstone Street, London ECIY 8RT.
Donnay, F; Bregentzer, A; Leemans, P; Verougstraete, A; Vekemans, M
Until April 1990 abortion was illegal in Belgium all circumstances. However, a small group of health professionals had long provided high-quality abortion services in outpatient facilities and in hospitals. This study is a qualitative analysis of perceptions among providers of safe abortion in Belgium before and after it was made legal there. The providers' personal, psychological, and ethical reactions to abortion are investigated, as well as their opinions on how their activities should be organized in order to minimize problems. Standardized questionnaires with closed and open questions were used; 143 questionnaires were completed. Emotional reactions were reported as being the most difficult aspects of practicing abortion. The experience of Belgian practitioners is of value for health professionals working in a legally restricted setting who are willing to assume some judicial risks to facilitate legal change while demonstrating the public health utility of low-cost, safe abortion.
de Costa, Caroline; Douglas, Heather; Hamblin, Julie; Ramsay, Philippa; Shircore, Mandy
This article reviews the current legal status of abortion in Australia and its implications. Australian abortion law has been a matter for the states since before Federation. In the years since Federation there have been significant reforms and changes in the abortion laws of some jurisdictions, although not all. Across Australia there are now nine sets of laws, state and Commonwealth, concerned with abortion. The test of a lawful abortion varies greatly across jurisdictions. In a number of states and territories, it is necessary to establish a serious risk to the physical or mental health of the woman if the pregnancy was to continue. In some cases, the certification of two doctors is required, particularly for abortions at later gestations. There are also physical restrictions on access, such as in South Australia and the Northern Territory where abortion must take place in a hospital. Only in the ACT has abortion been removed from the criminal law altogether. Variations in the law and restrictions arising from these are not consistent with the aims and provision of the universal, accessible health care system aspired to in Australia. There is an urgent need for overall reform and the introduction of uniformity to Australia's abortion laws, including removal of abortion from the criminal law.
In the late 1980s, the anti-abortion movement successfully sought injunctions against pregnancy counselling centres and students' unions in Ireland, preventing them from distributing information on how to obtain an abortion abroad. One of the defensive arguments that the students' unions employed was to claim that the distribution of abortion information was protected as an aspect of the free movement of services under European Community law. This paper addresses the implications of categorising abortion as a supranational economic service for feminist legal strategy. The advantages of categorising abortion as a service to which women have access as consumers are that it legitimates abortion and it provides a new strategy for making abortion claims. The disadvantages are that a woman's legal interest in abortion is based on her capacity to buy the service, fetal life is rendered devoid of value, and the service supplier has as much say about the abortion transaction as the woman consumer. If feminist legal strategy is to successfully use the legal construction of abortion as an economic service, it must work to minimise such negative implications.
This paper discusses issues of legal abortion and women's rights in the US. Abortion has been a political issue since the 1970s in the US. Following the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade, conservatives and liberals were divided based on their stand on abortion laws. Moreover, gender affects the range of opinions. Gender gap in abortion attitudes is most evident among conservatives. Conservative and extremely conservative women are against legal abortion more strongly than men with those same political views. Liberal and extremely liberal women have about the same amount of support for legal abortion as liberal men do. Labor force participation, marriage, education, and religion have impact on women and men's attitudes toward abortion; yet none of these explain the politicization of abortion. The change in support for legal abortion by political views and time period (1974-93) is shown in this paper. Women's rights are at the core when issues on abortion are to be discussed; the circumstances of the pregnancy and not the fetus become the focus. Although some women¿s groups support this stand, it faces a continuing debate with pro-life groups. The prevailing ideologies attempt to accommodate the new ideas expressed by the movement, while some of its stronger views are tempered in order to win a measure of political success.
Powell-Jackson, Timothy; Acharya, Rajib; Filippi, Veronique; Ronsmans, Carine
Background Medical abortion (mifepristone and misoprostol) has the potential to contribute to reduced maternal mortality but little is known about the provision or quality of advice for medical abortion through the private retail sector. We examined the availability of medical abortion and the practices of pharmacists in India, where abortion has been legal since 1972. Methods We interviewed 591 pharmacists in 60 local markets in city, town and rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. One month later, we returned to 359 pharmacists with undercover patients who presented themselves unannounced as genuine customers seeking a medical abortion. Results Medical abortion was offered to undercover patients by 256 (71.3%) pharmacists and 24 different brands were identified. Two thirds (68.5%) of pharmacists stated that abortion was illegal in India. Only 106 (38.5%) pharmacists asked clients the timing of the last menstrual period and 38 (13.8%) requested to see a doctor’s prescription – a legal requirement in India. Only 59 (21.5%) pharmacists correctly advised patients on the gestational limit for medical abortion, 97 (35.3%) provided correct information on how many and when to take the tablets in a combination pack, and 78 (28.4%) gave accurate advice on where to seek care in case of complications. Advice on post-abortion family planning was almost nonexistent. Conclusions The retail market for medical abortion is extensive, but the quality of advice given to patients is poor. Although the contribution of medical abortion to women’s health in India is poorly understood, there is an urgent need to improve the practices of pharmacists selling medical abortion. PMID:25822656
Weitz, Tracy A; Yanow, Susan
In 2007, the US Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, also known as the Federal Abortion Ban or "the Ban." The decision undermines decades of established US abortion law that had recognised the preservation of the health of women as a paramount consideration. The Ban asserts that the state's interests in how an abortion is performed and in fetal life override women's rights. It thus further erodes access to safe and legal abortion care. The new law negatively affects evidence-based clinical practice, the training of new providers and clinical innovation. It may also lead to additional legal restrictions on abortion access in the US and has implications for abortion service delivery internationally. Advocates must develop strategies that focus on women's right to control their fertility throughout the trajectory of an unwanted pregnancy.
Shepard, Bonnie L; Casas Becerra, Lidia
Abortion is not legal in Chile even to save the woman's life or health. This situation creates serious dilemmas and vulnerabilities for both women and medical practitioners. Abortion incidence has probably decreased since 1990, when data were last studied, due to increased use of contraception and lower fertility, and deaths and complication rates have fallen as well. Misoprostol is available, but Chilean hospitals are still using D&C for incomplete abortions. Although Chilean medical professionals should by law report illegal abortions to the authorities, less than 1% of women in hospital with abortion complications are reported. There are two loopholes, one legal, one clinical. "Interruption of pregnancy" after 22 weeks of pregnancy is legal for medical reasons; this may save some women's lives but can also force prolongation of health-threatening pregnancies. Catholic clinical guidelines define interventions solely aimed at saving the woman's life, even if the fetus dies, not as abortion but "indirect abortion" and permissible. Since 1989, three bills to liberalise the law on therapeutic grounds have been unsuccessful. The political climate is not favourable to changing the law. Conservatives have also not succeeded in making the law more punitive, while the governing centre-left coalition is divided and the associated political risks are considerable.
Gemzell-Danielsson, Kristina; Kopp, Helena Kallner
A safe induced abortion has no impact on future fertility. Ovulation may resume as early as 8 days after the abortion. There is no difference in return to fertility after medical or surgical abortion. Most women resume sexual activity soon after an abortion. Contraceptive counseling and provision should therefore be an integrated part of the abortion services to help women avoid another unintended pregnancy and risk, in many cases an unsafe, abortion. Long-acting reversible contraceptive methods that includes implants and intrauterine contraception have been shown to be the most effective contraceptive methods to help women prevent unintended pregnancy following an abortion. However, starting any method is better than starting no method at all. This Special Report will give a short guide to available methods and when they can be started after an induced abortion.
Paulsen, James A.
Discusses general attitudes towards unwanted pregnancies and abortions, the methods that students have resorted to in order to abort themselves, and the mental state of college women, who become pregnant with children they don't want. (RK)
Kumar, Anuradha; Hessini, Leila; Mitchell, Ellen M H
Abortion stigma is widely acknowledged in many countries, but poorly theorised. Although media accounts often evoke abortion stigma as a universal social fact, we suggest that the social production of abortion stigma is profoundly local. Abortion stigma is neither natural nor 'essential' and relies upon power disparities and inequalities for its formation. In this paper, we identify social and political processes that favour the emergence, perpetuation and normalisation of abortion stigma. We hypothesise that abortion transgresses three cherished 'feminine' ideals: perpetual fecundity; the inevitability of motherhood; and instinctive nurturing. We offer examples of how abortion stigma is generated through popular and medical discourses, government and political structures, institutions, communities and via personal interactions. Finally, we propose a research agenda to reveal, measure and map the diverse manifestations of abortion stigma and its impact on women's health.
Oizerovich, Silvia; Stray-Pedersen, Babill
Objectives We assessed healthcare students’ knowledge and opinions on Argentinian abortion law and identified differences between first- and final-year healthcare students. Methods In this cross-sectional study, self-administered anonymous questionnaires were administered to 760 first- and 695 final-year students from different fields of study (medicine, midwifery, nursing, radiology, nutrition, speech therapy, and physiotherapy) of the School of Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, in 2011-2013. Results Compared to first-year students, a higher percentage of final-year students knew that abortion is legally restricted in Argentina (p < 0.001). A significantly higher percentage of final-year students could correctly identify the circumstances in which abortion is legal: woman´s life risk (87.4% last vs. 79.1% first year), rape of a woman with developmental disability (66.2% first vs. 85.4% last-year; p < 0.001). More final-year students chose severe foetal malformations (37.3% first year vs. 57.3% final year) despite its being illegal. Conclusions Although most final-year students knew that abortion is legally restricted in Argentina, misconceptions regarding circumstances of legal abortion were observed; this may be due to the fact that abortion is inadequately covered in the medical curricula. Medical schools should ensure that sexual and reproductive health topics are an integral part of their curricula. Healthcare providers who are aware of the legality of abortion are more likely to provide the public with sound information and ensure abortions are appropriately performed. PMID:27018552
Jones, Emma L
This article examines letters sent by members of the general public to the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) in the decade immediately before the 1967 Abortion Act. It shows how a voluntary organisation, in their aim of supporting a specific cause of unclear legality, called forth correspondence from those in need. In detailing the personal predicaments of those facing an unwanted pregnancy, this body of correspondence was readily deployed by ALRA in their efforts to mobilise support for abortion law reform, thus exercising a political function. A close examination of the content of the letters and the epistolary strategies adopted by their writers reveals that as much as they were a lobbying tool for changes in abortion law, these letters were discursively shaped by debates surrounding that very reform.
Wang, Lin-Fan; Puri, Mahesh; Rocca, Corinne H; Blum, Maya; Henderson, Jillian T
The government of Nepal has articulated a commitment to the provision of post-abortion contraception since the implementation of a legal safe abortion policy in 2004. Despite this, gaps in services remain. This study examined the perspectives of abortion service providers and administrators regarding strengths and shortcomings of post-abortion contraceptive service provision. In-depth interviews were conducted with 24 abortion providers and administrators at four major health facilities that provide legal abortion in Nepal. Facility factors perceived to impact post-abortion contraceptive services included on-site availability of contraceptive supplies, dedicated and well-trained staff and adequate infrastructure. Cultural norms emerged as influencing contraceptive demand by patients, including method use being unacceptable for women whose husbands migrate and limited decision-making power among women. Service providers described their personal views on appropriate childbearing and the use of specific contraceptive methods that influenced counselling. Findings suggest that improvements to a facility's infrastructure and training to address provider biases and misinformation may improve post-abortion family planning uptake. Adapting services to be sensitive to cultural expectations and norms may help address some barriers to contraceptive use. More research is needed to determine how to best meet the contraceptive needs of women who have infrequent sexual activity or who may face stigma for using family planning, including adolescents, unmarried women and women whose husbands migrate.
Koch, Elard; Aracena, Paula; Gatica, Sebastián; Bravo, Miguel; Huerta-Zepeda, Alejandra; Calhoun, Byron C
In countries where induced abortion is legally restricted, as in most of Latin America, evaluation of statistics related to induced abortions and abortion-related mortality is challenging. The present article reexamines recent reports estimating the number of induced abortions and abortion-related mortality in Mexico, with special reference to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). We found significant overestimations of abortion figures in the Federal District of Mexico (up to 10-fold), where elective abortion has been legal since 2007. Significant overestimation of maternal and abortion-related mortality during the last 20 years in the entire Mexican country (up to 35%) was also found. Such overestimations are most likely due to the use of incomplete in-hospital records as well as subjective opinion surveys regarding induced abortion figures, and due to the consideration of causes of death that are unrelated to induced abortion, including flawed denominators of live births. Contrary to previous publications, we found important progress in maternal health, reflected by the decrease in overall maternal mortality (30.6%) from 1990 to 2010. The use of specific ICD codes revealed that the mortality ratio associated with induced abortion decreased 22.9% between 2002 and 2008 (from 1.48 to 1.14 deaths per 100,000 live births). Currently, approximately 98% of maternal deaths in Mexico are related to causes other than induced abortion, such as hemorrhage, hypertension and eclampsia, indirect causes, and other pathological conditions. Therefore, only marginal or null effects would be expected from changes in the legal status of abortion on overall maternal mortality rates. Rather, maternal health in Mexico would greatly benefit from increasing access to emergency and specialized obstetric care. Finally, more reliable methodologies to assess abortion-related deaths are clearly required. PMID:23271925
Adler, Nancy E.; Ozer, Emily J.; Tschann, Jeanne
Reviews the current status of abortion laws pertaining to adolescents worldwide, examining questions raised by parental consent laws in the United States and by the relevant psychological research (risk of harm from abortion, informed consent, consequences of parental involvement in the abortion decision, and current debate). Discusses issues…
Martin, Cedriann J; Hyacenth, Glennis; Suite, Lynette Seebaran
As for most of its Caribbean neighbours, Trinidad and Tobago's leading cause of maternal morbidity is unsafe abortion. Yet activism to introduce public policy and legislation that effectively address this aspect of women's reproductive rights and health has been met with public outcry. With almost hysterical opposition coming from certain religious quarters, there is the unsubstantiated impression that Trinidadians are overwhelmingly opposed to abortion law reform. A national survey was therefore carried out of people's knowledge and views on the current abortion law in Trinidad and Tobago. The survey found that although almost half of respondents had an unfavourable perception of abortion, more than half of them were in favour of broadening the legal grounds for accessing terminations. Incest, rape and danger to a woman's life were cited as the most significant circumstances under which abortions should be permitted. The vast majority of respondents agreed that voting on abortion law reform by members of the legislature should not be based on personal beliefs. The findings demonstrate that there is not the degree of opposition to abortion law reform that is widely assumed. On the other hand, given the wide variance of views and perceptions, we argue that public health concerns and human rights should always trump public opinion.
Ganatra, Bela; Faundes, Anibal
Access to contraception reduces maternal deaths by preventing or delaying pregnancy in women who do not intend to be pregnant or those at higher risk of complications. However, not all unintended pregnancies can be prevented through increase in contraceptive use, and access to safe abortion is needed to prevent unsafe abortions. Despite not preventing the problem, provision of emergency care for complications can help prevent deaths from such unsafe abortions. Safe abortion in early pregnancy can be provided at primary care level and by non-physician providers, and the risks of mortality associated with such safe, legal abortions are minimal. Although entirely preventable, unsafe abortions continue to occur because of numerous barriers such as legal and policy restrictions, service delivery issues and provider attitudes to abortion stigma. Overall, the provision of contraception and safe abortion is important not just to prevent maternal deaths but as a measure of our ability to respect women's decisions and ensure that they have access to timely, evidence-based care that protects their health and human rights.
Hisel, L M
This document summarizes a sample of significant activities and events undertaken by Roman Catholics in response to the US Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing induced abortion. The summaries begin with the 1966 creation of the National Right to Life Committee and cover opposition of Catholic bishops to the Roe decision, the organization of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), the mock investiture of a female pope by Catholics for a Free Choice, dismissal of a pro-life priest from the Jesuits, excommunication of various women because of their work with pro-choice agencies or ones that provided abortion services, meetings of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) with presidential candidates, NCHLA lobbying for the Hyde Amendment, open letters and advertisements published by CFC, the effort of Abortion Rights Mobilization to strip the Catholic church of its tax-exempt status, the Vatican order for all priests to leave political office, actions taken by nuns to support the pro-choice position, the proposal of the "seamless garment" argument under the principle of the "consistent ethic of life," initiation of the post-abortion reconciliation project, the actions of Catholic politicians, the filing of amicus curiae briefs, support of bishops for Operation Rescue, forums on abortion conducted by an Archbishop, the Catholic Statement on Pluralism and Abortion, targeting by bishops of pro-choice candidates for sanctions and excommunication, testimony and lobbying in opposition of the Freedom of Choice Act, false accusations about the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development leveled by bishops, lobbying by bishops in support of a ban on late-term abortions, lobbying to increase the access of low-income women to abortion, and consideration by the bishops of reinstituting "meatless Fridays" to express Catholic opposition to "attacks on human life and dignity."
Moore, Ann M; Kibombo, Richard; Cats-Baril, Deva
While laws in Uganda surrounding abortion remain contradictory, a frequent interpretation of the law is that abortion is only allowed to save the woman's life. Nevertheless abortion occurs frequently under unsafe conditions at a rate of 54 abortions per 1000 women of reproductive age annually, taking a large toll on women's health. There are an estimated 148,500 women in Uganda who experience abortion complications annually. Understanding opinion leaders' knowledge and perceptions about unsafe abortion is critical to identifying ways to address this public health issue. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 41 policy-makers, cultural leaders, local politicians and leaders within the health care sector in 2009-10 at the national as well as district (Bushenyi, Kamuli and Lira) level to explore their knowledge and perceptions of unsafe abortion and the potential for policy to address this issue. Only half of the sample knew the current law regulating abortion in Uganda. Respondents understood that the result of the current abortion restrictions included long-term health complications, unwanted children and maternal death. Perceived consequences of increasing access to safe abortion included improved health as well as overuse of abortion, marital conflict and less reliance on preventive behaviour. Opinion leaders expressed the most support for legalization of abortion in cases of rape when the perpetrator was unknown. Understanding opinion leaders' perspectives on this politically sensitive topic provides insight into the policy context of abortion laws, drivers behind maintaining the status quo, and ways to improve provision under the law: increase education among providers and opinion leaders.
Andaya, Elise; Mishtal, Joanna
Women's rights to legal abortion in the United States are now facing their greatest social and legislative challenges since its 1973 legalization. Legislation restricting rights and access to abortion care has been passed at state and federal levels at an unprecedented rate. Given the renewed vigor of anti-abortion movements, we call on anthropologists to engage with this shifting landscape of reproductive politics. This article examines recent legislation that has severely limited abortion access and maps possible directions for future anthropological analysis. We argue that anthropology can provide unique contributions to broader abortion research. The study of abortion politics in the United States today is not only a rich opportunity for applied and policy-oriented ethnographic research. It also provides a sharply focused lens onto broader theoretical concerns in anthropology and new social formations across moral, medical, political, and scientific fields in 21st-century America.
Sedgh, Gilda; Ball, Haley
Each year in Indonesia, millions of women become pregnant unintentionally, and many choose to end their pregnancies, despite the fact that abortion is generally illegal. Like their counterparts in many developing countries where abortion is stigmatized and highly restricted, Indonesian women often seek clandestine procedures performed by untrained providers, and resort to methods that include ingesting unsafe substances and undergoing harmful abortive massage. Though reliable evidence does not exist, researchers estimate that about two million induced abortions occur each year in the country and that deaths from unsafe abortion represent 14-16% of all maternal deaths in Southeast Asia. Preventing unsafe abortion is imperative if Indonesia is to achieve the fifth Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health and reducing maternal mortality. Current Indonesian abortion law is based on a national health bill passed in 1992. Though the language on abortion was vague, it is generally accepted that the law allows abortion only if the woman provides confirmation from a doctor that her pregnancy is life-threatening, a letter of consent from her husband or a family member, a positive pregnancy test result and a statement guaranteeing that she will practice contraception afterwards. This report presents what is currently known about abortion in Indonesia. The findings are derived primarily from small-scale, urban, clinic-based studies of women's experiences with abortion. Some studies included women in rural areas and those who sought abortions outside of clinics, but none were nationally representative. Although these studies do not give a full picture of who is obtaining abortions in Indonesia or what their experiences are, the evidence suggests that abortion is a common occurrence in the country and that the conditions under which abortion takes place are often unsafe.
The paper analyzes conscientious objection by physicians, through the concrete situation of legal abortion in Brazil. It reviews the two main ethical frameworks about conscientious objection in public health, the incompatibility thesis and the integrity thesis, to analyze the reality of legal abortion services in the referral services of the Brazilian public health care system. From these two perspectives, a third perspective is proposed - the justification thesis, to manage the right to conscientious objection among physicians in referral services. This analysis may contribute to the organization of services for legal abortion and to the education of future physicians working in emergency obstetric care.
Harris, Laura Florence; Halpern, Jodi; Prata, Ndola; Chavkin, Wendy; Gerdts, Caitlin
Conscientious objection to abortion - a clinician's refusal to perform abortions because of moral or religious beliefs - is a limited right, intended to protect clinicians' convictions while maintaining abortion access. This paper argues that conscientious objection policies and debates around the world generally do not take into account the social, political, and economic pressures that profoundly influence clinicians who must decide whether to claim objector status. Lack of clarity about abortion policies, high workload, low pay, and stigma towards abortion providers can discourage abortion provision. As the only legal way to refuse to provide abortions that are permitted by law, conscientious objection can become a safety valve for clinicians under pressure and may be claimed by clinicians who do not have moral or religious objections. Social factors including stigma also shape how stakeholders and policy-makers approach conscientious objection. To appropriately limit the scope of conscientious objection and make protection of conscience more meaningful, more information is needed about how conscientious objection is practised. Additionally, abortion trainings should include information about conscientious objection and its limits, reproductive rights, and creating an enabling environment for abortion provision. Policy-makers and all stakeholders should also focus on creating an enabling environment and reducing stigma.
José Barzelatto first distinguished himself as a leader with a vision in his years as a medical student. Later, principally as Director of the Reproductive Health Program at the World Health Organization and of the Ford Foundation program for women's sexual and reproductive rights, he contributed immensely toward the recognition of women's sexual and reproductive rights as part of their basic human rights. José Barzelatto's vision on abortion reflects his drive to promote social justice and respect individual rights, respect diversity, and promote a social consensus for a peaceful society. He believed that the fetus has moral value and did not accept abortion as a method of fertility control, but understood that abortion is a social phenomenon that cannot be changed with legal or moral condemnation. He accepted that condemning women who abort does not prevent abortion, is unfair, and causes great human suffering at a high social cost. José proposed nine points to form the basis for an overlapping consensus on abortion, on which to base a practical consensus that would allow societies to reduce the number of abortions and minimize their consequences. If we can agree on all or most of those points we would achieve the common objectives of: fewer women confronting the dilemma of how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy; fewer induced abortions; and fewer women suffering the consequences of unsafe abortion.
Girard, Françoise; Nowicka, Wanda
On 25 July 2001 the Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning organised a Tribunal on Abortion Rights in Warsaw, to publicize the negative consequences of the criminalization of abortion in Poland. A panel of Polish and foreign experts heard the testimonials of seven Polish women's experiences under the 1993 "Anti-Abortion Act". Only two of the seven women were able to tell their stories in person. One died in 2001, at the age of 21, of an unsafe abortion. One is legally blind after having carried her last pregnancy to term. One is in prison for infanticide, which in all likelihood was committed by her boyfriend. National and foreign journalists were in attendance, as well as observers from all walks of life--writers, students, mothers, activists, feminists, husbands. The evidence was clear and compelling. Restrictive abortion laws make abortion unsafe by pushing it underground, endanger women's health, create a climate where even those services that are allowed by law-become unavailable, and contravene standards set by international human rights law. The restrictive abortion law in Poland has not increased the number of births; it has only caused women and their families suffering. The Tribunal brought the issue of abortion into the media prior to an election campaign and galvanised Polish and other Eastern European women's groups to become more active in defence of abortion rights.
Aberg, Miriam; And Others
Discrimination toward men can be found in the legal definition of marriage, legal age requirements at marriage, support, child custody, unmarried fathers' rights, abortion, and cohabitation. With the increasing equality between the sexes, men will gain in their legal options of roles. (Author)
If elective abortion is publicly funded, then the government is obligated to take active measures designed to reduce its prevalence. I present two arguments for that conclusion. The first argument is directed at those pro-choice thinkers who hold that while some or all elective abortions are morally wrong, they still ought to be legally permitted and publicly subsidized. The second argument is directed at pro-choice thinkers who hold that there is nothing morally wrong with elective abortion and that it should be both legally permitted and publicly subsidized. The second argument employs premises that generalize beyond the abortion debate and that may serve to shed light on broader questions concerning conscience and the requirements of political compromise in a democracy.
Sorhaindo, Annik M; Juárez-Ramírez, Clara; Díaz Olavarrieta, Claudia; Aldaz, Evelyn; Mejía Piñeros, María Consuelo; Garcia, Sandra
Social manifestations of abortion stigma depend upon cultural, legal, and religious context. Abortion stigma in Mexico is under-researched. This study explored the sources, experiences, and consequences of stigma from the perspectives of women who had had an abortion, male partners, and members of the general population in different regional and legal contexts. We explored abortion stigma in Mexico City where abortion is legal in the first trimester and five states-Chihuahua, Chiapas, Jalisco, Oaxaca, and Yucatán-where abortion remains restricted. In each state, we conducted three focus groups-men ages 24-40 years (n = 36), women 25-40 years (n = 37), and young women ages 18-24 years (n = 27)-and four in-depth face-to-face interviews in total; two with women (n = 12) and two with the male partners of women who had had an abortion (n = 12). For 4 of the 12 women, this was their second abortion. This exploratory study suggests that abortion stigma was influenced by norms that placed a high value on motherhood and a conservative Catholic discourse. Some participants in this study described abortion as an "indelible mark" on a woman's identity and "divine punishment" as a consequence. Perspectives encountered in Mexico City often differed from the conservative postures in the states.
Puri, Mahesh; Tamang, Anand; Shrestha, Prabhakar; Joshi, Deepak
Medical abortion was introduced in Nepal in 2009, but rural women's access to medical abortion services remained limited. We conducted a district-level operations research study to assess the effectiveness of training 13 auxiliary nurse-midwives as medical abortion providers, and 120 female community health volunteers as communicators and referral agents for expanding access to medical abortion for rural women. Interviews with service providers and women who received medical abortion were undertaken and service statistics were analysed. Compared to a neighbouring district with no intervention, there was a significant increase in the intervention area in community health volunteers' knowledge of the legal conditions for abortion, the advantages and disadvantages of medical abortion, safe places for an abortion, medical abortion drugs, correct gestational age for home use of medical abortion, and carrying out a urine pregnancy test. In a one-year period in 2011-12, the community health volunteers did pregnancy tests for 584 women and referred 114 women to the auxiliary nurse-midwives for abortion; 307 women in the intervention area received medical abortion services from auxiliary nurse-midwives. There were no complications that required referral to a higher-level facility except for one incomplete abortion. Almost all women who opted for medical abortion were happy with the services provided. The study demonstrated that auxiliary nurse-midwives can independently and confidently provide medical abortion safely and effectively at the sub-health post level, and community health volunteers are effective change agents in informing women about medical abortion.
Cook, E A; Jelen, T G; Wilcox, C
Data from a 1989 CBS News/New York Times survey are used to examine the effect that the framing of questions on abortion has on estimates of what proportions of the population support various legal positions. The nationwide data and results from six state polls show that general questions with only two or three options overestimate the proportions of respondents who either favor a ban on all abortion or who would allow abortion under all circumstances. Questions that pose specific circumstances result in movement of respondents out of extreme categories and into more moderate ones. Even respondents who indicate they would favor abortion in all specific circumstances and those who favor abortion in none are likely to moderate their views when asked if they support restrictions that have been proposed in a number of states.
This paper characterizes the Mexican abortion laws using the case of a girl aged 14 years, Paulina Ramirez Jacinta, who was raped, became pregnant, and chose to terminate the unwanted pregnancy, yet was denied an abortion. This case clearly showed that Mexican abortion law, despite its legality, is highly restrictive in nature and, in a way, violated the human rights of Paulina. Even though it permits first-trimester abortion procedures for rape victims or women whose lives are endangered by the pregnancy, many pregnant women still resort to illegal abortion. To further aggravate the restrictive nature of the law, Baja California state Rep. Martin Dominguez Rocha made a proposal to eliminate the rape exception in the state's penal code. The case of Paulina will be handled by the lawyers at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in order to arrive at a settlement favorable to Paulina.
The Case Against Non-Compliance with the Fundamental Principle concerning Anencephaly, under review by the Brazilian Supreme Court, is a milestone in the debate on abortion in Latin America. Since the currently prevailing version of the Brazilian Penal Code was enacted in 1940, there has been fierce resistance to any change in the country's abortion policy. This article discusses the arguments and political strategies used in the anencephaly suit brought before the Supreme Court, particularly the ethical and legal position that interruption of pregnancy in cases of anencephaly does not constitute abortion, but should be considered a therapeutic anticipation of delivery.
Guedes, A C
Abortion is illegal in Brazil except when performed to save the woman's life or in cases of rape. This paper gives a brief history of parliamentary and extra-parliamentary efforts to change abortion-related legislation in Brazil in the past 60 years, the contents of some of the 53 bills that have been tabled in that time, the non-governmental stakeholders involved and the debate itself in recent decades. The authorities in Brazil have never assumed full public responsibility for reproductive health care or family planning, let alone legal abortion; the ambivalence of the medical profession is an important obstacle. Most politicians avoid getting involved in the abortion debate, but the majority of bills in the 1990s have favoured less restrictive legislation. Incremental legislative and health service changes could help to improve the situation for women. Advocacy is probably the most important action, to promote an environment conducive to change. Clandestine abortion is a serious public health problem in Brazil, and the inadequacy of family planning services is one of the causes of this problem. The solutions should be made a priority for the Brazilian public health system.
Sedgh, Gilda; Filippi, Veronique; Owolabi, Onikepe O; Singh, Susheela D; Askew, Ian; Bankole, Akinrinola; Benson, Janie; Rossier, Clementine; Pembe, Andrea B; Adewole, Isaac; Ganatra, Bela; MacDonagh, Sandra
Until recently, WHO operationally defined unsafe abortion as illegal abortion. In the past decade, however, the incidence of abortion by misoprostol administration has increased in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Access to safe surgical abortions has also increased in many such countries. An important effect of these trends has been that, even in an illegal environment, abortion is becoming safer, and an updated system for classifying abortion in accordance with safety is needed. Numerous factors aside from abortion method or legality should be taken into consideration in developing such a classification system. An Expert Meeting on the Definition and Measurement of Unsafe Abortion was convened in London, UK, on January 9-10, 2014, to move toward developing a classification system that both reflects current conditions and acknowledges the gradient of risk associated with abortion. The experts also discussed the types of research needed to monitor the incidence of abortion at each level of safety. These efforts are urgently needed if we are to ensure that preventing unsafe abortion is appropriately represented on the global public health agenda. Such a classification system would also motivate investment in research to accurately measure and monitor abortion incidence across categories of safety.
Diedrich, Justin; Drey, Eleanor
For decades, the induction of fetal demise has been used before both surgical and medical second-trimester abortion. Intracardiac potassium chloride and intrafetal or intra-amniotic digoxin injections are the pharmacologic agents used most often to induce fetal demise. In the last several years, induction of fetal demise has become more common before second-trimester abortion. The only randomized, placebo-controlled trial of induced fetal demise before surgical abortion used a 1 mg injection of intra-amniotic digoxin before surgical abortion at 20-23 weeks' gestation and found no difference in procedure duration, difficulty, estimated blood loss, pain scores or complications between groups. Inducing demise before induction terminations at near viable gestational ages to avoid signs of life at delivery is practiced widely. The role of inducing demise before dilation and evacuation (D&E) remains unclear, except for legal considerations in the United States when an intact delivery is intended. There is a discrepancy between the one published randomized trial that used 1 mg intra-amniotic digoxin that showed no improvement in D&E outcomes and observational studies using different routes, doses and pre-abortion intervals that have made claims for its use. Additional randomized trials might provide clearer evidence upon which to make further recommendations about any role of inducing demise before surgical abortion. At the current time, the Society of Family Planning recommends that pharmacokinetic studies followed by randomized controlled trials be conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of feticidal agents to improve abortion safety.
Latin America is undergoing profound social, economic, political, demographic, and epidemiologic change. Reproductive health indicators have generally improved over the past two decades, but most pregnancies are still unintended and more than 4 million are terminated annually. Clandestine abortions necessitated by restrictive legal and social structures cause more than 1,000 deaths and 500,000 hospitalizations per year, primarily among poor and marginalized women. Abortions are becoming safer and less frequent, however, as a consequence of increased modern contraceptive use, misoprostol adoption, emergency contraception availability, and postabortion care provision, notwithstanding many impediments to these changes. Advocacy and conflict over abortion have grown. The contested policy shifts include Mexico City's 2007 legalization of first-trimester abortion. Drawing on numerous sources of evidence, this article provides a regional analysis of the rapidly changing practice and context of abortion in Latin America, and examines emerging issues, legal and policy developments, and contrasting country situations.
This article empirically assesses whether age-restricted access to abortion and the birth control pill influence minors' fertility in the United States. There is not a strong consensus in previous literature regarding the relationship between laws restricting minors' access to abortion and minors' birth rates. This is the first study to recognize that state laws in place prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision enabled minors to legally consent to surgical treatment-including abortion-in some states but not in others, and to construct abortion access variables reflecting this. In this article, age-specific policy variables measure either a minor's legal ability to obtain an abortion or to obtain the birth control pill without parental involvement. I find fairly strong evidence that young women's birth rates dropped as a result of abortion access as well as evidence that birth control pill access led to a drop in birth rates among whites.
This piece describes abortion practices in use from the 1600s to the 19th century among the inhabitants of North America. The abortive techniques of women from different ethnic and racial groups as found in historical literature are revealed. Thus, the point is made that abortion is not simply a "now issue" that effects select women. Instead, it is demonstrated that it is a widespread practice as solidly rooted in our past as it is in the present.
Coast, Ernestina; Murray, Susan F
Unsafe abortion is a significant but preventable cause of global maternal mortality and morbidity. Zambia has among the most liberal abortion laws in sub-Saharan Africa, however this alone does not guarantee access to safe abortion, and 30% of maternal mortality is attributable to unsafe procedures. Too little is known about the pathways women take to reach abortion services in such resource-poor settings, or what informs care-seeking behaviours, barriers and delays. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted in 2013 with 112 women who accessed abortion-related care in a Lusaka tertiary government hospital at some point in their pathway. The sample included women seeking safe abortion and also those receiving hospital care following unsafe abortion. We identified a typology of three care-seeking trajectories that ended in the use of hospital services: clinical abortion induced in hospital; clinical abortion initiated elsewhere, with post-abortion care in hospital; and non-clinical abortion initiated elsewhere, with post-abortion care in hospital. Framework analyses of 70 transcripts showed that trajectories to a termination of an unwanted pregnancy can be complex and iterative. Individuals may navigate private and public formal healthcare systems and consult unqualified providers, often trying multiple strategies. We found four major influences on which trajectory a woman followed, as well as the complexity and timing of her trajectory: i) the advice of trusted others ii) perceptions of risk iii) delays in care-seeking and receipt of services and iv) economic cost. Even though abortion is legal in Zambia, girls and women still take significant risks to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Levels of awareness about the legality of abortion and its provision remain low even in urban Zambia, especially among adolescents. Unofficial payments required by some providers can be a major barrier to safe care. Timely access to safe abortion services depends on chance rather
Lahey, Joanna N.
Using nineteenth century legal information combined with census information, I examine the effect of state laws that restricted American women's access to abortion on the ratio of children to women. I estimate an increase in the birthrate of 4 % to 12 % when abortion is restricted. In the absence of anti-abortion laws, fertility would have been 5 % to 12 % lower in the early twentieth century. PMID:24691632
Oye-Adeniran, Boniface A; Long, Carolyn M; Adewole, Isaac F
Safe abortion services are only legal in Nigeria to save the life of the woman. Widespread incidence of unsafe induced abortions often results in death or irreparable harm to women. The Campaign Against Unwanted Pregnancy (CAUP) was launched on 17 August 1991 to address this public health crisis through advocacy for reform of the abortion law, research, education and preparation of service providers, and development of a constituency to support provision of safe abortion to the full extent of the law. CAUP commissioned an evaluation in 2004 to examine and analyse the work of the campaign during its 14 years of existence, which included a review of documents, a participatory learning workshop with CAUP, and almost 50 interviews with different stakeholders. This article, adapted from the evaluation report, tells how CAUP took a taboo topic and, in the midst of an extremely complex political and cultural environment, made it a legitimate subject for public discussion and debate. The Campaign undertook groundbreaking research on abortion in Nigeria. Service providers are being trained to provide, to the full extent of the law, safe abortions and post-abortion care, and advocacy efforts are continuing to lay the groundwork for improving the abortion law.
Rao, Kamini A; Faúndes, Anibal
The World Health Organization defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unintended pregnancy carried out by people lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both. The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development recommends that 'In circumstances where abortion is not against the law, such abortion should be safe'. However, millions of women still risk their lives by undergoing unsafe abortion even if they comply with the law. This is a serious violation of women's human rights, and obstetricians and gynaecologists have a fundamental role in breaking the administrative and procedural barriers to safe abortion. This chapter reviews the magnitude of the problem, its consequences for women's health, the barriers to access to safe abortion, including its legal status, the effect of the law on the rate and the consequences of abortion, the human rights implications and the current evidence on methods to perform safe abortion. This chapter concludes with an analysis of what can be done to change the current situation.
Costa, S H
In Brazil, abortion is only permitted to save the woman's life or in cases of rape. The principal effect of legal restrictions is not to make induced abortion practice less prevalent but to force poor women to resort to abortions performed under unhygienic conditions or attempt self-induced abortion. Within this context, misoprostol, a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin E1, was introduced in the country in 1986. Purchased over the counter in pharmacies, misoprostol has became a popular abortifacient method among Brazilian women. By 1990, about 70% of women hospitalized with abortion-related diagnoses reported use of the drug. In 1991, the Ministry of Health restricted the sale of misoprostol, and in some states its use was totally banned. While the proportion of abortions induced with misoprostol has decreased, the drug continues to be sold on the black market at an inflated value. Research indicates that women have acquired more experience with the drug over time, resulting in lower doses and more effective administration. Several studies show that the rate and severity of complications are significantly less among women who used misoprostol compared with women who used invasive methods. Research also suggests that about half of the women have complete abortion with misoprostol, but seek medical care as soon as they have vaginal bleeding. The experience of Brazilian women with misoprostol is an example of how women when faced with unwanted pregnancy will resort to illegal abortion whatever the costs are to their health.
Uerling, Donald F.
Abortion is one of the most controversial and contentious issues of our time. Few topics generate as much public debate or leave as little room for political compromise. This article presents a discussion of selected United States Supreme Court decisions on abortion and the legal reasoning supporting those decisions. It should be noted initially…
Lemkau, J P
Without ambivalence, psychotherapy would be unnecessary; however there is a great deal of ambivalence about abortion so it is a therapy issue. In our society abortion decision are made in an ambivalent environment. Even when a woman makes a free decision to have a legal abortion, an emotional sequelae can ensue. This article reviews literature and relates professional experience about the psychological problems and treatment of women before and after having an abortion. A feeling of relief is the typical reaction to an abortion for the woman. The issues involved in the decision process are the woman's own health and happiness as well as that of her future family. The issues include medical and interpersonal ones and often present a moral crisis. Issues such as education, occupation, and relationships must be considered. Three major types of reactions seem to follow an abortion. The 1st is a positive feeling of happiness and relief. The 2nd and 3rd are negative, one being socially based guilt and the other being individually based guilt. Identifying abortion related issues in psychotherapy is not always easy, since they are no usually directly presented to the therapist. They often manifest themselves as symptoms of other problems. Research suggests that unmarried young women without children have a harder time resolving all the issues involved in making an abortion decision. One effective method of discovering emotional problems is to determine the reasons for delaying an abortion. If a woman is having problems making the decision is must be for an important reason. Just as important is the aftermath of the abortion. Attempts should be made to discover as much information about the procedure itself, the recovery time and any repercussions of the procedure. Neither research nor clinical experience has shown that abortion related psychotherapy is different than other forms of treatment. Griefwork, educational approaches, reviews of the decision making process and
Albar, Mohammed A.
Background: Induced Abortion for social reasons is spreading all over the world. It is estimated that globally 50 million unborn babies are killed annually, resulting in the deaths of 200,000 pregnant women and the suffering of millions. The complications of illegal abortion are very serious. Abortion is still used in many countries as a means of family planning. The medical reasons for abortion are limited and con-sti-tute a small proportion of all abortion cases. This paper discusses the different views on abortion, its history, its evolution over time, and the present legal circumstances. The emphasis is on the situation in Islamic countries and the effect of Islamic Fatwas on abortion. PMID:23008648
Mabry, H P
3 papers giving the Hindu, Catholic and Protestant views on abortion, presented at a seminar for physicians at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, January 1972, are summarized. S. THANDAVESWARA stated that the traditional Hindu position, based on the ethical code, Dharma Shastras, prohibits abortion because the practice could prevent rebirth of a specific human life that is in the process of becoming liberated (moksa). Yet an institution, the Parishads, exists to reconsider such matters, and if its membership were not committed to conservative priorities, it could conceivably approve of abortion for the mothers' physical or mental health if she freely chose an abortion. O. DIJKSTRA stated the traditional Catholic view that "direct" abortion is always murder, but "indirect" abortion may be allowed as in removing a cancerous pregnant uterus. He expanded on the phenomenologic interpretation of some liberal theologians, whose views are not yet accepted officially, that the human self emerges irreversibily at nidation, before which abortion could be permitted. The author gave a Protestant position based on Biblical and sociologic sources. He disputed the Catholic's view that human life begins at nidation, and maintained that mere life is only one value to be weighed against love and justice for the fetus, mother, family and society. Love and justice require a choice of contraceptives, safe abortion for all economic classes, safe gestation for future pregnancies, and a resonable hope for a good life for the fetus, its family and society.
Goldman, Lisa A; García, Sandra G; Díaz, Juan; Yam, Eileen A
Background Abortion laws are extremely restrictive in Brazil. The knowledge, opinions of abortion laws, and abortion practices of obstetrician-gynecologists can have a significant impact on women's access to safe abortion. Methods We conducted a mail-in survey with a 10% random sample of obstetrician-gynecologists affiliated with the Brazilian Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We documented participants' experiences performing abortion under a range of legal and illegal circumstances, and asked about which abortion techniques they had experience with. We used chi-square tests and crude logistic regression models to determine which sociodemographic, knowledge-related, or practice-related variables were associated with physician opinion. Results Of the 1,500 questionnaires that we mailed out, we received responses from 572 (38%). Less than half (48%) of the respondents reported accurate knowledge about abortion law and 77% thought that the law should be more liberal. One-third of respondents reported having previous experience performing an abortion, and very few of these physicians reported having experience with manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) or with misoprostol with either mifepristone or methotrexate. Physicians that favored liberalization of the law were more likely to have correct knowledge about abortion law, and to be in favor of public funding for abortion services. Conclusion Brazilian obstetrician-gynecologists need more information on abortion laws and on safe, effective abortion procedures. PMID:16288647
Before 1990, abortions were highly prevalent in Eastern Europe, including Czechoslovakia. After 1990, the Czech and Slovak populations experienced a significant decrease in the abortion rate. Because both states have complete statistics on abortion and identical histories of abortion legislation, trends in abortion rates between 1988 and 2008 can be compared in detail using standard and decomposition methods. Binary logistic regression with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to identify the variables associated with changes in attitudes toward abortion between 1991 and 2008. First, a convergence in abortion rates was confirmed, although a higher abortion rate among unmarried Czech women remained in 2008. In contrast, a divergence in contraceptive practices was found; Slovaks have significantly lagged behind Czechs in the use of modern contraceptives. Differentials in attitudes toward abortion significantly increased (p < .001). Additionally, although a decline in the abortion rate was achieved without legal restrictions to access to abortions, various factors were responsible for this outcome. In the Czech Republic, improvements in family planning and increasing awareness of reproductive health have played key roles in promoting responsible sexual behavior, whereas in Slovakia, the stronger influence of the Catholic Church has contributed to the prevention of abortions.
Benson, J; Nicholson, L A; Gaffikin, L; Kinoti, S N
The Commonwealth Regional Health Community Secretariat undertook a study in 1994 to document the magnitude of abortion complications in Commonwealth member countries. The results of the literature review component of that study, and research gaps identified as a result of the review, are presented in this article. The literature review findings indicate a significant public health problem in the region, as measured by a high proportion of incomplete abortion patients among all hospital gynaecology admissions. The most common complications of unsafe abortion seen at health facilities were haemorrhage and sepsis. Studies on the use of manual vacuum aspiration for treating abortion complications found shorter lengths of hospital stay (and thus, lower resource costs) and a reduced need for a repeat evacuation. Very few articles focused exclusively on the cost of treating abortion complications, but authors agreed that it consumes a disproportionate amount of hospital resources. Studies on the role of men in supporting a woman's decision to abort or use contraception were similarly lacking. Articles on contraceptive behaviour and abortion reported that almost all patients suffering from abortion complications had not used an effective, or any, method of contraception prior to becoming pregnant, especially among the adolescent population; studies on post-abortion contraception are virtually nonexistent. Almost all articles on the legal aspect of abortion recommended law reform to reflect a public health, rather than a criminal, orientation. Research needs that were identified include: community-based epidemiological studies; operations research on decentralization of post-abortion care and integration of treatment with post-abortion family planning services; studies on system-wide resource use for treatment of incomplete abortion; qualitative research on the role of males in the decision to terminate pregnancy and use contraception; clinical studies on pain control
The World Health Organization estimates that almost half a million women in developing countries die in pregnancy and childbirth every year. Unsafe induced abortion is responsible for perhaps one-quarter of these deaths. In this article, the author reviews the legal, medical, and social contexts in which women in developing countries resort to clandestine abortion. Despite intensified international concern with reducing high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, national policy makers and participants at international conferences on maternal health--with a few important exceptions--have not recommended that safe, legal services for terminating unwanted pregnancies be offered as an essential element of basic reproductive health care. United States international policy on funding abortion-related activities in maternal health and family planning programs is especially restrictive. A new policy approach is clearly needed if unacceptably high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in many countries are to be reduced.
Smith, Stephanie Samantha
Botswana's national healthcare system has experienced substantial investment as a result of a growing economy and stable government, and improvements in quality and access are notable. Despite these advances, women's reproductive health continues to suffer as a result of unsafe abortion. The personal, financial, and health costs of women seeking dangerous illegal terminations, or crossing national borders to procure a legal abortion, are evident. Twenty-one in-depth, qualitative interviews with Batswana were conducted to gain some insight into the factors which make terminating an unwanted pregnancy difficult in Botswana. This small study demonstrates that there are important socio-cultural constraints, in addition to the legal barriers, that make abortion problematic. These constraints are entrenched in the wider issue of women's rights and status in society.
Gilmartin, Mary; White, Allen
Medical tourism in Ireland, like in many Western states, is built around assumptions about individual agency, choice, possibility, and mobility. One specific form of medical tourism—the flow of women from Ireland traveling in order to secure an abortion—disrupts and contradicts these assumptions. One legacy of the bitter, contentious political and legal battles surrounding abortion in Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s has been securing the right of mobility for all pregnant Irish citizens to cross international borders to secure an abortion. However, these mobility rights are contingent upon nationality, social class, and race, and they have enabled successive Irish governments to avoid any responsibility for providing safe, legal, and affordable abortion services in Ireland. Nearly twenty years after the X case discussed here, the pregnant female body moving over international borders—entering and leaving the state—is still interpreted as problematic and threatening to the Irish state.
Assifi, Anisa R.; Berger, Blair; Tunçalp, Özge; Khosla, Rajat; Ganatra, Bela
Background Incorrect knowledge of laws may affect how women enter the health system or seek services, and it likely contributes to the disconnect between official laws and practical applications of the laws that influence women’s access to safe, legal abortion services. Objective To provide a synthesis of evidence of women’s awareness and knowledge of the legal status of abortion in their country, and the accuracy of women’s knowledge on specific legal grounds and restrictions outlined in a country’s abortion law. Methods A systematic search was carried for articles published between 1980–2015. Quantitative, mixed-method data collection, and objectives related to women’s awareness or knowledge of the abortion law was included. Full texts were assessed, and data extraction done by a single reviewer. Final inclusion for analysis was assessed by two reviewers. The results were synthesised into tables, using narrative synthesis. Results Of the original 3,126 articles, and 16 hand searched citations, 24 studies were included for analysis. Women’s correct general awareness and knowledge of the legal status was less than 50% in nine studies. In six studies, knowledge of legalization/liberalisation ranged between 32.3% - 68.2%. Correct knowledge of abortion on the grounds of rape ranged from 12.8% – 98%, while in the case of incest, ranged from 9.8% - 64.5%. Abortion on the grounds of fetal impairment and gestational limits, varied widely from 7% - 94% and 0% - 89.5% respectively. Conclusion This systematic review synthesizes literature on women’s awareness and knowledge of the abortion law in their own context. The findings show that correct general awareness and knowledge of the abortion law and legal grounds and restrictions amongst women was limited, even in countries where the laws were liberal. Thus, interventions to disseminate accurate information on the legal context are necessary. PMID:27010629
This article draws on legal arguments made by civil society organisations to challenge the legal reasoning that apparently produced the decision in the Ms Y case in Ireland in August 2014. I show how legal standards of reasonableness and practicality ought to be interpreted in ways that are respectful of the patient's wishes and rights. The case concerned a decision by the Health Service Executive, the Irish public health authority, to refuse an abortion to a pregnant asylum seeker and rape survivor on the grounds that a caesarean section and early live delivery were practicable and reasonable alternatives justified by the need to protect fetal life. I argue that the abortion refusal may not have been a reasonable decision, as required by the terms of relevant legislation, for four different reasons. First, the alternative of a caesarean section and early live delivery was not likely to avert the risk of suicide, and in fact did not do so. Second, the consent to the caesarean section alternative may not have been a real consent in the legal sense if it was not voluntary. Third, an abortion refusal and forcible treatment fall below the norms of good medical practice as interpreted through a patient-centred perspective. Fourth, an abortion refusal that entails forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment ought not to be a reasonable action under the legislation.
Mariutti, Mariana Gondim; de Almeida, Ana Maria; Panobianco, Marislei Sanches
This qualitative study aimed to understand how women having an abortion experience the nursing care they receive. The statements of 13 hospitalized women were analyzed through content analysis. The central category "Nursing care experienced in situations of abortion" was constituted from 4 subcategories: care centered in physical needs; fear of judgment in abortion situations; legal aspects defining care; the need for support in abortion situations. These women identified nursing care as based on physical aspects, without contemplating their individuality and specificities. Results indicated the need to create an environment that stimulates listening, helping these women to elaborate their feelings and allowing professionals to behave closer to these women's reality, in order to reduce their own desires and conflicts and contemplate the integrality of care.
Kalonda, J C Omba
The sexual violence's committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are from their scales and consequences on women, real public health, politico-legal, and socio-economical challenges. More than a million of women have been victims of sexual violence on a period of less than fifteen years. Systematic rapes of women were used as war weapon by different groups involved in the Congolese war. Sexual violence against women has impacted public health by spreading sexually transmissible diseases including HIV/AIDS, causing unwanted pregnancies, leading to the gynaecological complications of rape-related injuries, and inflicting psychological trauma on the victims. Despite high level of unwanted pregnancies observed, the Congolese law is very restrictive and interdict induced abortion. This paper presents three arguments which plead in favour of legalizing abortion in DRC: 1) a restrictive law on abortion forces women to use unsafe abortion and increase incidence of injuries and maternal mortality ; 2) DRC has ratified the universal Declaration of human rights, the African union charter, and has than to promote equality between sexes, in this is included women reproductive rights; 3) an unwanted birth is an additional financial charge for a woman, a factor increasing poverty and psychologically unacceptable in case of rape. From the politico-legal point of view, ending rape impunity and decriminalizing abortion are recommended. Decriminalizing abortion give women choice and save victims and pregnant women from risks related to the pregnancy, a childbirth, or an eventual unsafe abortion. These risks increase the maternal mortality already high in DRC (between 950 and 3000 for 100000 live births).
Bloche, M Gregg
In this article, I explore this failure [of the therapeutic exception as a compromise device in federal abortion counseling regulations] with an eye toward its broader lessons about the social uses of medical discretion and the difficulty of achieving an abortion compromise in America. I begin by examining the legal underpinning beneath the widespread belief that the "gag rule" imposed a near-absolute ban on discussion of the abortion option. This conventional wisdom, I conclude, collapses on careful inspection. It fails utterly to account for the strong support to be found in the Title X regulations and their larger legal context for a therapeutic exception unconstrained by administrative or judicial definition. Next, I observe that this legal unboundedness would have empowered Title X clinic physicians (and perhaps others who do counseling) to exercise broad discretion over abortion access, under the rubric of medical indication.... By so doing, however, physicians would have become abortion gatekeepers. This would have raised difficult ethical and clinical questions about the extent to which medical judgment should be allowed to incorporate (and shield) socially-disputed moral choices. I briefly consider some of these questions, along with the countervailing appeal of preserving a measure of intimate freedom under medical cover. I then conclude by positing some connections between the moral infirmities of medical gatekeeping and the political failure of the therapeutic exception. I suggest, in essence, that this failure was ensured by a strong resonance between the exception's moral infirmities and the fears of the medical leaders, pro-choice activists, and abortion opponents who framed the public debate over the "gag rule." The potential breadth of the therapeutic exception went unrecognized and unexplored because professional and popular understanding of the abortion counseling regulations was molded by the activists who framed the debate...
Dalton, Vanessa K; Xu, Xiao; Mullan, Patricia; Danso, Kwabena A; Kwawukume, Yao; Gyan, Kofi; Johnson, Timothy R B
Maternal mortality remains a huge problem in the developing world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.1 According to the World Health Organization, efforts intended to decrease maternal deaths need to recognize and address unsafe abortions as a significant contributor to the high rates of maternal mortality found in developing countries.2,3 In Africa, where abortions are highly restricted, 680 women die per 100,000 abortions, compared with 0.2-1.2 women per 100,000 in developed countries, where most abortions are legal.4.
In the US, 10.2% of legal abortions are performed at 13-20 weeks and an additional 1% occur at 21 weeks gestation or beyond. These second-trimester abortions account for about 140,000 procedures per year. Dilatation and evacuation; instillation of saline, urea, or medication into the amniotic cavity; and intravenous prostaglandin administration are the approaches available for these procedures. At present, intravaginal prostaglandin E is the most commonly used mid-trimester abortion method; new research suggests that intravaginal misoprostol may confer advantages. Since teenagers are the population group most likely to delay abortion until the second trimester, priority should be given to making abortion services more accessible and removing requirements such as parental consent. Most beneficial would be a preventive approach that decreases the number of unintended pregnancies among adolescents through school-based sex education programs and access to free, effective contraceptive methods. Problematic is the reluctance on the part of many obstetricians and gynecologists to perform abortions due to a lack of technical training or moral objections. These practitioners should be mandated to fulfill their obligation to meet the needs of their patients, regardless of their personal views on the abortion issues.
Smit, I; Bitzer, E M; Boshoff, E L D; Steyn, D W
The high morbidity and mortality rate due to illegal abortions in South Africa necessitated the implementation of abortion legislation in February 1997. Abortion legislation stipulates that registered nurses who had undergone the proposed abortion care training--certified nurses--may carry out abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Currently it seems that an inadequate number of nurses are being trained in the Western Cape to provide pregnant women with counselling, to perform abortions and/or refer problem cases. No real attempts have since been made by higher education institutions in the Western Cape to offer abortion care training for nurses. This case study explores the situation of certified nurses and the context in which they provide abortion care in different regions of the Western Cape. The sampling included a random, stratified (non-proportional) number of designated state health care facilities in the Western Cape, a non-probability purposive sampling of nurses who provided abortion care, a non-probability convenience sample of women who had received abortion care, and a non-probability purposive sampling of final-year pre-registration nursing students. Data was generated by means of questionnaires, a checklist and semi-structured interviews. The main findings of this study indicate that the necessary infrastructure required for legal abortion is in place. However, the ongoing shortage of trained health care practitioners hampers abortion care services. Deficiencies were identified in the existing provincial protocol as some of the guidelines were either not in use or had become obsolete. Certified midwives who had been trained by the regional offices of the Department of Health: Western Cape were skilled in carrying out the abortion procedure, but other aspects of abortion care mainly carried out by other categories of nurses required more attention. This article suggests a training framework that should provide focus for the development of
An argument is made for applying the principles of evolutionary biology to abortion behavior, based on the idea that long-lasting behavior (including ethical behavior) has a positive selective value which theoretically can be translated into population numbers. The approach verges on utilitarianism; it is argued that such an approach could reduce or avoid the emotionality and subjectivity of arguments for and against induced abortion. Actual application of evolutionary biology principles is limited by the rudimentary present state of behavioral science.
Walker, Ruth; van Zyl, Liezl
A diagnosis of fetal abnormality presents parents with a difficult - even tragic - moral dilemma. Where this diagnosis is made in the context of surrogate motherhood there is an added difficulty, namely that it is not obvious who should be involved in making decisions about abortion, for the person who would normally have the right to decide - the pregnant woman - does not intend to raise the child. This raises the question: To what extent, if at all, should the intended parents be involved in decision-making? In commercial surrogacy it is thought that as part of the contractual agreement the intended parents acquire the right to make this decision. By contrast, in altruistic surrogacy the pregnant woman retains the right to make these decisions, but the intended parents are free to decide not to adopt the child. We argue that both these strategies are morally unsound, and that the problems encountered serve to highlight more fundamental defects within the commercial and altruistic models, as well as in the legal and institutional frameworks that support them. We argue in favour of the professional model, which acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of both parties and provides a legal and institutional framework that supports good decision-making. In particular, the professional model acknowledges the surrogate's right to decide whether to undergo an abortion, and the intended parents' obligation to accept legal custody of the child. While not solving all the problems that arise in surrogacy, the model provides a framework that supports good decision-making.
Heino, Anna; Gissler, Mika; Apter, Dan; Fiala, Christian
The issue of conscientious objection (CO) arises in healthcare when doctors and nurses refuse to have any involvement in the provision of treatment of certain patients due to their religious or moral beliefs. Most commonly CO is invoked when it comes to induced abortion. Of the EU member states where induced abortion is legal, invoking CO is granted by law in 21 countries. The same applies to the non-EU countries Norway and Switzerland. CO is not legally granted in the EU member states Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. The Icelandic legislation provides no right to CO either. European examples prove that the recommendation that CO should not prevent women from accessing services fails in a number of cases. CO puts women in an unequal position depending on their place of residence, socio-economic status and income. CO should not be presented as a question that relates only to health professionals and their rights. CO mainly concerns women as it has very real consequences for their reproductive health and rights. European countries should assess the laws governing CO and its effects on women's rights. CO should not be used as a subtle method for limiting the legal right to healthcare.
Jones, Emma L; Pemberton, Neil
This article addresses the social, cultural, and political history of backstreet abortion in post-war Britain, focusing on the murders of Beryl Evans and her daughter Geraldine, at Ten Rillington Place in 1949. It shows how the commonplace connection of John Christie to abortion and Beryl Evan's death was not a given in the wider public, legal, political, and forensic imagination of the time, reflecting the multi-layered and shifting meanings of abortion from the date of the original trials in the late 1940s and 1950s, through the subsequent judicial and literary reinvestigations of the case in the 1960s, to its cinematic interpretation in the 1970s. Exploring the language of abortion used in these different contexts, the article reveals changes in the gendering of abortionists, the increasing power and presence of abortion activists and other social reformers, the changing representation of working-class women and men, and the increasing critique of the practice of backstreet abortion. The case is also made for a kind of societal blind spot on abortion at the time of both the Evans and Christie trials; in particular, a reluctance to come to terms with the concept of the male abortionist, which distorted the criminal investigations and the trials themselves. Only when public acceptance for legalizing abortion grew in the more liberal climate of the 1960s and beyond did a revisionist understanding of the murder of Beryl Evans, in which abortion came to be positioned as a central element, gain a sustained hearing.
Sumner, L W
This essay offers a moderate view of abortion that imposes a time limit for unrestricted abortion and specific indications for later abortions. The introduction notes that the discussion will provide a defense for this policy based on a moral analysis but that other options for moderates, especially options provided by freestanding views (the defense of which does not rest on any prior commitment about the morality of abortion), will also be considered. The next section considers the moral status of the fetus grounded in a criterion of moral standing that stipulates the necessary characteristics to achieve moral standing. This discussion concludes that a fetus acquires moral standing only when it becomes sentient. Section 3 moves the argument from ethics to politics to prove that a moderate policy must place no limitations on abortion before the time the fetus becomes sentient because before that time the fetus has no interest for the state to protect. The final section notes that some pro-choice advocates may be happier with the moderate policy proposed than with its controversial defense based on the moral status of the fetus and that another defense of a moderate policy could be based on a finding that the ethical issue can not be decided and that no view about abortion ethics is more reasonable than any other. The essay concludes that the ethical debate is ultimately unavoidable.
Yegon, Erick Kiprotich; Kabanya, Peter Mwaniki; Echoka, Elizabeth; Osur, Joachim
Introduction The rate of unsafe abortions in Kenya has increased from 32 per 1000 women of reproductive age in 2002 to 48 per 1000 women in 2012. This is one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2010, Kenya changed its Constitution to include a more enabling provision regarding the provision of abortion services. Abortion-related stigma has been identified as a key driver in silencing women's ability to reproductive choice leading to seeking to unsafe abortion. We sought to explore abortion-related stigma at the community level as a barrier to women realizing their rights to a safe, legal abortion and compare manifestations of abortion stigma at two communities from regions with high and low incidence of unsafe abortion. Methods A qualitative study using 26 focus group discussions with general community members in Machakos and Trans Nzoia Counties. We used thematic and content analysis to analyze and compare community member's responses regarding abortion-related stigma. Results Although abortion is recognized as being very common within communities, community members expressed various ways that stigmatize women seeking an abortion. This included being labeled as killers and are perceived to be a bad influence for women especially young women. Women reported that they were poorly treated by health providers in health facilities for seeking abortion especially young unmarried women. Institutionalization of stigma especially when Ministry of Health withdrew of standards and guidelines only heightened how stigma presents at the facilities and drives women seeking an abortion to traditional birth attendants who offer unsafe abortions leading to increased morbidity and mortality as a result of abortion-related complications. Conclusion Community members located in counties in regions with high incidence of unsafe abortion also reported higher levels of how they would stigmatize a woman seeking an abortion compared to community members from counties in low incidence
Background Internet surveys that draw from traditionally generated samples provide the unique conditions to engage adolescents in exploration of sensitive health topics. Methods We examined awareness of unwanted pregnancy, abortion behaviour, methods, and attitudes toward specific legal indications for abortion via a school-based internet survey among 378 adolescents aged 12–21 years in three Rio de Janeiro public schools. Results Forty-five percent knew peers who had undergone an abortion. Most students (66.0%) did not disclose abortion method knowledge. However, girls (aOR 4.2, 95% CI 2.4-7.2), those who had experienced their sexual debut (aOR1.76, 95% CI 1.1-3.0), and those attending a prestigious magnet school (aOR 2.7 95% CI 1.4-6.3) were more likely to report methods. Most abortion methods (79.3%) reported were ineffective, obsolete, and/or unsafe. Herbs (e.g. marijuana tea), over-the-counter medications, surgical procedures, foreign objects and blunt trauma were reported. Most techniques (85.2%) were perceived to be dangerous, including methods recommended by the World Health Organization. A majority (61.4%) supported Brazil’s existing law permitting abortion in the case of rape. There was no association between gender, age, sexual debut, parental education or socioeconomic status and attitudes toward legal abortion. However, students at the magnet school supported twice as many legal indications (2.7, SE.27) suggesting a likely role of peers and/or educators in shaping abortion views. Conclusions Abortion knowledge and attitudes are not driven simply by age, religion or class, but rather a complex interplay that includes both social spaces and gender. Prevention of abortion morbidity and mortality among adolescents requires comprehensive sexuality and reproductive health education that includes factual distinctions between safe and unsafe abortion methods. PMID:24521075
Swanson, Kara W
This article analyzes the comparative history of the law and practice of abortion and assisted reproduction in the United States to consider the interplay between medical paternalism and legal paternalism. It supplements existing critiques of paternalism as harmful to women's equality with the medical perspective, as revealed through the writings of Alan F. Guttmacher, to consider when legal regulation might be warranted.
Cohen, Libby G.
Legal rights of the fetus and selective abortion are the major focus of a review of legal cases and educational literature concerning fetuses that may be handicapped or have the potential to be handicapped at birth. Related issues include parental immunity, protection of an unborn child, and quality of life. (Author/JW)
de Souza e Silva, Rebeca; Andreoni, Solange
The scope of this study was to evaluate the association between having had an induced abortion and marital status (being single or legally married) in women residing in the city of São Paulo. This analysis is derived from a broader population survey on abortion conducted in 2008. In this study we focus on the subset of 389 single and legally married women between 15 and 49 years of age. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between induced abortion and being single or married, monitoring age, education, income, number of live births, contraceptive use and acceptance of the practice of abortion. Being single was the only characteristic associated with having had an induced abortion, in other words, when faced with a pregnancy single women were four times more likely to have an abortion than married women (OR=3.9; p=0.009).
Borges, Ana Luiza Vilela
Contraceptive counseling and the supply of contraceptive methods are part of post-abortion care and positively influence the subsequent use of contraceptive methods. Studies showing such evidence have been conducted predominantly in countries with no legal restrictions on abortion and with adequate care for women that terminate a pregnancy. However, little is known about contraceptive practices in contexts where abortion is illegal, as in Brazil, in which post-abortion contraceptive care is inadequate. The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of contraceptive care on male condom use and oral and injectable contraceptives in the six months post-abortion, considering reproductive intention. The results showed that contraceptive care only has a positive effect on the use of oral contraceptives in the first six months post-abortion, as long as the woman had a medical consultation in the same month in which she received information on contraception. One or the other intervention alone had no significant impact.
Sommer, Matthew H
In late imperial China, a number of purported methods of abortion were known; but who actually attempted abortion and under what circumstances? Some historians have suggested that abortion was used for routine birth control, which presupposes that known methods were safe, reliable, and readily available. This paper challenges the qualitative evidence on which those historians have relied, and presents new evidence from Qing legal sources and modern medical reports to argue that traditional methods of abortion (the most common being abortifacient drugs) were dangerous, unreliable, and often cost a great deal of money. Therefore, abortion in practice was an emergency intervention in a crisis: either a medical crisis, in which pregnancy threatened a woman's health, or a social crisis, in which pregnancy threatened to expose a woman's extramarital sexual relations. Moreover, abortion was not necessarily available even to women who wanted one.
Daling, J R; Weiss, N S; Voigt, L; Spadoni, L R; Soderstrom, R; Moore, D E; Stadel, B V
One hundred twenty-seven women who had been given diagnoses of tubal infertility between 1979 and 1981 in King County, Washington, yet previously had been pregnant, were interviewed to determine their prior history of legally induced abortion. Their responses were compared with those of 395 women who conceived a child at the same time the infertile women began their unsuccessful attempt to become pregnant. In making the comparison, we adjusted for the effects of variables that in this population were related both to having an induced abortion and to the occurrence of infertility, i.e., age, number of prior pregnancies, number of sexual partners, cigarette smoking habits, Dalkon Shield (A. H. Robins Company, Richmond, VA) use, and whether the woman worked outside the home. The risk of tubal infertility in women who had had an induced abortion was not increased above that of other women (relative risk, 1.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.70 to 1.89). For women with two or more abortions, the relative risk was 1.29 (95% confidence interval, 0.39 to 4.20). When only the most recent pregnancy was considered, the relative risk was 1.19 (95% confidence interval, 0.72 to 1.97). Our results suggest that legal abortion, as performed during the past decade in the United States, does not carry an excess risk for future tubal infertility.
The provision of the Irish Constitution that guarantees "the unborn" a right to life equal to that of a pregnant woman has consequences for access to abortion and the care of women in pregnancy generally. Long-awaited legislation to give effect to the narrow constitutional right to abortion was enacted into law in 2013. In 2014, a guidance document for health professionals' implementation of the legislation was published. However, the legislation and guidance document fall far short of international human rights bodies' recommendations: they fail to deliver effective procedural rights to all of the women eligible for lawful abortion within the state and create new legal barriers to women's reproductive rights. At the same time, cases continue to highlight that the Irish Constitution imposes an unethical and rights-violating legal regime in non-abortion-related contexts. Recent developments suggest that both the failure to put guidelines in place and the development of guidelines that are not centered on women or based on rights further reduce women's access to rights and set unacceptable limitations on women's reproductive autonomy. Nevertheless, public and parliamentary scrutiny of cases involving Ireland's abortion laws is increasingly focusing on the need for reform.
Boundary work refers to the strategies deployed by professionals in the arenas of the public, the law and the workplace to define and defend jurisdictional authority. Little attention has been directed to the role of documents in negotiating professional claims. While boundary work over induced abortion has been extensively documented, few studies have examined jurisdictional disputes over the treatment of abortion complications, or post-abortion care (PAC). This study explores how medical providers deploy medical records in boundary work over the treatment of complications of spontaneous and induced abortion in Senegal, where induced abortion is prohibited under any circumstance. Findings are based on an institutional ethnography of Senegal’s national PAC program over a period of 13 months between 2010 and 2011. Data collection methods included in-depth interviews with 36 health care professionals, observation of PAC services at three hospitals, a review of abortion records at each hospital, and a case review of illegal abortions prosecuted by the state. Findings show that health providers produce a particular account of the type of abortion treated through a series of practices such as the patient interview and the clinical exam. Providers obscure induced abortion in medical documents in three ways: the use of terminology that does not differentiate between induced and spontaneous abortion in PAC registers, the omission of data on the type of abortion altogether in PAC registers, and reporting the total number but not the type of abortions treated in hospital data transmitted to state health authorities. The obscuration of suspected induced abortion in the record permits providers to circumvent police inquiry at the hospital. PAC has been implemented in nearly 50 countries worldwide. This study demonstrates the need for additional research on how medical professionals negotiate conflicting medical and legal obligations in the daily practice of treating abortion
Boundary work refers to the strategies deployed by professionals in the arenas of the public, the law and the workplace to define and defend jurisdictional authority. Little attention has been directed to the role of documents in negotiating professional claims. While boundary work over induced abortion has been extensively documented, few studies have examined jurisdictional disputes over the treatment of abortion complications, or post-abortion care (PAC). This study explores how medical providers deploy medical records in boundary work over the treatment of complications of spontaneous and induced abortion in Senegal, where induced abortion is prohibited under any circumstance. Findings are based on an institutional ethnography of Senegal's national PAC program over a period of 13 months between 2010 and 2011. Data collection methods included in-depth interviews with 36 health care professionals, observation of PAC services at three hospitals, a review of abortion records at each hospital, and a case review of illegal abortions prosecuted by the state. Findings show that health providers produce a particular account of the type of abortion treated through a series of practices such as the patient interview and the clinical exam. Providers obscure induced abortion in medical documents in three ways: the use of terminology that does not differentiate between induced and spontaneous abortion in PAC registers, the omission of data on the type of abortion altogether in PAC registers, and reporting the total number but not the type of abortions treated in hospital data transmitted to state health authorities. The obscuration of suspected induced abortion in the record permits providers to circumvent police inquiry at the hospital. PAC has been implemented in approximately 50 countries worldwide. This study demonstrates the need for additional research on how medical professionals negotiate conflicting medical and legal obligations in the daily practice of treating
Shapiro, Gilla K
certain Islamic legal schools, emphasizing significant actors that support abortion, and being mindful of policy frames that will not be well-received in Muslim-majority countries.
Che, Yan; Liu, Xiaoting; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Linan
Abstract Oral contraceptives (OCs) following induced abortion offer a reliable method to avoid repeated abortion. However, limited data exist supporting the effective use of OCs postabortion. We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis in the present study reported immediate administration of OCs or combined OCs postabortion may reduce vaginal bleeding time and amount, shorten the menstruation recovery period, increase endometrial thickness 2 to 3 weeks after abortion, and reduce the risk of complications and unintended pregnancies. A total of 8 major authorized Chinese and English databases were screened from January 1960 to November 2014. Randomized controlled trials in which patients had undergone medical or surgical abortions were included. Chinese studies that met the inclusion criteria were divided into 3 groups: administration of OC postmedical abortion (group I; n = 1712), administration of OC postsurgical abortion (group II; n = 8788), and administration of OC in combination with traditional Chinese medicine postsurgical abortion (group III; n = 19,707). In total, 119 of 6160 publications were included in this analysis. Significant difference was observed in group I for vaginal bleeding time (P = 0.0001), the amount of vaginal bleeding (P = 0.03), and menstruation recovery period (P < 0.00001) compared with the control groups. Group II demonstrated a significant difference in vaginal bleeding time (P < 0.00001), the amount of vaginal bleeding (P = 0.0002), menstruation recovery period (P < 0.00001), and endometrial thickness at 2 (P = 0.003) and 3 (P < 0.00001) weeks postabortion compared with the control group. Similarly, a significant difference was observed in group III for reducing vaginal bleeding time (P < 0.00001) and the amount of vaginal bleeding (P < 0.00001), shortening the menstruation recovery period (P < 0.00001), and increasing endometrial thickness 2 and 3 weeks after surgical abortion (P < 0
Drogendijk, A C
Various ethical and practical aspects concerning induced abortion are discussed. Arguments against abortion can be enumerated on many levels. The unborn fetus has a worth of its own, but it also has a value for the parents and the society as a whole. Guilt feelings can occur in women who undergo induced abortion, and the possibility of complications of the operation must be taken into consideration. Abortion can also cause stress in the physician who performs it and in the partner of the abortion patient. The costs of abortion are paid by society through insurance costs. Abortion can damage the ethical conscience of the abortion patient, the physician who performs the operation, and in the society which allows it. Ethical considerations involved with abortion are also expounded. Induced abortion is a process whereby life is weighed against other considerations. Ethical conscience involves the ability to differentiate between degrees of possible communication, which would differentiate the life of the embryo from that of a retarded child, for example. Guilt feelings are rooted in ethical considerations. The capability for independent existence is the principle ethical boundary involved in determining when abortion is to be permitted. Eugenic abortion is a separate ethical consideration. A schema of practical guidelines for considerations and indications for performing abortions is presented.
This paper provides an overview of legal, religious, medical and social factors that serve to support or hinder women's access to safe abortion services in the 21 predominantly Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where one in ten pregnancies ends in abortion. Reform efforts, including progressive interpretations of Islam, have resulted in laws allowing for early abortion on request in two countries; six others permit abortion on health grounds and three more also allow abortion in cases of rape or fetal impairment. However, medical and social factors limit access to safe abortion services in all but Turkey and Tunisia. To address this situation, efforts are increasing in a few countries to introduce post-abortion care, document the magnitude of unsafe abortion and understand women's experience of unplanned pregnancy. Religious fatāwa have been issued allowing abortions in certain circumstances. An understanding of variations in Muslim beliefs and practices, and the interplay between politics, religion, history and reproductive rights is key to understanding abortion in different Muslim societies. More needs to be done to build on efforts to increase women's rights, engage community leaders, support progressive religious leaders and government officials and promote advocacy among health professionals.
Vroh, Joseph Benie Bi; Tiembre, Issaka; Attoh-Toure, Harvey; Kouadio, Daniel Ekra; Kouakou, Lucien; Coulibaly, Lazare; Kouakou, Hyacinthe Andoh; Tagliante-Saracino, Janine
The objective of this study was to examine induced abortion in Côte d'Ivoire. A nationwide cross-sectional descriptive study of induced abortion was carried out in 2007 among 3,057 women aged 15-49 years. The study showed that induced abortion is a widespread practice in Côte d'Ivoire, with a prevalence estimated at 42.5%. The women who had undergone an abortion were generally under 25, unmarried, and illiterate, and had used contraception. More than half (52.1%) of all induced abortions were performed at home by traditional abortionists or were self-induced with plants or decoctions. The main reasons for induced abortion were concern about the reaction of parents (27.7%), age (22.2%), a lack of financial resources (21.3%) and the desire of women to continue their education. More than half of the participants (55.8%) stated that they had suffered complications, which were more common after a home abortion than after a hospital abortion. Political and legal measures or reforms aimed at changing abortion laws in Côte d'Ivoire and better access to family planning are required in order to prevent or treat the social issue of induced abortion.
Medoff, Marshall H.
This study uses pooled cross-section time-series data, over the years 1982, 1992 and 2000, to estimate the impact of various restrictive abortion laws on the demand for abortion. This study complements and extends prior research by explicitly including the price of obtaining an abortion in the estimation. The empirical results show that the real…
Abortion has been a reality in women's lives since the beginning of recorded history, typically with a high risk of fatal consequences, until the last century when evolutions in the field of medicine, including techniques of safe abortion and effective methods of family planning, could have ended the need to seek unsafe abortion. The context of women's lives globally is an important but often ignored variable, increasingly recognised in evolving human rights especially related to gender and reproduction. International and regional human rights instruments are being invoked where national laws result in violations of human rights such as health and life. The individual right to conscientious objection must be respected and better understood, and is not absolute. Health professional organisations have a role to play in clarifying responsibilities consistent with national laws and respecting reproductive rights. Seeking common ground using evidence rather than polarised opinion can assist the future focus.
Hsu, Lilian M.
Abortive initiation, when first discovered, was an enigmatic phenomenon, but fully three decades hence, it has been shown to be an integral step in the transcript initiation process intimately tied to the promoter escape reaction undergone by RNA polymerase at the initiation-elongation transition. A detailed understanding of abortive initiation-promoter escape has brought within reach a full description of the transcription initiation mechanism. This enormous progress was the result of convergent biochemical, genetic, and biophysical investigations propelled by parallel advances in quantitation technology. This chapter discusses the knowledge gained through the biochemical approach and a high-resolution method that yields quantitative and qualitative information regarding abortive initiation-promoter escape at a promoter. PMID:18948204
Omideyi, Adekunbi Kehinde; Akinyemi, Akanni Ibukun; Aina, Olabisi Idowu; Adeyemi, Adebanjo Babalola; Fadeyibi, Opeyemi Abiola; Bamiwuye, Samson Olusina; Akinbami, Catherine Abiola; Anazodo, Amechi
Despite widespread awareness of and access to modern contraception, high rates of unwanted pregnancies and abortions still persist in many parts of the world, even where abortion is legally restricted. This article explores perspectives on contraception and abortion, contraceptive decision-making within relationships, and the management of unplanned pregnancies. It presents findings from an exploratory qualitative study based on 17 in-depth interviews and 6 focus group discussions conducted in 2 locations in Nigeria in 2006. The results suggest that couples do not practice contraception consistently because of perceived side effects and partner objections. Abortion is usually resorted to because pregnancy was unwanted due to incomplete educational attainment, economic hardship, immaturity, close pregnancy interval, and social stigma. Males usually have greater influence in contraceptive-decision making than females. Though induced abortion is negatively viewed in the community, it is still common, and women usually patronise quacks to obtain such services. An abortion experience can change future views and decisions towards contraception. Family planning interventions should include access to and availability of adequate family planning information. Educational campaigns should target males since they play an important role in contraceptive decision-making.
Casas, Lidia; Vivaldi, Lieta
This article examines, from a human rights perspective, the experience of women, and the practices of health care providers regarding abortion in Chile. Most abortions, as high as 100,000 a year, are obtained surreptitiously and clandestinely, and income and connections play a key role. The illegality of abortion correlates strongly with vulnerability, feelings of guilt and loneliness, fear of prosecution, physical and psychological harm, and social ostracism. Moreover, the absolute legal ban on abortion has a chilling effect on health care providers and endangers women's lives and health. Although misoprostol use has significantly helped to prevent greater harm and enhance women's agency, a ban on sales created a black market. Against this backdrop, feminists have taken action in aid of women. For instance, a feminist collective opened a telephone hotline, Linea Aborto Libre (Free Abortion Line), which has been crucial in informing women of the correct and safe use of misoprostol. Chile is at a crossroads. For the first time in 24 years, abortion law reform seems plausible, at least when the woman's life or health is at risk and in cases of rape and fetal anomalies incompatible with life. The political scenario is unfolding as we write. Congressional approval does not mean automatic enactment of a new law; a constitutional challenge is highly likely and will have to be overcome.
In Thailand abortion is against the law except in cases of risk to a woman's health or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or other sexual crimes. This paper presents an overview of the history of the abortion debate in Thailand based upon research conducted from 1997-2001 for an ethnographic and historical study. Information was taken from media reports from 1950 in the Thai and English language press, a review of parliamentary records and interviews with 10 key informants. The debate over legal reform started in 1973. A reform bill was passed in 1981 in the House of Representatives but defeated in the Senate, primarily due to the lobbying efforts of Chamlong Srimuang, the leader of a broad-based religious coalition, who has been central in the anti-reform movement since then. The current democratically elected government in Thailand offers the best hope yet for reform, though abortion remains a politically sensitive issue, sensationalized in the press to counter reform efforts. A new advocacy network has recently been formed, including a range of women's organisations, public health advocates, academics and journalists. Current proposals from governmental and medical profession bodies may make abortions available to some women, but most, who seek abortions due to socio-economic and family planning reasons, will continue to have to find abortions by whatever means they can.
Henderson, Edward M.; Nguyen, Tri X.
This paper documents some of the evolutionary steps in developing a rigorous Space Shuttle launch abort capability. The paper addresses the abort strategy during the design and development and how it evolved during Shuttle flight operations. The Space Shuttle Program made numerous adjustments in both the flight hardware and software as the knowledge of the actual flight environment grew. When failures occurred, corrections and improvements were made to avoid a reoccurrence and to provide added capability for crew survival. Finally some lessons learned are summarized for future human launch vehicle designers to consider.
Hayes, Peggy Sue
The purpose of NASA's Constellation project is to create the new generation of spacecraft for human flight to the International Space Station in low-earth orbit, the lunar surface, as well as for use in future deep-space exploration. One portion of the Constellation program was the development of the Orion crew exploration vehicle (CEV) to be used in spaceflight. The Orion spacecraft consists of a crew module, service module, space adapter and launch abort system. The crew module was designed to hold as many as six crew members. The Orion crew exploration vehicle is similar in design to the Apollo space capsules, although larger and more massive. The Flight Test Office is the responsible flight test organization for the launch abort system on the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The Flight Test Office originally proposed six tests that would demonstrate the use of the launch abort system. These flight tests were to be performed at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and were similar in nature to the Apollo Little Joe II tests performed in the 1960s. The first flight test of the launch abort system was a pad abort (PA-1), that took place on 6 May 2010 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Primary flight test objectives were to demonstrate the capability of the launch abort system to propel the crew module a safe distance away from a launch vehicle during a pad abort, to demonstrate the stability and control characteristics of the vehicle, and to determine the performance of the motors contained within the launch abort system. The focus of the PA-1 flight test was engineering development and data acquisition, not certification. In this presentation, a high level overview of the PA-1 vehicle is given, along with an overview of the Mobile Operations Facility and information on the White Sands tracking sites for radar & optics. Several lessons learned are presented, including detailed information on the lessons learned in the development of wind
Informed consent mandates for abortion providers may infringe the First Amendment's freedom of speech. On the other hand, they may reinforce the physician's duty to obtain informed consent. Courts can promote both doctrines by ensuring that compelled physician speech pertains to medical facts about abortion rather than abortion ideology and that compelled speech is truthful and not misleading.
Christian, W; Grillmaier, G
The study is an attempt to elucidate the official number of abortions on German women from the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) in the Federal Republic of Germany (BRD). These numbers are derived from the General Medical Council up to mid-1976; after this date, from the FBS; also from registered and nonregistered cases in neighboring countries. There are "hidden numbers" in these data. Fetal deaths are reliably included in the abortion statistics. Abortions performed in Holland and Great Britain are fairly reliably registered. Abortions performed elsewhere (e.g. Austria) are not reliably registered but probably not quantitatively important. Miscarriages, a non-notifiable occurrence, are included insofar as numbers were ascertainable from hospital statistics. Data from the General Medical Council show an increase of 300% in 5 years--from 1970 to 1975. The first year of liberalized legislation, 1977, 54,309 abortions are registered, increasing to 82,788 in 1979 (50%). During those latter years there is a diminishing abortion rate on German women done abroad. Hard-to-estimate figures stem from: 1) legal, but not reported abortions, 2) nonsubstantiated abortions abroad, and 3) illegal abortions. Total number of abortions in 1979 is set at 135,600 which gives the BRD the lowest abortion rate of the European countries. However, the number of illegal abortions is set by independent experts at 75,000-300,000/year. With such divergent numbers it is difficult to accurately quantify the abortion rate. It can only be measured against the number of abortions no longer performed by quacks. The abortion rate (number of abortions/1000 women of childbearing age) and abortion ratio (number of abortions/1000 live births) are compared between various European countries for the year 1977. It shows the BDR with the 2nd lowest rate after the Netherlands and 3rd lowest rate after the Netherlands and Scotland. Hungary has both the highest rate (39.2/1000) and ratio (502/1000) in this
Polish laws specify the parties responsible for lawful medical care in the availability of abortion differently than the Resolution of the Council of Europe. According to Polish regulations they include all Polish doctors while according to the Resolution, the state. Polish rules should not discriminate against anyone in connection with his religion or belief, even more so because the issue of abortion is an example of an unresolved ethical dispute. The number of lawful abortion in Poland does not exceed 1000 per year and can be carried out by only a few specialists contracted by the National Health Fund. Sufficient information and assistance should be provided to all pregnant women by the National Health Fund. The participation of all physicians in the informing process is not necessary, as evidenced by the lack of complaints to provide information on where in vitro fertilization treatment can be found - until recently only available when paid for by the individual and performed in much larger numbers than abortion. Entities performing this paid procedure made sure to provide information on their own. The rejection of the right to the conscientious objection clause by negating the right to refuse information may lead some to give up the profession or cause the termination of certain professionals on the basis of the professed worldview. Meanwhile, doctors are not allowed to be discriminated against on the basis of their conscience or religion.
Persona, marketed by Unipath, is a new method of natural family planning which has been on the market since 1996. It works by measuring the hormone levels in a woman's urine and letting her know when she is not fertile and may have sex without using a barrier method of contraception. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) found that their surveyed clients who reported using Persona had 188 abortions in 3 months and concluded that there was a need for better information and more advice for couples who plan to use the method. The other major non-NHS abortion provider, Marie Stopes International, reported similar findings, with about 60 women per month visiting their clinics for abortions after having used the method. The BPAS survey also showed that 43% of the women who had an abortion after using Persona were aged 24 years or younger even though Persona is intended for use by women aged 25-40 years in stable relationships. A similar proportion also reported having sex on days when the method told them that they were most fertile. These latter women were not asked if they used another method of contraception on fertile days. An additional 13% reported ignoring the instructions to wait for 3 natural periods after terminating pill use before beginning to use Persona.
Notably absent from the public debate on abortion in Ireland have been the voices of women who have experienced induced abortion. Interviews with six acquaintances of the author who underwent abortion identified four themes underlying women's post-abortion silence. First, women fear public condemnation and personal rejection. Second, women are concerned that any emotional ambivalence they express about the abortion experience will be misconstrued as anti-abortion sentiment. Third, women worry that speaking out about their experience would be upsetting to friends and family. Fourth, women report frustration about the lack of a suitable public forum for voicing the complexities inherent in the abortion issue. The women's perception that their experience did not fit neatly with the rhetoric of either pro- or anti-abortion groups caused them to feel alienated from a political discourse that tends to depersonalize abortion. Although none of the women regretted the abortion decision, they continued to struggle with unresolved conflicts over taking responsibility for ending some form of life. A cycle has been created in which women do not feel safe to discuss their personal experiences until a more favorable political climate exists, yet the public perception of abortion is unlikely to change until more women's voices are heard. Feminist leaders are urged to address this dilemma.
Randall, Amy E
This article examines Soviet reproductive politics after the Communist regime legalized abortion in 1955. The regime's new abortion policy did not result in an end to the condemnation of abortion in official discourse. The government instead launched an extensive campaign against abortion. Why did authorities bother legalizing the procedure if they still disapproved of it so strongly? Using archival sources, public health materials, and medical as well as popular journals to investigate the antiabortion campaign, this article argues that the Soviet government sought to regulate gender and sexuality through medical intervention and health "education" rather than prohibition and force in the post-Stalin era. It also explores how the antiabortion public health campaign produced "knowledge" not only about the procedure and its effects, but also about gender and sexuality, subjecting both women and men to new pressures and regulatory norms.
Ekmekci, Perihan Elif
Abortion is among the most widely discussed concepts of medical ethics. Since the well-known ethical theories have emerged from Western world, the position of Islamic ethics regarding main issues of medical ethics has been overlooked. Muslims constitute a considerable amount of world population. Turkish Republic is the only Muslim country ruled with secular democracy and one of the three Muslim countries where abortion is legalized. The first aim of this paper is to present discussions on abortion in Islamic ethics in the context of major ethical concepts; the legal status of the fetus, respect for life and the right not to be born. The second aim is to put forth Turkey's present legislation about abortion in the context of Islamic ethical and religious aspects.
Schulz, S; Henning, G
During a 12-year period (1960-1972) abortions represented 27.5% of stationary gynecological complications in a Leipzig women's clinic. According to demographic analyses, the law of March 9, 1972, legalizing abortion, has brought about a reduction in this rate to 9.9% and the relationship of abortions to births was reduced from 26.9% to 12.6%. The significant decrease in the number of fever complications and septic abortions (from .05 to .001%) has been particularly encouraging, and abortion mortality has reached a low of .724%. Average recuperation stay in the clinic was shortened to 4.7 days for uncomplicated abortions and 6.2 for those with complications. The average age for abortion patients has remained constantly around 27 years with average number of previous births between 1.1-1.2. Recently there has been an increase in the number of single and divorced women undergoing abortion.
Lamas, M; Bissell, S
A strong collective pro-choice mentality was recently manifested in Mexico when a legislative initiative to revoke the legal right of rape survivor to abortion in the state of Guanajuato awakened national indignation. Pro-choice values were expressed in public opinion with such force that it sparked off the passage of liberalising law reforms in Mexico City and the state of Morelos. In this paper we trace the development of these manifestations of pro-choice views, beginning with the Democratic Revolution Party's (PRD) refusal in 1999 to modify abortion legislation within the context of penal code reform, and moving through the events surrounding the Guanajuato reform, and the pro-choice response of Mexico City and Morelos legislators. This analysis allows us to recognise the emergence of a pro-choice consciousness and to understand that, when it comes to abortion, 'context is all'.
MacFarlane, Katrina A; O'Neil, Mary Lou; Tekdemir, Deniz; Çetin, Elvin; Bilgen, Barış; Foster, Angel M
Turkey has maintained liberal contraception and abortion policies since the 1980s. In 2012, the government proposed to restrict abortion; a bill limiting abortion was later drafted but never passed into law. Since the proposed restriction, women have reported difficulty accessing abortion services across Turkey. We aimed to better understand the current availability of abortion and reproductive health services in Istanbul and explore whether access to services has changed since 2012. In 2015, we completed 14 in-depth interviews with women and 11 semi-structured interviews with key informants. We transcribed all interviews and completed content and thematic analyses of the data. Key informants had good knowledge about the political discourse and the current abortion law. In contrast, women were familiar with the political discourse but had mixed information about the current status of abortion and were unsure about the legality of their own abortions. There was consensus that access to services has become more limited in the last five years due to the political climate, thus advocacy to prioritize reproductive health services, and abortion care in particular, in the public health system are needed.
Rimon-Zarfaty, Nitzan; Jotkowitz, Alan
The Israeli law of abortions (1977) legally authorises hospital committees to decide upon women's requests for selective abortion. One of the law's clauses determines that abortions can be approved in cases of an embryopathy. However, the law does not provide any clear definitions of those fetal 'physical or mental defects' in terms of severity and/or likelihood, which remain open to interpretation by the committee members. This paper aimed to determine which ethical methodologies are used by committee members and advisors as they face the dilemma of abortion approval due to mild to moderate possible embryopathy. Twenty interviews demonstrated that they use mainly a combination of deontology and a contextual-relational model. Their ethical considerations are both contextual such as the family's/woman's relational network and are influenced by the ethical principles of autonomy and in cases of late abortions the value of life. The findings reveal a paradoxical picture: on the one hand, committee members hold liberal perceptions and in practice abortion requests are very seldom rejected. On the other hand, the Israeli abortion law and practice of abortion committees is still problematical from liberal and feminist rights perspectives. This paradox is discussed further by reflecting upon the relevant theory as well as the Israeli context. The paper concludes by suggesting that within the specific Israeli sociopolitical climate the requirement for committee approval of what should be a private decision might be necessary in order to placate religious or other opposition to abortion.
The United States Court (June 30, 1980) held in Harris v. McRae and Williams V. Zbaraz that the federal government and the states may refuse to pay for most abortions needed by Medicaid-eligible women without violating the Constitution. These decisions brought to an end litigation to establish a federal constitutional right to public aid for poor women in deciding whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy. Decisions of a state's highest court resting solely on state law grounds are usually not reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving each state free to curve out unique areas of rights and liberties for its population. Attention is directed here to the manner in which state courts may do so in the area of public funding for abortion with focus on the following: abortion and abortion funding under the federal constitution; challenging abortion restrictions on state constitutional grounds; establishing a state constitutional right to abortion; establishing denial of the right to abortion; justifying the interference; discrimination on the basis of wealth; and sex discrimination. The challenging of abortion funding restrictions on state constitutional grounds is a promising legal strategy for advocates of abortion rights. It has increased the chances for success in states that show a willingness to expand on federal constitutional law precedents: states that recognize principles of neutrality in granting government benefits or that provide special constitutional protection to the poor and to women.
In an April 1994 statement, the USAID articulated its current policy on abortion. Reiterating the Clinton Administration's view that abortions should be "safe, legal, and rare," the policy remains surprisingly close to the positions of the Reagan and Bush Administrations. According to the Helms Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA), AID monies cannot be used for the "performance of abortion as a method of family planning." Under the previous Administrations, AID ceased all abortion funding based on this restrictive language. The Clinton Administration policy notes that AID neither "advocate[s] the use of abortion as a method of family planning" nor "use[s] its policies or programs to restrict ... [the] right to choose" abortion. Yet it interprets the Helms Amendment to permit abortion funding only in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment--the same conditions placed on federal Medicaid funds by the Hyde Amendment. Funds can also be used for the treatment of complications caused by unsafe, incomplete, or septic abortions. Because the US is a major contributor to population and family planning programs, a change in AID policy can have a widespread impact on the reproductive health of women worldwide, especially in developing countries. Up to 167,000 women are estimated to die each year as a result of unsafe abortion and its complications.
Unsafe abortion constitutes a major public health problem in Burkina Faso and concerns mainly young women. The legal restriction and social stigma make abortions most often clandestine and risky for women who decide to terminate a pregnancy. However, the exposure to the risk of unsafe induced abortion is not the same for all the women who faced unwanted pregnancy and decide to have an abortion. Drawn from a qualitative study on the issue of abortion in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, the contrasting cases of two young women who had abortion allow us to show how the women's personal resources (such as the school level, financial resources, the compliance to social norms, the social network, etc.) may determine the degree of vulnerability of women, the delay to have an abortion, the type of care they are likely to benefit from, and the cost they have to face. This study concludes that the poorest always pay more (cost and consequences), take longer to have an abortion, and have more exposure to the risk of unsafe abortion. PMID:24790605
Gross, Michael L
Abortion, particularly later-term abortion, and neonaticide, selective non-treatment of newborns, are feasible management strategies for fetuses or newborns diagnosed with severe abnormalities. However, policy varies considerably among developed nations. This article examines abortion and neonatal policy in four nations: Israel, the US, the UK and Denmark. In Israel, late-term abortion is permitted while non-treatment of newborns is prohibited. In the US, on the other hand, later-term abortion is severely restricted, while treatment to newborns may be withdrawn. Policy in the UK and Denmark bridges some of these gaps with liberal abortion and neonatal policy. Disparate policy within and between nations creates practical and ethical difficulties. Practice diverges from policy as many practitioners find it difficult to adhere to official policy. Ethically, it is difficult to entirely justify perinatal policy in these nations. In each nation, there are elements of ethically sound policy, while other aspects cannot be defended. Ethical policy hinges on two underlying normative issues: the question of fetal/newborn status and the morality of killing and letting die. While each issue has been the subject of extensive debate, there are firm ethical norms that should serve as the basis for coherent and consistent perinatal policy. These include 1) a grant of full moral and legal status to the newborn but only partial moral and legal status to the late-term fetus 2) a general prohibition against feticide unless to save the life of the mother or prevent the birth of a fetus facing certain death or severe pain or suffering and 3) a general endorsement of neonaticide subject to a parent's assessment of the newborn's interest broadly defined to consider physical harm as well as social, psychological and or financial harm to related third parties. Policies in each of the nations surveyed diverging from these norms should be the subject of public discourse and, where possible
Deitch, C H
Data from the National Opinion Research Center General Social Survey 1972-1980 are examined to determine the extent to which the conflict over legal abortion has come to be associated, in the structure of public opinion, with broader ideological differences concerning sexuality, feminism, and political liberalissm. Specifically, attitudes toward premarital sex, homosexuality, women's roles, liberal versus conservative political self-identification, and views on government spending policies are examined as possible ideological correlates of position on abortion. Log-linear analysis demonstrates that a clear, significant, and persistent association exists between abortion attitude and each of the other 5 issues, independent of religion, education, or sex of the respondent. Furthermore, there is no evidence of any change from 1972 to 1980 in the strength of the association of abortion attitude with any of the other questions considered, despite the increased polarization and politicization of the abortion issue over the time period studied.
In Japan abortion is categorized into two types by law; one is illegal feticide and the other is legal abortion. The present criminal law forbids feticide in principle and the life of a fetus is protected. However, abortion can be practiced under the "Eugenic Protection Act" established in 1948 (currently referred to as the "Maternal Protection Act"), and is readily available in Japan. In this paper, I have traced the historical origins of abortion law and attempted to clarify the problems related to the current laws relating to artificial abortion. As a result, the existence of contradictions between attitudes toward the life of the fetus and that of the mother, women's right to self determination, and women's rights under current legislation has been clarified.
The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy reports on the recent amendment of the Constitution to recognize life from the moment of conception. Researcher Soledad Varela discovered that the Catholic Church in El Salvador had been actively engaged in manipulative tactics to sway an already conservative legislature into passing the extreme laws. Although some legislators were in favor of this amendment, some believe that the reform was wrong and that therapeutic abortions and terminations of pregnancies resulting from rape should not be penalized. Restrictive abortion laws did not stop abortions from occurring; in fact, the UN estimated that 35% of all pregnancies in Chile end in illegal abortions. With the new restrictions, mothers are abandoning unwanted newborns. Illegal practitioners have become harder to trace. Nevertheless, others seem to be successful at evading the law. The wealthy have the right to choose and still avail themselves of legal, more liberal abortion laws from other countries.
Fawcus, Susan R
Unsafe abortions refer to terminations of unintended pregnancies by persons lacking the necessary skills, or in an environment lacking the minimum medical standards, or both. Globally, unsafe abortions account for 67,900 maternal deaths annually (13% of total maternal mortality) and contribute to significant morbidity among women, especially in under-resourced settings. The determinants of unsafe abortion include restrictive abortion legislation, lack of female empowerment, poor social support, inadequate contraceptive services and poor health-service infrastructure. Deaths from unsafe abortion are preventable by addressing the above determinants and by the provision of safe, accessible abortion care. This includes safe medical or surgical methods for termination of pregnancy and management of incomplete abortion by skilled personnel. The service must also include provision of emergency medical or surgical care in women with severe abortion complications. Developing appropriate services at the primary level of care with a functioning referral system and the inclusion of post abortion contraceptive care with counseling are essential facets of abortion care.
de Crespigny, Lachlan J; Savulescu, Julian
Abortion law reform focuses on early abortion. Women wanting to have a family who have a fetal abnormality detected later in pregnancy are neglected in the debate and harmed by the consequences of current legal uncertainty. Unclear abortion laws compromise: the quality of prenatal testing; management when an abnormality is found; and patient care, through obstetricians' fears of legal repercussions. Women carrying a fetus with an abnormality are being denied abortion, even when the abnormality is so severe that non-treatment would be an option if the baby were born. Many women are likely to refuse to consider motherhood if they are denied appropriate prenatal testing and access to abortion if serious abnormalities are detected. Current abortion laws result in discriminatory and inconsistent practices, where access to prenatal testing and termination of pregnancy depends on location, the values of the treating doctor or hospital ethics committee, and a woman's personal resources. Legal certainty is needed to reduce the suffering of couples wanting to have a family.
Diniz, Debora; Madeiro, Alberto; Rosas, Cristião
In Brazil, to have a legal abortion in the case of rape, the woman's statement that rape has occurred is considered sufficient to guarantee the right to abortion. The aim of this study was to understand the practice and opinions about providing abortion in the case of rape among obstetricians-gynecologists (OBGYNs) in Brazil. A mixed-method study was conducted from April to July 2012 with 1,690 OBGYNs who responded to a structured, electronic, self-completed questionnaire. In the quantitative phase, 81.6% of the physicians required police reports or judicial authorization to guarantee the care requested. In-depth telephone interviews with 50 of these physicians showed that they frequently tested women's rape claim by making them repeat their story to several health professionals; 43.5% of these claimed conscientious objection when they were uncertain whether the woman was telling the truth. The moral environment of illegal abortion alters the purpose of listening to a patient - from providing care to passing judgement on her. The data suggest that women's access to legal abortion is being blocked by these barriers in spite of the law. We recommend that FEBRASGO and the Ministry of Health work together to clarify to physicians that a woman's statement that rape occurred should allow her to access a legal abortion.
Danero, S; Capitani, S; La Rosa, R; Morgante, G; Marsiglietti, C; Turillazzi, E; Oliveti, C; Ricci, M G
The authors describe a study of induced abortions performed at the obstetric and gynecological university clinic in Siena, Italy, during the period 6/1/84-5/31/86, contrasting data with the experience of the first two years (6/1/78-5/31/80) of existence of law no. 194 introduced in 1978. The law legalized abortion--until then considered a social wound on society--thus making abortions more easily quantifiable from an epidemiological point of view. Since that initial period the socio- sanitary reality has changed substantially, i.e., a national progressive increase in the number of abortions was followed by a downward trend that has persisted since then, due to greater openness toward the use of contraceptive methods, in the mass media. A correct evaluation of the number of abortions cannot be obtained due to continued secret abortions. The study reflects the national trend, since during the first period, 2171 induced abortions were performed versus 1450 during the second period (a 13.14% decrease). Questionnaires asked patients about their age, geographic origin, occupation, marital status, week of pregnancy, possible previously induced abortions, length of stay in the hospital, and birth control method used at the time of induced abortion. The most significant variations in the parameters studied for the two periods demonstrated reduced waiting periods before an induced abortion operation was performed (during early pregnancy), a reduced number of requests by patients living in remote areas of the province, reduced time spent as inpatient in the clinic, and an increased percentage of women with previously induced abortions. The number of women preferring a certain type of birth control method during the two periods is comparable, except a slight increase was noted for those using IUD. It is concluded that there are still large lacunae in the area of abortion prevention in Italy, e.g., coitus interruptus is still widely practiced.
Cambronero-Saiz, Belén; Ruiz Cantero, María Teresa; Vives-Cases, Carmen; Carrasco Portiño, Mercedes
Since Spain's transition to democracy, abortion has been a public policy issue both inside and outside parliament. This paper describes the history of abortion law reform in Spain from 1979 to 2004 and analyses the discourse on abortion of members of the Spanish parliament by sex and political allegiance. The analysis is based on a retrospective study of the frequency of legislative initiatives and the prevalence of different arguments and positions in debates on abortion found through a systematic search of the parliamentary database. Little time was given to abortion in the parliamentary agenda compared to other women's issues such as violence against women. There were 229 bills and other parliamentary initiatives in that period, 60% initiated and led by pro-choice women. 143 female and 72 male parliamentarians took part in the debates. The inclusion of socio-economic grounds for legal abortion (64%), and making abortion on request legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (60%) were the most frequent forms of law reform proposed, based most often on pro-women's rights arguments. Male and female members of anti-choice parties and most male members of other parties argued for fetal rights. Pro-choice parties tabled more bills than anti-choice parties but till now all reforms proposed since 1985 have been voted down.
González Vélez, Ana Cristina
This article discusses the illegality of abortion in Colombia, situating this country within the 0.4% of the world population where abortion is completely banned. Absolute criminalization of abortion turns it into a public health matter and produces social inequality. The Colombian legislation has always disregarded women as individuals and as persons in full possession of their legal rights. In contrast to a comprehensive conceptualization of sexual and reproductive rights, the various abortion bills merely refer either to "morally unacceptable" situations such as pregnancy resulting from rape or to therapeutic motives. Contradictions between illegality and reality give rise to a public discourse that features rejection of abortion practices, in keeping with the prevailing stance of the ecclesiastic hierarchy, while in practice, and at the private level, people resort to voluntary interruption of pregnancy under conditions of safety and confidentiality, at least for women from the higher socioeconomic strata. This situation not only causes social inequality but also reflects how laws lose meaning and create the collective impression of being useless or unnecessary, thus undermining the state's governing role.
Redondo Calderón, José Luis
The increase in induced abortion produces large numbers of cells, tissues and organs, which are used in several fields of Medicine, either in research or in treatment. The main uses are in Cardiology, Hematology, Metabolism, Embryology, Neurology, Immunology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and Transplantations. Flavor enhancers and cosmetics also benefit. Utilitarianism has led to an increase in abortion-originated cell and tissue banks. Abortion is justified through the manipulation of language. Vested interests give rise to complicity in researchers and society as a whole. Abortion and tissue 'donation' cannot be split; since fresh tissues are involved there is a symbiotic relationship between them. Valid consent is not possible. A contradiction emerges, the nasciturus is not desired or valued but fetal organs are. When someone is deprived of his rights it is because another wants to enslave them. Research must have a moral base. Knowledge should not be increased at any price. Something that is legal and well intentioned is not always morally acceptable. The duty of omission is applicable. Means to achieve a goal must be ethical means. Educational efforts to restore respect for the human embryo and fetus must be promoted. Technical advances are not always in accordance with human nature and dignity. Research and treatment that do not resort to cells, tissues and organs obtained from induced abortions should be promoted.
This article traces the establishment of abortion clinics following Roe v Wade. Abortion clinics followed one of two models: (1) a medical model in which physicians emphasized the delivery of high quality medical services, contrasting their clinics with the back-alley abortion services that had sent many women to hospital emergency rooms prior to legalization, or (2) a feminist model in which clinics emphasized education and the dissemination of information to empower women patients and change the structure of women’s health care. Male physicians and feminists came together in the newly established abortion services and argued over the priorities and characteristics of health care delivery. A broad range of clinics emerged, from feminist clinics to medical offices run by traditional male physicians to for-profit clinics. The establishment of the National Abortion Federation in the mid-1970s created a national forum of health professionals and contributed to the broadening of the discussion and the adoption of compromises as both feminists and physicians influenced each other's practices. PMID:23327251
Wardle, L D
They only certain outcomes of the Webster decision is that state legislatures will be stimulated to enact more legislation regulating abortion. However it is unlikely that the worst prochoice fears will be realized. A return to the 19th century abortion prohibition era is very unlikely because of trends in Western societal attitudes and laws. Since 1973 and the Roe decision there have been more than 300 bills or acts enacted by state legislatures that regulate abortion. Whether it is criminal prohibitions, licensing requirements, zoning restrictions, parental participation, spousal participation, informed consent, health and sanitation regulations, post viability regulations, laws protecting the right of health care workers not to participate in abortion, public funding restrictions, or regulations of fetal experimentation, abortion regulations have definitely been wide spread. The democratic process is going to produce a moderate position on abortion as a result of the Webster decision for 7 reasons: (1) the period before Roe was a time when abortion legislation was in a trend towards moderation. In 1962 abortion prohibitions were in place in all states. In 1967 4 states adopted an abortion reform position that allowed for abortion in the hard cases: (1) maternal health, (2) fetal defect, (3) rape/incest. Over the next 5 years 9 more states followed and 3 others went even farther by allowing unrestricted abortion during early pregnancy. (2) public opinion is consistent and strong in favoring abortion restrictions except for the hard cases. (3) the trend towards moderation in abortion regulations is closely related to other legal trends toward moderation. No fault divorce was a move towards moderation. The abortion experience in Western Europe was towards moderation. (5) Medical technological developments are putting the power of abortion in the hands of women. Abortificant drugs that can be used without medical assistance give women greater freedom. (6) The
Poulakou-Rebelakou, E; Lascaratos, J; Marketos, S G
The legislation and the texts of the most important medical writers of Byzantine times have been studied with reference to abortions, the ethical aspect of this social and medico-legal problem, the theological and the scientific approach. The theoretical basis of the permanent and absolute condemnation of all kinds of abortions except those permitted for medical reasons, is greatly influenced by the spirit of Christianity. In fact, religion supported the view that the reception of the seed in the uterus and the conception of the embryo means the beginning of life and accepted that the foetus is already a living creature. All legislation of Byzantium from the earliest times also condemned abortions. Consequently, foeticide was considered equal to murder and infanticide and the result was severe punishments for all persons who participated in an abortive technique reliant on drugs or other methods. The punishments could extend to exile, confiscation of property and death. The physicians followed the tradition of Ancient Greece, incorporated in the Hippocratic Oath, representative of the ideas of previous philosophers. According to this famous document, it is forbidden them to give a woman "an abortive suppository". The Orthodox faith reinforced this attitute, protective of every human life. On the other hand, the Church and the State accepted selective abortion based on medical data, such as prevention of dangerous conditions in pregnancy or anatomical difficulties involved. In conclusion, science, church and legislation had a common attitude to matters concerning abortion and this fact reveals an effort to apply a fair policy for the rights of the embryo and the protection of human life in Byzantine society.
Munthe, Christian; Nielsen, Morten Ebbe Juul
This article analyzes the idea of a legal right to conscientious refusal for healthcare professionals from a basic legal ethical standpoint, using refusal to perform tasks related to legal abortion (in cases of voluntary employment) as a case in point. The idea of a legal right to conscientious refusal is distinguished from ideas regarding moral rights or reasons related to conscientious refusal, and none of the latter are found to support the notion of a legal right. Reasons for allowing some sort of room for conscientious refusal for healthcare professionals based on the importance of cultural identity and the fostering of a critical atmosphere might provide some support, if no countervailing factors apply. One such factor is that a legal right to healthcare professionals' conscientious refusal must comply with basic legal ethical tenets regarding the rule of law and equal treatment, and this requirement is found to create serious problems for those wishing to defend the idea under consideration. We conclude that the notion of a legal right to conscientious refusal for any profession is either fundamentally incompatible with elementary legal ethical requirements, or implausible because it undermines the functioning of a related professional sector (healthcare) or even of society as a whole.
Pacheco, Julianna; Kreitzer, Rebecca
The stability of abortion opinions suggests that pre-adult factors influence these attitudes more than contemporaneous political events. Surprisingly, however, we know little about the origins of abortion opinions, no doubt because the majority of research focuses on cross-sectional analyses of patterns across cohorts. We use a developmental model that links familial and contextual factors during adolescence to abortion attitudes years later when respondents are between 21 and 38 years old. Findings show that religious adherence and maternal gender role values are significant predictors of adult abortion opinions, even after controlling for contemporaneous religious adherence and the respondents’ own views on gender roles. Adolescent religious adherence matters more than religious denomination for adult abortion attitudes. The results have important implications for future trends in abortion attitudes in light of declining religiosity among Americans. PMID:27257307
Baril, Cecile; Couchman, Ian S. B.
The legal processes following a rape charge mortify, denigrate and transfer guilt to the victim. Rape laws reinforce traditional sex roles and restrict the options available to women in defining their personal and sexual careers. (Author/AM)
Irvine, W N
Since the introduction of the Abortion Act 1967 the legality and status of abortion in Northern Ireland, being excluded from the provisions of the 1967 Act, has remained shrouded in uncertainty. In light of the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998, this article will explore whether this inconsistency in the UK is in breach of the provisions laid down in Articles 8 and 14. It will be shown that while compelling arguments can be built under these provisions, perhaps the most persuasive arguments in favour of law reform are the inequities that the current legal regime has perpetuated.
Hunt, M E
A female Catholic theologian imagines a just society that does not judge women who decide to undergo an abortion. The Church, practitioners, and the courts must trust that women do make person-enhancing choices about the quality of life. In the last 15 years most progress in securing a woman's right to abortion has been limited to white, well-educated, and middle or upper middle class women. A just society would consider reproductive options a human right. Abortion providers are examples of a move to a just society; they are committed to women's well-being. There are some facts that make one pessimistic about achieving abortion in a just society. The US Supreme Court plans to review important decisions establishing abortion as a civil right. Further, some men insist on suing women who want to make their own reproductive decisions--an anti-choice tactic to wear away women's right to reproductive choice. Bombings of abortion clinics and harassment campaigns by anti-choice groups are common. These behaviors strain pro-choice proponents emotionally, psychically, and spiritually. Their tactics often lead to theologians practicing self-censorship because they fear backlash. Abortion providers also do this. Further, the reaction to AIDS is that sex is bad. Anti-abortion groups use AIDS to further their campaigns, claiming that AIDS is a punishment for sex. Strategies working towards abortion in a just society should be education and persuasion of policymakers and citizens about women's right to choose, since they are the ones most affected by abortion. Moreover, only women can secure their rights to abortion. In a just society, every health maintenance organization, insurance company, and group practice would consider abortion a normal service. A just society provides for the survival needs of the most marginalized.
Drovetta, Raquel Irene
This paper describes the implementation of five Safe Abortion Information Hotlines (SAIH), a strategy developed by feminist collectives in a growing number of countries where abortion is legally restricted and unsafe. These hotlines have a range of goals and take different forms, but they all offer information by telephone to women about how to terminate a pregnancy using misoprostol. The paper is based on a qualitative study carried out in 2012-2014 of the structure, goals and experiences of hotlines in five Latin American countries: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The methodology included participatory observation of activities of the SAIH, and in-depth interviews with feminist activists who offer these services and with 14 women who used information provided by these hotlines to induce their own abortions. The findings are also based on a review of materials obtained from the five hotline collectives involved: documents and reports, social media posts, and details of public demonstrations and statements. These hotlines have had a positive impact on access to safe abortions for women whom they help. Providing these services requires knowledge and information skills, but little infrastructure. They have the potential to reduce the risk to women's health and lives of unsafe abortion, and should be promoted as part of public health policy, not only in Latin America but also other countries. Additionally, they promote women's autonomy and right to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy.
Stotland, N L
US anti-abortion groups have used misinformation on the long-term psychological impact of induced abortion to advance their position. This article reviews the available research evidence on the definition, history, cultural context, and emotional and psychiatric sequelae of induced abortion. Notable has been a confusion of normative, transient reactions to unintended pregnancy and abortion (e.g., guilt, depression, anxiety) with serious mental disorders. Studies of the psychiatric aspects of abortion have been limited by methodological problems such as the impossibility of randomly assigning women to study and control groups, resistance to follow-up, and confounding variables. Among the factors that may impact on an unintended pregnancy and the decision to abort are ongoing or past psychiatric illness, poverty, social chaos, youth and immaturity, abandonment issues, ongoing domestic responsibilities, rape and incest, domestic violence, religion, and contraceptive failure. Among the risk factors for postabortion psychosocial difficulties are previous or concurrent psychiatric illness, coercion to abort, genetic or medical indications, lack of social supports, ambivalence, and increasing length of gestation. Overall, the literature indicates that serious psychiatric illness is at least 8 times more common among postpartum than among postabortion women. Abortion center staff should acknowledge that the termination of a pregnancy may be experienced as a loss even when it is a voluntary choice. Referrals should be offered to women who show great emotional distress, have had several previous abortions, or request psychiatric consultation.
... of Breast & Gynecologic Cancers Breast Cancer Screening Research Abortion, Miscarriage, and Breast Cancer Risk: 2003 Workshop In ... cancer risk, including studies of induced and spontaneous abortions. They concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage ...
A primiparous ewe aborted in mid-gestation. Toxoplasma gondii was suspected as the cause of abortion and a presumptive diagnosis of T. gondii abortion was based on histological lesions of the placenta. PMID:12715986
Harris, Laura Florence; Awoonor-Williams, John Koku; Gerdts, Caitlin; Gil Urbano, Laura; González Vélez, Ana Cristina; Halpern, Jodi; Prata, Ndola; Baffoe, Peter
Background and Objective Conscientious objection to abortion, clinicians’ refusal to perform legal abortions because of their religious or moral beliefs, has been the subject of increasing debate among bioethicists, policymakers, and public health advocates in recent years. Conscientious objection policies are intended to balance reproductive rights and clinicians’ beliefs. However, in practice, clinician objection can act as a barrier to abortion access–impinging on reproductive rights, and increasing unsafe abortion and related morbidity and mortality. There is little information about conscientious objection from a medical or public health perspective. A quantitative instrument is needed to assess prevalence of conscientious objection and to provide insight on its practice. This paper describes the development of a survey instrument to measure conscientious objection to abortion provision. Methods A literature review, and in-depth formative interviews with stakeholders in Colombia were used to develop a conceptual model of conscientious objection. This model led to the development of a survey, which was piloted, and then administered, in Ghana. Results The model posits three domains of conscientious objection that form the basis for the survey instrument: 1) beliefs about abortion and conscientious objection; 2) actions related to conscientious objection and abortion; and 3) self-identification as a conscientious objector. Conclusions The instrument is intended to be used to assess prevalence among clinicians trained to provide abortions, and to gain insight on how conscientious objection is practiced in a variety of settings. Its results can inform more effective and appropriate strategies to regulate conscientious objection. PMID:27736992
Joffe, Carole; Yanow, Susan
A hopeful note in the contemporary abortion environment in the United States is the expanding role of advanced practice clinicians--nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse-midwives--in first trimester abortion provision. A large percentage of primary health care in the U.S. is currently provided by these non-physicians but their involvement in abortion care is promising, especially in light of the shortage of physician providers. Two national symposia in 1990 and 1996 approved the expansion of early abortion care to non-physicians. As of January 2004, trained advanced practice clinicians were providing medical, and in some cases, early surgical abortion in 14 states. This has required not only medical training but also political organising to achieve the necessary legal and regulatory changes, state by state, by groups such as Clinicians for Choice and the Abortion Access Project, described here in examples in two states and the reflections of three advanced practice clinicians. Recent surveys in three states show a substantial interest among advanced practice clinicians in abortion training, leading to cautious optimism about the possibility of increased abortion access for women. Most encouraging, advanced practice clinicians, like their physician counterparts, show a level of passionate commitment to the work that is rare elsewhere in health care in the U.S. today.
While prosecutions of women who have had an illegal abortion are rare in Cameroon, women who have a legitimate claim to a legal abortion, e.g. following rape, can rarely take advantage of it. This is because the law in Cameroon is not applied, either when it is violated or when it is indicated. This paper examines the histories of four young women who became pregnant and had an abortion in the Anglophone region of the Cameroon Grassfields. Three of them became pregnant following rape or sexual coercion, in one case by the girl's priest, in the second case by her employer's son, and in the third case by a stranger. The fourth young woman, who sold sex for survival money and food, had two abortions while in prison for committing infanticide following a failed attempt to abort an earlier pregnancy. The four young women were interviewed as part of a qualitative, hospital-based study among 65 women who had had abortions in 1996-97. The women's affecting personal histories illuminate the reality of living under a restrictive abortion law, the troubling conditions in which they have to manage their lives, and the harsh circumstances in which they become pregnant and seek (but may not find) a safe abortion.
Storeng, Katerini T; Ouattara, Fatoumata
In Burkina Faso, abortion is legally restricted and socially stigmatised, but also frequent. Unsafe abortions represent a significant public health challenge, contributing to the country's very high maternal mortality ratio. Inspired by an internationally disseminated public health framing of unsafe abortion, the country's main policy response has been to provide post-abortion care (PAC) to avert deaths from abortion complications. Drawing on ethnographic research, this article describes how Burkina Faso's PAC policy emerged at the interface of political and moral negotiations between public health professionals, national bureaucrats and international agencies and NGOs. Burkinabè decision-makers and doctors, who are often hostile to induced abortion, have been convinced that PAC is 'life-saving care' which should be delivered for ethical medical reasons. Moreover, by supporting PAC they not only demonstrate compliance with international standards but also, importantly, do not have to contend with any change in abortion legislation, which they oppose. Rights-based international NGOs, in turn, tactically focus on PAC as a 'first step' towards their broader institutional objective to secure safe abortion and abortion rights. Such negotiations between national and international actors result in widespread support for PAC but stifled debate about further legalisation of abortion.
Storeng, Katerini T.; Ouattara, Fatoumata
In Burkina Faso, abortion is legally restricted and socially stigmatised, but also frequent. Unsafe abortions represent a significant public health challenge, contributing to the country's very high maternal mortality ratio. Inspired by an internationally disseminated public health framing of unsafe abortion, the country's main policy response has been to provide post-abortion care (PAC) to avert deaths from abortion complications. Drawing on ethnographic research, this article describes how Burkina Faso's PAC policy emerged at the interface of political and moral negotiations between public health professionals, national bureaucrats and international agencies and NGOs. Burkinabè decision-makers and doctors, who are often hostile to induced abortion, have been convinced that PAC is ‘life-saving care’ which should be delivered for ethical medical reasons. Moreover, by supporting PAC they not only demonstrate compliance with international standards but also, importantly, do not have to contend with any change in abortion legislation, which they oppose. Rights-based international NGOs, in turn, tactically focus on PAC as a ‘first step’ towards their broader institutional objective to secure safe abortion and abortion rights. Such negotiations between national and international actors result in widespread support for PAC but stifled debate about further legalisation of abortion. PMID:25132157
In this Journal in 1972, 100 leaders in obstetrics and gynecology published a compelling statement that recognized the legalization of abortion in several states and anticipated the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade. They projected the numbers of legal abortions that likely would be required by women in the United States and described the role of the teaching hospital in meeting that responsibility. They wrote to express their concern for women's health in a new legal and medical era of reproductive control and to define the responsibilities of academic obstetrician-gynecologists. Forty years later, 100 professors examine the statement of their predecessors in light of medical advances and legal changes and suggest a further course of action for obstetrician gynecologists.
In this Journal in 1972, 100 leaders in obstetrics and gynecology published a compelling statement that recognized the legalization of abortion in several states and anticipated the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade. They projected the numbers of legal abortions that likely would be required by women in the United States and described the role of the teaching hospital in meeting that responsibility. They wrote to express their concern for women's health in a new legal and medical era of reproductive control and to define the responsibilities of academic obstetrician-gynecologists. Forty years later, 100 professors examine the statement of their predecessors in light of medical advances and legal changes and suggest a further course of action for obstetrician gynecologists.
Bingham, Allison; Drake, Jennifer Kidwell; Goodyear, Lorelei; Gopinath, C Y; Kaufman, Anne; Bhattarai, Sanju
Legal, procedural, and institutional restrictions on safe abortion services-such as laws forbidding the practice or policies preventing donors from supporting groups who provide legal services-remain a major access barrier for women worldwide. However, even when abortion services are legal, women face social and cultural barriers to accessing safe abortion services and preventing unwanted pregnancy. Interpersonal communication interventions play an important role in overcoming these obstacles, including as part of broad educational- and behavioral-change efforts. This article presents results from an interpersonal communication behavior change pilot intervention, Dialogues for Life, undertaken in Nepal from 2004 to 2006, after abortion was legalized in 2002. The project aimed to encourage and enable women to prevent unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions and was driven by dialogue groups and select community events. The authors' results confirm that a dialogue-based interpersonal communication intervention can help change behavior and that this method is feasible in a low-resource, low-literacy setting. Dialogue groups play a key role in addressing sensitive and stigmatizing health issues such as unsafe abortion and in empowering women to negotiate for the social support they need when making decisions about their health.
Paine, Jennifer; Noriega, Regina Tamés; Puga, Alma Luz Beltrán Y
While women in Mexico City can access free, safe and legal abortion during the first trimester, women in other Mexican states face many barriers. To complicate matters, between 2008 and 2009, 16 state constitutions were amended to protect life from conception. While these reforms do not annul existing legal abortion indications, they have created additional obstacles for women. Health providers increasingly report women who seek life-saving care for complications such as haemorrhage to the police, and some cases eventually end up in court. The Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE) has successfully litigated such cases in state courts, with positive outcomes. However, state courts have mainly focused on procedural issues. The Mexican Supreme Court ruling supporting Mexico City's law has had a positive effect, but a stronger stance is needed. This paper discusses the constitutional framework and jurisprudence regarding abortion in Mexico, and the recent Costa Rica decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. We assert that Mexican states must guarantee women's access to abortion on the legal grounds established in law. We continue to support litigation at the state level to oblige courts to exonerate women prosecuted for illegal abortion. Advocacy should, of course, also address the legislative and executive branches, while working simultaneously to set legal precedents on abortion.
In many areas of the world where HIV prevalence is high, rates of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion have also been shown to be high. Of all pregnancies worldwide in 2008, 41% were reported as unintended or unplanned, and approximately 50% of these ended in abortion. Of the estimated 21.6 million unsafe abortions occurring worldwide in 2008 (around one in 10 pregnancies), approximately 21.2 million occurred in developing countries, often due to restrictive abortion laws and leading to an estimated 47,000 maternal deaths and untold numbers of women who will suffer long-term health consequences. Despite this context, little research has focused on decisions about and experiences of women living with HIV with regard to terminating a pregnancy, although this should form part of comprehensive promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights. In this paper, we explore the existing evidence related to global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, with an emphasis on research gaps around the right of women living with HIV to choose safe abortion services as an option for dealing with unwanted pregnancies. The main focus is on the situation for women living with HIV in Brazil, Namibia and South Africa as examples of three countries with different conditions regarding women's access to safe legal abortions: a very restrictive setting, a setting with several indications for legal abortion but non-implementation of the law, and a rather liberal setting. Similarities and differences are discussed, and we further outline global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, ending with recommendations for policy makers and researchers. PMID:22078463
Orner, Phyllis J; de Bruyn, Maria; Barbosa, Regina Maria; Boonstra, Heather; Gatsi-Mallet, Jennifer; Cooper, Diane D
In many areas of the world where HIV prevalence is high, rates of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion have also been shown to be high. Of all pregnancies worldwide in 2008, 41% were reported as unintended or unplanned, and approximately 50% of these ended in abortion. Of the estimated 21.6 million unsafe abortions occurring worldwide in 2008 (around one in 10 pregnancies), approximately 21.2 million occurred in developing countries, often due to restrictive abortion laws and leading to an estimated 47,000 maternal deaths and untold numbers of women who will suffer long-term health consequences. Despite this context, little research has focused on decisions about and experiences of women living with HIV with regard to terminating a pregnancy, although this should form part of comprehensive promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights.In this paper, we explore the existing evidence related to global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, with an emphasis on research gaps around the right of women living with HIV to choose safe abortion services as an option for dealing with unwanted pregnancies. The main focus is on the situation for women living with HIV in Brazil, Namibia and South Africa as examples of three countries with different conditions regarding women's access to safe legal abortions: a very restrictive setting, a setting with several indications for legal abortion but non-implementation of the law, and a rather liberal setting.Similarities and differences are discussed, and we further outline global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, ending with recommendations for policy makers and researchers.
Lüleci, Nimet Emel; Kaya, Eda; Aslan, Ece; Şenkal, Ece Söylem; Çiçek, Zehra Nadide
Background: Historically, sexual assault is a common issue in Turkey. As doctors are one of the steps to help sexually assaulted women, medical students should have basic knowledge of and sensitivity regarding this subject. Another common women’s public health issue is induced abortion. In countries where access to abortion is restricted, there is a tendency towards unhealthy abortion. Aims: The aims of this study are: (1) to determine the attitudes and opinions of Marmara University Medical Faculty students about sexual assault against women and induced abortion and (2) to propose an educational program for medical students about sexual assault and abortion. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: The questionnaires were self-administered and the data were analyzed using SPSS v.15.0. First, the descriptive statistics were analyzed, followed by Chi-square for contingency tests assessing differences in attitudes toward sexual assault and induced abortion by factors such as gender and educational term. Differences were considered statistically significant at p<0.05. Results: About 89.6% of the participants (n=266) reported that they had never been sexually assaulted and about 11.5% of the women (n=19) had been sexually assaulted. There was no significant relationship between previous sexual assault and gender (p>0.05). Although there was no significant difference regarding the extent of punishment by victim’s status as a virgin, 21.3% (n=63) agreed that punishment should be more severe when the victim was a virgin. About 40.7% (n=120) agreed that the legal period of abortion in Turkey (10 weeks) should be longer. The majority (86.1%, n=255) agreed that legally prohibiting abortions causes an increase in unhealthy abortions. Conclusion: An educational program on these issues should be developed for medical students. PMID:27403386
Kimport, Katrina; Perrucci, Alissa; Weitz, Tracy A
Abortion is a frequent topic in political discourse, but few opportunities are available for women to discuss their complex emotions and experiences concerning abortion. Popular belief holds that many women need "counseling" about their decision to have an abortion, but little systematic after-abortion emotional care is available. The authors of this study conducted semi-structured interviews (N = 7) and focus groups (N = 2; 13 participants) with staff members and volunteer counselors at four abortion support talklines between February 2009 and March 2010 for their insights into the post-abortion needs of callers. The authors found evidence that some women needed a space devoid of politics for processing their experience and emotions over time. Talklines begin to meet these needs, especially the episodic processing needs of women experiencing emotional difficulty at any time after an abortion. However, some mental health needs are still unmet, including those among women experiencing emotional difficulty due to preexisting conditions co-occurring with, but not caused by, the abortion. The authors of this study call for integrating after-abortion emotional support more fully into the work of abortion provision and women's mental health advocates. The authors warn against using these findings to support legal mandates for post-abortion support, highlighting the negative consequences of such mandates in the pre-abortion arena.
Abortion is illegal in Nigeria except to save a woman's life. It is also common, and most procedures are performed under unsafe, clandestine conditions. In 1996, an estimated 610,000 abortions occurred (25 per 1,000 women of childbearing age), of which 142,000 resulted in complications severe enough to require hospitalization. The number of abortions is estimated to have risen to 760,000 in 2006. Unsafe abortions are a major reason Nigeria's maternal mortality rate--1,100 deaths per 100,000 live births--is one the world's highest. According to conservative estimates, more than 3,000 women die annually in Nigeria as a result of unsafe abortion.
Morgenthau, J E
The issue of abortion, except when it is rendered moot because the fetus endangers the life of the mother, is not really a medical issue. The physician's role is to help patients achieve and maintain their maximum potential for physical, mental, and social well-being. To accomplish this, the physician must acquire a constantly evolving database of scientific knowledge, must evaluate this information in a critical and ethical manner, and must be prepared to apply what is learned. In the realm of applied ethics, no particular religion, profession, culture, class, or sex should be thought of as having all the answers in the realm of applied ethics. This physician's actions are predicated on the belief that, to a large extent, ethical precepts reflect the broader social and economic issues of the period in which they are articulated. If this is the case, then in today's world the population explosion, the postindustrial society, the women's rights movement, inequality of access, and the ability to perform prenatal diagnosis are all factors which have molded the approach to the issue of abortion. Only the last 3 of these can in any way be considered as medical. When considering the role of a physician in dealing with the issue of abortion in the adolescent, this individual relies on the concept articulated by the World Health Association (WHA): promoting the physical, emotional, and social well-being of one's patients. Each year in the US over 1 million 15-19 year olds become pregnant, resulting in over 600,000 births. Most of these pregnancies are unintentional, yet approximately 90% of the infants are kept in the home by mothers who are ill prepared to be parents. What is most disturbing is that the pregnancy rate for the younger mother, 16 years or under, is accounting for an ever increasing percentage of the total. Studies at the Adolescent Health Center of the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City as well as national studies suggest that the younger teens are more
Congressional legislation seeking to overturn US government restrictions on international family planning assistance face a possible presidential veto. Dating back to the Reagan years, the 1984 Mexico City Policy prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGO) receiving US money from performing or actively promoting abortion as a family planning method. Even if abortion is legal in that particular country, the agency involved may not even discuss abortion as one of the medical options of a pregnant woman. In line with the Mexico City Policy, the US has withdrawn funding from both the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the largest NGO in the population field, and the Family Planning International Assistance, the international division of the Planned Parenthood federation of America. One of the effects of the Mexico City Policy has been to make family planning more controversial, and to increase opposition to birth control. In addition to the Mexico City Policy, the Reagan years also saw the implementation of a policy that denies funding to the UNFPA, charged by the US of "co-managing" China's population program that engages in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization. The UNFPA has denied such charges. So far, President George Bush -- previously a supporter of family planning programs -- has sided with opponents of abortion, and has threatened a veto threat may soon be tested, since Congress has drafted a foreign aid appropriations bill that has includes a measure saying that NGOs should be treated in the same manner as their governments, which are exempt from the Mexico City Policy so long as US funds are not used to support abortions.
Aniteye, Patience; Mayhew, Susannah
Unsafe abortion is one of the major contributors to high levels of maternal mortality in Ghana, despite a relatively liberal legal environment. This paper presents findings from a semi-structured hospital-based survey of 131 Ghanaian women who had experienced unsafe abortion. The majority of respondents were young and single, with no children or just one child. Most had middle-school education or higher and were employed, as were their partners. While knowledge of family planning was high, knowledge of specific methods was barely moderate and only 17% respondents had ever used it - much lower than the national ever-use of 39%. There were widespread misunderstandings about who could use family planning and 41% said they were afraid of side-effects. Eleven percent said their pregnancy was planned and 31% that they wanted their pregnancy but were pressured by partners or families to abort. Overall, about one-third of respondents said they aborted because they were not married and two-thirds said they aborted because of socio-cultural pressures. This study highlights clear ongoing failings of the family planning programme which needs to be revamped, as well as an urgent need for improving public knowledge about access to safe, legal abortion services.
A pastor comments on the recent ruling by the Swedish Department of Health and Social Affairs that the remains of an abortion should be "treated respectfully"--cremated or buried in a cemetery. This decision results from recognition on the part of the government and the medical establishment that a growing segment of public opinion agrees that the fetus is a human being. The new rules mean, though, that a fetus becomes human only upon its death. Logically, an abortion that is respectfully performed ought not to be performed at all. This is the fundamental problem with abortion, and no amount of arbitrary boundary drawing at various levels of supposed capability for survival at the 12th, the 18th, or the 24th week of pregnancy will alter the fact. It is necessary to face the problem with complete intellectual honesty and say that a fetus is a human being no matter what its age, but that voluntary abortion is also a social necessity. Only then can society find another abortion policy, one that recognizes that late abortions are hard to distinguish from births. The Swedish abortion policy must reflect honest facts, rather than etiological legends, preconceived ideas for which arguments must be found afterward.
... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Abortion. 551.23 Section 551.23 Judicial..., Pregnancy, Child Placement, and Abortion § 551.23 Abortion. (a) The inmate has the responsibility to decide either to have an abortion or to bear the child. (b) The Warden shall offer to provide each...
... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Abortion. 551.23 Section 551.23 Judicial..., Pregnancy, Child Placement, and Abortion § 551.23 Abortion. (a) The inmate has the responsibility to decide either to have an abortion or to bear the child. (b) The Warden shall offer to provide each...
... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Abortion. 551.23 Section 551.23 Judicial..., Pregnancy, Child Placement, and Abortion § 551.23 Abortion. (a) The inmate has the responsibility to decide either to have an abortion or to bear the child. (b) The Warden shall offer to provide each...
... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Abortion. 551.23 Section 551.23 Judicial..., Pregnancy, Child Placement, and Abortion § 551.23 Abortion. (a) The inmate has the responsibility to decide either to have an abortion or to bear the child. (b) The Warden shall offer to provide each...
... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Abortion. 551.23 Section 551.23 Judicial..., Pregnancy, Child Placement, and Abortion § 551.23 Abortion. (a) The inmate has the responsibility to decide either to have an abortion or to bear the child. (b) The Warden shall offer to provide each...
Francome, C; Savage, W
Women from Northern Ireland (NI) have to travel to Britain and pay for their terminations as the Abortion Act (1967) does not apply in that part of the UK. This paper analyses the attitudes of gynaecologists. A questionnaire was posted in 2009 to all NHS gynaecologists in NI (43). One had retired. After three mailings, 37 replied; a response rate of 88% (37.42). We found that of these, 21 (57%) favoured a liberalisation of the law in NI. If all the non-responders were against liberalisation, then still half (21/42) would be in favour. A total of 35% (13/37) wanted unrestricted access in the 1st trimester, a more liberal position than allowed by the current law in Great Britain. A total of 29 (78%) were in favour of free abortions for women from NI, as is largely the case in England and Wales. A total of 19 (51%) were in favour of the abortion charities being licensed to carry out legal abortions in Northern Ireland but 38% were opposed to this proposal.
Compared a sample of mothers of children with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, myelodysplasia, and multiple physical handicaps with a probability sample of mothers of children free of disabilities on their attitudes toward the availability of legal abortion. The responses were not distinguishable for the two groups, nor was the specific disability…
Presents two court cases to illuminate school counselors' legal responsibilities in academic advising and abortion counseling. The cases are presented to show how appellate court decisions can guide and inform future decision making in a variety of malpractice situations, and to equip professionals to exercise even greater care for their minor…
Di Nucci, Ezio
I argue that it is possible for prospective mothers to wrong prospective fathers by bearing their child; and that lifting paternal liability for child support does not correct the wrong inflicted to fathers. It is therefore sometimes wrong for prospective mothers to bear a child, or so I argue here. I show that my argument for considering the legitimate interests of prospective fathers is not a unique exception to an obvious right to procreate. It is, rather, part of a growing consensus that procreation can be morally problematic and that generally talking of rights in this context might not be warranted. Finally, I argue that giving up a right to procreate does not imply nor suggest giving up on women's absolute right to abort, which I defend.
Fonseca, W; Misago, C; Correia, L L; Parente, J A; Oliveira, F C
In Brazil, abortion is legally allowed only when it is necessary to save a woman's life or when pregnancy has occurred following rape. Despite this law, induced abortion is widely carried out. This study presents the findings as to the determinants of 2,084 abortions admitted to two major obstetric hospitals in Fortaleza, Brazil, between October 1992 and September 1993. Most of these women (2,074) have admitted an attempt to terminate pregnancy and 10 women were classified as induced abortion cases based on the findings of signs of intervention such as cervical laceration, perforation or foreign bodies in the vagina or uterus. The study findings indicate that self-administration of medicines plays an important role in terminating pregnancy. Among the 2,074 women who admitted to terminating the pregnancy 66% reported using misoprostol to induce abortion. Misoprostol, a prostaglandin E1 analogue indicated for ulcer treatment, has been widely used as an abortifacient by women in Brazil. Misoprostol has some uterine effects but it is not effective in inducing abortion. Among women who were hospitalized for complications resulting from abortion about 59.7% were 20 to 29 years old and 22.6% were aged less than 20. The majority of the women (91.6%) were Catholic and only 4.3% were illiterate. About 62% of the abortion cases lived alone or did not have a stable partner. Most of the women (59.2%) reported less than 2 live births and 11.8% had experienced a previous abortion; 61.1% of the women were not using a contraceptive method at the time of conception. The main reasons for this were "fear of side effects", "did not expect to have sexual intercourse" and "did not expect to get pregnant". The authors suggest that the situation of a high rate of self-inflicted abortion may be changed by the application of an appropriate contraceptive and reproductive health programme.
The Cardinal of Milan and the linguist and writer Umberto Eco maintained a correspondence in the mid-1990s in connection with the Italian magazine ¿Liberal¿. One of the issues discussed was the conflict between belief in the value of human life and existing abortion legislation. Umberto Eco stated that he would do all in his power to dissuade a woman pregnant with his child from having an abortion, regardless of the personal cost to the parents, because the birth of a child is a miracle. He would not, however, feel capable of imposing his ethical position on anyone else. Terrible moments occur in which women have a right to make autonomous decisions concerning their bodies, their feelings, their futures. Those who disagree cite the right to life, a rather vague concept about which even atheists can be enthusiastic. The moment at which a new human being is formed has been brought to the center of Catholic theology, despite its uncertainty; the beginning of a new life may always need to be understood as a process whose end result is the newborn. Only the mother should decide at what moment the process may be interrupted. The cardinal¿s response distinguished between psychic and physical life, on the one hand, and life participating in the life of God on the other. The threshold is the moment of conception, reflecting a continuity of identity. The new being is worthy of respect. Any violation of the affection and care owed to the being can only be experienced as a profound suffering and painful laceration that may never heal. The response of Eco is unknown.
Meyer, R E; Buescher, P A
A study of trends in maternal mortality from 1963 to 1992 in North Carolina shows that during the period 1973-1977, when legal abortion first became available, the maternal mortality ratio (maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) for deaths related to induced abortion was almost 85% lower than the ratio during the previous five-year period. The decrease in abortion-related mortality had a substantial impact on the overall maternal mortality ratio during this period, accounting for about 46% of the total decline in maternal deaths. After 1977, the maternal mortality ratio for induced abortion declined to less than one death per 100,000 live births, while the mortality ratio for all other obstetric causes leveled off at about 10 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Dixon, Darrin P
Many women are unprepared to make prenatal decisions about fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome because of societal pressures to have "normal" children, a negative view of persons with disabilities by many in society, a fear of legal liability by those in the medical community, the lack of genuine informed consent before undergoing genetic testing and abortion, and the failure of non-directive pre-abortion counseling in the medical community. Moreover, medical professionals fail to communicate correct and unbiased information before and during the genetic screening, diagnostic testing, and abortion decision-making process. This article addresses the contributing factors and causes that ultimately lead to a lack of informed consent and a very high abortion rate for fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
Bankole, Akinrinola; Sedgh, Gilda; Oye-Adeniran, Boniface A; Adewole, Isaac F; Hussain, Rubina; Singh, Susheela
This study used data from a community-based survey to examine women's experiences of abortion in Nigeria. Fourteen percent of respondents reported that they had ever tried to terminate a pregnancy, and 10% had obtained an abortion. The majority of women who sought an abortion did so early in the pregnancy. Forty-two percent of women who obtained an abortion used the services of a non-professional provider, a quarter experienced complications and 9% sought treatment for complications from their abortions. Roughly half of the women who obtained an abortion used a method other than D&C or MVA. The abortion prevalence and conditions under which women sought abortions varied by women's socio-demographic characteristics. Because abortion is illegal in Nigeria except to save the woman's life, many women take significant risks to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Reducing the incidence of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion can significantly impact the reproductive health of women in Nigeria.
Joffe, C E; Weitz, T A; Stacey, C L
Abortion represents a particularly interesting subject for a social movements analysis of healthcare issues because of the involvement of both feminist pro-choice activists and a segment of the medical profession. Although both groups have long shared the same general goal of legal abortion, the alliance has over time been an uneasy one, and in many ways a contradictory one. This paper traces points of convergence as well as points of contention between the two groups, specifically: highlighting the tensions between the feminist view of abortion as a women-centred service, with a limited, 'technical' role for the physicians, and the abortion-providing physicians' logic of further medicalization/professional upgrading of abortion services as a response to the longstanding marginality and stigmatisation of abortion providers. Only by noting the evolving relationships between these two crucial sets of actors can one fully understand the contemporary abortion rights movement. We conclude by speculating about similar patterns in medical/lay relationships in other health social movements where 'dissident doctors' and lay activists are similarly seeking recognition for medical services that are controversial.
Palermo, Tia; Infante Erazo, Mariela; Hurtado Pinochet, Victoria
Chile is one of only four countries in the world where there is no explicit legal exception to prohibitions on abortion, and where the criminalisation of abortion endangers women's health and may be misaligned with public opinion. In this study we explored attitudes towards the legalisation of abortion and differences in levels of support across time. Among Chilean women in 2009 and 2013, we examined: (1) an additive index indicating support for legalisation of abortion in several situations and (2) support for each situation separately. We investigated the demographic characteristics associated with support for legalisation using multivariate regression. Over 70% of women supported the legalisation of abortion in cases of risk to the woman's life, rape and foetal malformation, and support was higher in 2013 compared to 2009 (β = 0.28; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.44). Women with increasing education and those attending church services less frequently were more likely to support the legalisation of abortion (β = 0.27; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.43), while those affiliated to a religion other than Catholicism (β = - 0.32; 95% CI: - 0.48, - 0.16) were less likely to do so. Our study is the first to examine public opinions on abortion in Chile and differences in levels of support across time periods. Results indicate that current policies may not reflect trends in public opinion.
Carnevale, A; Lisker, R; Villa, A R; Armendares, S
pregnancies. In personal situations of fetal disorder, the general tendency was to abort; however, geneticists seeing more than 5 patients per week, and those who believe that religion is important, were more likely to reject abortion. The sample is representative of Mexican geneticists, and the main limitation of this study is that the geneticists have very little experience in PD, and that their responses were mostly based on theory. However, their opinions may influence the demand and the availability of PD and abortion, as well as the possibility of legalization of abortion on the basis of a fetal defect.
The Orion Launch Abort System, or LAS, pathfinder returned home to NASA Langley on Oct. 18 on its way to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The hardware was built at Langley and was used in preparation f...
I discuss three topics. First, there is a philosophical connecting thread between several recent trends in the abortion discussion, namely, the issue of our animal nature, and physical embodiment. The philosophical name given to the position that you and I are essentially human animals is "animalism." In Section II of this paper, I argue that animalism provides a unifying theme to recent discussions of abortion. In Section III, I discuss what we do not find among recent trends in the abortion discussion, namely "the right to privacy." I suggest some reasons why the right to privacy is conspicuous by its absence. Finally, I address Patrick Lee's claim that the evil of abortion involves "the moral deterioration that the act brings to those who are complicit in it, and to the culture that fosters it."
This study developed an abortion attitude scale and abortion knowledge inventory that may be utilized by health educators, counselors, and researchers for assessing attitudes toward abortion and knowledge about it. (SK)
Seller, M J
The technique of amniocentesis, by which an abnormal fetus can be detected in utero, has brought a technological advance in medical science but attendant medical and moral problems. Dr Seller describes those congenital disabilities which can be detected in the fetus before birth, for which the "remedy" is selective abortion. She then discusses the arguments for and against selective abortion, for the issue is not simple, even in the strictly genetic sense of attempting to ensure a population free of congenital abnormality.
Moore, Ann M; Jagwe-Wadda, Gabriel; Bankole, Akinrinola
Abortion is illegal in Uganda except to save the life of the woman. Nevertheless, the practice is quite common: about 300,000 induced abortions occur annually among Ugandan women aged 15-49 (Singh et al., 2005) and a large proportion of these women require treatment for post-abortion complications. In the male-dominant culture of Uganda, where men control most of the financial resources, men play a critical part in determining whether women receive a safe abortion, or appropriate treatment if they experience abortion complications. This study examines men's roles in determining women's access to a safer abortion and post-abortion care. It draws on in-depth interviews carried out in 2003 with 61 women aged 18-60 and 21 men aged 20-50 from Kampala and Mbarara, Uganda. Respondents' descriptions of men's involvement in women's abortion care agreed that men's stated attitudes about abortion often prevented women from involving them in either the abortion or post-abortion care. Most men believe that if a woman is having an abortion, it must be because she is pregnant with another man's child, although this does not correspond with women's reasons for having an abortion--a critical disjuncture revealed by the data between men's perceptions of, and women's realities regarding, reasons for seeking an abortion. If the woman does experience post-abortion complications, the prevailing attitude among men in the sample was that they cannot support a woman in such a situation seeking care because if it had been his child, she would not have had a covert abortion. Since money is critical to accessing appropriate care, without men's support, women seeking an abortion may not be able to access safer abortion options and if they experience complications, they may delay care-seeking or may not obtain care at all. Barriers to involving men in abortion decision-making endanger women's health and possibly their lives.
Cook, R J; Grimes, D A
RU 486 allows women the choice of a medical rather than a surgical abortion, and, for most women, the choice is one of procedure, not of whether to have an abortion. Issues surrounding RU 486 were explored in an American Society of Law and Medicine conference in December 1991 entitled "Antiprogestin Drugs: Ethical, Legal and Medical Issues." An introduction to 14 conference papers provides an overview of the proceedings. Baulieu, the father of RU 486, described updated developments in its use and the medically supervised method of abortion. Bygdeman and Swahn presented their work in Sweden on combining RU 486 with a prostaglandin to make abortion more effective. They suggested that the drug may be an attractive postovulation contraceptive. Greenslad et al. discussed service delivery aspects of the use of RU 486. Holt considered the implications of use of the drug in low-resource settings. A survey of obstetricians and gynecologists, presented by Heilig, indicates that 22% more physicians would perform a medical abortion. Patient perspectives were addressed by David, who stated that measuring acceptability of an abortion technique is difficult; women have historically used whatever method is available. A collaborative research project in India and Cuba on why women chose certain methods was reported by Winikoff et al. (90% of women would choose medical abortion if faced with the choice again). Berer analyzed French data on women's perspectives on medical vs. surgical abortion. The question of adolescent use of the drug was considered by Senderowitz, who lamented the lack of data on the subject and described what is known about adolescent pregnancy. Macklin proposed a framework for ethical analysis and used facts to address ethical questions. Weinstein provided another ethical framework, to analyze whether pharmacists have a right to refuse to provide abortifacient drugs. Buc approached the subject from a legal point of view and concluded that, whereas legal problems
Courtney, Brooke; Hodge, James G.; Toner, Eric S.; Roxland, Beth E.; Penn, Matthew S.; Devereaux, Asha V.; Dichter, Jeffrey R.; Kissoon, Niranjan; Christian, Michael D.; Powell, Tia
BACKGROUND Significant legal challenges arise when health-care resources become scarce and population-based approaches to care are implemented during severe disasters and pandemics. Recent emergencies highlight the serious legal, economic, and health impacts that can be associated with responding in austere conditions and the critical importance of comprehensive, collaborative health response system planning. This article discusses legal suggestions developed by the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Task Force for Mass Critical Care to support planning and response efforts for mass casualty incidents involving critically ill or injured patients. The suggestions in this chapter are important for all of those involved in a pandemic or disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials. METHODS Following the CHEST Guidelines Oversight Committee’s methodology, the Legal Panel developed 35 key questions for which specific literature searches were then conducted. The literature in this field is not suitable to provide support for evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process resulting in seven final suggestions. RESULTS Acceptance is widespread for the health-care community’s duty to appropriately plan for and respond to severe disasters and pandemics. Hospitals, public health entities, and clinicians have an obligation to develop comprehensive, vetted plans for mass casualty incidents involving critically ill or injured patients. Such plans should address processes for evacuation and limited appeals and reviews of care decisions. To legitimize responses, deter independent actions, and trigger liability protections, mass critical care (MCC) plans should be formally activated when facilities and practitioners shift to providing MCC. Adherence to official MCC plans should
The sort of ethical theory derived from Aristotle, variously described as virtue ethics, virtue-based ethics, or neo-Aristotelianism, is becoming better known, and is now quite widely recognized as at least a possible rival to deontological and utilitarian theories. With recognition has come criticism, of varying quality. In this article I shall discuss nine separate criticisms that I have frequently encountered, most of which seem to me to betray an inadequate grasp either of the structure of virtue theory or of what would be involved in thinking about a real moral issue in its terms. In the first half I aim particularly to secure an understanding that will reveal that many of these criticisms are simply misplaced, and to articulate what I take to be the major criticism of virtue theory. I reject this criticism, but do not claim that it is necessarily misplaced. In the second half I aim to deepen that understanding and highlight the issues raised by the criticisms by illustrating what the theory looks like when it is applied to a particular issue, in this case, abortion.
On February 15, (1995) the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education announced that it will now require medical schools seeking accreditation to provide abortion training for all residents in obstetrics and gynecology. The new "Program Requirements for Residency Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology," approved unanimously, will take effect on January 1, 1996. According to the Council, the newly issued standards are the first to refer specifically to abortion. The language states, "Experience with induced abortion must be part of residency training, except for residents with moral or religious objections .... Experience with management of complications of abortion must be provided to all residents." The Council also mandates that if a medical school itself has "a religious, moral or legal" objection to teaching the procedure, it must "ensure that residents ... who do not have a religious or moral objection receive education and experience in performing abortion at another institution." Other revisions provide for expanded resident education in "primary and preventive care," due to the fact that many women rely on their obstetricians and gynecologists as their primary care physicians, as well as additional training experience in family planning, including "all reversible methods of contraception" and sterilization. In order to be certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ob/gyns must graduate from an accredited residency program. In addition, teaching hospitals must be accredited to secure federal reimbursements for the medical services patients receive from residents. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education operates under the aegis of the American Medical Association, the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. Both the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of
Background Despite abortion being legally available in South Africa after a change in legislation in 1996, barriers to accessing safe abortion services continue to exist. These barriers include provider opposition to abortion often on the grounds of religious or moral beliefs including the unregulated practice of conscientious objection. Few studies have explored how providers in South Africa make sense of, or understand, conscientious objection in terms of refusing to provide abortion care services and the consequent impact on abortion access. Methods A qualitative approach was used which included 48 in-depth interviews with a purposively selected population of abortion related health service providers, managers and policy influentials in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Results The ways in which conscientious objection was interpreted and practiced, and its impact on abortion service provision was explored. In most public sector facilities there was a general lack of understanding concerning the circumstances in which health care providers were entitled to invoke their right to refuse to provide, or assist in abortion services. Providers seemed to have poor understandings of how conscientious objection was to be implemented, but were also constrained in that there were few guidelines or systems in place to guide them in the process. Conclusions Exploring the ways in which conscientious objection was interpreted and applied by differing levels of health care workers in relation to abortion provision raised multiple and contradictory issues. From providers’ accounts it was often difficult to distinguish what constituted confusion with regards to the specifics of how conscientious objection was to be implemented in terms of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, and what was refusal of abortion care based on opposition to abortion in general. In order to disentangle what is resistance to abortion
Replies to the request by the Journal of Nursing on readers' positions against induced abortion indicate there is a definite personal position against induced abortion and the assistance in this procedure. Some writers expressed an emotional "no" against induced abortion. Many quoted arguments from the literature, such as a medical dictionary definition as "a premeditated criminally induced abortion." The largest group of writers quoted from the Bible, the tenor always being: "God made man, he made us with his hands; we have no right to make the decision." People with other philosophies also objected. Theosophical viewpoint considers reincarnation and the law of cause and effect (karma). This philosophy holds that induced abortion impedes the appearance of a reincarnated being. The fundamental question in the abortion problem is, "can the fetus be considered a human life?" The German anatomist Professor E. Bleckschmidt points out that from conception there is human life, hence the fertilized cell can only develop into a human being and is not merely a piece of tissue. Professional nursing interpretation is that nursing action directed towards killing of a human being (unborn child) is against the nature and the essence of the nursing profession. A different opinion states that a nurse cares for patients who have decided for the operation. The nurse doesn't judge but respects the individual's decision. Some proabortion viewpoints considered the endangering of the mother's life by the unborn child, and the case of rape. With the arguments against abortion the question arises how to help the woman with unwanted pregnancy. Psychological counseling is emphasized as well as responsible and careful assistance. Referral to the Society for Protection of the Unborn Child (VBOK) is considered as well as other agencies. Further reader comments on this subject are solicited.
Medicaid would help pay for abortion in fewer circumstances under the fiscal 1979 Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), appropriations bill approved May 4, 1978, by the House HEW Appropriations Subcommittee than it did in 1978. The new language would permit the funding only if the mother's life would be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term. Current law permits abortion payments for this reason; if pregnancy results from rape or incest, or if the birth would cause the mother severe and long-lasting physical damage. Behind the scenes pressure probably will be applied to resolve the issue quickly this year since all House members are up for reelection and do not want to have such a sensitive issue intruding on their campaigns. 1 strategy being discussed is the inclusion of riders that would directly or indirectly provide federal funds for abortions in other appropriation measures such as funding for the Defense Department and federal employees health benefits. The House will have to contend with Senator Brooke (R-Massachusetts) ranking minority member on the Senate HEW Appropriations Subcommittee, who is determined to stand firm in favor of liberal abortion funding. With only minimal opposition for his Senate seat this year, Senate staffers say Brooke is not concerned with the possibility of abortion becoming a major campaign issue. It was Brooke who forced the House's hand last year and obtained a more relaxed abortion curb, much to the chagrin of the Carter Administration. The White House, with the President's popularity at a low ebb, would prefer not to be put in a position of taking sides publicly although it prefers the strict curbs. Carter is currently deciding which House members to assist during the campaign and such a no-win issue would only serve to complicate matters. He will have enough of a problem reconciling health spending increases without the added burden of abortion.
Wu, Shang-chun; Qiu, Hong-yan
Pooled literatures showed that the induced abortion in China faces many problems:the number of induced abortion remains large; most cases are young and nulliparity women; the frequency of abortion is high; and the interval between one and another abortion is short. Health promotion strategies should be applied to address these problems. It is important to increase the population's awareness of contraception,especially among nulliparity and migrant populations. Routine and effective contraceptive methods should be recommended and emphasized during induced abortion and delivery to lower the rate of induced abortion.
Braam, Tamara; Hessini, Leila
Tens of thousands of African women die every year because societies and governments either ignore the issue of unsafe abortion or actively refuse to address it. This paper explores the issue of abortion from a feminist perspective, centrally arguing that finding appropriate strategies to reclaim women's power at an individual and social level is a central lever for developing effective strategies to increase women's access to safe abortion services. The paper emphasises the central role of patriarchy in shaping the ways power plays itself out in individual relationships, and at social, economic and political levels. The ideology of male superiority denies abortion as an important issue of status and frames the morality, legality and socio-cultural attitudes towards abortion. Patriarchy sculpts unequal gender power relationships and takes power away from women in making decisions about their bodies. Other forms of power such as economic inequality, discourse and power within relationships are also explored. Recommended solutions to shifting the power dynamics around the issue include a combination of public health, rights-based, legal reform and social justice approaches.
Banwell, S S; Paxman, J M
The advent of RU 486 (mifepristone), a steroid analogue capable of inducing menses within 8 to 10 weeks of a missed menstrual period, has provoked a firestorm of concern and controversy. When used in conjunction with prostaglandin (RU 486/PG), it is at least 95% effective. Used in France principally to terminate confirmed pregnancies very early in the process of gestation, RU 486 raises many interesting legal questions. This article focuses on whether and how RU 486/PG can be accommodated within the framework of the world's current abortion laws. Four avenues are explored and conclusions drawn. First, it is clear that RU 486/PG can be used readily, if approved, within the regimens established by liberal abortion laws, as has been the experience in France, the United Kingdom, and even China. Second, although unlikely, the introduction of this new technology may inspire a reexamination of restrictive abortion statutes themselves. Third, some of the presently restrictive laws may be interpreted to permit RU 486/PG use as a legal procedure, for a very narrow range of reasons. Finally, in some settings the early use of RU 486/PG (before pregnancy can be confirmed) may fall outside the reach of abortion legislation and hence be acceptable from a legal point of view. PMID:1415870
Hudson Rosen, R A et
The attitudes toward abortion of students and faculty in 3 health related fields--nursing, medicine, and social work--are examined and compared with the views of the population at large. The relation of religious affiliation to attitude toward abortion is also examined. The data was obtained via questionnaire in 47 nursing, 11 medical, and 15 social work schools in the fall and winter of 1971. 7 attitudinal items provided the focus of attention. 5 dealt with conditions under which an abortion should be performed; 2 dealt with the willingness of the respondent to help a client get an abortion. Nursing students and faculty had the most conservative attitude, followed by medical personnel and social workers. The nursing faculty's opinions were most like those of the general public; the medical and social work students and faculty generally mirrored respondents with some college education. Catholic health professionals were even less in favor of abortion than Catholics at large, even those with only a grade-school education. Catholic students, however, were more favorably disposed than Catholic faculty, indicating a more liberal trend in the Catholic Church.
Jones, Rachel K; Kost, Kathryn
Underreporting of induced abortions in surveys is widespread, both in countries where the procedure is illegal or highly restricted and in those where it is legal. In this study, we find that fewer than one half of induced abortions performed in the United States in 1997-2001 (47 percent) were reported by women during face-to-face interviews in the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). Hispanic and black women and those with low income were among the least likely to report their experience of abortion. Women were also less likely to report abortions that occurred when they were in their 20s. Second-trimester abortions were more likely to be reported than first-trimester terminations. The levels of recent spontaneous abortion reported in the 2002 NSFG were consistent with the accumulated body of clinical research, although substantially more lifetime pregnancy losses were reported on self-administered surveys than in face-to-face interviews. Subsequent research should explore strategies to improve information collected on abortion, and, in the interim, research involving pregnancy outcomes should be adjusted for unreported induced abortions.
According to French law a legally induced abortion must be preceded by a talk between the woman and her doctor, or social worker, or psychologist. The purpose of this talk has been the subject of countless publications; it has never been proven, however, that it is really a useful procedure for the patient, or, on the contrary, a negative procedure a woman must go through to have an abortion. Results of such an encounter are strictly dependent on the personality of the patient, and on the communicative abilities and human sympathy of the other partner in the dialogue.
At the White Sands Missile Range in Las Cruces, N.M., engineers and technicians are preparing for the Pad Abort 1 flight test. The Launch Abort System is a sophisticated new rocket tower designed t...
... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163136.html Abortions in Texas Dropped Dramatically After Restrictions Greater travel ... later declared unconstitutional -- that increased travel distances to abortion clinics in the state seems to have led ...
Examines a film entitled "Whose Choice?" which chronicles the struggle to protect and extend existing abortion rights through the campaigns set in motion by the James White Abortion (Amendment) Bill (1975). (MH)
Healthy Lifestyle Getting pregnant Could an abortion increase the risk of problems in a subsequent pregnancy? Answers from Roger W. Harms, M.D. Generally, abortion isn't thought to cause fertility issues or ...
Samal, Sunita; Ghose, Seetesh
Unsafe abortion is one of the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity in developing countries. The complications mostly results following unsafe abortion procedure done by unskilled provider with or without minimal medical knowledge in rural part of developing countries. These complications can endanger the life of mother if proper medical or surgical interventions are not offered in time. A majority of these complications remains confidential. The uterine perforation is one of the serious but preventable complications of surgical abortion. A 21-year-old woman G4P2L2A1, presented in the emergency ward with complaints of lower abdominal pain for four days after attempting twice surgical termination of pregnancy at 19 weeks of gestation for an unwanted pregnancy. Transabdominal sonography and MRI revealed uterine rent with pelvic extrusion of fetal head. Emergency laparotomy with removal of fetal head and uterine rent repair was done. This case illustrates the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion by the gynaecologist for uterine perforation in patient presenting with abdominal pain a few days after undergoing surgical abortion, also shows the complementary role of sonography and MRI in evaluation of the similar patient and this case also highlights the rampant illegal unsafe abortion procedure in rural India despite of legalization of abortion act. PMID:26675988
The current contribution seeks to start a conversation around our pedagogical practice in respect of abortion law. Centralising the traditional portrayal of abortion law within the medical law curriculum, this essay highlights the privileging of a very particular storyline about abortion. Exploring the terrain in evaluating medical law methodologies, this essay highlights the illusion of 'balance', 'objectivity', and 'neutrality' that emerges from current pedagogy in light of how abortion law is framed and in particular what is excluded: women's own voices. Focusing on a number of 'exclusions' and 'silences' and noting how closely these mirror dominant discourse in the public sphere, this essay highlights the irony of a curriculum that reflects, rather than challenges, these discursive gaps. Arguing that the setting of a curriculum is inevitably political, ambitions for delivering a programme around abortion that is 'neutral', 'objective', or 'balanced' are dismissed. Instead, highlighting the problems of what is currently excluded, how materials are ordered, and the tacit hierarchies that lend legitimacy and authority to a particular way of 'knowing' abortion, this essay argues for a new curriculum and a new storyline-one which is supported by prior learning in feminist legal scholarship and a medical law curriculum in which the social, historical, geographical, and above all, personal is ever-present and central.
Theodosiou, Anastasia A; Mitchell, Oliver R
Abortion legislation remains a contentious topic in the UK, which receives much attention from politicians, clinicians and professional bodies alike. In this study, the perspectives of general practitioners and obstetrics and gynaecology clinicians on the Abortion Act 1967 was explored. To this end, a short electronic questionnaire was distributed to all 211 GP and obstetrics and gynaecology clinicians affiliated with the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine. Of the 100 anonymous responses collected, a significant majority felt that abortion law in Northern Ireland should be changed in line with the rest of the UK. The respondents' votes, however, were either opposed to or divided over any other changes to the Abortion Act, including altering the 24 week time limit, clarifying the legal definition of fetal abnormalities, introducing abortion purely on the woman's request, and modifying the requirement for two clinicians to approve any request for abortion. These perspectives were not entirely aligned with the recommendations of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, or with current medical evidence and demographic data.
Sisson, Gretchen; Kimport, Katrina
Onscreen pseudo-experiences have been shown to influence public perceptions of contested social issues. However, research has not considered whether such experiences have limits in their influence and/or vary in their impact. Using the case of third-trimester abortion, an issue subject to high amounts of misinformation, low public support and low occurrence in the general population, we investigate how the pseudo-experience of viewing After Tiller, a documentary film showing stories of third-trimester abortion, providers and patients, might serve as a counterpoint to misinformation and myth. We interviewed 49 viewers to assess how viewing the film interacted with viewers' previously held understandings of later abortion. Participants reported that viewing made them feel more knowledgeable about later-abortion patients and providers and increased their support for legal third-trimester abortion access, suggesting the efficacy of this pseudo-experience in changing belief. Nonetheless, respondents' belief systems were not entirely remade and the effects of the film varied, particularly in regards to gatekeeping around the procedure and the reasons why women seek later abortion. Findings show the potential of onscreen pseudo-experiences as a means for social change, but also reveal their limits and varying impacts.
Begum, Jasmina; Samal, Sunita; Ghose, Seetesh
Unsafe abortion is one of the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity in developing countries. The complications mostly results following unsafe abortion procedure done by unskilled provider with or without minimal medical knowledge in rural part of developing countries. These complications can endanger the life of mother if proper medical or surgical interventions are not offered in time. A majority of these complications remains confidential. The uterine perforation is one of the serious but preventable complications of surgical abortion. A 21-year-old woman G4P2L2A1, presented in the emergency ward with complaints of lower abdominal pain for four days after attempting twice surgical termination of pregnancy at 19 weeks of gestation for an unwanted pregnancy. Transabdominal sonography and MRI revealed uterine rent with pelvic extrusion of fetal head. Emergency laparotomy with removal of fetal head and uterine rent repair was done. This case illustrates the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion by the gynaecologist for uterine perforation in patient presenting with abdominal pain a few days after undergoing surgical abortion, also shows the complementary role of sonography and MRI in evaluation of the similar patient and this case also highlights the rampant illegal unsafe abortion procedure in rural India despite of legalization of abortion act.
The "Paulina case" is the story of a 13-year-old girl in Mexico who became pregnant in 1999 after being raped. Although she received permission to obtain a legal abortion, the hospital convinced her mother through misleading information to decline the abortion. This case has become an almost obligatory point of reference when abortion is discussed in Mexico. This paper analyses how the Mexican press portrayed the Paulina case and the social actors who participated in it--Paulina herself, Paulina's allies, the state government, the Catholic Church, members of the political party PAN and the National Human Rights Commission. One of the great breakthroughs of this case was that the denial of an abortion was judged to be a form of negligence. In demanding justice for Paulina, Paulina's allies were given moral authority in the press to denounce those who denied her an abortion. While the government of Baja California state and members of the PAN were held responsible for their role in the case, the Catholic Church, who was also responsible, seemed to escape criticism. It is probable that the large emotional weight of the Paulina case accomplished more in terms of changing public opinion in support of women's right to decide on abortion than any other single event to date.
de Bruyn, Maria
The HIV/AIDS field is addressing how legal and policy restrictions affect access to health promotion and care, e.g., in relation to criminalization of HIV transmission, drug use and sex work. Work to address the reproductive rights of women living with HIV, particularly regarding unwanted pregnancy and abortion, has nevertheless lagged behind, despite its potential to contribute to broader advocacy for access to comprehensive reproductive health information and services for all women. It is in that context that this paper examines abortion in relation to the rights of women and girls living with HIV. The paper first presents findings from recent research on HIV-positive women's reasons for seeking abortions and experiences with abortion-related care. This is followed by a discussion of abortion in relation to human rights and how this has been both addressed and neglected in policy and guidance related to the reproductive health of women living with HIV. The concluding remarks offer recommendations for expanding efforts to provide comprehensive, human rights-based sexual and reproductive health care to women living with HIV by including abortion-related information and services.
The author examines aspects of abortion in Italy through the examination of data on 1,400 women under 25 years of age who were hospitalized for delivery or abortion in a Bologna hospital in 1976-1977. In particular, the author analyzes the data by characteristics including age of mother, marital status, place of residence, and profession or occupation in order to examine the extent to which induced abortions are included in the totals reported as spontaneous abortions. (SUMMARY IN ENG, FRE)
Major, Brenda; Appelbaum, Mark; Beckman, Linda; Dutton, Mary Ann; Russo, Nancy Felipe; West, Carolyn
The authors evaluated empirical research addressing the relationship between induced abortion and women's mental health. Two issues were addressed: (a) the relative risks associated with abortion compared with the risks associated with its alternatives and (b) sources of variability in women's responses following abortion. This article reflects…
Young, Alma T.; And Others
When New York State's abortion laws were liberalized in 1970, there was a sharp rise in the number of clinic patients who requested abortions. Because social workers at Mount Sinai Medical Center believed that abortion still is an emotional risk for many women, a study was conducted to determine which patients needed intensive counseling. (Author)
González-Wilhelm, Leonardo; Moreno, Leonardo; Carnevali, Raúl
The Chilean senate is discussing a proposal to decriminalize abortion in 3 causals. One of these is when the pregnancy occurs as a result of a rape. To be legally able to perform the abortion in this circumstance, a health care team must confirm the occurrence of the facts constituting the offence. Regardless of the patients will, the accusation will be reported to the justice. In our view, in its current status the proposed rule does not consider certain medicolegal and procedural topics. Those flaws may determine in certain scenarios critical problems, such as: a) a wrongful conviction as a consequence of a false allegation of rape; (b) some pregnant due to a rape will not have access to the abortion procedure; (c) some accusations of rape will not be accredited nor criminally sanctioned. Employing a fictional case, we illustrate how those scenarios can actually be seen in practice. We also emphasize the difficulties and limitations that the health care team will encounter if the project is approved under the current conditions. Finally, we encourage the professional societies implicated in the theme to contribute in the legislatorial debate. Therefore, we give a set of proposals aimed to improve the bill before it may be enacted as a law.
Inspired by Patrick Lee's "A Christian Philosopher's View of Recent Directions in the Abortion Debate," this essay raises the question of how effective philosophical arguments can be in determining the moral status of legalized abortion. On one hand, Christian philosophers have been successful in explaining both the humanity and the personhood of the unborn child, as well as exposing the incoherence of those who would deny the unborn child's humanity or personhood. Nevertheless, in order to confront the pro-abortion position in its most radical form, a much more complex philosophical argument must be given. Following thinkers such as Alasdaire MacIntyre, Christian philosophers must articulate and promote a philosophical position according to which morality is conceived in richer terms than the mere respecting of individual rights. The social dimension of human nature must be rediscovered in order that the happiness and welfare of others becomes a desirable goal in and of itself. According to a morality where individual rights is the bottom line (for example, that of Judith Jarvis Thompson), women very well may have the right to "extricate" themselves from their pregnancy even when doing so will result in the death of their child. What must be explained, therefore, is the more profound insight that social morality is equally concerned with obligations to others, including those who are most helpless and unable to speak for themselves.
Achilles, Sharon L; Reeves, Matthew F
One known complication of induced abortion is upper genital tract infection, which is relatively uncommon in the current era of safe, legal abortion. Currently, rates of upper genital tract infection in the setting of legal induced abortion in the United States are generally less than 1%. Randomized controlled trials support the use of prophylactic antibiotics for surgical abortion in the first trimester. For medical abortion, treatment-dose antibiotics may lower the risk of serious infection. However, the number-needed-to-treat is high. Consequently, the balance of risk and benefits warrants further investigation. Perioperative oral doxycycline given up to 12 h before a surgical abortion appears to effectively reduce infectious risk. Antibiotics that are continued after the procedure for extended durations meet the definition for a treatment regimen rather than a prophylactic regimen. Prophylactic efficacy of antibiotics begun after abortion has not been demonstrated in controlled trials. Thus, the current evidence supports pre-procedure but not post-procedure antibiotics for the purpose of prophylaxis. No controlled studies have examined the efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis for induced surgical abortion beyond 15 weeks of gestation. The risk of infection is not altered when an intrauterine device is inserted immediately post-procedure. The presence of Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae or acute cervicitis carries a significant risk of upper genital tract infection; this risk is significantly reduced with antibiotic prophylaxis. Women with bacterial vaginosis (BV) also have an elevated risk of post-procedural infection as compared with women without BV; however, additional prophylactic antibiotics for women with known BV has not been shown to reduce their risk further than with use of typical pre-procedure antibiotic prophylaxis. Accordingly, evidence to support pre-procedure screening for BV is lacking. Neither povidone-iodine nor chlorhexidine have
Bernabé-Ortiz, Antonio; White, Peter J.; Carcamo, Cesar P.; Hughes, James P.; Gonzales, Marco A.; Garcia, Patricia J.; Garnett, Geoff P.; Holmes, King K.
Background Clandestine induced abortions are a public health problem in many developing countries where access to abortion services is legally restricted. We estimated the prevalence and incidence of, and risk factors for, clandestine induced abortions in a Latin American country. Methods We conducted a large population-based survey of women aged 18–29 years in 20 cities in Peru. We asked questions about their history of spontaneous and induced abortions, using techniques to encourage disclosure. Results Of 8242 eligible women, 7992 (97.0%) agreed to participate. The prevalence of reported induced abortions was 11.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.9%– 12.4%) among the 7962 women who participated in the survey. It was 13.6% (95% CI 12.8%– 14.5%) among the 6559 women who reported having been sexually active. The annual incidence of induced abortion was 3.1% (95% CI 2.9%– 3.3%) among the women who had ever been sexually active. In the multivariable analysis, risk factors for induced abortion were higher age at the time of the survey (odds ratio [OR] 1.11, 95% CI 1.07– 1.15), lower age at first sexual intercourse (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.84– 0.91), geographic region (highlands: OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.23– 1.97; jungle: OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.41– 2.31 [v. coastal region]), having children (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.68– 0.98), having more than 1 sexual partner in lifetime (2 partners: OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.23– 2.09; ≥ 3 partners: OR 2.79, 95% CI 2.12– 3.67), and having 1 or more sexual partners in the year before the survey (1 partner: OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.01– 1.72; ≥ 2 partners: OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.14– 2.02). Overall, 49.0% (95% CI 47.6%– 50.3%) of the women who reported being currently sexually active were not using contraception. Interpretation The incidence of clandestine, potentially unsafe induced abortion in Peru is as high as or higher than the rates in many countries where induced abortion is legal and safe. The provision of contraception and safer-sex education
This paper deals with the main arguments in Europe against selective abortion after prenatal diagnoses and against using prenatal diagnoses as a whole from an ethical point of view. The different experiences from the Eastern and the Western parts of Germany are used as examples. The paper suggests that using ethics could promote multicultural experiences and different strategies of decision-making.
In 'After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?', Giubilini and Minerva argue that infanticide should be permitted for the same reasons as abortion. In particular, they argue that infanticide should be permitted even for reasons that do not primarily serve the interests (or would-be best interests) of the newborn. They claim that abortion is permissible for reasons that do not primarily serve the interests (or would-be interests) of the fetus because fetuses lack a right to life. They argue that newborns also lack a right to life, and they conclude that therefore, the same reasons that justify abortion can justify infanticide. This conclusion does not follow. The lack of a right to life is not decisive. Furthermore, the justificatory power of a given reason is a function of moral context. Generalisations about reasons across dissimilar moral contexts are invalid. However, a similar conclusion does follow-that fetus-killing and newborn-killing are morally identical in identical moral contexts-but this conclusion is trivial, since fetuses and newborns are never in identical moral contexts.
Trussell, J; Ellertson, C
Comparisons of the efficacy of different regimens of medical abortion are difficult because of the widely varying protocols (even for testing identical regimens), divergent definitions of success and failure, and lack of a standard method of analysis. In this article we review the current efficacy literature on medical abortion, highlighting some of the most important differences in the way that efficacy has been analyzed. We then propose a standard conceptual approach and the accompanying statistical methods for analyzing clinical trials of medical abortion and to explain how clinical investigators can implement this approach. Our review reveals that research on the efficacy of medical abortion has closely followed the conceptual model used for analysis of surgical abortion. The problem, however, is that, whereas surgical abortion is a discrete event occurring in the space of a few minutes or less, medical abortion is a process typically lasting from several days to several weeks. In this process, two events may occur that are not possible with surgical abortion. First, the woman can opt out of the process before a fair determination of efficacy can be made. Second, the process of medical abortion allows time for surgical interventions that may be convenient for the clinician but not strictly necessary from a medical perspective. Another difference from surgical abortions is that, for medical abortions, different medical abortion protocols specify different waiting periods, giving the drugs less time to work in some studies than in others before a determination of efficacy is made. We argue that, when analyzing efficacy of medical abortion, researchers should abandon their close reliance on the analogy to surgical abortion. In fact, medical abortion is more appropriately analyzed by life table procedures developed for the study of another fertility regulation technology; contraception. As with medical abortion, a woman initiating use of a contraceptive method can
This article was written in support of a claim forwarded by Joan Callahan that fetal intracardiac potassium chloride injection (KCl injection) should be offered to women undergoing second-trimester abortion. Callahan provides three positive arguments for use of the technique: maternal safety, the short-term interests of fetuses, and the longterm interests of fetuses who survive the abortion. The author of this article notes that the fact that KCl injection is currently the safest procedure for the mother is argument enough in favor of offering the procedure. Even physicians who object to the procedure are obligated to inform their patients about it and should be encouraged to help their patients locate a physician willing to perform KCl injection. Callahan's argument about fetal pain is sound but unnecessary as long as KCl injection remains the safest procedure for the mother. The argument about preventing longterm suffering for fetuses who survive late abortion is the weakest because it is impossible to determine whether the fetuses would be better off dead or alive. Hospitals can resolve some of the dilemmas which are associated with KCl injection by having a well thought out and clearly communicated policy about resuscitation of an aborted fetus. Callahan argues that the policy should be a blanket "do not resuscitate." The author is less sure that a blanket policy in either direction would be correct. Since it is impossible to know in advance what is best for the child, other factors must determine whether one policy is preferable to another. These include legal considerations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act which prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in hospitals.
Howard, Estelle; And Others
One of a series of secondary level teaching units presenting case studies with pro and con analyses of particular legal problems, the document consists of a student's lesson plan, a teacher's lesson plan, and a lawyer's lesson plan for a unit on abortion. The lessons are designed to expose students to the Supreme Court's decision concerning…
Dadlez, E M; Andrews, William L
The contention that abortion harms women constitutes a new strategy employed by the pro-life movement to supplement arguments about fetal rights. David C. Reardon is a prominent promoter of this strategy. Post-abortion syndrome purports to establish that abortion psychologically harms women and, indeed, can harm persons associated with women who have abortions. Thus, harms that abortion is alleged to produce are multiplied. Claims of repression are employed to complicate efforts to disprove the existence of psychological harm and causal antecedents of trauma are only selectively investigated. We argue that there is no such thing as post-abortion syndrome and that the psychological harms Reardon and others claim abortion inflicts on women can usually be ascribed to different causes. We question the evidence accumulated by Reardon and his analysis of data accumulated by others. Most importantly, we question whether the conclusions Reardon has drawn follow from the evidence he cites.
Steinberg, T N
This Note examines how both the law and the health care profession neglect women's needs for abortion counseling before, during and after an abortion. Part I analyzes the health care profession's view of counseling, the psychological effects of abortion and how counseling both positively and negatively influences those effects. Part II reviews Supreme Court cases and state law regarding abortion counseling, critizing both the Court's narrow view of counseling and the states' failure to use the legislative process to create laws which benefit maternal health. Part III recommends an expanded role for abortion counseling, in which the counselor can provide emotional support from before the day of an abortion until a woman emotionally recovers from an abortion. This expanded role would be state-mandated, but would remain within constitutional boundaries by providing flexibility for counselors to give individual treatment while respecting a woman's privacy.
Gross, M L
In its American context the case of baby Messenger, a preterm infant disconnected from life-support by his father and allowed to die has generated debate about neonatal treatment protocols. Limited by the legal and ethical norms of the United States, this case did not consider treatment protocols that might be available in other countries such as Denmark and Israel: threshold protocols whereby certain classes of newborns are not treated, and preemptive abortion allowing one to choose late-term abortion rather than risk delivery. Each offers a viable and ethically sound avenue for dealing with the economic and social expense of anomalous newborns by aborting or not treating those most likely to burden the health care system. Objections that these protocols are antithetical to American bioethical principles are considered but rejected as each policy answers to economic justice, utility and respect for autonomy.
Erdman, Joanna N
The Irish Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act seeks to clarify the legal ground for abortion in cases of risk to life, and to create procedures to regulate women's access to services under it. This article explores the new law as the outcome of an international human rights litigation strategy premised on state duties to implement abortion laws through clear standards and procedural safeguards. It focuses specifically on the Irish law reform and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, including A. B. and C. v. Ireland (2010). The article examines how procedural rights at the international level can engender domestic law reform that limits or expands women's access to lawful abortion services, serving conservative or progressive ends.
Brugger, E Christian
Debate exists over whether fetuses feel pain, and if so what to do about it. Because they cannot provide self-report, certitude on the question cannot be reached. The essay argues that a presumption of reasonable doubt is adequate to inform moral behavior. It looks at the most recent evidence from fetal anatomical, neurochemical, physiological and behavioral research and concludes that a reasonable doubt exists that fetuses from 20 to 23 weeks do not feel pain. It proposes that where abortion is legal, providers should be legally required both to provide full disclosure of the possibility of fetal pain starting at 20 weeks and to offer pain-relief measures to suppress fetal pain to all women seeking an abortion.
Pope, Thaddeus Mason
This issue's "Legal Briefing" column covers legal developments pertaining to conscience clauses and conscientious refusal. Not only has this topic been the subject of recent articles in this journal, but it has also been the subject of numerous public and professional discussions. Over the past several months, conscientious refusal disputes have had an unusually high profile not only in courthouses, but also in legislative and regulatory halls across the United States. Healthcare providers' own moral beliefs have been obstructing and are expected to increasingly obstruct patients' access to medical services. For example, some providers, on ethical or moral grounds, have denied: (1) sterilization procedures to pregnant patients, (2) pain medications in end-of-life situations, and (3) information about emergency contraception to rape victims. On the other hand, many healthcare providers have been forced to provide medical treatment that is inconsistent with their moral beliefs. There are two fundamental types of conscientious objection laws. First, there are laws that permit healthcare workers to refuse providing - on ethical, moral, or religious grounds healthcare services that they might otherwise have a legal or employer-mandated obligation to provide. Second, there are laws directed at forcing healthcare workers to provide services to which they might have ethical, moral, or religious objections. Both types of laws are rarely comprehensive, but instead target: (1) certain types of healthcare providers, (2) specific categories of healthcare services, (3) specific patient circumstances, and (4) certain conditions under which a right or obligation is triggered. For the sake of clarity, I have grouped recent legal developments concerning conscientious refusal into eight categories: 1. Abortion: right to refuse 2. Abortion: duty to provide 3. Contraception: right to refuse 4. Contraception: duty to provide 5. Sterilization: right to refuse 6. Fertility, HIV, vaccines
Because the primary responsibility for the care and raising of children still falls on women, they should be able to decide freely whether or not to have children. Although many women who do not initially desire their pregnancies turn out to be adequate mothers, studies have shown that unwanted children suffer disproportionately from a variety of emotional and behavioral disorders. Studies have also found that large numbers of women seeking abortions failed to use any contraception while others used less effective methods, sometimes because of lack of knowledge. Even the most reliable contraceptive methods are liable to occasional failures. According to some authors, undesired pregnancy many reflect a struggle of adolescents with authoritarian parents, the search of a lonely person for something to love or possess, a proof of femininity, an expression of conflict with the partner or an attempt to force a marriage, or ambivalence among middle-aged women at the prospect of becoming more independent when their children enter school. Women may obtain abortions at accredited hospitals in the Province of Quebec upon decision of a committee of 3 physicians that continuation of the pregnancy would result in danger to the life or health of the patient. In 1970 some 100-150,000 illegal abortions occurred, resulting in hospitalization of 20,000 women for complications. In 1972, 4 French-speaking hospitals performed 136 of the 2919 therapeutic abortions sought in the Province of Quebec. In recent years the number has increased. Reasons for obtaining an abortion are usually social or economic: poor relationship with the father, sufficient number of children already born, age of the preceding infant, economic difficulties, mother's age, or effect of pregnancy on work. Many adolescents refuse to tell their parents of their pregnancy for fear of their reaction, but others enjoy considerable parental support. A study of about 5000 French speaking adolescents conducted in 1977
Piras, Mauro; Delbon, Paola; Bin, Paola; Casella, Claudia; Capasso, Emanuele; Conti, Adelaide
Abstract In Italy, Law 194 of 22 May 1978 provides for and regulates the voluntary termination of pregnancy (VTP). Medical abortion became popular nationwide after Mifepristone (RU-486) was authorized for the market by AIFA (Italian Drug Agency) in July 2009. We searched articles in medical literature database with these terms: “medical abortion”, “RU486”, “surgical abortion”. We also searched laws and judgments concerning abortion in national legal databases. Ministerial guidelines were searched on official website of Italian Ministry of Health. We found many medical studies about medical and surgical abortion. We found also ministerial and regional guidelines, which were analyzed. From the point of view of legal medicine, the issues related to abortion with the pharmacological method consist in verifying compatibility and consistency with the safety principles and the parameters imposed by Law n. 194 of 1978, using off-label Misoprostol, what inpatient care should be used and informed consent. The doctor’s job is to provide the patient with comprehensive and clear information about how the procedure will be performed, any complications and the time period needed for both procedures. PMID:28352815
Abortion is unlawful in Ireland except where it is necessary to save the life of the mother. The right to life of the unborn child is safeguarded under Article 40.3.3 degrees of Bunreacht na hEireann (the Irish Constitution). In 2003 the European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into Irish domestic legislation, subject to the provisions of the Irish Constitution. The aim of this paper is to consider the potential impact of the ECHR on access to abortion services within the State. This paper commences with discussion of the statutory prohibition on abortion and the Constitutional provisions concerning the protection afforded to the unborn child. It will then be necessary to examine the implications for Ireland of recent European Court of Human Rights' decisions, in particular the recent judgment in A, B & C v Ireland, regarding the right to legal abortions given the unique nature of the legal status of the ECHR and its relationship with the Irish Constitution.
Jilozian, Ann; Agadjanian, Victor
As in other post-Soviet settings, induced abortion has been widely used in Armenia. However, recent national survey data point to a substantial drop in abortion rates with no commensurate increase in modern contraceptive prevalence and no change in fertility levels. We use data from in-depth interviews with women of reproductive age and health providers in rural Armenia to explore possible underreporting of both contraceptive use and abortion. While we find no evidence that women understate their use of modern contraception, the analysis suggests that induced abortion might indeed be underreported. The potential for underreporting is particularly high for sex-selective abortions, for which there is growing public backlash, and medical abortion, a practice that is typically self-administered outside any professional supervision. Possible underreporting of induced abortion calls for refinement of both abortion registration and relevant survey instruments. Better measurement of abortion dynamics is necessary for successful promotion of effective modern contraceptive methods and reduction of unsafe abortion practices.
Tartabini, P. V.; Striepe, S. A.; Powell, R. W.
Mars trajectory design options were examined that would accommodate a premature termination of a nominal manned opposition class mission for opportunities between 2010 and 2025. A successful abort must provide a safe return to Earth in the shortest possible time consistent with mission constraints. In this study, aborts that provided a minimum increase in the initial vehicle mass in low Earth orbit (IMLEO) were identified by locating direct transfer nominal missions and nominal missions including an outbound or inbound Venus swing-by that minimized IMLEO. The ease with which these missions could be aborted while meeting propulsion and time constraints was investigated by examining free return (unpowered) and powered aborts. Further reductions in trip time were made to some aborts by the addition or removal of an inbound Venus swing-by. The results show that, although few free return aborts met the specified constraints, 85% of each nominal mission could be aborted as a powered abort without an increase in propellant. Also, in many cases, the addition or removal of a Venus swing-by increased the number of abort opportunities or decreased the total trip time during an abort.
Bankole, Akinrinola; Adewole, Isaac F.; Hussain, Rubina; Awolude, Olutosin; Singh, Susheela; Akinyemi, Joshua O.
CONTEXT Because of Nigeria’s low contraceptive prevalence, a substantial number of women have unintended pregnancies, many of which are resolved through clandestine abortion, despite the country’s restrictive abortion law. Up-to-date estimates of abortion incidence are needed. METHODS A widely used indirect methodology was used to estimate the incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in Nigeria in 2012. Data on provision of abortion and postabortion care were collected from a nationally representative sample of 772 health facilities, and estimates of the likelihood that women who have unsafe abortions experience complications and obtain treatment were collected from 194 health care professionals with a broad understanding of the abortion context in Nigeria. RESULTS An estimated 1.25 million induced abortions occurred in Nigeria in 2012, equivalent to a rate of 33 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49. The estimated unintended pregnancy rate was 59 per 1,000 women aged 15–49. Fifty-six percent of unintended pregnancies were resolved by abortion. About 212,000 women were treated for complications of unsafe abortion, representing a treatment rate of 5.6 per 1,000 women of reproductive age, and an additional 285,000 experienced serious health consequences but did not receive the treatment they needed. CONCLUSION Levels of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion continue to be high in Nigeria. Improvements in access to contraceptive services and in the provision of safe abortion and postabortion care services (as permitted by law) may help reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. PMID:26871725
In practice the Bangladesh law, allowing abortion only to save the life of the mother, is essentially obsolete. The government has recognized the role of abortion in curing rapid population growth, and it is believed that the attitude towards abortion in Bangladesh is at least not unfavorable. The attempt was made to determine whether this belief is corroborated by the available facts. Data from the Bangladesh Fertility Survey provides a unique framework for discussion of current attitude towards and prevalence of abortion in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Fertility Survey (BFS) was conducted on a nationally representative sample of 6513 ever-married women under age 50. An overwhelming majority of Bangladeshi women (over 88%) approved of abortion if the woman had conceived as a result of rape and premarital sex. Danger to mother's life (53% approving) was a more acceptable basis for abortion than danger of a malformed child (30%). Abortion on economic grounds was acceptable to only 17% of women. Urban women held more liberal views on abortion than rural residents. Educated couples were found to be more approving of abortion than the less educated. Women with parity 4 or more viewed abortion more favorably than those with lower parity. This was more pronounced among women under the age of 30. The most conservative approval of abortion was expressed by the older women who had a parity of less than 4. Women with the most liberal views on abortion were also contracepting and relying on efficient contraceptive methods. Wider support for abortion was expressed by currently married, fecund, nonpregnant women who were currently using contraception, and this support was more pronounced among women aged 30 and older.
DREES,A.; AHRENS,L.; III FLILLER,R.; GASSNER,D.; MCINTYRE,G.T.; MICHNOFF,R.; TRBOJEVIC,D.
During the RHIC Au-run in 2001 the 200 MHz storage cavity system was used for the first time. The rebucketing procedure caused significant beam debunching in addition to amplifying debunching due to other mechanisms. At the end of a four hour store, debunched beam could account for approximately 30%-40% of the total beam intensity. Some of it will be in the abort gap. In order to minimize the risk of magnet quenching due to uncontrolled beam losses at the time of a beam dump, a combination of a fast transverse kicker and copper collimators were used to clean the abort gap. This report gives an overview of the gap cleaning procedure and the achieved performance.
The Soviet legacy of widespread reliance on induced abortion is of critical importance to reproductive trends and policies in post-Soviet nations, especially as they strive to substitute contraception for abortion. Using data from two Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1995 and 1999, this study analyzes and compares trends in abortion and contraception, women's attitudes toward abortion, and their perceptions of problems associated with abortion and contraception in Kazakhstan. Despite an overall decline in abortion and an increase in contraceptive use since Kazakhstan's independence in 1991, abortion has remained a prominent part of the country's reproductive culture and practices. This study shows how abortion-related views reflect the long-standing ethnocultural differences between the indigenous Kazakhs and Kazakhstan's residents of European roots, as the latter continue to have significantly higher levels of abortion. The study, however, also reveals the internal diversity among Kazakhs with respect to abortion experiences and views, stemming from decades of the Soviet sociocultural influence in Kazakhstan. In addition, the analysis points to some generational differences in views concerning abortion and contraception. Finally, the study demonstrates parallels in attitudes toward abortion and toward contraception, thereby questioning straightforward assumptions about the replacement of abortion with contraception.
Reproductive governance operates through calculating demographic statistics that offer selective truths about reproductive practices, bodies, and subjectivities. Post-abortion care, a global reproductive health intervention, represents a transnational reproductive regime that establishes motherhood as women's primary legitimate reproductive status. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Senegal between 2010 and 2011, I illustrate how post-abortion care accomplishes reproductive governance in a context where abortion is prohibited altogether and the US is the primary bilateral donor of population aid. Reproductive governance unfolds in hospital gynecological wards and the national health information system through the mobilization and interpretation of post-abortion care data. Although health workers search women's bodies and behavior for signs of illegal abortion, they minimize police intervention in the hospital by classifying most post-abortion care cases as miscarriage. Health authorities deploy this account of post-abortion care to align the intervention with national and global maternal health policies that valorize motherhood. Although post-abortion care offers life-saving care to women with complications of illegal abortion, it institutionalizes abortion stigma by scrutinizing women's bodies and masking induced abortion within and beyond the hospital. Post-abortion care reinforces reproductive inequities by withholding safe, affordable obstetric care from women until after they have resorted to unsafe abortion.
Tan, Y.; Perlstein, S.
In an attempt to discover any pattern to prefire events, abort prefire kicker data from 2007 to the present day have been recorded. With the 2014 operations concluding, this comprises 8 years of prefire data. Any activities that the Pulsed Power Group did to decrease prefire occurrences were recorded as well, but some information may be missing. The following information is a compilation of the research to date.
The somatic and flagellar serum agglutinin titre were determined in paired samples obtained from seventy-seven cases of bovine abortion associated with Salmonella dublin infection. The cases could be divided into four serological groups with an active infection being demonstrated in most cases. The serum agglutination test was shown to be a relatively specific diagnostic test but was of more limited value in the retrospective identification of convalescent cases. PMID:4518345
Schlafer, D H
Knowledge of the causes of canine or feline pregnancy loss is limited and the success rate for making a definitive diagnosis is disappointingly low. Although these facts are discouraging, there are some things that can be done to improve success rates. This paper will address limitations and explore ways for improvement. For abortions caused by microbial infections, there are many reasons why it may not possible to identify the agents. "Non-infectious" causes are much more difficult to diagnose, and their relative importance is unknown. These include endocrine failure, underlying endometrial disease, genetic abnormalities, nutritional deficiencies, and toxicosis from drugs or environmental sources. Genetic abnormalities are a major cause of human pregnancy loss, yet we have little specific information about genetic diseases leading to abortion in animals. This paper addresses ways clinicians and diagnosticians can work together to improve diagnostic success. Necropsy techniques for fetal and placental examination and sampling are briefly reviewed. It is hoped that this series of papers will stimulate discussion on the causes and pathogenesis of pregnancy failure, and focus attention on areas where abortion diagnostics can be improved.
Franz, Wanda; Reardon, David
Compared adolescent and adult reactions to abortion among 252 women. Compared to adults, adolescents were significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with choice of abortion and with services received, to have abortions later in gestational period, to feel forced by circumstances to have abortion, to report being misinformed at time of abortion,…
González De León Aguirre D; Salinas Urbina AA
This research project explores doctors' views regarding induced abortion. Abortion's penalization in Mexico greatly conditions its relevance as a social and public health problem. Physicians constitute a professional sector that can play an important role in reforming current laws on abortion. As a professional group, they have taken a conservative stance towards abortion. Their attitudes are to a great extent influenced by the medical training they receive. In this article we present results from a survey of 96 medical students from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Xochimilco, in Mexico City. Data were processed with the SPSS program. Simple frequencies show that students have limited knowledge concerning the legal status of abortion and that they tolerate it with restrictions and in limited situations. Women students apparently take a more conservative stance, but statistical analysis with the c-square test did not show significant differences by gender. The article poses the need to modify doctors' training in the reproductive health field, allowing future doctors to acquire a broader view of health problems related to sexuality and reproduction. In the long run, this should also promote a kind of comprehensive health care practice in medical services, thus responding more satisfactorily to women's needs.
Foster, Angel M.; Wynn, L. L.; Trussell, James
Introduction The worldwide expansion of the Internet offers an important modality of disseminating medically accurate information about medication abortion. We chronicle the story of www.medicationabortion.com, an English-, Spanish-, Arabic-, and French-language website dedicated to three early abortion regimens. Methods We evaluated the website use patterns from 2005 through 2009. We also conducted a content and thematic analysis of 1,910 emails submitted during this period. Results The website experienced steady growth in use. In 2009, it received 35,000 visits each month from more than 20,000 unique visitors and was accessed by users in 208 countries and territories. More than half of all users accessed the website from a country in which abortion is legally restricted. Users from more than 40 countries sent emails with individual questions. Women often wrote in extraordinary detail about the circumstances of their pregnancies and attempts to obtain an abortion. These emails also reflect considerable demand for information about the use of misoprostol for self-induction. Conclusion The use patterns of www.medicationabortion.com indicate that there is significant demand for online information about abortion, and the findings suggest future priorities for research, collaboration, and educational outreach. PMID:24360644
Krishnan, Shweta; Dalvie, Suchitra
Although unsafe abortion continues to be a leading cause of maternal mortality in many countries in Asia, the right to safe abortion remains highly stigmatized across the region. The Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, a regional network advocating for safe abortion, produced an animated short film entitled From Unwanted Pregnancy to Safe Abortion to show in conferences, schools and meetings in order to share knowledge about the barriers to safe abortion in Asia and to facilitate conversations on the right to safe abortion. This paper describes the making of this film, its objectives, content, dissemination and how it has been used. Our experience highlights the advantages of using animated films in addressing highly politicized and sensitive issues like abortion. Animation helped to create powerful advocacy material that does not homogenize the experiences of women across a diverse region, and at the same time emphasize the need for joint activities that express solidarity.
This document reports on and summarizes a paper written by Dr. Aurora Perez. The paper, entitled "The Ambiguities and Ambivalence on Abortion Issues in the Philippines," has tackled abortion from a different perspective, treating it as an issue of public health and human rights. It is a public health issue because the prevalence of abortion is a negative reflection of women's access to effective contraception. It is a human rights issue in the context of sexual violence, and Perez has urged a policy that allows therapeutic abortion as a human right of raped women. She also emphasized that maternal death was high in the Philippines because Filipino women were seeking abortion services under unsafe conditions. Perez cited a study, conducted in 1985-86, which showed that 24% of maternal deaths were due to induced abortions.
Professor Judith Jarvis Thomson's seminal paper "A defence of abortion" published in 1971 has formed part of higher education syllabi for decades. In the paper Thomson criticizes one of the fundamental arguments against abortion, that is, the right of the foetus to life by denying that the foetus is a person. This article argues that her thought experiments do not compare to the reality of abortion and focuses on the influence of the paper on arguments concerning personhood.
Surgical abortion has been provided liberally in Australia since the early 1970s, mainly in privately owned specialist clinics. The introduction of medical abortion, however, was deliberately obstructed and consequently significantly delayed when compared to similar countries. Mifepristone was approved for commercial import only in 2012 and listed as a government subsidised medicine in 2013. Despite optimism from those who seek to improve women's access to abortion, the increased availability of medical abortion has not yet addressed the disadvantage experienced by poor and non-metropolitan women. After telling the story of medical abortion in Australia, this paper considers the context through which it has become available since 2013. It argues that the integration of medical abortion into primary health care, which would locate abortion provision in new settings and expand women's access, has been constrained by the stigma attached to abortion, overly cautious institutionalised frameworks, and the lack of public health responsibility for abortion services. The paper draws on documentary sources and oral history interviews conducted in 2013 and 2015.
This article reports the results of a survey, by mailed questionnaire, of the attitudes among a sample of the Danish population towards abortion for social and genetic reasons. Of 1080 questionnaires sent to a random sample of persons between 18 and 45 years, 731 (68%) were completed and returned. A great majority of the respondents were liberal towards early abortion both for social reasons and in case of minor disease. In contrast, there was controversy about late abortions for social reasons and in the case of Down syndrome. Further there was strong reluctance to accept late abortion in case of minor disease. An analysis of the response patterns showed that most of the respondents had gradualist views on abortion, i.e. they would allow all early abortions, but only abortions for some reasons later in pregnancy. It was also found that the number who would find an early abortion acceptable in general was much higher than the number who would accept it in their own case. These findings suggest that a great part of the resistance towards abortion does not rest on a concern for the rights and interests for the fetus. Instead it may be explained on a view according to which fetal life is ascribed intrinsic moral value.
Decision ambivalence is a key concept in abortion literature, but has been poorly operationalised. This study explored the concept of decision ambivalence via an Abortion Decision Balance Sheet (ADBS) articulating reasons both for and against terminating an unintended pregnancy. Ninety-six women undergoing an early abortion for psychosocial…
Access to safe abortion hinges upon the availability of trained abortion providers. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports education for students in health care fields as well as clinical training for residents and advanced practice clinicians in abortion care in order to increase the availability of trained abortion providers. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports the expansion of abortion education and an increase in the number and types of trained abortion providers in order to ensure women's access to safe abortions. Integrated medical education and universal opt-out training policies help to lessen the stigma of abortion provision and improve access by increasing the number of abortion providers. This Committee Opinion reviews the current status of abortion education, describes initiatives to ensure the availability of appropriate and up-to-date abortion training, and recommends efforts for integrating and improving abortion education in medical schools, residency programs, and advanced practice clinician training programs.
Keogh, Sarah C.; Kimaro, Godfather; Muganyizi, Projestine; Philbin, Jesse; Kahwa, Amos; Ngadaya, Esther; Bankole, Akinrinola
Background Tanzania has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world, and unsafe abortion is one of its leading causes. Yet little is known about its incidence. Objectives To provide the first ever estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion in Tanzania, at the national level and for each of the 8 geopolitical zones (7 in Mainland plus Zanzibar). Methods A nationally representative survey of health facilities was conducted to determine the number of induced abortion complications treated in facilities. A survey of experts on abortion was conducted to estimate the likelihood of women experiencing complications and obtaining treatment. These surveys were complemented with population and fertility data to obtain abortion numbers, rates and ratios, using the Abortion Incidence Complications Methodology. Results In Tanzania, women obtained just over 405,000 induced abortions in 2013, for a national rate of 36 abortions per 1,000 women age 15–49 and a ratio of 21 abortions per 100 live births. For each woman treated in a facility for induced abortion complications, 6 times as many women had an abortion but did not receive care. Abortion rates vary widely by zone, from 10.7 in Zanzibar to 50.7 in the Lake zone. Conclusions The abortion rate is similar to that of other countries in the region. Variations by zone are explained mainly by differences in fertility and contraceptive prevalence. Measures to reduce the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated maternal mortality include expanding access to post-abortion care and contraceptive services to prevent unintended pregnancies. PMID:26361246
Hu, Howard; Straube, Tim; Madsen, Jennifer; Ricard, Mike
One of the most demanding tasks that must be performed by the Space Shuttle flight crew is the process of determining whether, when and where to abort the vehicle should engine or system failures occur during ascent or entry. Current Shuttle abort procedures involve paging through complicated paper checklists to decide on the type of abort and where to abort. Additional checklists then lead the crew through a series of actions to execute the desired abort. This process is even more difficult and time consuming in the absence of ground communications since the ground flight controllers have the analysis tools and information that is currently not available in the Shuttle cockpit. Crew workload specifically abort procedures will be greatly simplified with the implementation of the Space Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade (CAU) project. The intent of CAU is to maximize crew situational awareness and reduce flight workload thru enhanced controls and displays, and onboard abort assessment and determination capability. SAFM was developed to help satisfy the CAU objectives by providing the crew with dynamic information about the capability of the vehicle to perform a variety of abort options during ascent and entry. This paper- presents an overview of the SAFM application. As shown in Figure 1, SAFM processes the vehicle navigation state and other guidance information to provide the CAU displays with evaluations of abort options, as well as landing site recommendations. This is accomplished by three main SAFM components: the Sequencer Executive, the Powered Flight Function, and the Glided Flight Function, The Sequencer Executive dispatches the Powered and Glided Flight Functions to evaluate the vehicle's capability to execute the current mission (or current abort), as well as more than IS hypothetical abort options or scenarios. Scenarios are sequenced and evaluated throughout powered and glided flight. Abort scenarios evaluated include Abort to Orbit (ATO), Transatlantic
A discussion of legal and administrative language, and the necessity for accurate translation of this language in the field of international relations. Topics treated are: characteristic features of legal and administrative terminology; the interpretation of it; and the technique of translating legal and administrative texts. (AMH)
Camp, William E., Ed.; And Others
The principal is faced with myriad legal issues on a daily basis, making it imperative that he or she keep abreast with developing legal issues. The first of four sections, "Students and the Law," surveys federal statutes and landmark Supreme Court decisions pertaining to the rights of students. It addresses legal issues regarding search and…
Weeks, Richard H.
Discusses school administrators' legal-affairs management responsibilities regarding legal advice, law versus ethics, and sources of law. Suggests strategies for retaining and managing legal counsel and avoiding situations involving litigation, torts, and conflict resolution. Explains general counsel services; outlines education,…
This article takes an ethnographical approach to explore the "state of exception" through which legal technologies of abortion and adoption of "war-babies" (children born as a result of wartime rapes) in the Bangladesh war enabled the dekinning and elimination of certain childhoods while the raped women were rekinned within…
The abort analysis for the cycle 3 Operational Flight Profile (OFP) for the Space Transportation System 1 Flight (STS-1) is defined, superseding the abort analysis previously presented. Included are the flight description, abort analysis summary, flight design groundrules and constraints, initialization information, general abort description and results, abort solid rocket booster and external tank separation and disposal results, abort monitoring displays and discussion on both ground and onboard trajectory monitoring, abort initialization load summary for the onboard computer, list of the key abort powered flight dispersion analysis.
Ravindran, T K Sundari; Balasubramanian, P
This study in rural Tamil Nadu, India, explored the reasons why many married women in India undergo induced abortions rather than use reversible contraception to space or limit births in terms of women's sexual and reproductive rights within marriage, and in the context of gender relations between couples more generally. It is based on in-depth interviews with two generations of ever-married women, some of whom had had abortions and others who had not, from 98 rural hamlets. The respondents were 66 women and 44 of their husbands. Non-consensual sex, sexual violence and women's inability to refuse their husband's sexual demands appeared to underlie the need for abortion in both younger and older women. Many men seemed to believe that sex within marriage was their right, and that women had no say in the matter. The findings raise questions about the presumed association between legal abortion and the enjoyment of reproductive and sexual rights. A large number of women who had abortions in this study were denied their sexual rights but were permitted, even forced, to terminate their pregnancies for reasons unrelated to their right to choose abortion. The study brings home the need for activism to promote women's sexual rights and a campaign against sexual violence in marriage.
Pakniyat, Abdolghader; Yazdanbakhsh, Arash; Moshar-Mowahed, Ghasem; Talebi, Fatimah
Spontaneous heterotopic pregnancy is a rare clinical condition in which intrauterine and extrauterine pregnancies occur at the same time. It is rare, estimated to occur in 1 in 30,000 pregnancies. The case was a 38-year-old woman with spontaneously conceived heterotopic pregnancy. She was admitted to our center with hypovolemic shock. Focused assessment sonography for trauma examination in emergency department showed large amount of free fluid in peritoneal cavity. She was managed surgical laparotomy. Considering spontaneous pregnancies, physician should be aware of the possibility of heterotopic pregnancy in all reproductive age women, especially those with history of recent abortion. It can occur without any predisposing risk factors. Patients should be informed about possible side effects of nonprescription medicines, and also the health care centers must be safe peaceful environment for them without severe legal consequences.
Griffin, O Hayden; Miller, Bryan Lee; Khey, David N
The legal status of the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum has been rapidly changing. Legal prohibitions on this plant native to Oaxaca, Mexico have emerged at the state level, a phenomenon that has not occurred since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Included will be a brief description of the plant that has only recently crept into the popular American consciousness, and a review of the different legal mechanisms through which states have controlled the plant and the pending legislation proposing controls. Lastly, the implications of various state laws are discussed.
Forty years after the decriminalisation of abortion, what is society's view of this hard-fought right of women? Do they finally have the freedom to control their own bodies? The sociological view put forward here questions the professional positioning of caregivers faced with women requesting an elective abortion.
Cain, Lillian Pike
An adolescent's request for an abortion raises many ethical and practical issues. The social worker must help the girl weigh the various alternatives, resolve the abortion crisis to her own satisfaction, and view the experience as one episode in her growth toward adulthood. (Author)
In the US, violence against abortion clinics is escalating. In July 1994, a doctor who performed abortions and one of his escorts was gunned down outside of an abortion clinic. In March of 1993, another doctor was killed outside of a clinic. That killing prompted passage of a federal law designed to protect abortion providers and clinics from violence. In addition to the individuals murdered, the number of violent incidents against abortion clinics increased four-fold to 250 in 1993. Some elderly physicians feel compelled to continue to perform the procedure instead of retiring because there are no young practitioners to replace them. These physicians note that the young practitioners have no experience with the deaths and illness which resulted from illegal abortions and have not been properly trained by their medical schools. The US Attorney General has dispatched federal marshalls to guard abortion clinics, and local police are increasing their protection of clinics. Abortion protestors say that the new federal law will cause some formerly peaceful protestors to resort to violence.
Millner, Vaughn S.; Hanks, Robert B.
Induced abortion is one of the most controversial moral issues in American culture, but counselor value struggles regarding abortion are seldom addressed in counseling literature. This article considers the conflictual nature of the ethical principles of autonomy, fidelity, justice, beneficence, and nonmaleficence as they can occur within the…
This publication seeks to explain the many facets of adolescent abortion: teenagers' need for access to safe abortion; the need for confidentiality in order to ensure safety; the real intent and effect of parental involvement laws; and the roles of parents and the state in safeguarding the health of pregnant teenagers. The first section looks at…
Nagi, M H; Pugh, M D; Lazerine, N G
The attitudes of a random sample of 614 Catholic and Protestant clergymen from the Cleveland area were analyzed in relation to the following: 1) acceptance of euthanasia; 2) the establishment of legal guidelines; and 3) the similarity between euthanasia and abortion. In general the clergy were not opposed to all forms of euthanasia. They tended to make strong distinctions between passive and active euthanasia. Active euthanasia was highly unacceptable to the clergy, but they viewed passive euthanasia more favorably. There was a definite ranking in priority of the different circumstances under which the termination of life-supporting techniques would be acceptable to the clergy. Also significant was the fact that they did not tend to evaluate the issues surrounding euthanasia completely from a spiritual, or sacred perspective. Both Protestants and Catholics tended to approve of passive euthanasia, but they highly disapproved of active euthanasia. Catholics were significantly more opposed to both forms of euthanasia. In general conservative Protestants were more opposed to passive euthanasia on most dimensions than were Catholics. Both Catholic and Protestant clergy showed fear that official approval of types of euthanasia would spread into abuses. Although spiritually oriented clergy tended to show somewhat less unfavorable views on euthanasia when compared with abortion, generally, appreciable differences or role types on this particular sub-dimension was lacking.
Abeyasinghe, N L; Weerasundera, B J; Jayawardene, P A; Somarathna, S D
In Sri Lanka, induced abortion is a criminal offence except to save the life of the mother. This study determined the awareness and views of the law on abortion among women seeking an abortion. Three hundred and thirteen women were interviewed. The characteristics of the study group are discussed. 65.8% of the respondents stated they knew the current law, 25.6% stated they did not and 8.3% were unsure. On detailed analysis of each respondent's knowledge regarding the situations where abortion is legalized including those who stated that they did not know the law, only 11.2% had an accurate knowledge. More than 75% stated that abortion should be legalized when the mother's life was in danger, where there was pregnancy after rape or incest, when there was psychiatric illness in the mother and when there were fetal anomalies. Reasons for resorting to an abortion are discussed. Although 11.2% were aware of the law, there was no difference in the reasons for resorting to an abortion when compared with those who were unaware of the law. This study highlights the fact that availability of abortion services to women depend not only on the law and its awareness, but on how it is interpreted and enforced.
Although abortion for health reasons is not considered a crime in Peru, the State does not allow its inclusion in public policy, thus violating women's right to terminate a pregnancy when it affects their health. When examining the article in the Criminal Code which decriminalizes this type of abortion, provisions are identified which protect women and set the conditions to offer this type of service. This document sets the debate about the arguments used by the Peruvian State for not approving a therapeutic abortion protocol which would regulate the provision and financing of therapeutic abortion in public services, and explains why this obligation should be complied with, based on the conceptual framework of "health exception" In addition, it presents two cases brought before the judicial court in which the Peruvian State was found guilty of violating the human rights of two adolescents to whom a therapeutic abortion was denied.
Neĭkov, P; Genchev, G G
Serologic and morphologic studies were carried out with ewes and aborted fetuses, respectively, with regard to the Chlamydial infection in the flocks of some farms. The complement-fixation test was employed to examine a total of 656 blood serum samples. It was found that 20.2 per cent of these contained Chlamydial antibodies. Abortions were established with 6 to 8 per cent of the sheep in each flock. Material was sampled from 35 aborted fetuses. Featuring in the gross lesions of the fetal placenta in Chlamydial abortions were the wheat-bran type of whitish coatings on the surface. Characteristic histologic findings were desquamation, necroses, lympho-leukocytic infiltrations, and the partial deposits of calcium salts. Definite diagnostic value with the aborted fetuses were shown to have the lympho-histiocytic proliferations in the liver, adrenal glands, kidneys, lungs as well as the reticuloendothelial hyperplasia with the presence of gigantic cells of Langhans type in the mesenterial lymph nodes.
While the medical abortion (MA) drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, have radically altered reproductive health practices around the world, there has been little field research on the sales and use of these drugs, especially in developing countries. This leaves the family planning community with many unanswered questions. While good profiles of contraceptive use are available for many countries and we have good technical data on the MA drugs' efficacy, dosages and regimens such as home dosage of misoprostol versus clinic dosage, we have very little information about the quantities of MA drugs sold, how they are used, where they are used, and, in the case of misoprostol, for what purposes. Sales data are available from one excellent commercial survey and from social marketing sales of mifepristone and misoprostol and these are presented. Acknowledging the sensitivity of the issue, especially in countries where abortion is severely restricted, the author makes a plea for careful additional research to shed light on an important and growing part of the international reproductive health picture.
van Lith, D A; Wittman, R; Keith, L G
This chapter provides a detailed description of 1st and 2nd trimester abortion techniques. In general, low morbidity is facilitated by preoperative diagnosis and evaluation, operator skill, sterile technique, avoidance of trauma, completeness of evacuation, and postoperative care. The 1st trimester technique used by the authors involves predilatation with laminaria, paracervical and intracervical blocks (anesthetic solution, 1% lignocaine with adrenaline), dilatation with either the Hawkin Ambler type or half-sized Pratt dilator, and evacuation with the van Lith or Karman type suction cannula. For 2nd trimester pregnancy termination, the authors use aspirotomy, a technique that combines the classic dilatation and evacuation method with suction curettage. An ergometrine maleate preparation is administered at the start of the procedure to produce sustained contraction of the uterine wall, decrease the chance of perforation, and accelerate the emptying process. Adrenaline in 1% lignocaine is used as a local anesthetic solution. A specially designed crushing forceps decreases the cervical dilatation required. Also presented is a technique for late 2nd trimester (16-20 weeks gestation) abortion that involves prostaglandins or the Finks dilatation and evacuation technique. The complication rate in the authors' unit for 3500 2nd trimester terminations was less than 0.5% but rose after 17 weeks of gestation.
Urquia, Marcelo L.; Moineddin, Rahim; Jha, Prabhat; O’Campo, Patricia J.; McKenzie, Kwame; Glazier, Richard H.; Henry, David A.; Ray, Joel G.
Background: Skewed male:female ratios at birth have been observed among certain immigrant groups. Data on abortion practices that might help to explain these findings are lacking. Methods: We examined 1 220 933 births to women with up to 3 consecutive singleton live births between 1993 and 2012 in Ontario. Records of live births, and induced and spontaneous abortions were linked to Canadian immigration records. We determined associations of male:female infant ratios with maternal birthplace, sex of the previous living sibling(s) and prior spontaneous or induced abortions. Results: Male:female infant ratios did not appreciably depart from the normal range among Canadian-born women and most women born outside of Canada, irrespective of the sex of previous children or the characteristics of prior abortions. However, among infants of women who immigrated from India and had previously given birth to 2 girls, the overall male:female ratio was 1.96 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75–2.21) for the third live birth. The male:female infant ratio after 2 girls was 1.77 (95% CI 1.26–2.47) times higher if the current birth was preceded by 1 induced abortion, 2.38 (95% CI 1.44–3.94) times higher if preceded by 2 or more induced abortions and 3.88 (95% CI 2.02–7.50) times higher if the induced abortion was performed at 15 weeks or more gestation relative to no preceding abortion. Spontaneous abortions were not associated with male-biased sex ratios in subsequent births. Interpretation: High male:female ratios observed among infants born to women who immigrated from India are associated with induced abortions, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy. PMID:27067818
A study supported by the Program in the Republic of Korea involved 500 unmarried female adolescents and young adults selected from three categories: (a) factory workers living in industry-affiliated housing who participated in the project's special information program; (b) entertainers and sex workers working in bars and similar enterprises; and (c) women who sought an induced abortion in hospitals or private clinics. The average age of the women in each group was 22 years, 23 years, and 24 years, respectively. Most of the women had 12 years of schooling or more, and reported that their ideal age to enter marriage was 25 years. Korean society is generally very traditional, but among the factory workers cohabitation by unmarried couples is quite common and is gaining social acceptance. Among the women who reported a previous unwanted pregnancy, 85% said that they had not used a contraceptive before. Among the sex workers, contraceptive use was 53%, but still 66% had had an unwanted pregnancy. Among the factory workers contraceptive prevalence was 21%, and 36% reported having had an unwanted pregnancy. Among those seeking an abortion, only 20% had been using a method at the time of conception with 15% reporting contraceptive failure. Previous abortion experience was highest among abortion seekers (76%), followed by sex workers (45%), and the factory workers (11%). An argument is made for legalization of abortion in the country given that most abortions take place under unsafe conditions. Sex education is also recommended in schools and making family planning services available to adolescents, particularly to single women working in the industrial sector. The results have been discussed with labor unions and workers' organizations.
Midwives do not play an apparent role in family planning and in avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Nevertheless, they should pay more attention to this problem, primarily in the case of women who are less knowledgeable about family planning. Induced abortion should not be a means of family planning since it has many harmful consequences. Different means of contraception have been known for centuries, but the social movement for "birth control" dates back only to the 19th century. The International Society of Family Planning was organized in the 1950s, while the idea of birth control in Poland arose only in 1956. Before the amendment on abortion was added to the Polish constitution, the annual number of illegal abortions was about 300,000. In the era of legal abortions it is the task of physicians and midwives to propagate other means of family planning. Induced abortion results in complications in 2%-5% when carried out in the first 6-7 weeks of pregnancy, in 5%-10% in weeks 8-12 and in 20% after the 13th week. One of the most frequent complications is psychogenic. Among the women involved in a study conducted by Kokoszka, 104 out of a total of 500 women reported for a follow-up examination. Disturbance in orgasm occurred in 45 cases, decrease of sexual desire in 48 cases, reduction of sexual drive in 73 cases, and nervousness in 14 cases. The risks of induced abortion are ranked as 1) sexual nervousness 2) clinically diagnosable pain 3) general and organic nervousness. W. Poltawska adds the following. Psychological complications: depression and feelings of guilt, aggression and auto aggression, and prolonged changes in personality.
Filaković, Pavo; Erić, Anamarija Petek; Mihanović, Mate; Glavina, Trpimir; Molnar, Sven
The legal competency or capability to exercise rights is level of judgment and decision-making ability needed to manage one's own affairs and to sign official documents. With some exceptions, the person entitles this right in age of majority. It is acquired without legal procedures, however the annulment of legal capacity requires a juristic process. This resolution may not be final and could be revoked thorough the procedure of reverting legal capacity - fully or partially. Given the increasing number of persons with dementia, they are often subjects of legal expertise concerning their legal capacity. On the other part, emphasis on the civil rights of mentally ill also demands their maximal protection. Therefore such distinctive issue is approached with particular attention. The approach in determination of legal competency is more focused on gradation of it's particular aspects instead of existing dual concept: legally capable - legally incapable. The main assumption represents how person with dementia is legally capable and should enjoy all the rights, privileges and obligations as other citizens do. The aspects of legal competency for which person with dementia is going to be deprived, due to protection of one's rights and interests, are determined in legal procedure and then passed over to the guardian decided by court. Partial annulment of legal competency is measure applied when there is even one existing aspect of preserved legal capability (pension disposition, salary or pension disposition, ability of concluding contract, making testament, concluding marriage, divorce, choosing whereabouts, independent living, right to vote, right to decide course of treatment ect.). This measure is most often in favour of the patient and rarely for protection of other persons and their interests. Physicians are expected to precisely describe early dementia symptoms which may influence assessment of specific aspects involved in legal capacity (memory loss, impaired task
The use of human embryonic brain tissue for Transplantation has to be orientated in the need of protection for the embryo or fetus. Tissue derived from an abortion can only be used when a connection between the abortion and the application is excluded. The decision for an abortion should not be influenced by a possible usage of the tissue, as is stated in the guidelines of the german medical council for the use of fetal cells and tissue as well as in the guidelines from NECTAR. Criteria for death include brain death and cardiovascular arrest. If brain death can not be ascertained, one has to relay on the irreversible absence of spontaneous breathing and heart beat (after the exclusion of reversible factors like hypothermia or drugs). Authorization for the use of fetal tissue is given by the mother or the parents, their consent is a prerequisite for the use of fetal tissue.
This article provides views on abortion by demonstrating women's retrospective accounts of their abortion experiences. Women's accounts of their abortion experiences are socially constructed both at the time of the abortion and in subsequent years in their lives. Some women reflect on their past abortion as the right decision; however, some also feel varying degrees of pain, grief, and loss. Many view their abortions as mistakes. Profiles of four women are presented in this article to provide several critical points on a continuum pertaining to study participants' retrospective satisfaction with an abortion experience. Based on the profiles, various emotional reactions are possible to occur after abortion and those retrospective interpretations of the experience change as personal growth and circumstances prompt women to reflect about the original experience. It was also documented that the satisfied group in the study was the one composed of women still involved with the partner with whom they became pregnant. With an open conversation on the emotional effects of abortion, women will be able to help inform and transform politicized abortion debates.
Lamina, Mustafa Adelaja
Background. Induced abortion contributes significantly to maternal mortality in developing countries yet women still seek repeat induced abortion in spite of availability of contraceptive services. The aim of this study is to determine the rate of abortion and contraceptive use among women seeking repeat induced abortion in Western Nigeria. Method. A prospective cross-sectional study utilizing self-administered questionnaires was administered to women seeking abortion in private hospitals/clinics in four geopolitical areas of Ogun State, Western Nigeria, from January 1 to December 31 2012. Data were analyzed using SPSS 17.0. Results. The age range for those seeking repeat induced abortion was 15 to 51 years while the median age was 25 years. Of 2934 women seeking an abortion, 23% reported having had one or more previous abortions. Of those who had had more than one abortion, the level of awareness of contraceptives was 91.7% while only 21.5% used a contraceptive at their first intercourse after the procedure; 78.5% of the pregnancies were associated with non-contraceptive use while 17.5% were associated with contraceptive failure. The major reason for non-contraceptive use was fear of side effects. Conclusion. The rate of women seeking repeat abortions is high in Nigeria. The rate of contraceptive use is low while contraceptive failure rate is high. PMID:26078881
Reddy, K S
Cytogenetic data on products of conception from spontaneous abortions studied over a 10-year period have been reviewed for double trisomies. A total of 3034 spontaneous abortions were karyotyped between 1986 and 1997. Twenty-two cases with double trisomy, one case with triple trisomy, and a case with a trisomy and monosomy were found. The tissues studied were mostly sac, villi, or placenta. The gestational age ranged from 6 to 11 weeks and the mean age was 8.2 +/- 1.7 (SD) weeks. The mean maternal age in years was 35.9 +/- 5.3. Of the twenty-two cases, four were mosaics. All but two of the cases involved autosomal aneuploidies. The double trisomies included chromosomes 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, and 22. The chromosomes that were trisomic in more than one double trisomy case were numbers 16 (8 cases), 8 (5 cases), 15 (4 cases), 2, 13, and 21 (3 cases each), and 5, 7, 14, 18, 20, 22, and X (2 cases). The triple trisomy involved chromosomes 18, 21, and X. The monosomy and trisomy case was a mosaic, with a monosomy 21 in all cells and some cells also with a trisomy 5. The double trisomies cited for the first time in this study were 4/13, 5/16, 8/14, 8/15, 14/21, 15/20, and 7/12. The pooled mean maternal age for double trisomy cases (34.1 +/- 5.7 years) was higher than that for single trisomy cases (31 +/- 6.1 years). The difference was statistically significant at P = < 0.001. The pooled mean gestational age of spontaneous abortions was lower for double trisomy (8.7 +/- 2.2 weeks) than for reported single trisomy cases (10.1 +/- 2.9 weeks). This difference is also statistically significant at P = < 0.001. The sex ratio among double trisomies was 15 females to 13 males. This difference was not statistically significant from the expected 1:1.
This essay opens with an examination of US laws concerning fetal viability as they apply to induced abortion, to a mother's right to refuse medical treatment necessary to save the life of a fetus, and to the rights to file suit for the wrongful death of unborn children. The history of abortion policies in the US is traced from the common law period of the early 19th century to the restrictive post-Civil War laws and the decisions of the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade, which upheld the constitutionality of previability abortions; Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services, in which the Court assigned viability to the 20th week of pregnancy and acknowledged that States could have a compelling previability interest in the fetus; and the Casey decision, which provided tolerance for limits on the availability of abortion before viability as long as the limits did not create an "undue burden" on the woman seeking the abortion. Courts dealing with the issue of compelling a mother to undergo medical treatment to save her fetus have been inconsistent as they balanced the state's interest in the fetus against the mother's rights to privacy. Judges have tended to err on the side of forcing the medical interventions, but the most recent trend is against this sort of judgement. In these cases, fetal viability has also served as a dividing line. The inconsistency of the legal system is illustrated by the fact that, whereas the fetus now has a legal existence, wrongful death actions entered on behalf of a nonviable fetus have often been denied although courts have been more willing to extend protection to fetuses in wrongful death tort cases than in abortion or medical intervention cases. Criminal law has a unique set of rules for dealing with fetuses as some states have broadened their definitions of "homicide" to include fetuses, even nonviable fetuses. Courts, however, are reluctant to enlarge criminal statutes on their own. While the central position given to the role of
Beynon-Jones, Siân M
Tensions between the 'clock time' of medicine and the embodied times of its subjects are central to feminist writing concerning Western obstetric practice. In this article, I expand the focus of this literature by addressing the temporal dynamics of another site of reproductive healthcare: abortion provision. Echoing obstetric accounts of birth, time in legal, healthcare and social scientific discourse on abortion is routinely conceptualised as a finite resource contained within the pregnant/foetal body, which can be measured using clocks and calendars. I argue that women's interview accounts of their experiences of ending their pregnancies offer opportunities for critical reflection on this characterisation of pregnancy as linear 'gestational time'. First, participants in this study re-position the significance of gestational time by articulating its embodied meaning. Second, they provide alternative accounts of the temporality of pregnancy as a process which emerges through, and is disrupted by, the dynamics of socio-material relations. The article considers the broader implications of women's accounts of pregnancy times for legal, healthcare and social scientific accounts of 'later' abortion.
Cook, R J; Dickens, B M
Modern thinking on abortion, reflected in recent legal developments around the world, has turned from concentration upon criminality in favor of female and family well-being. New laws enacted during the last decade are coming to focus upon conditions of health and social welfare of women and their existing families as indications for lawful termination of pregnancy. Regulations governing the delivery of services may be restrictive, however, so as to limit in practice access to means of safe, legal abortion made available in theory. Requirements may be imposed that only medical personnel with unduly high qualifications perform procedures, or that they be undertaken only in institutions meeting standards higher than similar health care requires. Approval procedures may be established involving second medical opinions or committees to monitor observance of the law, which may delay abortions and therefore increase their hazards. Parental and spousal consent requirements may exist in addition with the same effects, or to veto a pregnant female's request. Regulations may be employed more positively, however, to encourage contraceptive practice. A disappointment with legislative reform is that it may fail to improve circumstances if public resources are not applied to achieve the supply of services newly rendered legitimate, and illegal practice may persist. PMID:665881
Amado, Eduardo Díaz; Calderón García, Maria Cristina; Cristancho, Katherine Romero; Salas, Elena Prada; Hauzeur, Eliane Barreto
During a highly contested process, abortion was partially decriminalised in Colombia in 2006 by the Constitutional Court: when the pregnancy threatens a woman's life or health, in cases of severe fetal malformations incompatible with life, and in cases of rape, incest or unwanted insemination. However, Colombian women still face obstacles to accessing abortion services. This is illustrated by 36 cases of women who in 2006-08 were denied the right to a lawful termination of pregnancy, or had unjustified obstacles put in their path which delayed the termination, which are analysed in this article. We argue that the obstacles resulted from fundamental disagreements about abortion and misunderstandings regarding the ethical, legal and medical requirements arising from the Court's decision. In order to avoid obstacles such as demands for a judge's authorisation, institutional claims of conscientious objection, rejection of a claim of rape, or refusal of health insurance coverage for a legal termination, which constitute discrimination against women, three main strategies are suggested: public ownership of the Court's decision by all Colombian citizens, a professional approach by those involved in the provision of services in line with the law, and monitoring of its implementation by governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Radu, A; Capra, G
In the course of the evolution of human society the problem or idea of interrupting a pregnancy has been faced many times. Romania has adopted a mixed solution to the termination of pregnancy allowing abortions for medical, eugenic, and social reasons. The 1936 penal code allowed only medical abortion, but recent regulations have offered differing solutions. The old regulation not allowing termination of pregnancy or restricting it was in force with minor modifications until 1957. In 1966 a decree was issued that allowed women with 4 children an abortion for special reasons as determined by an abortion committee, but still therapeutic and strictly medical causes predominated. In 1985 a new regulation of medical law prohibited termination of normal pregnancy up to 28 weeks of gestation and infractions were punishable by law. Illegal induced abortion represents an antisocial manifestation that jeopardizes human relationships in society. Induced abortion occurs often in disintegrated family situations. The social implications of the phenomenon of birth are manyfold. Medical intervention is difficult because of the mutilating effect of abortion. The motives are a matter of reflection for physicians and jurists alike.
Naftel, J. C.; Talay, T. A.
The HL-20 has been designed with the capability for rescue of the crew during all phases of powered ascent from on the launch pad until orbital injection. A launch-escape system, consisting of solid rocket motors located on the adapter between the HL-20 and the launch vehicle, provides the thrust that propels the HL-20 to a safe distance from a malfunctioning launch vehicle. After these launch-escape motors have burned out, the adapter is jettisoned and the HL-20 executes one of four abort modes. In three abort modes - return-to-launch-site, transatlantic-abort-landing, and abort-to-orbit - not only is the crew rescued, but the HL-20 is recovered intact. In the ocean-landing-by-parachute abort mode, which occurs in between the return-to-launch-site and the transatlantic-abort-landing modes, the crew is rescued, but the HL-20 would likely sustain damage from the ocean landing. This paper describes the launch-escape system and the four abort modes for an ascent on a Titan III launch vehicle.
Naftel, J. C.; Talay, T. A.
The HL-20 has been designed with the capability for rescue of the crew during all phases of powered ascent from on the launch pad until orbital injection. A launch-escape system, consisting of solid rocket motors located on the adapter between the HL-20 and the launch vehicle, provides the thrust that propels the HL-20 to a safe distance from a malfunctioning launch vehicle. After these launch-escape motors have burned out, the adapter is jettisoned and the HL-20 executes one of four abort modes. In three abort modes - return-to-launch-site, transatlantic-abort-landing, and abort-to-orbit - not only is the crew rescued, but the HL-20 is recovered intact. In the ocean-landing-by-parachute abort mode, which occurs in between the return-to-launch-site and the transatlantic-abort-landing modes, the crew is rescued, but the HL-20 would likely sustain damage from the ocean landing. This paper describes the launch-escape system and the four abort modes for an ascent on a Titan III launch vehicle.
Burkman, R T; King, T M; Burnett, L S; Atienza, M F
A survey of 86 university abortion programs was carried out in December 1973, a year after the Supreme Court decision on abortion. In comparing the results of the questionnaires used in the survey, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, and New York are considered separately as established states because of their prior liberalized abortion laws, and the other states are referred to as new states. At least 52% of all centers where abortions are performed have less than 500 procedures annually. 31.6% of the new states and 50% of the established states perform menstrual extraction. 65% of all centers providing abortion services have investigative programs. No significant differences exist between the centers of new and established states. It appears that significant numbers of physicians are not exposed to the management of abortions. Less than 1/3 of university programs provide educational experience for outside physicians. It was made evident by the survey that many university departments have not made elective abortion an integral part of the service and educational responsibilities of obstetrics and gynecology.
Ankara, Hasan Giray
This study aimed to identify the levels of, and socioeconomic variations in, income-related inequality in induced abortion among Turkish women. The study included 15,480 ever-married women of reproductive age (15-49) from the 2003 and 2008 waves of the Turkish Demographic and Health Survey. The measured inequalities in abortion levels and their changes over time were decomposed into the percentage contributions of selected socioeconomic factors using ordinary least square analysis and concentration indices were calculated. The inequalities and their first difference (difference in inequalities between 2003 and 2008) were decomposed using the approaches of Wagstaff et al. (2003). Higher socioeconomic characteristics (such as higher levels of wealth and education and better neighbourhood) were found to be associated with higher rates of abortion. Inequality analyses indicated that although deprived women become more familiar with abortion over time, abortion was still more concentrated among affluent women in the 2008 survey. The decomposition analyses suggested that wealth, age, education and level of regional development were the most important contributors to income-related inequality in abortion. Therefore policies that (i) increase the level of wealth and education of deprived women, (ii) develop deprived regions of Turkey, (iii) improve knowledge about family planning and, especially (iv) enhance the accessibility of family planning services for deprived and/or rural women, may be beneficial for reducing socioeconomic variations in abortion in the country.
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. 884.5050... Devices § 884.5050 Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. (a) Identification. A metreurynter-balloon abortion system is a device used to induce abortion. The device is inserted into the uterine...
The availability of abortion provides insurance against unwanted pregnancies since abortion is the only birth control method which allows women to avoid an unwanted birth once they are pregnant. Restrictive state abortion policies, which increase the cost of obtaining an abortion, may increase women's incentive to alter their pregnancy avoidance…
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. 884.5050... Devices § 884.5050 Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. (a) Identification. A metreurynter-balloon abortion system is a device used to induce abortion. The device is inserted into the uterine...
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. 884.5050... Devices § 884.5050 Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. (a) Identification. A metreurynter-balloon abortion system is a device used to induce abortion. The device is inserted into the uterine...
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. 884.5050... Devices § 884.5050 Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. (a) Identification. A metreurynter-balloon abortion system is a device used to induce abortion. The device is inserted into the uterine...
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. 884.5050... Devices § 884.5050 Metreurynter-balloon abortion system. (a) Identification. A metreurynter-balloon abortion system is a device used to induce abortion. The device is inserted into the uterine...
Lemkau, Jeanne Parr
Summarizes literature on normative reactions to abortion and factors that increase risk of negative emotional sequelae. Discusses characteristics of woman, social support and cultural milieu around the abortion, the medical environment and abortion procedure itself, and events subsequent to abortion which may cause conflict. Discusses implications…
Examined feelings of well-being in 217 women who had abortions. Results suggest that, compared to women who have not had abortions, those who choose abortion feel more negatively. Of women choosing abortion, those who are already mothers are most likely to be depressed and lonely, followed by those from lower educational and socioeconomic…
In 3 recent judgments, the European Court of Human Rights addressed the issue of access to abortion and related reproductive health services. In 2 of the judgments, the Court declared that the state violated women's rights by obstructing access to legal health services, including abortion. In so doing, it referred to the state's failure to implement domestic norms on prenatal testing and conscientious objection, and recognized the relevance of international medical guidelines. This illustrates that domestic and international medical standards can serve as critical guidance to human rights courts. In the third case, the Court showed its unwillingness to declare access to abortion a human right per se, which is troubling from the perspective of women's right to health and dignity. The present article outlines the relevance of these cases for the reproductive health profession and argues that medical professional societies can influence human rights courts by developing and enforcing medical standards, not only for the benefit of abortion rights domestically but also for the advancement of women's human rights worldwide.
Henning, G; Henning, M; Engel, E
In 11 departments of gynaecology 2,700 patients with legal abortions had been as well in 1976 as in 1981 and 1,800 ones in 1987. The following results could be found: The average age decreased from 28.3 to 27.3 years and the portion of patients below 18 years increased from 6% to 8%. The portion of pupils, apprentices and students increased from 10% to 14%. 80% respectively 77% the women had born children previously. 33% respectively 38% of these women later on ant to have children yet. The portion of repeated artificial abortions increased from 16% to 35%. Motivations of artificial abortions changed only a little bit. The following motives were the main ones: Realized wish to children, age of the woman, inconvenient intervals of the born children and general familiar aspects. The hitherto existing use of hormonal contraception increased from 39% to 97%. Aspects of possible health damages and aspects of indifference were the main explanations of the non-use of hormonal contraception. 96% of the women intend to use one form of contraception (67% hormonal contraception, 15% IUD and 14% classic methods) in future. The main tasks to restrict the numbers of artificial abortions are: --Improvement of sexual-ethical education of the children an teenagers to responsible partnership.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
A survey of 1734 married women in Brazil was conducted to determine the incidence of abortion. The results show that 159, or 9.2% stated that they had had at least 1 induced abortion, either within marriage or when they were single. Mean age of women with a history of induced abortion was 35.05 years, compared with 34.38 years for women who had had live births but not abortion, and 32.58 for women who had had neither live-birth nor abortion. When age at marriage, rather than age at interview was considered, the incidence of abortion was apparently greater among those marrying at earlier ages, although consideration should also be given to the fact that the chances of live births are also inversely related to age at marriage. Generally, married women with a history of abortion desired no more children compared with other married women; they were more likely to have had experimented with various contraceptive measures in the past; more likely to be currently practicing contraception; and were more ready to accept the contraceptive pill if it had been available. The lower the social status (either of the wife's father/husband) and the 'darker' the informant's skin color, the greater the tendency to use coitus interruptus; the safe period; and other methods. Also, the lower the social status and the darker the skin, the less likely was the informant ever to have used contraceptive devices. It was concluded that in consideration of the variables considered, the differences between wives with and without a history of abortion were generally not great. Any significant differences noted were attributed to variations in economic security. Widespread knowledge and practice of contraception, as well as economic development and higher average income, will reduce the induced abortion rate in Brazil.
The most plausible pro-life argument claims that abortion is seriously wrong because it deprives the foetus of something valuable. This paper examines two recent versions of this argument. Don Marquis's version takes the valuable thing to be a 'future like ours', a future containing valuable experiences and activities. Jim Stone's version takes the valuable thing to be a future containing conscious goods, which it is the foetus's biological nature to make itself have. I give three grounds for rejecting these arguments. First, they lead to unacceptable inequalities in the wrongness of killing. Second, they lead to counterintuitive results in a range of imaginary cases. Third, they ignore the role of psychological connectedness in determining the magnitude or seriousness of deprivation-based harms: because the foetus is only weakly psychologically connected to its own future, it cannot be seriously harmed by being deprived of that future.
Researchers are increasingly interested in creating chimeras by transplanting human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into animals early in development. One concern is that such research could confer upon an animal the moral status of a normal human adult but then impermissibly fail to accord it the protections it merits in virtue of its enhanced moral status. Understanding the public policy implications of this ethical conclusion, though, is complicated by the fact that claims about moral status cannot play an unfettered role in public policy. Arguments like those employed in the abortion debate for the conclusion that abortion should be legally permissible even if abortion is not morally permissible also support, to a more limited degree, a liberal policy on hESC research involving the creation of chimeras.
Throughout the 1960s, the public abortion debate was dominated by men. While women's voices were not absent, they are harder to locate. This article highlights one forum in which women eloquently expressed their feelings about abortion. In submissions to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, women demonstrated their "right" to speak on the issue in many ways, including by sharing their experiences as mothers or with unplanned and unwanted pregnancies; referencing their professional lives, especially in care giving fields; and drawing moral authority from or opposing religious beliefs. This article analyzes women's efforts to convey their authority to speak to the legality of abortion, highlighting a component of the 1960s abortion law reform discussion often overlooked.
Mortality by abortion has continuously decreased over the past fifty years in Chile. In fact, maternal death as a result of an induced abortion has become an exceptionally rare phenomenon in epidemiological terms (a risk of 1 in 4 million pregnant women of fertile age or 0.4 per 100,000 life births for abortion of any type, excluding ectopic pregnancy). After abortion became illegal in 1989, deaths related to abortion continued to decrease from 10.8 to 0.39 per 100,000 live births. This scientific fact challenges the common notion that less permissive abortion laws lead to greater mortality associated with abortion.
Meier, K J; Haider-Markel, D P; Stanislawski, A J; McFarlane, D R
This research examines 23 different laws passed by state governments in an effort to restrict the number of abortions. It assesses both laws passed and laws actually enforced after the Supreme Court permitted states to restrict access to abortion in 1989. None of the policy actions by state governments has had a significant impact on the incidence of abortion from 1982 to 1992. Abortion rates continue to reflect past abortion rates, the number of abortion providers, whether the state funds abortions for Medicaid-eligible women, urbanism, and racial composition of the population. Recent restrictive policies have not affected these trends.
Uythoven, Jan; Boccardi, Andrea; Bravin, Enrico; Goddard, Brennan; Hemelsoet, Georges-Henry; Höfle, Wolfgang; Jacquet, Delphine; Kain, Verena; Mazzoni, Stefano; Meddahi, Malika; Valuch, Daniel; Gianfelice-Wendt, Eliana
To minimize the beam losses at the moment of an LHC beam dump the 3 μs long abort gap should contain as few particles as possible. Its population can be minimised by abort gap cleaning using the LHC transverse damper system. The LHC Run 1 experience is briefly recalled; changes foreseen for the LHC Run 2 are presented. They include improvements in the observation of the abort gap population and the mechanism to decide if cleaning is required, changes to the hardware of the transverse dampers to reduce the detrimental effect on the luminosity lifetime and proposed changes to the applied cleaning algorithms.
Portnoï, M F; Joye, N; van den Akker, J; Morlier, G; Taillemite, J L
Cytogenetic analysis was performed on 1142 couples with recurrent pregnancy loss. The frequency of major chromosomal abnormalities per couple was 4.8%. Among 771 couples who had only abortions, the rate of rearrangement did not correlate with the number of abortions. The highest incidence of cytogenetic abnormalities (6.6%) was found in 256 couples with abortion and a normal child. With regard to pregnancy outcome, no unbalanced fetal karyotype was found in prenatal diagnoses, and 40 normal children were born. The risk of unbalanced fetal karyotype is therefore low, but probably high enough for these couples to be offered the possibility of a prenatal diagnosis.
This paper discusses the Brazilian Supreme Court ruling on the case of anencephaly. In Brazil, abortion is a crime against the life of a fetus, and selective abortion of non-viable fetuses is prohibited. Following a paradigmatic case discussed by the Brazilian Supreme Court in 2004, the use of abortion was authorized in the case of a fetus with anencephaly. The objective of this paper is to analyze the ethical arguments of the case, in particular the strategy of avoiding the moral status of the fetus, the cornerstone thesis of the Catholic Church.
Ferris, L E; McMain-Klein, M; Colodny, N; Fellows, G F; Lamont, J
OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with increased risk of immediate complications from induced abortion. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a provincial database. SETTING: All Ontario general hospitals in which abortions are performed and all free-standing abortion clinics in Ontario. POPULATION: Women in Ontario aged 15 to 44 years who underwent an induced abortion in the province (without concurrent sterilization) between Jan. 1, 1992, and Dec. 31, 1993. OUTCOME MEASURES: Recording of complications at the time of the procedure, gestational age, type of procedure, place of abortion (hospital or clinic), and patient's age, parity and history of previous abortion (spontaneous or induced). RESULTS: During the study period 83 469 abortions were performed that met our inclusion criteria. Immediate complications were reported in 571 cases (0.7%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that, after other variables were controlled for, the patient's age, parity and history of previous abortions (spontaneous or induced) were not significant risk factors for immediate complications; however, gestational age, method of abortion and place of abortion were significant risk factors (p < 0.001). The odds ratio (OR) for having a complication from abortion was 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02 to 1.63) between 9 and 12 weeks, compared with having one after abortion at 9 weeks or earlier, and increased to 3.3 (95% CI 2.23 to 5.00) after abortion between 17 and 20 weeks. Compared with surgical dilatation and curettage (D&C), instillation of saline and instillation of prostaglandins were more likely to be associated with immediate complications (OR 24.0, 95% CI 13.22 to 43.70, and OR 11.7, 95% CI 6.43 to 21.18, respectively), whereas both suction D&C and insertion of a laminaria tent were less likely to be associated with immediate complications (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.67, and OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.52, respectively). Compared with women who had an abortion
Evaluating the relative effectiveness of high-intensity and low-intensity models of behaviour change communication interventions for abortion care-seeking in Bihar and Jharkhand, India: a cross-sectional study
Banerjee, Sushanta K; Andersen, Kathryn; Pearson, Erin; Warvadekar, Janardan; Khan, Danish U; Batra, Sangeeta
Background This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a high-intensity model (HIM) and a low-intensity model (LIM) of behaviour change communication interventions in Bihar and Jharkhand states of India designed to improve women's knowledge and usage of safe abortion services, as well as the dose effect of intervention exposure. Methods We conducted two cross-sectional household surveys among married women aged 15–49 years in intervention and comparison districts. Difference-in-difference models were used to assess the efficacy of the intervention, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. Results Although both intervention types improved abortion knowledge, the HIM intervention was more effective in improving comprehensive knowledge about abortion. In particular, there were improvements in knowledge on legality of abortion (AOR=2.2; 95% CI 1.6 to 2.9) and nearby sources of safe abortion care (AOR=1.7; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.3). Conclusions Higher level of exposure to abortion-related messages was related to more accurate knowledge about abortion within both intervention groups. Evidence was mixed on changes in abortion care-seeking behaviour. More work is needed to ensure that women seek safe abortion services in lieu of informal services that may be more likely to lead to postabortion complications. PMID:28237953
Sanhueza Smith, Patricio; Peña, Melanie; Dzuba, Ilana G; García Martinez, María Laura; Aranguré Peraza, Ana Gabriela; Bousiéguez, Manuel; Shochet, Tara; Winikoff, Beverly
Extensive evidence exists regarding the efficacy and acceptability of medical abortion through 63 days since last menstrual period (LMP). In Mexico City's Secretariat of Health (SSDF) outpatient facilities, mifepristone-misoprostol medical abortion is the first-line approach for abortion care in this pregnancy range. Recent research demonstrates continued high rates of complete abortion through 70 days LMP. To expand access to legal abortion services in Mexico City (where abortion is legal through 12 weeks LMP), this study sought to assess the efficacy and acceptability of the standard outpatient approach through 70 days in two SSDF points of service. One thousand and one women seeking pregnancy termination were enrolled and given 200 mg mifepristone followed by 800 μg misoprostol 24-48 hours later. Women were asked to return to the clinic one week later for evaluation. The great majority of women (93.3%; 95% CI: 91.6-94.8) had complete abortions. Women with pregnancies ≤ 8 weeks LMP had significantly higher success rates than women in the 9th or 10th weeks (94.9% vs. 90.5%; p = 0.01). The difference in success rates between the 9th and 10th weeks was not significant (90.0% vs. 91.2%; p = 0.71). The majority of women found the side effects (82.9%) and the use of misoprostol (84.4%) to be very acceptable or acceptable. This study provides additional evidence supporting an extended outpatient medical abortion regimen through 10 weeks LMP.
Adinma, E D; Adinma, J I B; Ugboaja, J; Iwuoha, C; Akiode, A; Oji, E; Okoh, M
One in four pregnancies worldwide is voluntarily terminated. Approximately 20 million terminations are performed under unsafe conditions, mostly in developing countries with restrictive abortion laws. A total of 100 consecutive abortion-seekers were interviewed, to ascertain their knowledge and perceptions on the Nigerian Abortion Law. The majority (55.0%) of the respondents were students. Most of them (97%) had at least secondary education and the majority (62.0%) were within the 20-24 years age range. Only 31.0% of the women interviewed were aware of the Nigerian Abortion Law. While 16% perceived the law as being restrictive, 2% opined that' it was alright'; 1% perceived it as very restrictive and 12% had no opinion on the abortion law. Knowledge of the abortion law had no significant relationship with either the educational level of the respondent or the number of previous pregnancy terminations and overall demand for abortion services. It is necessary to ensure a wide dissemination of the abortion law and its provisions to the Nigerian public, in order to arm them with the necessary information to participate actively in debates on abortion law reforms.
Dennis, Amanda; Blanchard, Kelly
Objective To evaluate the implementation of state Medicaid abortion policies and the impact of these policies on abortion clients and abortion providers. Data Source From 2007 to 2010, in-depth interviews were conducted with representatives of 70 abortion-providing facilities in 15 states. Study Design In-depth interviews focused on abortion providers' perceptions regarding Medicaid and their experiences working with Medicaid and securing reimbursement in cases that should receive federal funding: rape, incest, and life endangerment. Data Extraction Data were transcribed verbatim before being coded. Principal Findings In two study states, abortion providers reported that 97 percent of submitted claims for qualifying cases were funded. Success receiving reimbursement was attributed to streamlined electronic billing procedures, timely claims processing, and responsive Medicaid staff. Abortion providers in the other 13 states reported reimbursement for 36 percent of qualifying cases. Providers reported difficulties obtaining reimbursement due to unclear rejections of qualifying claims, complex billing procedures, lack of knowledgeable Medicaid staff with whom billing problems could be discussed, and low and slow reimbursement rates. Conclusions Poor state-level implementation of Medicaid coverage of abortion policies creates barriers for women seeking abortion. Efforts to ensure policies are implemented appropriately would improve women's health. PMID:22742741
Oduro, Georgina Yaa; Otsin, Mercy Nana Akua
Globally, abortion has emerged as a critical determinant of maternal morbidity and mortality. The Ghana government amended the country's abortion law in 1985 to promote safe abortion. This article discusses the findings of a qualitative study that explored the decision-making experiences of 28 female abortion seekers aged between 15 and 30 years in Ghana. Key findings from the study are that individuals claimed autonomy in their abortion decisions; underlying the abortion decisions were pragmatic concerns such as economic difficulties, child spacing, and fear of parental reaction. In conclusion, we examine the health implications of Ghanaian women's abortion decisions.
Manninen, Bertha Alvarez
In 2008, many states sought to pass Human Life Amendments, which would extend the definition of personhood to encompass newly fertilized eggs. If such an amendment were to pass, Roe v. Wade, as currently defended by the Supreme Court, may be repealed. Consequently, it is necessary to defend the right to an abortion in a manner that succeeds even if a Human Life Amendment successfully passes. J.J. Thomson's argument in "A Defense of Abortion" successfully achieves this. Her argument is especially strong when one considers that her central thesis-that one person's right to life does not entail the right to use another's person's body for continued sustenance-is pervasive in legal policies in the U.S.A.
Evidence suggests that there is widespread home use of abortion pills in Ireland and that ending a pregnancy in this way is potentially safer than the alternatives available to many women. This paper argues that there is a strong case for women with unwanted pregnancies to be offered truthful and objective information regarding the use of abortion pills by trusted local professionals and, further, that this is possible within existing law. A move in this direction would not, however, negate the need for legal reform to address the fundamental moral incoherence of a law that treats women who terminate pregnancies within Ireland as criminals but those who travel to access services overseas as victims in need of support. In support of these arguments, the paper draws on both library research and a small number of interviews with government officials, service providers and activists.
Li, Yu-Chan; Gau, Meei-Ling; Tsai, Yieh-Loong; Huang, Chun-Liang
Abortion has long been an issue of concern for professional groups in many fields, such as medicine, nursing, religion, feminist rights, psychology, and social work. Although these groups hold differing views on abortion as well as eugenics health care law revision, they share a consensus that counseling services should be provided for abortion in order that women are sufficiently informed to make a sound decision on whether or not to have an abortion. Thus, this paper discusses in detail counseling service in terms of background, workflow and approaches, and interdisciplinary integration, as well as offers suggestions for future development. Hopefully, this can serve as a reference for concerned about women's reproductive health and obstetrics service quality.
NASA's work in the next generation of launch abort systems (LAS) is significantly different from past programs. Instead of designing a specific system for a given spacecraft or rocket, engineers ar...
Stigma taints individuals with a spoiled identity and loss of status or discrimination. This article is the first to examine the stigma attached to abortion and surrogacy and consider how law may stigmatize women for failing to conform to social expectations about maternal roles. Courts should consider evidence of stigma when evaluating laws regulating abortion or surrogacy to determine whether these laws are based on impermissible gender stereotyping.
South Africa's National Assembly voted 209 to 87 for passage of the "Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act" on October 30; it was passed in the Senate, 49 to 21 (20 abstentions), on November 5. The African National Congress strongly supported the Act, while the National Party opposed it. Under the law, abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy may to be performed by physicians or trained midwives. From week 13 through week 20, a physician, in consultation with the mother, may terminate the pregnancy after determining that continuing the pregnancy would threaten the woman's health (physical or mental) or circumstances (social or economic), or that the fetus is at substantial risk of suffering severe physical or mental abnormalities. Abortion is permitted after 20 weeks if two doctors (or midwives) decide continuing the pregnancy would endanger the mother's life or result in injury or severe malformation of the fetus. Only the pregnant woman's consent is required. Although an abortion provider must advise a young client to consult with parents, guardian, family members, or friends before the procedure, she is not required to comply. All women are to be informed of their rights under the Act; criminal penalties (up to 10 years) are mandated for unauthorized abortion providers, for persons who prevent a lawful abortion, or for those who obstruct access to an abortion facility. The new statute repeals the more restrictive Abortion and Sterilization Act of 1975, which permitted abortion only in cases of maternal life or health endangerment, severe fetal abnormality, rape, incest, or mental incapacity.
Stott, Jeffrey L; Blanchard, Myra T; Anderson, Mark; Maas, John; Walker, Richard L; Kennedy, Peter C; Norman, Ben B; BonDurant, Robert H; Oliver, Michael N; Hanks, Donald; Hall, Mark R
Advances in defining the biology of epizootic bovine abortion (EBA), including identification of the etiologic agent, have been hampered by the inability to reproduce the disease with confidence. Experimental reproduction of EBA, by feeding the tick vector Ornithodoros coriaceus on susceptible pregnant heifers, is not reliable. The primary objectives of this study were to identify specific tissue(s) obtained from EBA-infected fetuses that could transmit the disease, and then utilize such an infectious challenge system to better define the pathogen, host immunity and geographic distribution of the agent. Described here is the ability to routinely reproduce EBA following inoculation of cryopreserved suspensions of homogenized thymus into susceptible pregnant heifers. This challenge system permitted experiments demonstrating the agent was non-filterable, inactivated upon sonication and susceptible to antibiotics. These findings suggest a prokaryotic microbe and represent a major advance in EBA research. Additional experiments demonstrated that inoculation of the cryopreserved EBA-infectious tissue into heifers, prior to breeding, conferred immunity. Furthermore, such immunized heifers were resistant to challenge with heterologous sources of infectious tissue, suggesting monovalent vaccine development might be feasible. Lastly, challenge studies employing animals from Central Nevada, an area considered free of EBA, demonstrated partial immunity, suggesting the pathogen, and possibly the disease, enjoy a broader distribution than previously thought.
Shifting boundaries in healthcare roles have led to anxiety among some nurses about their legal responsibilities and accountabilities. This is partly because of a lack of education about legal principles that underpin healthcare delivery. This article explains the law in terms of standards of care, duty of care, vicarious liability and indemnity insurance.
Certain types of crises cry out for legal counsel. Becoming familiar with the basics of media law is suggested for public relations offices. Three types of crises that call for legal advice include: litigation or potential litigation; a violation of a law or regulation; or incidents with any hint of liability. (MLW)
American Indian Journal, 1977
The Legal Commission of the International Non-Governmental Organizations Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations adopted the following agenda: legal status of indigenous populations; the land question; indigenous laws and courts; discrimination against indigenous peoples in existing laws and their application; and creation of…
Chambliss, William; Scorza, Thomas
Presents two opposing viewpoints concerning the legalization of drugs. States that control efforts are not cost effective and suggests that legalization with efforts at education is a better course of action (W. Chambliss). The opposing argument contends that the cost in human suffering negates any savings in dollars gained through legalization…
Graca, Thomas J.
Like most issues in higher education, the accreditation paradigm in the United States is defined in large measure by the legal and political climate in which the academy finds itself. In the case of accreditation in particular, the legal substrate is of particular importance given the central role of accreditation in a college's ability to receive…
Detailed reviews of two legal information databases--"Laborlaw I" and "Legal Resource Index"--are presented in this paper. Each database review begins with a bibliographic entry listing the title; producer; vendor; cost per hour contact time; offline print cost per citation; time period covered; frequency of updates; and size…
Cincinnati Public Schools, OH.
This publication was developed by the Cincinnati (Ohio) Public Schools for use as a resource in adult basic education classes. It presents, in simple format, the basic legal rights of citizens of the United States and points out legal problem areas that average adults may encounter in daily life. The book is organized into nine parts containing 2…
Harris, Lisa H
It is common to think of scientific research and the knowledge it generates as neutral and value free. Indeed, the scientific method is designed to produce "objective" data. However, there are always values built into science, as historians of science and technology have shown over and over. The relevant question is not how to rid science of values but, instead, to ask which values and whose values belong? Currently, antiabortion values consistently determine US research policy. Abortion research is declared illegitimate in covert and overt ways, at the level of individual researchers and research policy broadly. Most importantly, federal policy impedes conduct of both basic and clinical research in abortion. However, it is not just research in abortion that is deemed "illegitimate;" research in infertility and in vitro fertilization is as well. Federal funding of any reproductive health research agenda that would pose more than minimal risk to a fetus or embryo is banned. This leaves unanswered scientific questions about abortion, infertility, miscarriage and contraception among other areas. Since moral ground is occupied not just by abortion opponents but also by people who support abortion rights, there is at the very least a competing moral claim to consider changing federal research funding policy. Women and families deserve access to knowledge across the spectrum of reproductive health issues, whether they seek to end or start a pregnancy. Thus, research funding is an issue of reproductive justice.
af Geijerstam, G
In 1974, a law was passed in Sweden allowing abortion on demand. Studies are now being undertaken to determine the effect of this law in 3 important areas: abortion counselling, abortion frequency, and possible means of psychological assistance for those who undergo abortions. Abortion must be studied as it affects the entire reproductive chain, in which there are 4 main links: frequency of sexual intercourse, physiological fertility, motivation to have children, and measures taken for birth control. In an agricultural society, children have a value as part of the work force and for retirement security; in a modern society, children have a much more abstract value. The reproductive chain is also affected by the increasing number of unmarried couples living together. There is a need to interview individuals and families to determine "fertility choice behavior", which can help to illuminate motivations for becoming pregnant or seeking abortion. These studies could help determine the perceived advantages and disadvantages of having children and what factors influence "fertility choice behavior".
Steinberg, Julia Renee; Russo, Nancy F
Using data from the United States National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), we conducted secondary data analyses to examine the relationship of abortion, including multiple abortions, to anxiety after first pregnancy outcome in two studies. First, when analyzing the NSFG, we found that pre-pregnancy anxiety symptoms, rape history, age at first pregnancy outcome (abortion vs. delivery), race, marital status, income, education, subsequent abortions, and subsequent deliveries accounted for a significant association initially found between first pregnancy outcome and experiencing subsequent anxiety symptoms. We then tested the relationship of abortion to clinically diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder, using NCS data. Contrary to findings from our analyses of the NSFG, in the NCS analyses we did not find a significant relationship between first pregnancy outcome and subsequent rates of GAD, social anxiety, or PTSD. However, multiple abortions were found to be associated with much higher rates of PTSD and social anxiety; this relationship was largely explained by pre-pregnancy mental health disorders and their association with higher rates of violence. Researchers and clinicians need to learn more about the relations of violence exposure, mental health, and pregnancy outcome to avoid attributing poor mental health solely to pregnancy outcomes.
Elkins, James R.
Legal education fails to prepare students to engage in moral discourse, exploring the ethical/moral dimension of the profession. Moral discourse suggests that the lawyer's professional ethos is problematic for the good person, and moves the profession to confront more directly the public image of lawyers. (MSE)
Fetters, Tamara; Raisanen, Keris; Mupeta, Stephen; Malisikwanda, Isikanda; Vwalika, Bellington; Osur, Joachim; Dijkerman, Sally
Despite broad grounds for legal abortion in Zambia, access to abortion services remains limited. Pharmacy workers, a primary source of health care for communities, present an opportunity to bridge the gap between policy and practice. As part of a larger operations study, 80 pharmacy workers, both registered pharmacists and their assistants, participated in a training on medical abortion in 2009 and 2010. Fifty-five of the 80 pharmacy workers completed an anonymous, structured training pre-test, treated as a baseline questionnaire; 53 of the 80 trainees were interviewed 12-24 months post-training in face-to-face interviews to measure the retention of information and training effectiveness. Survey questions were selected to illustrate the principles of a harm reduction approach to unsafe abortion. Bivariate analysis was used to examine pharmacy worker knowledge, attitudes and dispensing behaviours pre-training and at follow-up. A higher percentage of pharmacy workers reported referring women to a health care facility between surveys (47% to 68%, p = 0.03). The number of pharmacy workers who reported dispensing ineffective abortifacients decreased from baseline to end-line (30% to 25%) but the difference was non-significant. However, study results demonstrate that Zambian pharmacy workers have a role to play in safe abortion services and some are willing to play that role.
In 2006, the Constitutional Court of Colombia issued Decision C-355/2006, which liberalized the country's abortion law. The reform was groundbreaking in its argumentation, being one of the first judicial decisions in the world to uphold abortion rights on equality grounds, and the first by a constitutional court to rule on the constitutionality of abortion within a human rights framework. It was also the first of a series of reforms that would liberalize the abortion regulation in four other Latin American countries. The Colombian case is also notable for the process of strategic litigation carried out by feminist organizations after the Court's decision, in order to ensure its implementation and counter the opposition from conservative actors working in State institutions, as well as for the active role played by the Court in that process. Based on fieldwork carried out in Colombia in 2013, this article analyzes the process of progressive implementation and reactionary backlash after Decision C-355/2006, with an emphasis on strategic litigation by the feminist movement and subsequent decisions by the Constitutional Court, which consolidated its jurisprudence in the field of abortion rights. It highlights the role of both feminists and of conservative activists within State institutions as opposing social movements, and the dynamics of political and legal mobilization and counter-mobilization in that process.
Henshaw, R C; Naji, S A; Russell, I T; Templeton, A A
A total of 363 women undergoing legal abortion at < 63 days of amenorrhoea were allocated by a patient-centered, partially randomized study design to undergo medical abortion (using mifepristone 600 mg followed 48 h later by gemeprost 1 mg vaginal pessary) or vacuum aspiration (performed under general anaesthesia). The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy and complications of the two procedures. Main outcome measures included efficacy rates, medical complications within 21 days of abortion and unplanned family doctor consultation rates within 8 weeks following abortion. Sequelae such as pain, vaginal bleeding and recovery time were assessed by the change in haemoglobin level, the time taken to return to work or normal activity and the analgesic use. Results were gestation-related; at 50 days of amenorrhoea there was little to choose between the two procedures. At 50-63 days of amenorrhoea medical abortion becomes more painful and less effective, whereas vacuum aspiration retains high tolerance and efficacy. Women who are unsure which method to use are likely to find vacuum aspiration more acceptable at longer gestations.
After 12 years, the US citizens elected a pro-choice president and preserved the already pro-choice Congress even though new people constitute 25% of the House of Representatives. The Congress gained even more pro-choice members. The abortion issue played an important secondary role (preceded by the economy) in the national elections, but was more important at the state level in many states. For example, voters overwhelmingly chose to preserve access to legal abortion in Arizona (69.31%) and Maryland (62.38%). In addition, 4 new women Senators and a Senator-elect from Colorado publicly proclaimed their pro-choice stance. The states of Missouri, North Carolina, and North Dakota elected pro-choice governors resulting in 30 pro-choice US governors and 20 antiabortion governors. President-elect Clinton can unilaterally repeal 2 of Bush's executive orders: the gag rule and the ban on fetal tissue transplantation research. He will need Congress' support to renew the Title X family planning program, to grant public funding for medically necessary abortions for poor women again, and the pass of the Freedom of Choice Act. Congress and the new president face the obstacle of convincing the public of the damage to basic rights done by the Supreme Court as evidenced by abortion rulings. They also need to lead the pro-choice groups to begin concentrating on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies so as to reduce the number of abortions and the needs of all women who want and need access to safe abortion. The Republican party's great hostility toward abortion and its intolerance for a variety of beliefs and life styles alienated most US citizens. Recent political losses are motivating the Republican party to reorganize but it depends on the moderates' ability and willingness to reclaim the party.
McCurdy, Stephen A
Four decades after Roe v. Wade, abortion remains highly contentious, pitting a woman's right to choose against a fetal claim to life. Public health implications are staggering: the US annual total of more than one million induced abortions equals nearly half the number of registered deaths from all causes. Sentiment regarding abortion is roughly evenly split among the general public, yet fundamental debate about abortion is largely absent in the public health community, which is predominantly supportive of its wide availability. Absence of substantive debate on abortion separates the public health community from the public we serve, jeopardizing the trust placed in us. Traditional public health values-support for vulnerable groups and opposition to the politicization of science-together with the principle of reciprocity weigh against abortion. Were aborted lives counted as are other human lives, induced abortion would be acknowledged as the largest single preventable cause of loss of human life. Lay Summary: Four decades after Roe v. Wade, abortion remains highly divisive. Public sentiment regarding abortion is roughly evenly split, yet fundamental debate is largely absent in the public health community, which supports abortion's wide availability. Absence of substantive debate separates the public health community from the public it serves. Traditional public health values-support for vulnerable populations and opposition to politicization of science-and the principle of reciprocity ("the Golden Rule") weigh against abortion. Were aborted lives counted as are other human lives, induced abortion would be acknowledged as the largest single preventable cause of loss of human life.
Lassiter, Dragana; Mercier, Rebecca; Bryant, Amy; Lyerly, Anne Drapkin
BACKGROUND Laws governing abortion provision are proliferating throughout the United States, yet little is known about how these laws affect providers. We investigated the experiences of abortion providers in North Carolina practicing under the 2011 Women’s Right to Know Act, which mandates that women receive counseling with specific, state-prescribed information at least 24 hours prior to an abortion. We focus here on a subset of the data to examine one strategy by which providers worked to minimize moral conflicts generated by the counseling procedure. Drawing on Erving Goffman’s work on language and social interaction, we highlight how providers communicated moral objections and layered meanings through a practice that we call prefacing the script. METHODS We conducted semi-structured interviews with 31 physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and clinic managers who provide abortion care in North Carolina. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using an inductive, iterative analytic approach, which included reading for context, interpretive memo-writing, and focused coding. RESULTS Roughly half of the participants (14/31) reported that they or the clinicians who performed the counseling in their institution routinely prefaced the counseling script with qualifiers, disclaimers, and apologies that clarified their relationship to the state-mandated content. We identified three performative functions of this practice: 1) enacting a frame shift from a medical to a legal interaction, 2) distancing the speaker from the authorial voice of the counseling script, and 3) creating emotional alignment. CONCLUSIONS Prefacing state-mandated abortion counseling scripts constitutes a practical strategy providers use to balance the obligation to comply with state law with personal and professional responsibilities to provide tailored care, emotional support, and serve the patient’s best interests. Our findings suggest that language constitutes a