Women’s bodies are heavily politicised and in these politics; usually, women’s rights to bodily autonomy and self-determination are voided. Abortion laws that have arbitrary time limits or those that ban abortions altogether are harmful and oppressive. Here are some news stories on the developments in abortion law around the world.
- A ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy came into effect in Texas on Wednesday after the United States Supreme Court voted down an emergency request to block it. The 6-week time limit is before most women even know they are pregnant. It allows a medical exemption but has no provision for victims of rape or incest.
- American anti-abortionists are promoting ‘Abortion pill reversal (APR)’, a controversial treatment, to women across the world, including Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa.
- The International Planned Parenthood Federation is set to launch legal action against the UK government’s decision to drastically cut the aid budget. The organisation provides abortions and other reproductive healthcare around the world.
- In England, Scotland and Wales, there is a general 24-week time limit to have an abortion. However, the law states that terminations can be performed well beyond that window if there is “a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”. This law bordering on eugenics is discriminatory towards people living with disabilities. The claimant, Máire Lea-Wilson believes that it is morally and ethically wrong to terminate a foetus on the grounds of a disability. She was offered a termination two days before her son was born.
- Gurnsey lawmakers make favourable amendments to their existing abortion law.
Read Also: Our three-part series – Inside Nigeria’s Abortion Realities