Abortion Law and Policy News
20 July 2016

Morena Herrera, Agrupación Ciudadana por la
Despenalización del Aborto, El Salvador

El Salvador: the world's most punitive anti-women, anti-abortion laws
Twenty-one members of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) in El Salvador submitted a motion on 11 July to the parliament for debate on 14 July to reform Article 133 of the Penal Code, increasing the penalty for women who cause or consent to an abortion from up to eight years in prison to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 50 years. This is equivalent to the current sentence for aggravated murder with extreme cruelty. Increased penalties for health professionals and others accused of “promoting” abortion were also proposed. In addition their motion stipulates penalties for wrongful injury to the "unborn" against medical personnel if they occur in the exercise of their profession. Also punishable by imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years is the promotion of procedures, medications, substances or objects intended to cause a miscarriage. These proposals were put forward in the name of the "la inseguridad jurídica del no nacido" (juridical insecurity of the not born).

Actions by groups Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto Terapéutico, Ético y Eugenésco (Citizens' Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion on Therapeutic, and Ethical Grounds and for Fetal Anomaly) , Amnesty International, Ipas and WGNRR have postponed the debate, possibly until this week. How much longer will Salvadoran women have to wait for justice?...

Department of Special Investigation hunting doctors selling abortion pills online

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) in Thailand says it is trying to track down a senior doctor in Nakhon Pathom province who has been selling abortion pills through 27 websites online for 5-6 years, with total sales of about 600 million baht (about US$17 million). DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang said two suspects had been arrested and charged for the same crime in 2014 and had been given a suspended sentence by the court. The DSI did not identify any of the suspects or the wanted doctor... FULL STORY

MP Rob Pyne and Deputy Premier of Queensland, Jackie Trad,
Rally in support of the decriminalisation bill, Brisbane, 10 May 2016

Doctors' fears of the bill to decriminalise abortion in Queensland unfounded 
8 July 2016

Independent Queensland MP Rob Pyne has tabled a private member's bill calling for abortion to be removed from the state's criminal code. At a pro-choice rally in May this year in Brisbane in support of the bill, Deputy Premier of Queensland, Jackie Trad, told the rally she was "unashamedly pro-choice".  
The bill has sparked debate and Several medical professionals have expressed concerns. Doctors at one of Queensland's leading obstetrics and gynaecology clinics have asked for medical practitioners be given the right to refuse to perform abortions for reasons of conscience, if the bill is passed, according to the Brisbane Times. They appear to assume, mistakenly, that if abortion is decriminalised, they will all be forced to provide abortions whether they want to or not. Public hearings to discuss the bill are due to be held across the state in the coming months...

Demonstration supporting abortion rights, Brussels, 2010, Alamy
Ecolo Party tables a bill to decriminalise abortion
In 2016, Belgian politicians will (perhaps) finally decriminalise abortion in Belgium. Muriel Gerkens, member of the Ecolo (Green) Party, has tabled a bill to remove abortion from the Penal Code so that it is no longer regarded as a criminal offence. This is not the first attempt to do so, but maybe, says the author of this article, in 2016, its time has come.

The bill also addresses the notion of distress. The current Belgian abortion law decriminalises abortion partially if a medical team recognises that the woman is in a "state of distress". This notion of "distress" has been regularly subjected to debate. In 2014, it was considered too subjective, and that is also the opinion of the Ecolo Party...

Senior Chief Lukwa
Politicians, academia, and civil society organisations call for speedy abortion law reforms
In Mangochi, during this year’s Regional Sensitization meeting for political party leaders, members of several political parties, academia and civil society organisations reminded the Government of Malawi and Members of Parliament to table, debate and pass the much-awaited pregnancy termination bill into law. They talked about the need to change the law in order to save women's health and lives – as well as saving the country K300 million, which Government is having to spend on post-abortion care to treat complications of unsafe abortions.

In August 2015, political parties endorsed abortion law reforms in Malawi as currently abortion is illegal and is punishable by a maximum of 14 years in jail except in cases where the pregnancy threatens the life of a woman.The bill is currently at Cabinet level but Members of Parliament have openly asked civil society for more civic education on the issue, as politicians are shy, they say, about speaking of the bill in their constituencies... FULL STORY


'My life has value, my body is priceless.'

UN Human Rights Committee recommends abortion law reform
The UN Human Rights Committee has released a report slamming the state of abortion rights in Argentina and criticizing President Mauricio Macri’s decision to strike down key articles of the Broadcast Media Law and its subsequent effects on freedom of expression on 15 July. The report said that restrictions placed on reproductive rights in Argentina undermined human rights and strongly recommended that the de-facto criminalization of abortion in Argentina be reversed. 

The report also references the ongoing “Belén case” surrounding the incarceration of a 27-year-old Tucumán resident who suffered a miscarriage in March 2014, and was arrested and convicted of murder earlier this year. A cross-party group of national lawmakers recently submitted a bill calling for the legalization of abortion in Argentina, a move lawmakers in favour of reform have attempted repeatedly. Without the necessary support, however, it is unlikely to make it past the congressional committee stage...


STOP PRESS: Fatal fetal abnormalities Bill defeated in Dáil vote by 95 to 45
For more information see:
our original article on the billIrish Times

Editor: Marge Berer

visit our website at:

Copyright © 2016 International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion, All rights reserved.