Law, Policy, Advocacy and Political Protest
USA, Nauru, Poland ************************************** 15 November 2016
Student protests break out nationwide, by Robin Lindsay, New York Times video, 9 Nov 2016 Joining together in solidarity following the election of Trump
On 9 November, Rewirereported: "Following the election of Republican Donald Trump to the White House, women of color in New York City are joining together over the next four days in solidarity against misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiments.
“Our work did not start, and it will not end at the ballot box,” said Olguín-Tayler, a survivor of sexual assault, in a statement.“We are women who lead organizations, work in Hollywood, teach in our universities, women who are ordained faith leaders, who run large businesses; women who are mothers, who take care of our land and our elders. We came together across our differences to write this letter to our fellow Americans because we know we can, and must, do better. We need a nation that does right by women. Because when women of color are doing well, when Black and Muslim and Indigenous women in particular are doing well – this whole country will be well.”
Also on 9 November,The Intercept reported that Mike Pence, Trump’s vice-president, had introduced the first amendmentever to defund Planned Parenthood in Congress in 2007. He also co-sponsored a bill that sought to redefine rape that distinguished between “forcible” rape and other kinds [sic]. This year, Pence signed an anti-abortion bill in Indiana that mandated funerals for all fetuses, which was struck down by a judge who ruled that it was unconstitutional.
Bill to legalise abortion for refugees and asylum seekers only, mixed up with immigration and asylum issues, withdrawn by Nauru government
The government of Nauru, a Pacific island 2,500 miles from mainland Australia, has withdrawn a bill that would have legalised abortions for refugee and asylum seeker women following opposition by both government and opposition MPs. The bill had been introduced by Nauru's Border Protection Minister David Adeang. The debate was broadcast on local radio.
Apparently, the motivation behind this law was to prevent pregnant asylum seekers and refugees from travelling to Australia or countries like Papua New Guinea to have an abortion. The Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton had last year expressed concern about this some time after "Abyan", a Somalian refugee who was raped on Nauru, went back and forth from Nauru twice, with the support of the Australian government, but did not succeed in having an abortion and delivered a baby amidst much uncertainty about what had gone wrong. See Campaign newsletters20 October 2015 and 28-29 October 2015. At that time, more than 200 people had apparently taken out legal injunctions to remain in Australia after arriving from Nauru to obtain medical care...
On 4 November, the Polish Parliament adopted a new project. They called it “For Life” (“Za Życiem”) and claimed it was targeting “difficult pregnancies”. What it is really about is offering pregnant women carrying a seriously disabled or unviable fetus a one-off payment of €1,000 (4,000 zloty) to carry the pregnancy to term, including if they know the baby will be born dead or die soon after delivery. Access to a hospice and medical care, as well as the guarantee of psychological counselling are all included in this offer, along with a person who will act as “assistant to the family” and coordinate all this support. The aim is to cut the number of legal abortions on grounds of fetal anomaly. At present, families with children requiring full-time care receive 1,300 zlotys (€300).
Marta Szostak, Coordinator of the ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health, has described this as putting a price tag on the unbelievable, unimaginable suffering of Polish women and children. She believes it may only be the start of the intention to limit legal access to abortion in cases of fetal anomaly, one of only three grounds on which abortion is still legal in Poland. The other two grounds are if the woman's life is at risk and when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. The Catholic Church in Poland and many members of the PiS have on numerous occasions been supportive of forcing women to carry pregnancies to term when a serious or fatal fetal anomaly has been diagnosed...