While American women are fighting a desperate battle, particularly in South Dakota, to preserve abortion rights, around the world there are many positive signs of increased access to abortion, and support for abortion services.
Australia appears to be moving towards ending an American-style ban on foreign aid to organisations that provide abortion advice.
And in the Australian state of Victoria, there is near certainty that abortion will be taken out of the criminal law, and possibly there will be a move that makes the woman the decision maker throughout the entire pregnancy. “An abortion would only be deemed unlawful if conducted by unqualified people and conducted without the woman’s consent. ”
(And also from Australia, a study that found some 70% of women having abortions were using contraception at the time they fell pregnant. This is something about which there desperately needs to be more education. There’s a myth that contraception, particularly the pill, is some sort of perfect system, and it certainly isn’t.)
And importantly coming up very soon in Britain will be debate about improvements to the abortion law in England, Scotland and Wales, removing the two-doctor rule and allowing midwives and nurses to perform abortions. There’s also some chance of a vote to allow abortion in Northern Ireland, where, due to historical accidents andpolitical cowardice, abortion is totally banned, although given the prevalence of the latter, I’m not hopeful on that score.
(Abortion Rights is asking Britons to lobby their MPs to support the reforms.)