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Celebrate Solutions: Government Initiative Improves Abortion and Post-Abortion Care in Ghana

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Although Ghana has one of the most progressive abortion laws in sub-Saharan Africa, mortality from unsafe abortion is still a problem. The 2010 maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in Ghana was 350 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to an average MMR of 240 in the developing world. One of the largest contributors to maternal deaths are complications from unsafe abortions. The 2007 Ghana Maternal Health Survey estimates that approximately 40% of abortions are performed by untrained providers. Evidence also suggests that many health care providers are not aware of the abortion law. Others may feel that performing an abortion conflicts with their religious beliefs. This lack of knowledge, along with social stigma that surrounds women seeking an abortion, drives the practice underground, resulting in clandestine procedures that are often performed by untrained providers or attempts at a self-induced abortion. Read more...

The Question of Conscientious Objection for Medical Practioners

In a world full of divergent views about religion and morality issues in society, women’s rights to receive family planning and safe abortion services have often been denied on grounds of conflicting views for healthcare providers. The need to find a balance between these two perspectives propelled Global Doctors for Choice (GDC) to fully explore the phenomenon of conscience-based refusal of reproductive healthcare worldwide. Conscientious objection and refusal to provide reproductive healthcare: A White Paper examining prevalence, health consequences, and policy responses draws from comprehensive medical, public health, legal, ethical and social science research from 1998-2013 in six languages to explore how and why reproductive healthcare is denied to patients, and what the health and policy-based aftereffects are. Read more...

Young people deliver at the 3rd Women Deliver Conference

By: Cecilia Garcia, Espolea; Originally posted on Interagency Youth Working Group

My dream is to live in world where there are no privileged groups, but where all people’s rights are acknowledged and respected; a world where no woman or child has to die of preventable diseases; no teenager has to undergo an unsafe abortion; and no person is denied access to health services. I wish to be part of a global community that condemns and prevents all forms of gender-based violence. Read more...

World Contraception Day: Preventing Unplanned Pregnancies and Protecting Patients’ Rights

By: Raquel Ruvuelta, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from Argentina

 

 

 

This blog is part of a series, edited by Women Deliver on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day. Share your thoughts in comments and join the conversation at #WCD2012.

In Argentina, the National Programme for Sexual Health and Responsible Parenthood (Programa Nacional de Salud Sexual y Procreación Responsible, or PNSSyPR) was met with much excitement when it was created by Law No. 25.673 in 2003.  If given the resources and will to succeed, this program could make great progress in improving the health of Argentinean girls and women. Read more...

World Contraception Day: Young People’s Access to Contraception

By: Anne Alan Sizomu, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from Uganda

 

 

 

This blog is part of a series, edited by Women Deliver, in partnership with Impatient Optimists, on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day. Share your thoughts in comments and join the conversation at #WCD2012. For more stories and to get involved further visit No Controversy.

Unfortunately, there is a misconception among young people that contraceptives are only for married and older people. But I know that family planning is important to young people too. Young or old, family planning should be a simple and personal decision made by informed individuals or couples regarding how often and when to have children. Read more...

 

Celebrate Solutions: Using Social Media to Bridge Gaps Between Religion and Rights

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

A popular campaign that was conceived, developed, and implemented in Mexico is working to bridge divides between religion and rights using social media. In particular, the campaign works to inform the public debate on the role of the Catholic Church in Mexican society, in regards to Catholic teachings and human rights of women and youth, Church hierarchy and Catholic traditions. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration for a “Busy Generation”

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) acknowledged that governments should make information and services available to adolescents to increase awareness of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), including unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and risks of infertility. According to ICPD, this information should be youth-friendly, and involve multiple stakeholders from diverse sectors, at different levels of government. Read more...

WHO Releases Guidance on Safe Abortion

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an update of the groundbreaking publication, Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems. Since the first publication of the guidance in 2003, updated data has emerged, leading to new methods, approaches and recommendations relating to safe abortion. Read more...

The Guardian Announces Journalism Competition Finalists

The Guardian newspaper has announced 16 finalists in the 2012 Guardian International Development Journalism Competition. The competition, which aims to highlight overlooked or underrepresented issues in the developing world, called on contestants to submit a feature piece on an aspect of global poverty deserving of greater attention. Of the hundreds of entries submitted, a long list was narrowed down to 40 contestants, and then short-lists of eight amateur and eight professional writers were finalized. Read more...

GBC Health Coalition Conference Features First Maternal Health Panel

The Global Business Coalition on Health held its conference “Define Forward: Business, Health and the Road Ahead” on May 14-15, bringing together more than 700 corporate executives, government leaders, policy makers, civil society visionaries and media champions to explore the intersection of business and health. GBCHealth featured its first panel on maternal health, entitled “Milestone Moments on the Path to Healthier Motherhood.” Read more...

World Pulse Shares Voices of Women “Laboring for Change”

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

World Pulse, a non-profit global communications network, is sharing a powerful new series called Laboring for Change. As part of the series, they share five stories of five women from different countries who are calling for increased attention and equality in maternal health and reproductive rights. As World Pulse explains, in the United States, advocates for maternal health and reproductive rights have seen a huge wave of recent legislation prohibiting health services, comprehensive sexual education, access to contraception, and abortion. Read more...

United Nations Adopts Landmark Resolution on Adolescents and Youth

Late Friday, 27 April 2012, at the 45th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD), member states issued a bold resolution in support of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights.

This victory comes on the heels of a UNICEF report released this week highlighting the challenges that the largest-ever generation of young people face—including HIV/AIDS, violence, and unintended pregnancy—and reaffirms long-standing international agreements including the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action. Read more...

Rwanda: MPs Agree On Abortion

By: James Karuhanga; Originally posted on allAfrica.com

Members of the Chamber of Deputies, yesterday, passed the draft Penal Code, with the majority voting in favour of an article that permits abortion under special circumstances.

The critical vote came after the House received and approved a report of an earlier established joint Chamber of deputies-Senate committee to review the bill.

Seven women MPs abstained from voting for or against Article 165, which absolves criminal liability for exceptional abortion cases, arguing it was hazardous to the Rwandan society.  Read more...

10 Facts About Contraception (And How It Changed the World) That Every Man and Woman Should Know

Excerpt of a blog by Keli Goff, author of The GQ Candidate and a Contributing Editor for Loop21.com
Birth_Control.jpg

Below is a list of the most powerful ways contraception has impacted and continues to impact the world, from issues such as literacy to life expectancy rates of women. 

1. In countries with the highest fertility rates, women have the shortest life expectancies.

Women in Sierra Leone live half as long as women in developed countries and 10 years less than their African counterparts in some African countries, and no, this is not merely due to the history of civil unrest. One in eight Sierra Leonean women dies in childbirth. In other countries like Chad, where women are likely to give birth to six or more children, women are lucky to live to age 55. Read more...

Komen Foundation Cuts Funding to Planned Parenthood for Breast Cancer Screenings

PlannedParenthood.jpgYesterday, The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced that they will no longer provide grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings and breast health education programs. Grants from Komen were used to fund nearly 170,000 breast exams over the past five years. Read more...

New Report Shows Increase In Unsafe Abortion

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

Guttmacher.gifThe long-term decline of abortions worldwide has stalled, and unsafe abortions are now on the rise, according to Induced Abortion: Incidence and Trends Worldwide from 1995 to 2008, a report by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) published yesterday by The Lancet. After a global decline in abortion rates from 35 per 1000 women in 1995 to 28 in 2008, progress has now stagnated.  The proportion of unsafe abortions out of total abortions has risen from 44% in 1995 to 49% in 2008. Read more...

World Contraception Day: We Were Fifteen

By: Mariko Rasmussen, public health student at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in Reproductive and Family Health.

Get Involved: Add Your Own Perspectives At The Conversations For A Better World Blog Series

They say kids in Los Angeles grow up fast. Sitting across from a girlfriend over lunch the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I learned there could be truth in this statement. Following a pause in our conversation, she admitted her real reason for calling to see me – she’d had an abortion a few weeks prior. I sat in disbelief. We were fifteen. Read more...

Additional Contraceptive Services Needed to Reduce Unsafe Abortions in Colombia

A new report released by the Guttmacher Institute and Fundación Oriéntame assesses that the number of induced abortions in Colombia rose between 1989 and 2008. Despite this, the country’s abortion rate rose only minimally; indicating a rise in the number of reproductive aged women as the reason for growth. Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Colombia: Causes and Consequences, points to the criminal nature of abortions by the Colombian government as the major source of complications and health risks to women. Read more...

The Guardian’s Development Journalism Competition Highlights Maternal Health

The Guardian newspaper has shortlisted three journalists for their coverage of how maternal, reproductive, and sexual health and rights shape the lives of girls and women and their communities as part of its fourth annual “International Development Journalism Competition.” Click through to learn more...

New Publications from WHO and Population Reference Bureau

A new report from the World Health Organization confirms a significant decline in the number of deaths from unsafe abortion worldwide. However, the data show that women in least-developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa bear a disproportionate burden. The Worlds Women and Girls 2011 Data Sheet has the latest data on a wide variety of indicators on the socioeconomic status of women and girls in more than 180 countries, with a focus on demography, reproductive health, education, work, and public life. Read more...

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