Developments, resources, news, scholarships & opportunities

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CEDAW decision:  S.V.P. v. Bulgaria, CEDAW, UN Doc. CEDAW/C/53/D/31/2011 held state accountable for inadequate legal protections and failure to exercise due diligence re girl (“V.P.P.”) subjected to sexual violence and molestation by adult neighbour.
CEDAW decision dated November 24, 2012, online. 
Case summary by Simone Cusack online.  

Inter-American Court of Human Rights – El Salvador Government being sued over treatment of Beatriz and Criminalization of Abortion.  Lawsuit filed November 29, 2013 by the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion in El Salvador, the Feminist Collective for Local Development, CEJIL (Center for Justice and International Law), and Ipas Central America.
English article online.   Spanish article online.

United States – Catholic hospitals:  American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing US Catholic bishops for hospital directives below standard of care for pregnant woman.  Press release online.


[abortion]  “Reductions in abortion-related mortality following policy reform: evidence from Romania, South Africa and Bangladesh,” by Janie Benson, Kathryn Andersen and Ghazaleh Samandari  Reproductive Health 8.39 (2011). Abstract and Article online here.

[abortion, health, human rights.] New book:  Health and Human Rights by  Thérèse Murphy, (Oxford: Hart Publishing 2013)  includes chapter on reproductive rights:  “The Dignity of Choice” pp. 159-187.  Book details online.

[abortion – Ireland] Ruth Fletcher’s submission to the Oireachtas Abortion Hearings (May 21, 2013)
available in Human Rights in Ireland blog May 22, 2013
8 minute radio spot – MP3 file May 21, 2013
Other abortion posts on Human Rights in Ireland blog.

[abortion – Ireland – women forced to travel]  “Peripheral governance: administering transnational healthcare flows,” by Ruth Fletcher, in International Journal of Law in Context 9 (2013):160-191,  doi:10.1017/S1744552313000074  Abstract online.

[abortion- mifepristone (RU-486) not approved in Canada] “Medical abortion in Canada:  Behind the Times,” by Sheila Dunn and Rebecca Cook.   Canadian Medical Association Journal, Nov. 25, 2013
Early view extract online.
Globe and Mail newspaper article.    Toronto Star newspaper article.

[conscientious objection]   “Let Conscience Be Their Guide? Conscientious Refusals in Health Care” Bioethics special issue,
Table of Contents with full text access for institutional subscribers.

—Editorial by volume editors Carolyn McLeod and Jocelyn Downie (pages ii–iv)

—“Am I My Profession’s Keeper?  by Avery Kolers, (pp. 1-7).

—“Conscientious Refusal and Health Professionals: Does Religion Make a Difference?” by Daniel Weinstock, pp. 8-15

—“Justification for Conscience Exemptions in Health Care” by Lori Kantymir and Carolyn McLeod (pp 16-23).

—“A Neglected Aspect of Conscience: Awareness of Implicit Attitudes” by Chloë Fitzgerald (pp 24–32).

—“Welcome to the Wild, Wild North: Conscientious Objection Policies Governing Canada’s Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dental Professions,” by Jacquelyn Shaw and Jocelyn Downie (pp 33–46).

[emergency contraception and conscientious objection, Italy]    “Whose Self-Determination? Barriers to Access to Emergency Hormonal Contraception in Italy” by  Emanuela Ceva and Sofia Moratti, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 23.2 (2013): 139-67. Abstract and article online here.

[ethical and legal issues in reproductive health] Full texts of concise papers on Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health, published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1999.  Wide range of topics,  including vitro fertilization, access to reproductive health information, applying human rights to maternal health, WHO guidance on safe abortion and harm reduction.   Full texts online on our website.

[health and human rights] Book:  Advancing the Human Right to Health, ed. Jose M. Zuniga, Stephen P. Marks, Lawrence O Gostin (Oxford University Press, 2013)  includes chapters on Brazil, China, Ghana, Haiti, Japan, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States; also includes:
—“Advancing the right to health through litigation,” by Oscar A Cabrera and Ana S. Ayala
—“The right to health in post-apartheid era South Africa,” by Charles Ngwena, Rebecca Cook, and Ebenezer Durojaye    Book details online here.

[reproductive health, MDGs] “New development paradigms post-2015 for health, SRHR and gender equality, includes experiences from Brazil, India, Kenya, Lao PDR, Mexico, Nigeria,  South Africa and Uganda,  all in current issue of Reproductive Health Matters 21.42 (Nov. 2013).
Articles and Table of Contents are online here.


[abortion – Australia, New South Wales (NSW)] – Decriminalise abortion: pro-choice in practice is not the same as legal protection by Prof. George Williams, Professor of Law at University of NSW.  “Zoe’s Law” (now a bill) would protect the unborn fetus.  Comment in the Sydney Morning Herald.

[abortion] “Israel’s Secular-Religious Abortion Compromise”  discusses legal context.  Online news article.

[emergency contraception – levonorgestrel] European authorities involved in the process decided to include the following statement in the levonorgestrel labeling: ‎”In clinical trials, contraceptive efficacy was reduced in women weighing 75 kg or more and levonorgestrel was not effective in women who weighed more than 80 kg.”

[Europe] Estrela report on SRHR sent back to European Parliament by FEMM.   Briefing paper for Dec 10, 2013 vote.

Russia:  Putin signs law banning abortion advertisement in Russia.  News article online.

US-focused news, resources, and legal developments are available on Repro Rights Prof Blog.  View or subscribe here.


“CEDAW for Change” Institute: May 24 – 31, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. Weekend workshop on the UN human rights system (May 24-25), followed by a five-day intensive on CEDAW (May 27-31). Details are online here.

International Women’s Human Rights Education Institute 2014 August 4 – 15, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Course limited to 30 students– First come, first served. Application period starts January 1, 2014.  Details are online here.

Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Bioethics Program at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. Program is course-based, no thesis, 2 years, part-time in modular format for busy professionals. Apply by March 1, 2014.  Details are online here.


Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellowship Program, at at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  Application deadline is January 14, 2014. Details are online here.

Visiting Fellows Program at Harvard Law School 2014-15, for human rights scholars or practitioners anywhere in the world. Apply by January 15, 2014.  Details are online here.

Gordon F. Henderson Post doctoral Fellowship  May 2014-May 2015, at The Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa.  Apply by Jan. 31, 2014.  Details are online here.  For more info. call  613-562-5800, ext 3462 or email psimons{at}

Columbia Law School – Center for Reproductive Rights Fellowship 2014-2016,  for recent law school graduates interested in careers in teaching law – Deadline has been extended to February 28, 2014.    Details are online here.

Links to other employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here

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Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here.

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