REPROHEALTHLAW Updates, Resources, Calls and Jobs


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Nigeria:  Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, signed 25 May 2015, provides “comprehensive” medical assistance to victims of violence, including rape or incest.  Expands definitions of violence, including rape.   Legislation online.    Synopsis by Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), Nigeria.

South Africa, Constitutional Court:  Expulsion of pregnant females from school violates their rights.    Head of Department, Department of Education, Free State Province v. Welkom High School & anotherHead of Department, Department of Education, Free State Province v. Harmony High School & another (CCT 103/12) [2013] ZACC 25, 2013 (9) BCLR 989(CC); 2014 (2) SA 228 (CC) (10 July 2013)  Decision online.    Case summary by G. Kangaude and Y. Kakhobwe.

Spain [conscience] Constitutional Court allows pharmacists’ conscientious objection to providing emergency contraception, June 25, 2015. Decision onlineSynopsis by European Dignity Watch

Sweden [conscience]:  European Committee of Social Rights: The European Social Charter does not entitle health professionals in Sweden to invoke personal or moral objections as an excuse to deny women reproductive health services.  Press release from CRR and RFSU

See also:  Gender Justice Observatory at  Women’s Link Worldwide:  Award Winning Cases, 2015


UN-OHRCR Working Group on Good Practices in the elimination of discrimination against women with regard to the Right of Health and Safety -Submissions are requested from interested individuals or organizations by August 15, 2015.   Questionnaire in English, French or Spanish also available for input  Call for Submissions.


Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014, 482 pages.  Introduction online through SSRN. Book reviewers should contact Gigi Lamm (glamm {a} pobox. upenn. edu). Includes 16 chapters, Table of Legislation, Table of Cases.   Now online:  Table of Cases (with links to decisions), Table of Contents, linked to some chapter abstracts English overview from U Penn Press. A Spanish ediion was published in August 2016:  Ahora disponible en español.  A Portuguese edition of Chapter 4 is online here: Também em português do Brasil – en linea.

[abortion – Africa] Human Rights and African Abortion Laws:  A Handbook for Judges,  by Prof. Charles Ngwena.  (Nairobi: Ipas Africa Alliance, 2014), 85-page publicationTable of Contents.

[abortion and homosexuality]] Colonizing African Values: How the U.S. Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa, by Kapya John Kaoma (Political Research Associates, 2012)  68-page publication.

[abortion – Britain] Abortion Law Reform in Britain: 1964-2003: A Personal Account, by David Paintin (bpas, 2015).  116-page publication.

[abortion – Ireland]  “Procedural Abortion Rights: Ireland and the European Court of Human Rights,” by Joanna N. Erdman,  Reproductive Health Matters 2014; 22(44): 22-30.  Abstract and Article now online.

[abortion – World Health Organization] WHO’s new guideline, Health worker roles in providing safe abortion care and post-abortion contraception, aims to help break down one critical barrier which limits access to safe abortion care – the lack of trained providers.  81-page guidelineOverview.

“Bioethics, Human Rights and Childbirth,” by Joanna Erdman,  Health and Human Rights Journal 17.1 (June 2015): E43-51.   Abstract online.   Article online. (part of Health and Human Rights Journal’s special issue on Bioethics and the Right to Health. Special issue 17.1 ).

[conscience]  “Conscientious Objection in Medicine: Private Ideological Convictions must not Supercede Public Service Obligations”
Udo Schuklenk, Editorial, Bioethics 29.5 (June 2015), pp. ii-iii.

[Right to Life] UN HRC discussion July 14, 2015 in Preparation for a General Comment on Article 6—Right to Life
—-Joint Statement presented by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of many human rights organizations.  3-page joint statement
—-Catholics for Choice
—- Harvard Law School
—- International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion 
—-“Human rights begin at birth: international law and the claim of fetal rights.” by Rhonda Copelon, Christina Zampas, Elizabeth Brusie, and Jacqueline deVore, in Reproductive Health Matters 13.26 (2005): 120-29.  Abstract and Article.
—–Upholding pregnant women’s right to life, by Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard M. Dickens, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 117 (2012) 90-94. Abstract and Article.
—–Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).

“Sudan’s Revised Penal Code: A Mixed Picture for Women”  by  Women Living Under Muslim Laws.   [Legal conflation of rape with crime of zina (sex outside marriage) leads to criminal prosecution, stigma, lashings or death for rape victims, including pregnant women.]  5-page analysis.

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


[Canada: mifepristone, RU 486] :  Abortion pill finally receives approval from Health Canada.   Newspaper report.

Russian Ministry of Health signs a cooperation agreement with the Russian Orthodox Church regarding access to abortion.  ASTRA news report.


Human Rights and Law Adviser, Human Rights and Law Division, UNAIDS, Geneva, Switzerland (fixed term appointment). Apply by August 22, 2015.  Job Details.   Current vacancies.

Communication Intern, Women Help Women  Details online.

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

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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