REPROHEALTHLAW Updates: Decisions, News, Resources and Jobs

January 14, 2016

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Dominican Republic: Constitutional Court Repeals Abortion Law  (Dec.04, 2015 Despite progress made by the Dominican Republic in 2014 to amend the penal code to decriminalize abortion in limited circumstances, the Constitutional Tribunal of the Supreme Court this week declared this amendment unconstitutional. CRR Press Release. Colectiva Mujer y Salud press releaseThomson-Reuters news report.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Re Judicial Review [2015] NIQB 96, November 30, 2015  (High Court of Justice in Belfast):  Northern Ireland’s abortion law are incompatible with European Convention on Human Rights Article 8 because it does not allow exceptions for fatal fetal abnormalities, rape, or incest.   The  judgment also has implications for Commonwealth countries that retain the English 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.   Decision of November 30, 2015Official summaryReprohealthlaw blog    “Judge leaves Northern Ireland’s abortion laws to lawmakers.” New York Times     “Northern Ireland medics fear prison over abortion advice” Guardian article.

Sierra Leone – Update – Safe Abortion Act delayed.    President Koroma “engages” religious leaders, delaying legalization.  He plans to send the Act back to Parliament for review.  Government press release.  The International Campaign for Safe Abortion, a coalition of NGOs, is circulating an Ipas petition urging quick passage of the Safe Abortion Act into law:   Petition to the President of Sierra Leone.

[Uganda]: Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development [CEHURD] and Iga Daniel v Attorney General [2015], Constitutional Petition No. 64 of 2011 (Constitutional Court of Uganda at Kampala).  The decision deals in part with criminalization of sex with women with mental disabilities.  Dehumanizing language “idiot” or “imbecile” has been replaced  Decision online.


[abortion] 3rd International Congress on Women’s Health and Unsafe Abortion (IWAC 2016), Bangkok, Thailand, January 26-29, 2016.  Congress details.

Abortion Under Apartheid: Nationalism, Sexuality, and Women’s Reproductive Rights, book presented by Susanne Klausen (Oxford University Press, 2015) at Carleton University, Ottawa, on Friday January 29, from 12:30 to 2:30 in the History Lounge (Paterson Hall, room 433) book launch details.

[assisted reproduction, surrogacy]”Assisted Reproduction: Navigating the Criminalization of Commercial Surrogacy and Reacting to Unexpected Situations”  McGill Journal of Law and Health’s Annual Colloquium, February 6th, 2016, 10:00-14:00, Faculty of Law, New Chancellor Day Hall, Room 100 (Moot Court), McGill University, Montreal, Canada.  RSVP here.

[Northern Ireland]”Abortion and Reproductive Justice- The Unfinished Revolution II”  International Conference, Ulster University, Belfast, Northern Ireland,  June 2-3, 2016.  Conference details.

[abortion] “Improving women’s journeys through abortion,” 12th FIAPAC conference,  Lisbon, Portugal, Oct 13-15 2016  (Abstracts due April 15, Early registration by June 30) FIAPAC 2016 details.


[abortion, anencephalic pregnancy, Brazil] The new Brazilian law journal Revista Publicum, based at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) released its first issue on December 30, 2015, 261 pages, in Portuguese.  It contains an interview with Supreme Court judge Luis Roberto Barroso, who discusses the legalization of abortion in cases of fetal anencephaly.   new Brazilian law journal.   Related Resource:  “Bringing abortion into the Brazilian Public Debate: Legal strategies for anencephalic pregnancy,” by Luis Roberto Barroso, abstracted here.

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 by the editors. Table of Cases online  Table of Contents with chapter abstractsPurchase from U Penn Press.  Now in Spanish: ¡Ahora en español!

[abortion, Eastern Europe] “Mandatory Waiting Periods and Biased Counseling Requirements in Central and Eastern Europe: Restricting Access to Abortion, Undermining Human Rights, and Reinforcing Harmful Gender Stereotypes. (Center for Reproductive Rights, 2015)  abstract and 13-page fact sheets.

[abortion, Latin America] Guía de entrenamiento de causal violencia sexual: dirigida a personal de la salud y judicial   [Training guide on legal abortion on grounds of rape: for health care personnel and the judiciary] by Ana Cristina González Vélez y Viviana Bohorquez Monsalve (Bogotá: August 2013.    Full text in Spanish.

[abortion, Latin America] Interrupción legal del embarazo por la causal violación: enfoques de salud y jurídico [Legal abortion on grounds of rape: approaches from a health and legal perspective] por Paola Bergallo y Ana Cristina González Velez con las contribuciones del Grupo Foro Virtual Causal Violación y la Secretaría Técnica y Asistente:  Silvina Ramos con la colaboración de Agustina Ramón Michel   (Bogota, La Mesa por la Vida y la Salud de las Mujeres, 2012), 212 pages  PDF (3 mb) now online in Spanish

[abortion -Northern Ireland) “Human Rights and Making Change: Looking Backwards and Moving Forwards from the Northern Ireland High Court Decision on Abortion” December 10, 2015  by Dr Catherine O’Rourke, University College Cork, Faculty of Law, CCJHR blog post.

[abortion – Northern Ireland] “Submission of Evidence to the CEDAW Committee Optional Protocol: Inquiry Procedure,  by the Family Planning Association Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform (NIWEP), and Alliance For Choice, February 11, 2015. Abstract and Full Text.

[abortion, South Africa]  Claiming and defending abortion rights in South Africa  by Cathi Albertyn,  Revista direito GV São Paulo 11(2) (JUL-DEZ 2015) 429-454.   Abstract and full text in English, abstract in Portuguese.  [Reivindicando e defendendo o direito ao aborto na África do Sul]

[adolescents] “Enhancing the Role of Health Professionals in the Advancement Of Adolescent Sexual Health and Rights in Africa” (2016), by Godfrey Kangaude. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 132 (2016) 105–108.  online here.

Adolescents’ reproductive and sexual health – “Recommended Reading” – new section of our Adolescents topic page, online here.  It includes these recent papers:

—“The potential of the Expert Committee of the African Children’s Charter in advancing adolescent sexual health and rights in Africa,” by Ebenezer Durojaye,  (2013) 46:3 The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa 385. Online here.

—“Righting the mismatch between law, policy and the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people in the Asia-Pacific Region” by J. Godwin, et al.  (2014) 22:44 Reproductive Health Matters 137. Article online.

—“Sexual health and rights of adolescents: A dialogue with sub Saharan Africa” by Godfrey Kangaude and Tiffany Banda, “ in Charles Ngwena and Ebenezer Durojaye, eds, Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health through human rights in the African Region through human rights (Pretoria: University of Pretoria Law Press; 2014) 251.

—“Adolescent girls, HIV, and state obligations under the African Women’s Rights Protocol” by Karen Stefiszyn, in Charles Ngwena and Ebenezer Durojaye, eds, Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health through human rights in the African Region through human rights (Pretoria: University of Pretoria Law Press; 2014) 155.

[obstetric violence] “Making Loud Bodies ‘Feminine’: A Feminist-Phenomenological Analysis of Obstetric Violence,” by Sara Cohen Shabot, Human Studies (published online Oct 9, 2015), pp 1-17.  Abstract and article.

“Patients’ Refusal of Recommended Treatment” (2015), by Bernard Dickens and Rebecca Cook. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 131 (2015) 105–108.  Article and abstract online at SSRN.

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


[abortion – Women on Web] “From Nagpur to Northern Ireland: pill pipeline helping women get round abortion laws” Guardian article.

European Union Divorces Itself from US Abortion Ban – 2016 Budget mandates EU funds, “not be subject to restrictions imposed by other partner donors” (i.e. US ban on use of funds for abortions)  Global Justice Centre comment.


[Canada, HIV/AIDS]  Policy Analyst/Researcher, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.  Please send cover letter, resume and unedited writing sample to hiring {at} asap or before January 31, 2016.  Job details.

[United Kingdom] 2-year postdoctoral researcher needed to work with Prof. Sally Sheldon and  interdisciplinary research team on an AHRC-funded project, “The Abortion Act: a Biography.”   Kent Law School Kent University , Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom.  Postdoctoral work details

Deputy Director, Public Health Program, Open Society, New York, USA.   Job details

Executive Director,  Asia Catalyst, New York, USA, which builds strong civil society and advances the right to health for marginalized groups in Asia  Job details

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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