REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – May 2018

May 31, 2018

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DEVELOPMENTS:

[Africa – Kenya]  J O O (also known as J M) v Attorney General & 6 others [2018] Petition No 5 of 2014, (High Court of Kenya at Bungoma).  [obstetric violence – abuse of pregnant women in healthcare system] 
Decision of March 22, 2018.

[Africa – Malawi, vagrancy] Mayeso Gwanda v. the State, Constitutional Case No 5. 2015  (High Court of Malawi. [successful human rights challenge involving an itinerant male vendor] Decision of January 10, 2017
— This decision cites the unreported case of Stella Mwanza and 12 Others v. Republic, Confirmation Criminal Case No. 1049 of 2007 (Malawi) [re 13 women arrested on streets after dark] discussed Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts  (Pretoria, Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2017), p. 127  PDF of book, 228 pages. Online edition

[Mexico] Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, Segunda Sala [Supreme Court] 2018,  Amparo en Revisión 601/2017 (Ciudad de Mexico) April 4, 2018.  [Case of “Marimar”- raped minor should not have been denied abortion by hospital]   Decision in Spanish.   News report in English.

[Mexico] Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, Segunda Sala [Supreme Court] 2018,  Amparo en Revisión 1170/2017 (Ciudad de Mexico) April 18, 2018.  [Case of Fernanda – public institutions must allow abortions to raped minor]  Decision in Spanish.     Same news report in English.

CALL FOR PAPERS
 “The Impact of Politics on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,” for publication in Reproductive Health Matters, May 2019.  Submissions due October 31, 2018.
RHM Call for papers

CONFERENCE

V Latin American Congress on Reproductive Rights, Santa Marta, Colombia, November 1-3, 2018.    Congress website in Spanish.  Latin American Judges and Magistrates of the highest courts will gather to foster the inclusion of a gender perspective in judicial decisions regarding reproductive rights:  Synopsis in English.

Audio-visual resources from previous IV Latin American Conference, held in Lima Peru Nov 2-4, 2015, now published online, include many talks in Spanish, and some in English:
◊   Rebecca Cook, “Gender Stereotypes: Transnational Legal Perspectives,” (Nov. 3, 2015)   Video.     Slides
◊  Marge Berer, “Violence and Reproductive Rights.” (Nov. 3, 2015)  Video
◊   Joanna Erdman, “Violence against Women and Reproductive Rights: Revealing Connections.”  Nov. 2, 2015    Video.     Slides

SCHOLARSHIP:

Abortion Law Decisions online, a Table of Cases with links, recently updated.  English.   Spanish.

[abortion] “The Philippines: New post-abortion care policy” by Melissa Upreti and Jihan Jacob,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 141.2 (May 2018): 268-275.  Abstract.     PDF online for 12 months.   Submitted text at SSRN.

“Abortion in Poland: politics, progression and regression,” by Julia Hussein, Jane Cottingham, Wanda Nowicka & Eszter Kismodi,  Reproductive Health Matters 26:52 (May 2018): 14-17.   Editorial online.

[conscience, Human Rights Committee, Ireland]:
“Sir Nigel Rodley’s Insights on the Feminist Transformation of the Right of Conscience,”  by Rebecca Cook,  Human Rights Quarterly 40.2 (May 2018): 255-259.   Abstract and Article.

[conscience, U.S.A.] “Divisions, New and Old — Conscience and Religious Freedom at HHS by Lisa H. Harris, New England Journal of Medicine 478.15 (April 12 2018): 1369-1371.   Article online.

[Ireland] “Conscientious Objection, Harm Reduction and Abortion Care,” by Ruth Fletcher, in: Mary Donnelly and Claire Murray eds.  Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare: Confronting complexities Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016, ISBN: 978-0-7190-9946-5, Book details.     Abstract and Chapter online.

[Ireland] “Reproductive justice in Ireland: a feminist analysis of the Neary and Halappanavar cases” by Joan McCarthy, in: Mary Donnelly and Claire Murray eds.  Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare: Confronting complexities Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016, ISBN: 978-0-7190-9946-5, Book details.   Abstract of Chapter.

[Ireland – medical abortion] “Empowerment and Privacy? Home Use of Abortion Pills in the Republic of Ireland,” by Sally Sheldon, Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43.4(Summer 2018): 823-849.   Abstract and Article.

[Malawi] “Adolescent sex and ‘defilement’ in Malawi law and society,” by Godfrey D. Kangaude 17 (2017) African Human Rights Law Journal 527-549.    Article online.   Abstract with other African resources.

[medical abortion]  “Medical abortion pills have the potential to change everything about abortion,” introduction by  Marge Berer and Lesley Hoggart to special issue of Contraception 97.2 (Feb 2018″ 79–81.  Sections on medical abortion potential, women’s experiences, pharmacy provision, role of health system and providers, and research agenda.   Table of Contents, Medical Abortion special issue.

[Uruguay, human rights]  “Legal barriers to access abortion services through a human rights lens: the Uruguayan experience,” by Lucía Berro Pizzarossa, Reproductive Health Matters 26.52 (2018): 1-8    Abstract and article.

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


NEWS:

German doctor will appeal 6000-euro fine for “advertising” abortions among other medical specialties on her website.  Comment by Stephanie Schlitt, “Criminal prohibition of abortion ‘advertising’ restricts information provision,” Brief comment.  Detailed comment.

Ireland:  May 25th 2018 Referendum voted to repeal article 40.3.3 “the eighth amendment” which had enshrined a ban on abortion.” Law reform expected.  Christina Zampas editorial in Irish Examiner: “Yes Vote would give hope to millions. . . “.     Irish Times newspaper analyzes results.

JOBS

Links to 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 utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


Adolescent sex and “defilement” in Malawi law and society

May 31, 2018

Congratulations to Godfrey Dalitso Kangaude,  an LL.D. (doctoral) Candidate in the University of Pretoria’s Department of Private Law, who recently published his article on this challenging topic.  We are pleased to circulating this abstract.

GD Kangaude “Adolescent sex and ‘defilement’ in Malawi law and society” (2017) 17 African Human Rights Law Journal 527-549.  DOI link.    Article online

Abstract:  During colonisation, Malawi received a Western penal code, which included the “defilement” provision, restricting males from sexually accessing girls below a specified age. Countries that maintain colonial age of consent provisions, including Malawi, have uncritically assumed that these laws serve the purpose of protecting girls and children from harm. This article examines the fundamental assumptions underlying the development of sections 138 and 160B of the Malawian Penal Code, and their historical and sociocultural origins.  This article suggests that these provisions serve the interests of adults and not those of children. They are inherently heterosexist, promote gender-stereotypical meanings of sexuality and potentially stigmatise the normative development of sexuality in children. Sections 138 and 160B need to be reviewed and
aligned with Malawi’s commitments to promote gender equality and sexual health and the rights of children.

Key words: childhood sexuality; child rights; Gender Equality Act, age of consent, Malawi Penal Code.

See also:
–A controversial decision from Kenya
Martin C.   v. Republic, Criminal Appeal No. 32 of 2015, April 26, 2016 (High Court of Kenya, at Malindi).  [Court held that the sexual relationship between adult man of 23 and girl of 14 is not “defilement” because she sought it.  Prisoner released.]  Decision online.

Godfrey Kangaude, “Adolescent Consensual Conduct,” and African case summaries in chapter 2 (“Children and Adolescents”) of:
Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts
, ed. Godfrey D. Kangaude (Pretoria: PULP, 2017) 228 pages.
Flyer with Table of Contents.     Entire book online


Posted by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – March 2018

March 30, 2018

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW: To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

SCHOLARSHIP:

“Abortion by telemedicine in Northern Ireland: patient and professional rights across borders,” by Tamara Hervey and Sally Sheldon. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly (2017) 68.1: 1-33    Article onlineSubmitted Text.

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014),  Table of Contents with chapter summaries.     Table of Cases.   English edition. now  in paperback, 20% discount code PH70. —–Spanish edition:  El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias,  ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman y Bernard M. Dickens (Mexico: FCE/CIDE, 2016)   En espanol, 2016: Fondo de Cultura Económica y Libreria CIDE.   Índice con resúmenes de todos capítulos    Tabla de jurisprudencia.
Abortion Law Decisions online, a Table of Cases with links.  English.   Spanish.

[abortion law, South Korea]  A critical assessment of abortion law and its implementation in South Korea, by Hyosin Kim & Hyun-A Bae, Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, 24.1 (2018): 71-87, Abstract and article.

“Access to Abortion in Cases of Fatal Fetal Abnormality: A New Direction for the European Court of Human Rights?” by Dr. Bríd Ní Ghráinne,  and Dr Aisling McMahon,  (March 12, 2018). 31-page working paper

[Africa] Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts  (Pretoria, Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2017).  PDF 228 page bookPrevious volumes online at CRR.      Printed edition from PULP.
Online edition with links to decisions and updates.

Breaking Ground 2018: Treaty Monitoring Bodies on Reproductive Rights, 3rd edition, by the Center for Reproductive Rights, summarizes United Nations jurisprudence, especially the standards being adopted on reproductive health information and contraception, maternal health care, and abortion.  54 page report.

[Chile] Landmark abortion law ruling by Constitutional Court of Chile, August 28, 2017 is now in English with its official synthesis and a table of contents.   Decision translated to English    Amicus curiae briefs also in English:  (1)  decriminalization of abortion Spanish and English;   (2) conscience and conscientious objection:  Spanish  and English.
Spanish Decision “Descargar Sentencia”.   Accompanying documents.  Submissions.      Síntesis.

“The Costs of Conscience,” by Micah Schwartzman, Nelson Tebbe, and Richard Schragger (March 2018) Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2018-14.  Abstract and article. 

FIGO Bioethics Curriculum:  Introduction to Principles and Practice of Bioethics: Case Studies in Women’s Health, now in Spanish.  Table of Contents and List of Case Studies.   Curriculum in EnglishCurriculum in Spanish

“Reproductive Autonomy of Women and Girls under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,  by Prof. Charles Ngwena, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 140.1 (Jan. 2018):128-133PDF online for 12 months.    Submitted Text.

Reproductive Health and Human Rights:  Integrating Medicine, Ethics and Law, (Oxford University Press, 2003)  Portuguese, 602 pages and Spanish (both now free online).    English  (through Oxford Scholarship Online)  French paperback.     Case Studies in Arabic online

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


NEWS:

Ireland:  May 25th 2018 date for Referendum on abortion “Voters will be asked if they want to repeal article 40.3.3 – known as the eighth amendment – which since 1983 has given unborn foetuses and pregnant women an equal right to life . . . enshrining a ban on abortion in the country’s constitution.”  If repealed, government will allow abortion within 12 weeks of pregnancy. Guardian newspaper

Paraguay’s harsh abortion law endangers adolescents.  Raped 14-year-old girl with pregnancy complications dies during caesarean section to save baby.  Human Rights Watch report

 

JOBS

Links to 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 utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – Jan. 2018

January 31, 2018

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW: To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS
Africa:  Madagascar – New Family Planning Act enacted Jan. 18, 2018 sweeps away the old colonial-era policy that prohibited any promotion of contraception, and recognizes reproductive health and family planning as basic human rights says Family Planning 2020.   However, planned inclusion of therapeutic abortion “sabotaged” at Senate level.   Summary by Safe Abortion.   News report in French.


CALL FOR PAPERS
Reproductive Health in Latin America (Ethical and Legal Issues welcome)
, for publication in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetics (IJGO): Re: the XXII FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Rio de Janeiro in October 2018.  Submit by February 28, 2018 for peer review. IJGO guidelines and call for papers.

SCHOLARSHIP:

Abortion by telemedicine in Northern Ireland: patient and professional rights across borders, by Tamara Hervey and Sally Sheldon. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly (2017) 68.1: 1-33    Article online

[abortion law, conscientious objection, Chile]   “A critical review of conscientious objection and decriminalisation of abortion in Chile,” by Adela Montero and Raúl Villarroel,  Journal of Medical Ethics, preview online Jan. 6, 2018 

[abortion law in Sweden, Norway and Finland]  Dropping the ball or holding the line? Challenges to abortion laws in the Nordic countries, Heli Askola (Faculty of Law, Monash University)  Women’s Studies International Forum 66 (Jan-Feb 2018): 25-32.
Institutional access

[abortion Law, Uruguay]  Legal barriers to access abortion services through a human rights lens: the Uruguayan experience,” by Lucía Berro Pizzarossa, Reproductive Health Matters 26.52 (2018): preview online Jan. 17, 2018

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), now also in Spanish (see next entry) and in paperback, 20% discount code PH70.  English editionTable of Contents with chapter summaries. 
Abortion Decisions Online
El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias,  ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman y Bernard M. Dickens (Mexico: FCE/CIDE, 2016)   En espanol, 2016: Fondo de Cultura Económica Libreria CIDE.   Índice con resúmenes de capítulos 1-16
Decisiones Judiciales sobre aborto en línea

[Africa] Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts  (Pretoria, Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2017).  PDF 228 page bookPrevious volumes PDF online at CRR.      Printed edition from PULP.
Online edition with links to decisions and updates.

FIGO Bioethics Curriculum:  Introduction to Principles and Practice of Bioethics: Case Studies in Women’s Health.  Table of Contents and List of Case Studies    Curriculum in EnglishCurriculum in Spanish    Ahora en Español!

“Freedom of conscience in Europe?  An analysis of three cases of midwives with conscientious objection to abortion,” by Valerie Fleming, Beate Ramsayer, Teja Škodič Zakšek, Journal of Medical Ethics (2018) 44: 104-108  Article online.

Portuguese edition online: Reproductive Health and Human Rights:  Integrating Medicine, Ethics and Law, (Oxford University Press, 2003)  English  (Oxford Scholarship Online)  en Francais    en Portugues, 602 pages\Spanish / Español    Case Studies in Arabic

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


NEWS:

New “Framework Convention on Global Health Alliance aims to facilitate a coordinated global treaty for the Right to “the highest attainable level of health.”  For an overview, see: “Turning the Right to Health into the Lived Reality for Everyone” by Dr. Martin Hevia (Founding Chair):  Overview online.

Canada:  Court dismisses anti-abortion group’s injunction request about refusal of Canada Summer Jobs funding.  News report.

Germany:  Doctor fined 6000 euros for illegally “advertising” abortions, having listed “abortion” among other medical specialties on her website.   It is illegal to advertise abortion services in a way that is to one’s own economic advantage.  News articleSection 219a of the German criminal code, in German.     See new comment by Stephanie Schlitt, “Criminal prohibition of abortion “advertising” restricts information provision,” Brief comment.     Detailed comment.

Ireland:  Government announces referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Constitution which limits abortion access, following recommendations of the Joint Committee of the Irish Parliament (the Oireachtas).  Jan. 30, 2018 newsComment by Christina Zampas.
Comment by Mercedes Cavallo.

JOBS

Links to 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 utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – Dec. 2017

December 20, 2017

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW: To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

DEVELOPMENTS

Bolivia:   decriminalized abortion within 8 weeks of pregnancy for “students, adolescents, or girls” presumably under 18 years old.  National Assembly vote was December 6, 2017.  President will sign.  Press release from Ipas Bolivia.

Ireland:  After months of hearings, special parliamentary committee voted to recommend repealing the controversial “eighth amendment” to the Irish constitution which protects “the right to life of the unborn.”  Referendum promised in early summer 2018.  BBC Report.
See also: Christina Zampas, presentation on Ireland’s international human rights obligations: Video (see 2:27-2:45)  Transcript Oct 4, 2017.  Comment by Christina Zampas.

CALL FOR PAPERS

on Reproductive Health in Latin America (Ethical and Legal Issues welcome), for publication in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetics (IJGO): Re: the XXII FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Rio de Janeiro in October 2018.  Submit by February 28, 2018 for peer review. IJGO guidelines and call for papers on Latin America

Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on Gender and Human Rights is awarded annually to the winner of an interdisciplinary writing competition on international human rights and gender.   $1000 prize honors the work of Audre Rapoport (1923-2016), who advocated for women in the United States and internationally, particularly on issues of reproductive health.  University students eligible.  Submit by July 1, 2018.
Details and papers by past winners online

SCHOLARSHIP:

[Europe]  Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Europe (France: Council of Europe, Dec 2017), prepared by Leah Hoctor, Adriana Lamačková and Katrine Thomasen, with assistance from Jessica
Boulet, from the Europe Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Overview, Summary and 78-page Issue Paper.

[Slovakia – Discrimination against Roma women in reproductive healthcare]:
Vakeras Zorales – Speaking Out: Roma Women’s Experiences in Reproductive Health Care in Slovakia, by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the [Slovak] Center for Civil and Human Rights (Poradna)  Report online.  Overview.   44-page Report

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), now also in Spanish (see next entry) and in paperback, 20% discount code PH70.  English edition from U Penn PressTable of Contents with chapter summaries. 
Abortion Decisions Online

El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias,  ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman y Bernard M. Dickens (Mexico: FCE/CIDE, 2016)   En espanol, 2016: Fondo de Cultura Económica Libreria CIDE.     Índice con resúmenes de capítulos 1-16
Decisiones Judiciales sobre aborto en línea

[Africa] Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts  (Pretoria, Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2017).  PDF 228 page bookPrevious volumes PDF online at CRR.      Printed edition from PULP.
Online edition with links to decisions and updates.

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


JOBS

Jobs and Fellowships Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health, in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.  Global Health Corps.  Apply by Jan 17, 2018  for the 2018-2019 fellowships Details online.

Reproductive Health Matters.  Director and Editor-in-Chief.  2-year renewable contract.   Apply by Jan 8, 2018.  RHM Director and Editor Position 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 utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates — Oct 2017

October 31, 2017

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW: To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

DEVELOPMENTS

[Brazil, religious education] STF Conclui Julgamento Sobre Ensino Religioso nas Escolas Públicas ADI No. 4439, September 27, 2017.    The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court dismissed, by a 6 to 5 majority, a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality in which the Public Prosecutor’s Office questioned the model of religious education in the country’s public school system.  In Portuguese: Initial questionConclusion of Decision
English: Comment on I-CONnect Blog.

[Europe: Italy, conscientious objectors] Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) v. Italy (2016), Complaint No. 91/2013 (European Committee on Social Rights, Strasbourg, France)  Decision in English. 
-which builds upon this 2014 decision:  International Planned Parenthood European Network v. Italy (2014), Complaint No. 87/2012, 10 March 2014 (European Committee on Social Rights, Strasbourg, France) Decision in EnglishBoth decisions summarized by Tania Pagotto.

[Kenya] – Court of Appeal acquitted Jackson Tali, a registered nurse sentenced to death on murder charges re pregnancy complications.   October 19, 2017.   Press release by the Center for Reproductive Rights  Overturns:  Republic v Jackson Namunya Tali [2014] eKLR, High Court Criminal Case No. 75 of 2009 (High Court of Kenya at Nairobi).  Overturned decision.  Overturned decision summarized in Legal Grounds III by Godfrey Kangaude and Annagrace Rwehumbiza.

[Spain, conscientious objectors] Zurich Insurance PLC, Sucursal en España v. Doña Encarnacion y don César y Servicio Galego de Saude, Sentencia 00392/2017, Apelación 43/17 (High Court of Galicia at Coruña, Spain)   Decision in SpanishEnglish summary by lawyer F. F. Guillen.

[West Africa: Nigerian police abuse women] Suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/17/14. October 13, 2017, Community Court of Justice, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) awarded 18 million naira as compensation to an actress Dorothy Chioma Njemanze and two other women for the violation of their human rights to dignity following the physical, sexual and psychological violence inflicted on them by agents of the Nigerian State.  Press release from ECOWAS Court.    Newspaper reportComment by Benson Chakaya

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY:
Africa – Doctoral Scholarships:   LL.D/D.Phil in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa:
The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, calls for applications for full-time doctoral scholarships in the field of sexual and/or reproductive rights and their intersection with culture or criminalisation in the African region.  Apply by 15 Nov 2017 Scholarship details

SCHOLARSHIP:
Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), now also in Spanish (see next entry) and in paperback, 20% discount code PH70.  English edition from U Penn PressTable of Contents with chapter summaries. 
Abortion Decisions Online, based on the book’s Table of Cases

El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias,  ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman y Bernard M. Dickens (Mexico: FCE/CIDE, 2016)   En espanol, 2016: Fondo de Cultura Económica Libreria CIDE.     Índice con resúmenes de capítulos 1-11
Tabla de Casos/Jurisprudencia sobre aborto en línea con enlaces a muchas de las decisiones judiciales

[abortion] “How Laws Fail the Promise of Medical Abortion: A Global Look,” by Patty Skuster, Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law  18.379, 2017. Abstract and Article.

[abortion] “The Politics of Global Abortion Rights,”  by Joanna N. Erdman,  Brown Journal of World Affairs 22.2 (2016): 39-57.   Article online

[abortion, Central and Eastern Europe]  “Mandatory Waiting Periods and Biased Abortion Counseling in Central and Eastern Europe,” by Leah Hoctor and Adriana Lamačková, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 139 (Nov. 2017): 253–258.    PDF at Wiley Online Library.    Submitted text online at SSRN.

“Abortion Travel and the Limits of Choice,” by Lisa Kelly, 12 FIU L. Rev. 27 (2016).
Article online.

[Africa] “Conscientious Objection to Abortion and Accommodating Women’s Reproductive Health Rights: Reflections on a Decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia from an African Regional Human Rights Perspective,” by Charles G. Ngwena, Journal of African Law, 58 (2014): 183-209  Article now online.

[Africa]  Legal Grounds III, Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts (2017)   Entire book, 228-pages, online here.
Print copies available for courses, conferences or organizations.

Legal Grounds III Online now includes searchable links to entire book, individual case summaries and decisions, plus more recent cases.

[Zika, Brasil and Human Rights Obligations]: now in Spanish, Portuguese and English:
—“Infección por el virus de Zika en Brasil y obligaciones relacionadas con los derechos humanos,” por Debora Diniz, Sinara Gumieri, Beatriz Galli Bevilacqua, Rebecca J. Cook, y Bernard M. Dickens, Boletin FLASOG 5.2( June 2017): 6-12.
En espanol Boletin FLASOG, pp 6-12
Em português do Brasil, forthcoming in Revista Uni Brasilia Direito.
—“Zika Infection in Brazil and Human Rights Obligations,” by Debora Diniz, Sinara Gumieri, Beatriz Galli Bevilacqua, Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard M. Dickens, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 136.1 (Jan. 2017) 105-110.
PDF online.   Submitted text in English at SSRN.

NEWS

International news and resources for advocacy:  International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion.

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

JOBS
Links to 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 utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


Conscientious Objection: African reflections on Colombian abortion decision T-388/09, by Charles G. Ngwena

October 31, 2017

Congratulations to Charles Ngwena of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa, whose 2014 article in the Journal of African Law is now available online.

Charles G. Ngwena. “Conscientious Objection to Abortion and Accommodating

Women’s Reproductive Health Rights: Reflections on a Decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia from an African Regional Human Rights Perspective. Journal of African Law, 58 (2014): 183-209  Article now online.

Abstract and Overview:  If applied in isolation from the fundamental rights of women seeking abortion services, the right to conscientious objection can render any given rights to abortion illusory, including the rights to health, life, equality and dignity that are attendant to abortion. A transformative understanding of human rights requires that the right to conscientious objection to abortion be construed in a manner that is subject to the correlative duties which are imposed on the conscientious objector, as well as the state, in order to accommodate women’s reproductive health rights. In recent years, the Colombian Constitutional Court has been giving a judicial lead on the development of a right to conscientious objection that accommodates women’s fundamental rights. This article reflects on one of the court’s decisions and draws lessons for the African region.

After reviewing the history and status of abortion restriction in Africa, and comparing approaches to conscience clauses in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Dr. Ngwena carefully reviews the Colombian decision in Case T-388/09 which, he concludes, “is ultimately about recognizing an overlapping consensus of the imperative of mutual co-existence in a liberal and heterogeneous society. . . .   [At the] interface between the right to conscientious objection and the right to abortion, African domestic courts and institutions can do well to look, among other juridical resources, to the Colombian decision for the development of constitutional and human rights standards that are aimed at accommodating the fundamental rights of conscientious objectors with the equally fundamental rights of women seeking abortion.  African regional treaty bodies have the same need.   . . . [In] African states, judicial interpretation has a crucial role to play in the authoritative interpretation and application of human rights protections under the African Charter system.

The Colombian decision is an important juridical resource and advocacy tool for human rights practitioners, civil society and non-governmental organisations that seek to promote women’s sexual and reproductive health,including access to abortion as a human right. In Case T-388/09, the Colombian Constitutional Court adopted a judicial approach that is gender sensitive and transcended a classical liberal interpretation of rights by avoiding the trap of enunciating abortion rights in a manner which reduces them to a mere rhetorical flourish.  Application of abortion rights requires judicial awareness that rights holders will often be unable to realize the rights in the same way for the reason that they have different capabilities and are differently situated, particularly in an environment in which gender inequalities are embedded.  Thus, imposition of state duties to provide adequate information and material resources to facilitate equitable access to healthcare services becomes a more meaningful way of vindicating abortion rights as not just tangible human rights but also human capabilities.

Abortion has a long history of being at the receiving end of moral censure by patriarchal political and religious authorities. Women remain a political minority. Unless closely interrogated, the right to conscientious objection to abortion can easily come to deny the very heterogeneity it seeks to acknowledge. Instead, it can become a Trojan horse for popular patriarchal and religious prejudices that deny women’s reproductive agency and accentuate the historical marginalization and stigmatization of reproductive healthcare services which only women need. How health care professionals understand and exercise the right to conscientious objection has implications for the realization of the reproductive rights of women seeking abortion services.
Charles G. Ngwena. “Conscientious Objection to Abortion and Accommodating
Women’s Reproductive Health Rights: Reflections on a Decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia from an African Regional Human Rights Perspective. Journal of African Law, 58 (2014): 183-209  Article now online.
Related resources:
Colombian decision T-388/09  Corte Constitucional [Constitutional Court] 2009,  Decision in Spanish

T-388/09:  Conscientious Objection and Abortion: A Global Perspective on the Colombian Experience. (Georgetown, USA, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law / Women’s Link Worldwide, 2014)    English | Español

 “Healthcare responsibilities and Conscientious Objection” by R. J. Cook, M. Arango Olaya and B.M. Dickens,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 104 (2009): 249-252. Spanish translation.
The Scope and Limits of Conscientious Objection,” by B.M. Dickens and R. J. Cook (2000) 71 International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 71-77.

Conscientious Objection-
Articles and other resources from the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program at University of Toronto, online here.
Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health80 concise articles.
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