“Constitutionalizing Abortion in Brazil” by Marta Machado and Rebecca Cook

February 19, 2019

Congratulations and thanks to Professors Marta Rodriguez de Assis Machado and Rebecca J. Cook for their new publication in the Brazilian journal Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Journal of Constitutional Research.  Prof. Machado teaches at the Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law (Sao Paulo), and Prof. emerita Rebecca Cook is Co-Director of our International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program a the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.

This article is part of an open-access symposium on “The 30th Anniversary of the 1988 Brazilian Constitution” in the Brazilian Revista de Investigações Constitucionais – Journal of Constitutional Research (vol. 5, n. 3, 2018), guest edited by Richard Albert, Sofia Ranchordás and Mariana Velasco.

Marta Machado and Rebecca J. Cook, Constitutionalizing Abortion in Brazil.  Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Journal of Constitutional Research, Curitiba, vol. 5, n. 3, p. 185-231, set./dez. 2018. 47 pages. Abstract and Article online.
SSRN copy.

Abstract

Brazil has been constitutionalizing disputes on women’s right to terminate unwanted pregnancy. This paper explains how this process started with the drafting of the new constitution in 1986-87, and evolved in different arenas, the legislative, the executive and in the public sphere. Most recently, it moved to the Supreme Court, primarily in its anencephalic pregnancy decision, brought as a Claim of Non Compliance with Fundamental Precept (ADPF 54). Decided in 2012, it was the first time since the adoption of the Penal Code in 1940 that the Brazilian Supreme Court moved the criminal boundaries to enable women to decide whether to terminate anencephalic pregnancies. The purpose of this article is to examine how the ADPF 54 decision contributed to the constitutionalization of abortion. First, it established the right to life as a non-absolute right, granting constitutional legitimacy to the system of legal exceptions. Second, it signaled the balancing of constitutional rights as the reasoning paradigm for this issue. Third, in framing the controversy as a matter of balancing constitutionally protected rights, the positions established in the Court ultimately recognized crucial understandings of women’s rights.

Keywords: Brazil, Constitution, anencephaly, pregnancy, abortion, women’s rights.
Full text:  47-page publication in English, also online through journal.

Resumo em português:

O Brasil tem constitucionalizado disputas pelo direito das mulheres a encerrar uma gravidez indesejada. O presente artigo examina como teve início esse processo, na Assembleia Constituinte em 1986-87, e como se desenvolveu em diferentes arenas de disputa, como o Legislativo, o Executivo e a esfera pública. Recentemente, o conflito se deslocou para o Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF), por meio da discussão sobre gravidez de fetos anencéfalos, trazida pela Arguição de Descumprimento de Preceito Fundamental (ADPF 54) em 2004 e julgada em 2012. Nessa ação, pela primeira vez, o STF moveu barreiras penais estabelecidas pelo Código Penal de 1940 para possibilitar a escolha de mulheres em manter ou não uma gravidez anencefálica. O objetivo deste texto é examinar como a decisão da ADPF 54 contribuiu para a constitucionalização do aborto. Em primeiro lugar, estabeleceu o direito à vida como não absoluto, garantindo legitimidade constitucional ao sistema de excludentes de ilicitude. Em segundo, indicou a ponderação de direitos constitucionais o modo de raciocínio paradigmático na questão. Em terceiro, ao enquadrar a controvérsia como questão de ponderação de direitos, as posições adotadas acabaram por expressar importantes avanços no reconhecimento
de direitos das mulheres.
Palavras-chave: Brasil; Constituição ; anencefalia; gravidez; aborto; direitos das mulheres.
Full text is in English through the journal and on SSRN.

Related Resources:
 

Sonia Corrêa, “Supreme Court of Brazil: Public Hearing on the Decriminalization of Abortion, August 3rd & 6th 2018– Antecedents, Content, Meanings,” (Sexuality Policy Watch, Sept. 2018) [re: petition ADPF 442, which calls for decriminalization of abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy. ]   31-page article

Testimony of Rebecca J. Cook, C.M, M.P.A., J.D., J.S.D., of the University of Toronto, on behalf of the Latin American Consortium against Unsafe Abortion (CLACAI)  in the  Public Hearing before the Supreme Court of Brazil, case ADPF 442 (3 August 2018).   English.    Espanol.     Portugues.

Luís Roberto Barroso “Bringing Abortion into the Brazilian Public Debate: Legal Strategies for Anencephalic Pregnancy,” Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).   Abstract onlineSpanish abstract.

Supreme Court of Brazil, . Claim of Non Compliance with Fundamental Precept nº 54. ADPF 54/DF.  April 12, 2012,  Portuguese anencephaly decision Backup copy.

Abortion-related articles from the same Symposium:

Francisca Pou Giménez, “Constitutionalism and rights protection in Mexico and Brazil: comparative remarks,”  Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Journal of Constitutional Research, vol. 5, n. 3 (set./dez. 2018) pp 233-255  Abstract and article PDF.

David Kenny, “Abortion, the Irish Constitution, and constitutional change” Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Journal of Constitutional Research, vol. 5, n. 3 (set./dez. 2018) pp. 257-275   Abstract and Article PDF.

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REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – October 2018

October 31, 2018

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DEVELOPMENTS

Bulgaria:  Constitutional Court declares the Istanbul Convention against violence against women  unconstitutional.  July 27, 2018.  Oxford Human Rights Hub article.

Constitutional Court of Croatia.  Decision of March 2, 2017.  Rješenje Ustavnog Suda Republike Hrvatske, broj: U-I-60/1991 i dr. od 21.veljace 2017.  Decision online in Croatian. Backup copy.  Summary in English from CRR   Croatian Court’s Press release – 11 pages in English.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS:

Fourth International Congress on Women’s Health and Unsafe abortion (IWAC 2019), February 19-22, 2019, Asia Hotel, Bangkok Thailand  Theme:  “We Trust Women: Universal Access to Safe Abortion.”  Submit abstracts by Nov 15, 2018  Call for Abstracts

SCHOLARSHIP:

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca Cook, Joanna Erdman and Bernard Dickens (Philadelphia: Univ. Pennsylvania Press, 2014) Now in Paperback.  20% discount code: PH70.  English abstracts.   Spanish edition – abstractsTable of Cases in English or Spanish.

[Africa]  “(De)Criminalizing Adolescent Sex: A Rights-Based Assessment of Age of Consent Laws in Eastern and Southern Africa,” by Godfrey Dalitso Kangaude and Ann Skelton,  (peer-reviewed) Sage Open 2018 (Oct-Dec): 1-12.   Article online.

[Brazil – anencephaly – Supreme Court]   “The STF decision on abortion of anencephalic fetus: A Feminist Discourse Analysis” by Lucia Goncalves de Freitas, Alfa, Sao Paulo, 62.1 (2018): 11-33.   Article in English.

[Brazil – obstetric care, maternal mortality /morbidity, Alyne case]  “Implementing international human rights recommendations to improve obstetric care in Brazil,” by Alicia E Yamin, Beatriz Galli and Sandra Valongueiro.   International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 143.1 (October 2018): 114-120.    Download full text PDF now, because Free Access expires in 6 months.    Abstract online in English   For Portuguese abstract, click on :Supporting Information”.  

[Brazil – zika, microcephaly]  BOOK:  Zika: from the Brazilian backlands to a Global Threat (Zed Books, 2017)  in English  and  Portuguese .

[conscience]  “Balancing Freedom of Conscience and Equitable Access,” by Wendy Chavkin, Desiree Abu-Odeh, Catherine Clune-Taylor, Sara Dubow PhD, Michael Ferber and Ilan H. Meyer, American Journal of Public Health 108.11 (Nov 2018): 1487-88.  Article online.

[conscientious objection, 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) pp. 24-40.  Pre-publication version.     Book information

[conscientious objection – South Africa “Let’s call ‘conscientious objection’ by its name: Obstruction of access to care and abortion in South Africa,” by Satang Nabaneh, Marion Stevens & Lucía Berro Pizzarossa,  24 October 2018, Oxford Human Rights Hub.

[Forced sterilization] “Gendered Power Relations and Informed Consent: The I.V. v. Bolivia Case,” by Martín Hevia and Andrés Constantin, Health and Human Rights JournalEarly view of full text.

[Intersex] “Management of intersex newborns: Legal and ethical developments,” by Bernard M. Dickens, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics  143.2 (Nov. 2018): 255–259.  PDF at Wiley online.   Submitted text at SSRN.

[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, UK: Manchester University Press, 2016).   Submitted Text online.   Book information

[Ireland and Britain] “Reproductive rebellions in Britain and the Republic of Ireland: contemporary and past abortion activism and alternative sites of care,” by Ben Kasstan and Sarah Crook, in Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, 2.2 (2018):  1-16.  Article online.

Annotated Bibliographies now available:  Right to Conscience
Fetal anomaly indication for abortion Rape or Incest abortion – English.  or Spanish)  Latin America:  Causal violación y/o incesto   (Toronto: International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, 2018).

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
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El aborto en el debate público brasileño. Estrategias jurídicas para el embarazo anencefálico

November 30, 2017
 [Bringing Abortion into the Brazilian Public Debate: Legal Strategies for Anencephalic Pregnancy]

 Luís Roberto Barroso, “El aborto en el debate público brasileño. Estrategias jurídicas para el embarazo anencefálico,” El aborto en el derecho transnacional: Casos y controversias, editoras/es  Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman, y Bernard M. Dickens (FCE/CIDE, 2016) págs. 332-353.
Ahora disponible: en españolen inglés.

En este decimo segundo capitulo de El aborto en el derecho transnacional: Casos y controversias (FCE/CIDE, 2016), Luís Roberto Barroso explica la argumentación jurídica y los cambios en la percepcion social que produjo el caso ADPF 54 del Supremo  Tribunal  Federal  de  Brasil, iniciado en 2004 y con sentencia de 2012.  Barroso  relata  su  accionar  ante  este  Supremo  Tribunal  mediante argumentos exitosos en cuanto a que la interrupción del embarazo anencefálico (una deficiencia del tejido cerebral en el feto que hace imposible su supervivencia fuera del útero) no debe considerarse un aborto. Así, el autor explica cómo este caso extremo otorgó la oportunidad de superar la demanda moral más crucial en contra del aborto: la potencialidad vital del feto. En este sentido, compara y contrasta las sentencias del Supremo Tribunal brasileño con las sentencias judiciales de otros países y de aquellos organismos de derechos humanos creados por medio de tratados.

El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias es disponible en español    y en inglés.
Descargar: Reseña del libro en Andamios, por Diego Garcia Ricci      
Introducción y Prólogo. 

Tabla de Casos/Jurisprudencia en línea con enlaces a muchas de las decisiones judiciales

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Strategic litigation for abortion rights in Latin America

December 20, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Alba M. Ruibal, a researcher with Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Conicet) who is currently working on a project about federalism and feminist legal mobilization at the subnational level in Argentina, including litigation for abortion rights.  We appreciate her excellent article, recently published in English:

Social movements and constitutional politics in Latin America: reconfiguring alliances, framings and legal opportunities in the judicialisation of abortion rights in Brazil,Contemporary Social Science 10.4(2015): 375-385,  Publication access via academic librariesOpen access to submitted text.

Abstract:  One of the main innovations in the interaction between social movements and the state in Latin America since the democratisation processes is the use of courts as venues for social change and the intervention of social actors in constitutional politics. Drawing from the empirical study of the process of strategic litigation for abortion rights in Brazil, this paper aims to show what type of changes can take place when social actors set out to pursue a legal strategy on a highly controversial matter, and in a transitional context, where courts are in the midst of a redefinition of their institutional role in the political system, and movements have not yet been central actors in judicialisation processes. The study highlights how feminist organisations adapted their framing of the abortion issue and developed new alliances with legal actors in order to pursue a rights strategy and to interact with the constitutional court. It also points out how, when dealing with the abortion controversy, the Brazilian constitutional court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) expanded the legal opportunity for the participation of civil society actors and, in its 2012 decision that liberalised the abortion law, acknowledged the legal arguments advanced by social actors in this field.   Published edition, online via academic librariesOpen access to submitted text.     More about the author. 

Several of Dr. Ruibal’s earlier publications on abortion law strategy in Latin America are available online through SSRN:

“Reform and Backlash in Mexico’s Abortion Law: Political and Legal Opportunities for Mobilization and Countermobilization,”(2014)  English abstract and conference  paper.  
—See also:
Feminism, Religion and Democracy in the Process of Abortion Legalization in Mexico City (2012)  Spanish article online, with abstracts in Spanish and English.

“Movement and Counter-Movement: A History of Abortion Law Reform and the Backlash in Colombia 2006-2014” English article and abstract online.

[Legal Mobilization and Counter-Mobilization. Proposal for Its Analysis in Latin America] (2015)  Spanish article online with abstracts in Spanish and English.

[Feminism Counters Religious Fundamentalisms: Mobilization and Counter-Mobilization in the Field of Reproductive Rights in Latin America](2014) focusing on the cases of Brasil, Colombia and Mexico  Portuguese article, and abstracts in Portuguese, Spanish and English.   Spanish translation of article.

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Regarding the Brazilian decision of 2012, mentioned in Dr. Ruibal’s abstract, see also: Luís Roberto Barroso, “Bringing Abortion into the Brazilian Public Debate: Legal Strategies for Anencephalic Pregnancy,” chapter 12 in Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies (U Penn Press, 2014)  258-78.  English edition.   Spanish paperback from FCE, 2016.
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REPROHEALTHLAW Updates

May 12, 2016

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DEVELOPMENTS

GENDER JUSTICE UNCOVERED AWARDS – Vote on the Best and Worst judgments of 2015, gathered by Women’s Link Worldwide.  Decisions are attached!  Vote by May 30, 2016.  To review this year’s nominees, click on “Cases”.

PERU: re the historic case of  K.L. v. Peru: As a teenager in 2001, K.L.was denied abortion of an anencephalic fetus who died soon after birth. The UN CEDAW Committee stated that her human rights had been violated.   In 2016, she has received financial compensation.   News report.

RWANDA – access to legal abortion for raped 13-year-old denied by first court, then allowed on appeal.    Judgment of October 30 2015, official English translation, redacted to preserve privacy. Rwandan juvenile abortion decision.

UGANDA – Preventable Maternal Deaths – 3 decisions Overview on Reprohealthlaw Blog.

Center for Health Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and 3 Others v Attorney General [2012], Constitutional Petition No. 16 of 2011 (Constitutional Court of Uganda at Kampala). Preventable maternal deaths were dismissed as a “political” matter.  Decision online.  Case Summary and Analysis by Nthabiseng Lelisa and Godfrey Kangaude.

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development & 3 Others  v Attorney General.  [2015], Constitutional Appeal No. 01 of 2013 (Supreme Court of Uganda at Kampala) [Uganda Supreme Court orders Constitutional Court to hear a petition on maternal health rights violations.]  Decision online.  Case summary and analysis by Godfrey Kangaude. 

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development & 4 Others  v Nakaseke District Local Administration [2015], Civil Suit No. 111 of 2012 (High Court of Uganda at Kampala). [Ugandan High Court finds human rights violations where a pregnant woman died of a ruptured uterus and blood loss while in labour.] Decision online. Case summary and Analysis by Godfrey Kangaude 

EDUCATIONAL FUNDING

Comparative Program on Health and Society at the University of Toronto, Canada, invites applications for 2016-2017.  Complete applications due May 30, 2016.    Doctoral fellowships on “Health and human rights” and “Social determinants of health”: Doctoral fellowships.   Research Associate fellowship

O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.   – Associate position for law graduates, to work on domestic and global health law and policy projects. Apply by May 31, 2016  Associate position for law graduates

RESOURCES

[abortion – anti-choice strategy, United Kingdom]”A guerrilla strategy for a pro-life England,” by Sheelagh Mcguinness, 7.2 Law, Innovation and Technology 283-314. [how anti-abortion “guerrilla” strategies undermine reproductive rights]  Abstract and article.

[abortion and police]  Practical Guide for Partnering with Police on Abortion. The guide is for trainers and advocates, by Ipas, 2016.  Ipas Guide.

[abortion, zika virus – Brazil]  “Threats of retrocession in sexual and reproductive health policies in Brazil during the Zika epidemic,” [Ameaças de retrocesso nas políticas de saúde
sexual e reprodutiva no Brasil em tempos de epidemia de Zika] by Beatriz Galli and Suely Deslandes,   32.4 (2016) Cad. Saúde Pública (Rio de Janeiro)  Epub 19-Abr-2016  Portuguese original.  English translation.

[abortion, zika] “Using a Human Rights Accountability Framework to Respond to Zika,” by Beatriz Galli.  Health and Human Rights Journal blog, May 2, 2016.  Blog online.

[Conscientious objection by hospitals – new report] “Health Care Denied: Patients and Physicians Speak Out about Catholic Hospitals and the Threat to Women’s Health and Lives,” American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU and Merger Watch, 2016)  40-page report.   Faith-based restrictions at 550 US hospitals go far beyond abortion: news article.

[Conscientious objection by hospitals prohibited] “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.  English abstract and article. Spanish translation.

[Conscientious objection] “The Right to Conscience,” by Bernard M. Dickens in Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), 210-238. Book in EnglishSpanish translation.

Conscientious Objection: articles and projects related to the Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme of the University of Toronto  Updated List.

[forced treatment during pregnancy, e.g. caesarean births] New book: Autonomy and pregnancy: A comparative analysis of compelled obstetric intervention (2016), Samantha Halliday. Table of contents and excerpts at Googlebooks

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

JOBS

Program Manager, Women’s Health and Equality in Latin America, Wyss Foundation, Washington DC,  Apply by May 31, 2016.  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 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

February 11, 2016

REPROHEALTHLAW Blog
February 11, 2016

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) adopted General Comment No. 3 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (General Comment No. 3 “The Right to Life”) in November 2015 in Banjul, The Gambia.  On the  AfricLAW blog,   Paul Ogendi mentions that the document “avoids controversial subjects like abortion, euthanasia and others, ”  but “. . . for the very first time in Africa stakeholders can rely on a truly African document developed by an African institution to enhance the protection of the right to life regionally and beyond.”

Democratic Party v. The Secretary General of the East African Community, Appeal No. 1 of 2014 (East African Court of Justice at Arusha, Appellate Division).  Decision online.  See:  “It’s official: The East African Court of Justice can now adjudicate human rights cases.”  by Ally Possi, LL.D. (Pretoria) on AfricLaw Blog.

Gambia:  Female circumcision banned 2 December 2015. National Assembly passed the Women’s (Amendment) Bill 2015  to prohibit female circumcision.  See: “Banning female circumcision in The Gambia through legislative change: The next steps,” by Satang Nabaneh, LL.M. (Pretoria), on AfricLaw Blog.

Peru agrees to compensate woman in KL v Peru (UN Human Rights Committee).  Hospital denied legal abortion to teen with anencephalic fetus due to unclear laws.  OHCHR press release.  Background from CRR.

Portugal: Lawmakers overturn presidential veto on gay rights, abortion law.  “…changes will waive mandatory counselling and medical payments for women seeking an abortion through the public health service.”  News from Portugal.

Sweden: District court rules midwife must perform abortions. News article.

CALLS
Reproductive Health Matters, Call for submissions on “Sexuality, sexual and reproductive health in later life” for November issue.   Submission system opens March 15, 2016.  Call for Papers

Feminist Legal Studies.  Submission process for prospective new authors.  Editorial by Ruth Fletcher.

“Abortion and Reproductive Justice- The Unfinished Revolution II”  International Conference, 2-3 June 2016, Ulster University, Belfast, Northern Ireland   Early birds – register nowDraft programme.   Programme with Abstracts for each panel

PUBLICATIONS:

[abortion, Africa] Taking Women’s Rights Seriously: Using Human Rights to Require State Implementation of Domestic Abortion Laws in African Countries with Reference to Uganda, by Charles G Ngwena, Journal of African Law 60.1 (Feb 2016): 110-140.  Abstract and article.

[abortion, England]  “Risks, Reasons and Rights:  The European Convention on Human Rights and English Abortion Law,”  by Rosamund Scott, Medical Law Review 24 (2016): 1-33.   Open access online.

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 PressNow in Spanish: ¡Ahora en español!   E-chapters now accessible in institutional libraries through Project Muse and JSTOR.

[conscience] “Conscience Wars in Transnational Perspective: Religious Liberty, Third-Party Harm, and Pluralism” by Douglas NeJaime and Reva Siegel.  In:  The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality, ed. Susanna Mancini & Michel Rosenfeld (Cambridge Univ. Press 2017 Forthcoming).  Chapter online.

[conscientious objection] “Tasmania’s Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Act 2013: An analysis of conscientious objection to abortion and the ‘obligation to refer,’”  by Ronli Sifris,  Journal of Law and Medicine 22(2015): 900-914    Article online.

[conscientious objection]  “Recommended Reading” on Conscientious Objection has recently been added to our Conscientious Objection topic pages.

[HIV] “Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV: a review of UN, regional and national human rights norms and standards” by Rajat Khosla, Nuna Van Belle, Marleen Temmerman, online here,  in “Sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV,” special issue of  Journal of the International AIDS Society 18 Supplement 5 (2015).  Special issue contents.

NEWS
[abortion, Africa]  The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights launches campaign to decriminalize abortion. Ipas announcement

[abortion, Brazil]  Surge of Zika Virus Has Brazilians Re-examining Strict Abortion Laws  New York Times article.   WHO statement.   Interview with Prof. Debora Diniz:  Huffington Post article.  Women on Web offers free medical abortions online here.

[abortion, including Ireland ] Dr. Ruth Fletcher discusses access to abortion in Ireland, law’s “reproductivity,” and feminist knowledge production.   Interview transcript.

[abortion, Ireland]  Parliamentary assembly considers abortion proposals for cases of rape or fetal abnormality.   Stormont abortion.

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

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights, University of Vienna, Austria.  Apply by March 29, 2016. MA Human Rights details

Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Bioethics program for September 2016.  Apply by March 1, 2016.  MHSc Bioethics details .

JOBS:
Gender Justice and Women’s Rights Director,  Oxfam, Oxford, UK, apply by Feb. 19, 2016.  Oxfam job details.

Latin American Communications Manager, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)  Job details.

Program Officer Sexual Violence/Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund, Equality Now, Nairobi, Kenya – advice and legal research, litigation activities and administration of projects.  Equality Now job details

Sexual and Reproductive Rights Advocate Trainer, Amnesty USA,  Apply by Feb 12, 2016  Job details.

Senior Advisor III, Community Access, Ipas, Chapel Hill NC, USA.  Ipas 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 utoronto.ca .   For Program publications and resources, see our website, online hereTO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates: Decisions, News, Resources and Jobs

January 14, 2016

REPROHEALTHLAW
January 14, 2016

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.

DECISIONS AND LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS:

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.

EVENTS

[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.

PUBLICATIONS:

[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.

NEWS

[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.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

[Canada, HIV/AIDS]  Policy Analyst/Researcher, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.  Please send cover letter, resume and unedited writing sample to hiring {at} aidslaw.ca 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 utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here.
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