REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – Nov. 2016

November 24, 2016

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Gender Justice Uncovered Awards – internationally elected, from cases abstracted by Women’s Link Worldwide:   Best and Worst Judgments of the year.

India: High Court on its own Motion v.  The State of Maharashtra, Suo Motu Public Interest Litigation No. 1 of 2016,  Civil Appellate Jurisdiction, High Court of Judicature at Bombay,  India, September 19, 2016. [Prison inmate granted abortion on compassionate grounds.]  Judgment online.

Spain: Tribunal Constitucional, Sentencia S.T.C. 145/2015, 25 de junio de 2015, 2015182 BOE 66654.  [Seville pharmacy had been fined €3,000 in 2008 for refusing to sell emergency contraceptive, but Spanish constitutional court overturns decision on appeal.]  Spanish judgment now online, including dissenting opinions.  Published decisionEnglish newspaper report. Summary by Women’s Link Worldwide

Tanzania: decision against child marriage:  Rebeca Z. Gyumi v The Attorney General, Miscellaneous Civil Cause No. 5 of 2016, Date of Judgment: 8/7/2016,  [Tanzanian age of marriage laws are found discriminatory and unconstitutional]   Decision online Comment by Girls Not


“Disability and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”  Reproductive Health Matters 25.49, (June 2017). Submit paper by  (extended) deadline Dec. 10, 2016.   Detailed call for papers.

Disability: “The notion of maternal immunity in tort for pre-natal harms causing permanent disability for the born alive child”  Human Rights Controversies,  Special Issue of The International Journal of Human Rights.  Submit paper by February 1, 2017.  Detailed call for papers

“Equality rights, human rights or social justice…”  Journal of Law and Equality (peer-reviewed, student-run) is currently accepting submissions for its Spring 2017 publication.  It publishes research articles, case comments, notes, and book reviews by a diverse group of commentators including professors, practitioners, and students.  Submit papers to  JLE  at gmail. com


[abortion] “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.  Fact Sheet online.

[abortion law, Chile]   Debates y reflexiones en torno a la despenalización del aborto en Chile, Lidia Casas Becerra y Delfina Lawson  (LOM, 2016).  Libro en línea, 325 paginasIndice en Espanol.

[abortion law, Latin America, constitutions]  Paola Bergallo and Agustina Ramón Michel, “Constitutional Developments in Latin American Abortion Law,”  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 135 (2016) 228–231.   PDF online here

[abortion, rape and child marriage  in Sri Lanka]  Submission    to    the    Committee    against    Torture    re  the Sri    Lanka’s Fifth    State    Party    Report, October    2016 by the OMCT (World Organization Against Torture) and Global Justice Center, focuses on how Sri Lankan law violates the Convention Against Torture by banning abortion in most circumstances, and by authorizing rape in certain instances and child marriage.
Press Release     Shadow Report

[conscientious objection, Canada] “Let Thy Conscience Be Thy Guide (But Not My Guide!): Physicians and the Duty to Refer” (October 12, 2016) Daphne Gilbert, McGill Journal of Law and Health 2016 10(2).  Abstract and Article.

[fetal abnormality testing] “Ethical and Legal Aspects of Noninvasive Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis,” by Bernard M. Dickens,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 124.2 (2014): 181-184. Abstract and Article.

[personhood and assisted reproduction, Argentina]   “The Lingua Franca of Reproductive Rights: The American Convention on Human Rights and the Emergence of Human Legal Personhood in the New Civil and Commerce Code of Argentina,” by Martin Hevia and Carlos Herrera Vacaflor, 23 U. Miami Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 687 -740. Article online.

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


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

REPROHEALTHLAW Updates: Developments, Events, Resources

August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

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UN Human Rights Council adopted 3 new resolutions in 29th session, July 2015 (available in 5 languages)

  1. Accelerating Efforts to Eliminate all Forms of Violence Against Women: Eliminating Domestic Violence.  A/HRC/29/L.16/Rev.1
    Resolution online- choose language.    Abstract and analysis of voting.
  2.  Strengthening efforts to prevent and eliminate child, early and forced marriage,   A/HRC/29/L.15  Resolution online.
  3.  Elimination of discrimination against women, A/HRC/29/L.10  Resolution online.  A/HRC/29/L.7/Rev.1  Resolution online.


“Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law,” UNESCO Chair in Bioethics 11th world conference, Royal Continental Hotel, Naples, Italy, October 20-22, 2015. Invitation and Call for Abstracts

El IV Congreso Latinoamericano Jurídico sobre Derechos Reproductivos Lima, Peru, November 2-4, 2015   LatinAmerican Legal Congress.


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. Purchase info: link to U Penn Press.
Table of Cases with links to decisions online here, with links to abortion-related Table of Contents and abstracts online here.  A Spanish edition was published in August, 2016.  Ahora disponible en español.

[abortion] ‘The regulatory cliff edge between contraception and abortion: the legal and moral significance of implantation’ by Sally Sheldon.  forthcoming in  Journal of Medical Ethics Preview article (slow link) Related blog.

[abortion]  “Denial of abortion in legal settings,” by Caitlin Gerdts, Teresa DePiñeres, Selma Hajri,  Jane Harries,  Altaf Hossain, Mahesh Puri, Divya Vohra,  Diana Greene Foster,   Open access article.  in Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 41.3: Special issue on abortion.

[abortion] Who can provide abortion care? Considerations for law and policy makers. Ipas report, 2015

[abortion] Symposium: Special Issue: Intersections in Reproduction: Perspectives on Abortion and Assisted Reproductive Technologies, in  The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 43.2 pp. 174 – 430, Summer 2015   Abstracts and Previews or PDFs of the following articles
—Introduction:   Intersections in Reproduction: Perspectives on Abortion and Assisted Reproductive Technologies, by  Judith Daar and Kimberly Mutcherson.

— The Bad Mother: Stigma, Abortion and Surrogacy,  by Paula Abrams.

—Legal Change and Stigma in Surrogacy and Abortion, by John A. Robertson.

—Selective Reduction: “A Soft Cover for Hard Choices” or Another Name for Abortion?   by Radhika Rao.

—When Is an Abortion Not an Abortion? by Kimberly Mutcherson.

—Selection against Disability: Abortion, ART, and Access, by Alicia Ouellette

—Normalizing Disability in Families (pages 224–227) by Mary Crossley

—Non-Invasive Testing, Non-Invasive Counseling (pages 228–240) by Rachel Rebouché.

—Reproductive Information and Reproductive Decision-Making (pages 241–244) by Maxwell J. Mehlman.

—Disclosure Two Ways (pages 245–254) by Erin B. Bernstein.

—Distinctions in Disclosure: Mandated Informed Consent in Abortion and ART (pages 255–258) by Judith Daar.

—Eggs and Abortion: “Women-Protective” Language Used by Opponents in Legislative Debates over Reproductive Health (pages 259–269) by Sujatha Jesudason and Tracy Weitz.

—False Framings: The Co-opting of Sex-Selection by the Anti-Abortion Movement (pages 270–274) by Seema Mohapatra.

—The Triple System for Regulating Women’s Reproduction (pages 275–288) by June Carbone and Naomi Cahn.

—The Invisible Classes in High Stakes Reproduction (pages 289–292) by Michele Goodwin.

—Conceiving of Products and the Products of Conception: Reflections on Commodification, Consumption, ART, and Abortion (pages 293–306) by Jody Lyneé Madeira.

—Complexifying Commodification, Consumption, ART, and Abortion (pages 307–311) by I. Glenn Cohen.

—The Doctor’s Dilemma: Paternalisms in the Medicolegal History of Assisted Reproduction and Abortion (pages 312–325) by Kara W. Swanson.

—How to Escape the Doctor’s Dilemma? De-Medicalize Reproductive Technologies (pages 326–329) by Paul A. Lombardo.

—Expectant Fathers, Abortion, and Embryos (pages 330–340) by Dara E. Purvis.

—Respecting Intent and Dispelling Stereotypes by Reducing Unintended Pregnancy (pages 341–344) by Dawn Johnsen.

—Membership Has Its Privileges? Life, Personhood, and Potential in Discussions about Reproductive Choice (pages 358–362) by Jonathan F. Will.


Northern Ireland:  Belfast woman will go on trial for helping her daughter to have a medical abortion.  newspaper article.

Paraguay: 11-year old rape victim, denied abortion, gives birth by caesarean section. News article.    Advocacy strategy during the pregnancy- interview with Amnesty International’s Tarah Demant     New York Times interview

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

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


Human Rights and Law Adviser,  UNAIDS, Geneva, Switzerland.  Apply by August 22, 2015.  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.
TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

REPROHEALTHLAW – Decisions, Courses and Resources

February 26, 2015

February 26, 2015


CEDAW:  Ángela González Carreño v. Spain – decision of July 18, 2014, held the State responsible for gender violence and negligence that led to child’s murder.  Decision now available in 6 languagesCase overview and details.

European Commission:  Historic decision Jan 8, 2015 from the European Commission grants 120 million women access to ellaOne (ulipristal acetate) emergency contraception over-the-counter without prescription throughout the European Union,  Europe press release.     Ministry of Health in Poland will allow sales over-the-counter, including to teens over 15 (age of consent).   Poland press release.  So far, only Hungary insists on prescriptions.  Hungary press release.

“Women and International Human Rights Law” Intensive course taught by Elizabeth Abi-Mershed and Rebecca Cook
“Mujeres y el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos” por Monica Roa y Julissa Mantilla
Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University, Washington DC, USA,  program runs May 26 to June 12, 2015, brochure online.
This Advanced Progam includes 16 other English or Spanish intensive courses taught by more than 40 prominent human rights scholars and practitioners.  Apply by May 1, 2015 using this link.


[abortion – new book] Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church, by Patricia Miller, University of California Press, 2014, 344 pp.  Description and Table of Contents3 reviews in Conscience Magazine.

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: online through SSRN. Book reviewers should contact Gigi Lamm (glamm {a} pobox. upenn. edu) Includes 16 chapters, Table of Legislation, Table of Cases, also online here, with links to abortion-related decisions in English and/or other languages). Table of Contents online here. Purchase info: link to U Penn Press.

—Why I Edited This Book, Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies  Blog post by Joanna Erdman.

[abortion] Reproductive Health Matters  special issue “Law and the Courts” (Vol. 22, Issue 44)Available online to institutional subscribers.
Issue Highlights:
—“Contesting the cruel treatment of abortion-seeking women,” by Ruth Fletcher
—“Abortion in Chile: the practice under a restrictive regime” by Lidia Casas and Lieta Vivaldi
—“The shifting politics in multilateral development and human rights negotiations and the absence of accountability,” by Stuart Halford and Sandeep Prasad
—“Can a restrictive law serve a protective purpose? The impact of age-restrictive laws on young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health services” by Elizabeth Yarrow, Kirsten Anderson, Kara Apland, and Katherine Watson
—” Gender inequality in Russia: the perspective of participatory gender budgeting” by Venera Zakirova

[Africa – new book]  Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the African region through human rights, ed. Charles Ngwena and Ebenezer Durojaye (Pretoria, South Africa:  Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2014) 12 chapters, 365 pages.   Entire book PDF   Overview and Table of Contents.

[Africa: Nigeria/Global]  Comparative Health Law and Policy:   Critical Perspectives on Nigerian and Global Health Law,  ed. Irehobhude O. Iyioha and Remigius N. Nwabueze (UK:  Ashgate 2015), 335 pages.  summary and table of contents.

[Conscience]  “Making Decisions About Decision-Making: Conscience, Regulation and the Law,” José Miola, University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 15-02. Online through SSRN.

“Litigating Reproductive Health Rights in the Inter-American System: What Does a Winning Case Look Like?” by Ciara O’Connell, (2015). Health and Human Rights Journal 16(2) (2014); RegNet Research Paper No. 2015/62. Article online through SSRN.

New Resources in Spanish:

[Human Rights to assisted reproduction] “El derecho humano a contar con asistencia médica para fundar una familia,” by Bernard Dickens,  in Bioética, reproducción y familia,  ed. Fernando Zegers H.  & Sofía P. Salas, (Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Diego Portales, 2014), 83-115.  Spanish overview of the book

[Conscientious Objection and Compromise] “Objeción de conciencia y compromiso en conciencia,” by Bernard Dickens in Bioética, reproducción y familia,  ed. Fernando Zegers H.  & Sofía P. Salas, (Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Diego Portales, 2014), 145-182.  Spanish overview of the book

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

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.
TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

Reducing Stigma in Reproductive Health

March 31, 2014

Congratulations to Professors Rebecca Cook and Bernard Dickens, Co-Directors of our International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, whose article on this important topic was recently published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (IJGO).  The full text is now online here through SSRN.  An abstract is provided below:

Reducing Stigma in Reproductive Health
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 125 (2014): 89-92.

Stigmatization marks individuals for disgrace, shame, and even disgust—spoiling or tarnishing their social identities. It can be imposed accidentally by thoughtlessness or insensitivity; incidentally to another purpose; or deliberately to deter or punish conduct considered harmful to actors themselves, others, society, or moral values. Stigma has permeated attitudes toward recipients of sexual and reproductive health services, and at times to service providers. Resort to contraceptive products, to voluntary sterilization and abortion, and now to medically assisted reproductive care to overcome infertility has attracted stigma. Unmarried motherhood has a long history of shame, projected onto the “illegitimate” (bastard) child. The stigma of contracting sexually transmitted infections has been reinvigorated with HIV infection. Gynecologists and their professional associations, ethically committed to uphold human dignity and equality, especially for vulnerable women for whom they care, should be active to guard against, counteract, and relieve stigmatization of their patients and of related service providers.

Full Text of article is available here through SSRN

Other IJGO articles on Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health are online here.

Decisions, Calls, Resources, News & Jobs

November 22, 2013

November 22, 2013


Australia – Tasmania: New abortion law allows terminations up to 16 weeks with the woman’s consent, and after that if two doctors agree on medical or psychological grounds.  News article

Brazil:  New law guarantees treatment, including emergency contraception, for rape victims in public hospitals.   English news.  Spanish news.

CEDAW General recommendation No. 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations, Paragraph 52 mentions “access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information; . . . family
planning services, including emergency contraception;. . .  safe abortion services; post-abortion care . . .” Advance Unedited version, October 13, 2013  CEDAW Gen. Rec. 30.

European Court of Human Rights:   Costa and Pavan v. Italy, No. 54270/10, 28th August 2012 (re assisted reproduction), found violation of Article 8.   Ban preventing healthy carriers of cystic fibrosis from screening embryos for in vitro fertilisation, despite existence of right to therapeutic abortion in domestic law.  Court decided violation of Article 8, Right to respect for private and family life.   Decision online.  Brief Comment by Adriana DiStefano  in Strasbourg Observer. Academic article by Gregor Puppinck online at SSRN.

Ireland: Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 allows abortion only when woman’s life is at risk, including from suicide. signed into law July 30, 2013.   Newspaper article.    CRR Legal Analysis.  Articles in special issue of Irish Journal of Legal StudiesO’Sullivan et al.   Schweppe et al.

Ireland:  Verdict of “medical misadventure” in 2010 maternal death in Irish hospital.  Bimbo Onanuga (32) died after being induced to deliver a stillborn baby.  News article.     Details of case from Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS), Ireland.


Call for Applications, PhD Fellowship in Gender Equality Measurement, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada – Apply by Jan 15, 2014.  Fellowship details.  Facebook page.

Call for Abstracts and Conference Registration. “Eliminating Women and Girls’ Sexual and Reproductive Health Vulnerabilities in Africa”, 6th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights,  Yaounde, Cameroon,  February 3-7, 2014,
Conference announcement. 
Call for Abstracts, due Dec 13, 2013  
Registration.  Early bird deadline: 15 December 2013.

Call for Submissions on  Child Early and Forced Marriage  to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) due Dec 15, 2013, for a UN Report.  Details online.


[abortion – Australia] “The Legal and Factual Status of Abortion in Australia,” by Ronli Sifris (2013) 38:2 Alternative Law Journal 108.  Article online.

[abortion] “Dignity and the Duty to Protect Unborn Life,” by Reva B. Siegel  in Understanding Human Dignity ed. Christopher McCrudden, 2014) Forthcoming; Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 294. Article online.

[abortion- Brazil] “Brazilians have different views on when abortion should be legal, but most do not agree with imprisoning women for abortion.” by Anibal Faundes, Graciana Alves Duarte, Maria Helena de Sousa, Rodrigo Pauperio Soares Camargo, and Rodolfo Carvalho Pacagnella, Reproductive Health Matters featured article online.

[abortion – European Union] Draft Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Rapporteur: Edite Estrela, calls for universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout Europe, including  safe and legal abortion services.   After controversial debate, report was sent back to the Committee.  15-page report.

[abortion – funding – Canada] “Analysis of Canada’s refusal to fund abortion services abroad.”  Policy brief prepared by Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) 4 page analysis.

[abortion – Ireland)  “Article 40.3.3 and the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013: The Impetus for, and Process of, Legislative Change,” by Catherine O’Sullivan, Jennifer Schweppe and Eimear A. Spain, (2013) Irish Journal of Legal Studies 1-17.  Introduction to special issue.

[abortion – Ireland] “When is a Foetus Not an Unborn? Fatal Foetal Abnormalities and Article 40.3.3” by Jennifer Schweppe and Eimear A. Spain, (2013) Irish Journal of Legal Studies 92-110. Article online.

[abortion – Ireland, Poland] Procedural Obligations Under the European Convention on Human Rights: An Instrument to Ensure a Broader Access to Abortion, by Gregor Puppinck, Zeszyty Prawnicze (Waszawa), SSN-1643-8183, 2013.  Abstract and article online.

[abortion – Muslim-majority countries] Liberal abortion rights in some Muslim-majority countries, by Gilla Shapiro. Literature review.

[abortion – Northern Ireland] draft “Guidance on the Limited Circumstances of Termination of Pregnancy” issued by Department of Health in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland draft guidelines.   Rights-based critique  by Dr. Catherine O’Rourke, critique online.

[abortion – Poland] Women’s Reproductive Rights as a Political Price of Post-Communist Transformation in Poland”  by Joanna Diane Caytas, Amsterdam Law Forum 5.2 (Spring 2013): 64-89.  Article online

[abortion: South Africa] “Personhood: Proving the Significance of the Born-Alive Rule with Reference to Medical Knowledge of Foetal Viability”  by Camilla Pickles,  2013 24(1) Stellenbosch Law Review 146-164.  Abstract online.

Abortion stigma webinar summary, based on research by ANSIRH and Ipas.  Abortion stigma webinars.

[Abortion – Uganda] “The Stakes are High:  The Tragic Impact of Unsafe Abortion and Inadequate Access to Contraception in Uganda,” 2013 report from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Georgetown law school.  74-page report

[assisted reproduction] “The Case of Costa and Pavan v. Italy and the Convergence between Human Rights and Biotechnologies. Commentary on the ECHR Ruling in Costa and Pavan v. Italy, No. 54270/10, 28th August 2012,” Quaderni di Diritto Mercato Tecnologia – N°3, Anno III  (2013). Abstract and article online.

[CEDAW] The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, A Commentary. ed. Marsha A. Freeman, Christine Chinkin, and Beate Rudolf, Oxford 2012   Now available in Paperback and eBook.  paperback details.

[conscience] “Freedom of Conscience in Health Care: Distinctions and Limits,” Sean Murphy and Stephen J. Genuis, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10.3 (Oct 2013) pp 347-354, online here.

[emergency contraception] “A review of global access to emergency contraception,” by Elizabeth Westley, Nathalie Kapp, Tia Palermo, Jennifer Bleck in International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 123 (2013) 4–6.  Online by subscription.

Global Health and Human Rights Database (new)  a free and fully searchable online database of more than 1000 judgments, constitutions and international instruments on the intersection between health and human rights. GH&HR database online.

Health and Human Rights Syllabus Database (new) includes dozens of syllabi from universities around the world.  H&HR Syllabus Database.

[health and human rights] “Bringing Justice to Health: The Impact of Legal Empowerment Projects on Public Health” [profiles projects based in Indonesia, Kenya, Macedonia, Russia, South Africa & Uganda] 58-page report from Open Society.     Summary.

[maternal mortality – causes and factors]  “Why Did Mrs. X Die?: Retold”(2012)  updated remake of World Health Organization 1988 film by Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla, explores socio-economic factors that pave the road to maternal death.  In English and Arabic:
English 15 minute video.   Arabic 15 minute video.

[maternal mortality – CEDAW – Brazil – Alyne] “Evaluating States’ Failure to Eliminate Discrimination against Women using Substantive Equality” by Meghan Campbell, OP CEDAW blog article.

[Tanzania]  “Forced Out:  Mandatory Pregnancy Testing and the Expulsion of Pregnant Students in Tanzanian Schools,” Center for Reproductive Rights – 80-page report.

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


[abortion – Ireland] Three Irish women forced to travel for abortions to take cases to UN — Ireland’s ban on abortions for fatal foetal abnormalities amounts to ’cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’  Article in Irish Times.  CRR Press Release re case of Amanda Mellet.   Article in Independent.

[Bolivia] UN Human Rights Committee recommendations call on Bolivia to cease prosecuting women for illegal abortions and to remove judicial barriers to legal abortion. Ipas Press Release.

[Chile] Controversial case [of “Belem” – pregnant 11-year-old abused by her stepfather] opens up discussion of abortion in Chile.  News article.
Spanish Petition to decriminalize abortion in Chile  Petition online.
Spanish video about decriminalizing abortion in Chile.  Online here.
Spanish Declaration by NGOs – NGO declaration

Dominican Republic: Women’s Link Worldwide and the Colectiva Mujer y Salud filed a case in the Dominican Republic on behalf of Rosa Hernández, whose daughter Esperancita  was denied therapeutic abortion, leukemia treatment and palliative care which might affect the fetus.
Details from Women’s Link Worldwide

China one-child law change small but crucial, say experts.  Only-child parents may have two children.  News article.


Assistant/Associate Professor of African Studies/Women’s Studies,  Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, U.S.    Apply by  November 30, 2013.  PSU job details.

Assistant Professor, Women, Gender And Sexuality Studies,  Oregon State University, Corvallis Oregon
Apply by  December 1, 2013  OSU job details.

Visiting Assistant Professor or Instructor, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Middlebury College,  Middlebury, Vermont, USA, Apply by December 9, 2013  Middlebury job details.

Technical Support Consultant on women’s human rights – based on CEDAW recommendations.   UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Home-based, Closing date: November 30, 2013.  Expert roster

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. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

Law, Policy and Reproductive Autonomy

November 22, 2013

Congratulations to Prof. Erin Nelson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Alberta, Canada, whose new book is now available.

Law, Policy and Reproductive Autonomy (Oxford: Hart, 2013) examines the idea of reproductive autonomy, noting that in attempting to look closely at the contours of the concept, we begin to see some uncertainty about its meaning and legal implications – about how to understand reproductive autonomy and how to value it. Both mainstream and feminist literature about autonomy contribute valuable insights into the meaning and implications of reproductive autonomy. The developing feminist literature on relational autonomy provides a useful starting point for a contextualised conception of reproductive autonomy that creates the opportunity for meaningful exercise of reproductive choice. With a contextualised approach to reproductive autonomy as a backdrop, the book traces aspects of the regulation of reproduction (including abortion) in Canadian, English, US and Australian law and policy, arguing that not all reproductive decisions necessarily demand the same level of deference in law and policy, and making recommendations for reform.

Book purchase information online here.

Table of Contents online here.

FIGO Bioethics: Case Studies in Women’s Health

July 2, 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Bernard Dickens and his expert colleagues on the Committee on Ethical Aspects of Human Reproduction and Women’s  Health, of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), who recently published a bioethics training curriculum for medical students and junior practitioners in obstetrics and gynecology.   It opens with a brief overview of basic bioethical principles, followed by 27 case studies through which students can apply the principles to propose ethical responses.  This curriculum can be used freely in order to stimulate means of ethical analysis, reflection and decision-making.

The Ethics Committee would be pleased to collaborate with any FIGO member society or any medical school department of obstetrics and gynecology that wants to use the materials and case studies in an ethics training program.  For further information, please contact Dr. Bernard Dickens by email   Bernard.dickens_AT#_utoronto .ca

FIGO Introduction to Principles and Practice of Bioethics:
Case Studies in Women’s Health   (2012)   online here through FIGO.
Curriculum in Spanish    Ahora en Español!

1.      Introduction – The Context
2.     The Background of Bioethics
3.     Ethics Principles:
——- * Respect for Persons: Autonomy and Protection of the Vulnerable
——- * Benefit and Avoidance of Harm: (Beneficence and Nonmaleficence)
——- * Justice
4. Levels of Analysis
5. Clinical Case Analysis
Table 1:  4 boxes for Reproductive/Women’s Health

Adolescent Sex and Confidentiality
Adolescents and Family Planning
Anencephaly and Late-Term Abortion
Antenatal Care  Bioethics and Faith-Based Organizations
Caesarean Section on Request
Choice of Home Birth
Clinical Research
Conflict of Interest
Cost Containment
Egg Donation
Female Genital Cutting / Mutilation (FGM)
Hepatitis B Vaccination
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination
Illiterate Patients’ Informed Consent
Involuntary Female Sterilisation
Multiple Pregnancy
Obstetric Fistula
Refusal of Caesarean Section
Refusal of Treatment
Social Sex Selection
Task Shifting and Maternal Mortality
Termination of Adolescent Pregnancy
Appendix:    Instructors’ Guide

The entire book:  online here through FIGO.