REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – April 2017

April 25, 2017

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[Croatia, abortion] Constitutional Court reaffirmed that women’s access to abortion is protected under their constitutional rights to liberty, personality, and privacy.  Rješenje Ustavnog Suda Republike Hrvatske, broj: U-I-60/1991 i dr. od 21.veljace 2017.
Decision online in Croatian     Amicus brief in English by CRR


“Women’s Human Rights” including theory and activism, for special issue of Canadian Woman Studies/Les cahiers de la femme, guest edited by: Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Alda Facio, Angela Lytle, Angela Miles, and Patricia Nyaundi.  Submit by April 30, 2017    Detailed call for papers.   Submission guide.

Anti-Discrimination Law Review, newly launched, peer reviewed journal.  Submit papers 6,000-10,000 words. Information for authors.

Call for abstracts  “1997-2017: 20 years after the Oviedo Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine: What are the achieved gains and its potential? international conference at European University (December 8-9, Nicosia, Cyprus)  Submit 300 word abstract by July 1, 2017.  Flyer with Call for abstracts.    Conference details.

Conference:  “Difficult Conversations: Thinking and talking About Women, Genders and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy”  The Seventeenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities.  Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y., U.S.A.,  June 1-4, 2017


Summer “Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law,”
Academy of Human Rights, Washington College of Law, American University, Washington D.C.  Classes start May 30, 2017.  Apply by May 1, 2017.  Details.  Choose from 20 Courses, 9 in English and 11 in Spanish.  Course list.

Summer school on Health Law and Ethics (1 or 2 weeks) The Erasmus Observatory on Health Law / Institute of Health Policy & Management (Erasmus University Rotterdam)  Course details and registration.


[abortion] “Taking Abortion Rights Seriously: Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt” by Kate Greasley,  The Modern Law Review 80.2 (March 2017): 325-338.  Open access article.

[abortion law – Australia] Children by Choice website highlights Australian abortion law and practice –  Links to recent legal reform bills

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 paperback, 20% discount code PH70.  Available from U Penn Press.

[abortion law – Spanish]    El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias,  ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman y Bernard M. Dickens (Mexico: FCE/CIDE, 2016)   De venta: Fondo de Cultura Económica Libreria CIDE.

[abortion policy] “Towards a non-ethics-based consensual public policy on abortion,” by David Alvargonzález, (philosophy professor in Spain).  The International Journal of Health Planning and Management 32.1 (Jan-Mar 2017): e39-46. Article or Abstract.

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


[abortion, Brazil] Petition to Supreme Court of Brazil March 7, 2017, seeks decriminalization of abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. The petition was filed by the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), with support from Anis – Institute of Bioethics.  Press release.

[abortion, Canada – coverage]  Expert panel endorses public coverage for abortion pill (mifepristone + misoprostol), under brand name “Mifegymiso”.  Newspaper reportExpert recommendations and reasoning

[abortion – Kenya]  Recent cases of women dying while procuring abortion, clinic proprietor arrested. Safe Abortion update.

[abortion, Uruguay]  Judge denies termination of 10-week pregnancy, siding with ex-boyfriend.  Woman miscarried due to stress, mistreatment and public exposure; she plans to sue judge.  News media.    Update from Safe Abortion campaign.

[conscience, Canada]  Doctors, pharmacists push back on medical abortion rules    Colleges of physicians and pharmacists suggest off-label workaround for Health Canada’s restrictions on dispensing the abortion drug Mifegymiso   CMAJ News

[conscience, Canada]  Christian Medical and Dental Society v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). objecting to rules requiring Ontario doctors to refer patients seeking abortions, etc.  Hearings scheduled June 13-15, 2017   Newspaper report.

[conscience, Ghana] Provider obstruction: a major threat to critical maternal health services in Northern Ghana, Global Doctors for Choice-Ghana study results.

[conscience, Italy]:  UN Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations CCPR/C/ITA/CO/6 criticizes Italy for lack of non-objecting doctors.  HRC report in English.
Parliamentary study found that 70% object.  Hospital in Rome advertises for non-objecting doctors. CRUX Catholic newsletter

[conscience, Sweden]: Swedish court upholds ruling against midwife (Grimmark) claiming conscientious objection.  Midwife is funded by wealthy US prochoice alliance  Article by Safe Abortion Women’s Right


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.

Developments, resources, news, scholarships & opportunities

December 18, 2013

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.


CEDAW decision:  S.V.P. v. Bulgaria, CEDAW, UN Doc. CEDAW/C/53/D/31/2011 held state accountable for inadequate legal protections and failure to exercise due diligence re girl (“V.P.P.”) subjected to sexual violence and molestation by adult neighbour.
CEDAW decision dated November 24, 2012, online. 
Case summary by Simone Cusack online.  

Inter-American Court of Human Rights – El Salvador Government being sued over treatment of Beatriz and Criminalization of Abortion.  Lawsuit filed November 29, 2013 by the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion in El Salvador, the Feminist Collective for Local Development, CEJIL (Center for Justice and International Law), and Ipas Central America.
English article online.   Spanish article online.

United States – Catholic hospitals:  American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing US Catholic bishops for hospital directives below standard of care for pregnant woman.  Press release online.


[abortion]  “Reductions in abortion-related mortality following policy reform: evidence from Romania, South Africa and Bangladesh,” by Janie Benson, Kathryn Andersen and Ghazaleh Samandari  Reproductive Health 8.39 (2011). Abstract and Article online here.

[abortion, health, human rights.] New book:  Health and Human Rights by  Thérèse Murphy, (Oxford: Hart Publishing 2013)  includes chapter on reproductive rights:  “The Dignity of Choice” pp. 159-187.  Book details online.

[abortion – Ireland] Ruth Fletcher’s submission to the Oireachtas Abortion Hearings (May 21, 2013)
available in Human Rights in Ireland blog May 22, 2013
8 minute radio spot – MP3 file May 21, 2013
Other abortion posts on Human Rights in Ireland blog.

[abortion – Ireland – women forced to travel]  “Peripheral governance: administering transnational healthcare flows,” by Ruth Fletcher, in International Journal of Law in Context 9 (2013):160-191,  doi:10.1017/S1744552313000074  Abstract online.

[abortion- mifepristone (RU-486) not approved in Canada] “Medical abortion in Canada:  Behind the Times,” by Sheila Dunn and Rebecca Cook.   Canadian Medical Association Journal, Nov. 25, 2013
Early view extract online.
Globe and Mail newspaper article.    Toronto Star newspaper article.

[conscientious objection]   “Let Conscience Be Their Guide? Conscientious Refusals in Health Care” Bioethics special issue,
Table of Contents with full text access for institutional subscribers.

—Editorial by volume editors Carolyn McLeod and Jocelyn Downie (pages ii–iv)

—“Am I My Profession’s Keeper?  by Avery Kolers, (pp. 1-7).

—“Conscientious Refusal and Health Professionals: Does Religion Make a Difference?” by Daniel Weinstock, pp. 8-15

—“Justification for Conscience Exemptions in Health Care” by Lori Kantymir and Carolyn McLeod (pp 16-23).

—“A Neglected Aspect of Conscience: Awareness of Implicit Attitudes” by Chloë Fitzgerald (pp 24–32).

—“Welcome to the Wild, Wild North: Conscientious Objection Policies Governing Canada’s Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dental Professions,” by Jacquelyn Shaw and Jocelyn Downie (pp 33–46).

[emergency contraception and conscientious objection, Italy]    “Whose Self-Determination? Barriers to Access to Emergency Hormonal Contraception in Italy” by  Emanuela Ceva and Sofia Moratti, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 23.2 (2013): 139-67. Abstract and article online here.

[ethical and legal issues in reproductive health] Full texts of concise papers on Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health, published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1999.  Wide range of topics,  including vitro fertilization, access to reproductive health information, applying human rights to maternal health, WHO guidance on safe abortion and harm reduction.   Full texts online on our website.

[health and human rights] Book:  Advancing the Human Right to Health, ed. Jose M. Zuniga, Stephen P. Marks, Lawrence O Gostin (Oxford University Press, 2013)  includes chapters on Brazil, China, Ghana, Haiti, Japan, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States; also includes:
—“Advancing the right to health through litigation,” by Oscar A Cabrera and Ana S. Ayala
—“The right to health in post-apartheid era South Africa,” by Charles Ngwena, Rebecca Cook, and Ebenezer Durojaye    Book details online here.

[reproductive health, MDGs] “New development paradigms post-2015 for health, SRHR and gender equality, includes experiences from Brazil, India, Kenya, Lao PDR, Mexico, Nigeria,  South Africa and Uganda,  all in current issue of Reproductive Health Matters 21.42 (Nov. 2013).
Articles and Table of Contents are online here.


[abortion – Australia, New South Wales (NSW)] – Decriminalise abortion: pro-choice in practice is not the same as legal protection by Prof. George Williams, Professor of Law at University of NSW.  “Zoe’s Law” (now a bill) would protect the unborn fetus.  Comment in the Sydney Morning Herald.

[abortion] “Israel’s Secular-Religious Abortion Compromise”  discusses legal context.  Online news article.

[emergency contraception – levonorgestrel] European authorities involved in the process decided to include the following statement in the levonorgestrel labeling: ‎”In clinical trials, contraceptive efficacy was reduced in women weighing 75 kg or more and levonorgestrel was not effective in women who weighed more than 80 kg.”

[Europe] Estrela report on SRHR sent back to European Parliament by FEMM.   Briefing paper for Dec 10, 2013 vote.

Russia:  Putin signs law banning abortion advertisement in Russia.  News article online.

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


“CEDAW for Change” Institute: May 24 – 31, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. Weekend workshop on the UN human rights system (May 24-25), followed by a five-day intensive on CEDAW (May 27-31). Details are online here.

International Women’s Human Rights Education Institute 2014 August 4 – 15, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Course limited to 30 students– First come, first served. Application period starts January 1, 2014.  Details are online here.

Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Bioethics Program at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. Program is course-based, no thesis, 2 years, part-time in modular format for busy professionals. Apply by March 1, 2014.  Details are online here.


Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellowship Program, at at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  Application deadline is January 14, 2014. Details are online here.

Visiting Fellows Program at Harvard Law School 2014-15, for human rights scholars or practitioners anywhere in the world. Apply by January 15, 2014.  Details are online here.

Gordon F. Henderson Post doctoral Fellowship  May 2014-May 2015, at The Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa.  Apply by Jan. 31, 2014.  Details are online here.  For more info. call  613-562-5800, ext 3462 or email psimons{at}

Columbia Law School – Center for Reproductive Rights Fellowship 2014-2016,  for recent law school graduates interested in careers in teaching law – Deadline has been extended to February 28, 2014.    Details are online here.

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

TO RECEIVE THESE UPDATES MONTHLY: 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 For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here.

Decisions, Conferences, Fellowships, Resources and Jobs

July 2, 2013

July 2, 2013


Canada: R v Levkovic  2013 SCC 25  Supreme Court, 3 May 2013, upheld the criminal law prohibiting disposing of dead body of child with intent to conceal its delivery whether child died before, during or after birth.
The law does not breach Charter rights.   Full text online.

Gender Justice Uncovered Awards 2013:  highlight Best and Worst decisions re gender equality.  Women’s Link Worldwide.

Best Decisions in the past year:

Mensah v. Mensah (Supreme Court of Ghana)  – equal distribution of assets at divorce.  Details here.

P. & S.  v. Poland – European Court of Human Rights found human rights violations regarding delayed abortion for raped girl.  Details here.     Further details and links.

Mmusi vs. Ramantele – The High Court of Botswana abolished a traditional property law and ruled that women equal right of inheritance  Details here.


Conference on Rights of Women in Africa, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa.  Topics include:  Women and HIV, Access to Safe abortion, Women’s Repro Rights & role of resources, and Women’s Sexual rights   Travel & accommodation funding for authors of accepted papers. Submit abstracts by July 31, 2013.   Details here.

“Derecho a la vida: un dialogo sobre justicia, igualdad de genero y derechos reproductivos en America Latina.” Third Latin American Legal Congress on Reproductive Rights, Cuernavaca, Morelos – Mexico,
October 14-16, 2013. Conference website.


CIHR Graduate Fellowships in Health Law, Ethics and Policy
– for international and Canadian applicants pursuing a full-time master’s or doctoral degree in 2014-2015 at one of our four affiliated Canadian law schools.  Applicants must be accepted into the graduate program at any of following law schools:
Faculté de droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke
Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
Apply by March 2014.  Fellowship information.


“Abortion and Conscientious Objection: The New Battleground”  by Anne O’Rourke , Lachlan De Crespigny, and Amanda Pyman,  Working paper.

“Abortion Law Around the World: Progress and Pushback,” by Louise Finer and Johanna B. Fine, April 2013, Vol 103, No. 4 | American Journal of Public Health 103.4 (April 2013): 585-9. Article online for subscribersAbstract

[abortion] Human rights versus legal control over women’s reproductive self-determination, by Diya Uberoi and Maria de Bruyn, in Health and Human Rights 15.1 (June 2013): 161- 174.  Article online.

[abortion ] Life Before Birth: The Moral and Legal Status of Embryos and Fetuses, by Bonnie Steinbock [pro-choice],  Oxford University Press, 2011, 2nd edition, 327 pages.
–Reviewed by Anna Smajdor in 21.2 Medical Law Review, June 2013: 327-335.  Academic subscribers click here.

[abortion]  “Remaking the case for a woman’s right to choose” by
Ann Furedi, bpas Reproductive Review, 26 April 2013.  Article online. 

[abortion]  “Sex equality arguments for reproductive rights: their critical basis and evolving constitutional expression, by Reva B. Siegel, in Gender & Equality Law, ed.  Julie Goldscheid (Ashgate, 2013).  Book information.

[abortion] “The global reproductive health and rights agenda: opportunities and challenges for the future,” by Laura Reichenbach,  in Gender & Equality Law, ed.  Julie Goldscheid (Ashgate, 2013).
Book information.

[abortion – Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina] “When Abortion is a Crime:  The Threat to Vulnerable Women in Latin America,” by G. Kane, B. Galli and P. Skuster  (Chapel Hill, NC: Ipas, 2013) 20-page report.

[abortion] Chilean Study asserting that restrictive abortion laws do not impact abortion-related maternal mortality has fundamental flaws.  English report  is now available in Spanish:   Spanish report.

[abortion – India]   Unsafe abortion: why restricting abortive drugs only makes a bad situation worse, BMJ (31 May 2013) Article online.

[abortion – Ireland] “Impossible Floodgates and Unworkable Analogies in the Irish Abortion Debate” by Fiona De Londras and Laura Graham,  Irish Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming. Article online.

[abortion – Ireland  and Catholic health policy] Termination of pregnancy as emergency obstetric care: the interpretation of Catholic health policy and the consequences for pregnant women: An analysis of the death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland and similar cases, by Marge Berer, Reproductive Health Matters 21(41), May 2013,  9-17.  Abstract online.

[abortion – Mexico City] “Evolving capacity and decision-making in practice: adolescents’ access to legal abortion services in Mexico City,” by Jessie Clyde, Jennifer Bain, Kelly Castagnaro, Marcela Rueda, Carrie Tatum, Katherine Watson, Reproductive Health Matters 21(41), May 2013,  167-175.  Abstract online.

[abortion – Nigeria] “The Nigerian Woman and Reproductive Autonomy: A View of Autonomy as Empowerment” by Aniaka Angel-Jacinta Oluchi.   [includes discussion of abortion law reform proposals and attempts]  Working paper.

[abortion – sex selection] “Bans on Sex-Selective Abortions: How Far is Too Far?”  by Annie Moskovian, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2013. Article online.

[abortion – Rwanda] “Advocating for safe abortion in Rwanda: how young people and the personal stories of young women in prison brought about change,”  by Chantal Umuhoza, Barbara Oosters, Miranda van Reeuwijk and Ine Vanwesenbeeck. Reproductive Health Matters 21(41), May 2013,  49-56.  Abstract online.

“Effective Access to Justice Against State and Non State Actors in the Framework Convention on Global Health,” by Martin Hevia, with  Carlos Herrera Vacaflor, Health & Human Rights 13 (June 2013).  Article online.

Gender and Equality Law, ed.  Julie Goldscheid (Ashgate, 2013).   Introduction online at SSRN.     Table of contents online.

Gender and Sexuality in Latin America – Cases and Decisions, ed. Cristina Motta & Macarena Saez,  (Springer, 2013) 323 pages.
English book details.    Download original Spanish edition.

Gender Justice Observatory from Women’s Link Worldwide- useful database to explore cases and strategies.  Gender Justice Observatory.

[HIV/AIDS] “CrowdOutAIDS: crowdsourcing youth perspectives for action.” by Mikaela Hildebrand, Claudia Ahumada, Sharon Watson,  Reproductive Health Matters 21.41 (May 2013):  57-68).  Abstract.

“Human Rights and Maternal Health: Exploring the Effectiveness of the Alyne Decision” by Rebecca J. Cook,  American Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 41.1 (Spring 2013): 103-123.  Abstract online.   Original English PDF is now online (click Save icon here, then “Save PDF”). 
New Portuguese translation is online here. 

Reproductive Rights Around the World:   The complete global map of laws governing abortion and birth control.  by Chris Kirk, Charanya Krishnaswami, Katie Mesner-Hage, and Skye Nickalls, in Slate (May 2013):  Map online.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) database – presents examples of LGBT-friendly laws around the world.  Joint initiative by International Commission of Jurists and law students from the the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.   Access the database here.

Theses of graduates of our International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto – Abstracts online.

“Young People, Sex and Relationships” theme of Reproductive Health Matters 21(41), May 2013, includes papers from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Nicaragua, Rwanda,
South Africa, Tanzania, UK, USA, and Zambia.  Details online.


Australia:  Abortion pill RU486 and three cancer drugs added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.  News report

Bolivia:  “After jailing women, Bolivia weighs legalizing abortion”
by Gillian Kane, The Atlantic,  June 24 2013  Article online.

El Salvador:  Woman Denied Abortion Has Caesarean Section instead.  Anencephalic baby dies within hours.  News report.
UN experts urged El Salvador to reconsider abortion legislation, citing Constititutional court ruling against ill woman.  UN press release.
Where illegal abortion leads: A case in El Salvador shows the danger of restricting abortion. Editorial by Nancy Northup 

Ireland:  Irish abortion law confusion a key factor in death of Savita Halappanavar, official report finds  News report.

Macedonia: Parliament restricts abortion beyond 10 weeks of pregnancy.  News report.

UN Security Council Resolution 2106 addressing sexual violence in armed conflict, explicitly calls for humanitarian care to provide “non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health.” Press release from the Global Justice Center.
Stop Rape press release.

Uruguay abortion law will not go to referendum. News report.
More details

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


Advocacy Program Officer, Latin American office of Planned Parenthood Global, in Miami, Florida. prefers law degree, and/or policy-related backgrounds.   Job details.

Director of Pro Bono Services, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, USA, Apply by July 19, 2013.  Job details.

Global Health: Science and Practice (GHSP) “Job Opportunities” website – free for recruiters and job seekers.  Online here.

Internship,  Legal Counsel At The Organización Nacional Indígena De Colombia, 6 month  internship, Lawyers Without Borders Canada. Bogota, Colombia.   Internship details.

Policy Associate, policy and advocacy for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. based at Ipas headquarters, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA.  Law degree preferred.  Apply immediately.  Job details.

Programme Manager, Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights, Plan UK, in London, UK.  Apply by July 4, 2013.  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.