“What is Africanness?” Contesting nativism in race, culture and sexualities, new book by Prof. Charles Ngwena

September 30, 2018

Congratulations to Professor Charles G. Ngwena from the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, whose peer-reviewed monograph is now freely available for download through the open-access Pretoria University Law Press.

Charles Ngwena,  What is Africanness?  : Contesting nativism in culture, race and sexualities,  (Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2018) 306 pages.
Detailed Table of Contents, Overview, Comments from scholars, and PDFs of all chapters.

This important book contributes to the ongoing scholarly conversation about who is African and what is African.  It aims to implicate a reductive sameness in the naming of Africans (‘nativism’) by showing its teleology and effects, then offers an alternative liberating and decentred understanding of Africa as the land of diverse identifications.   As the author states in the opening chapter: “The intention of this book . . . is to offer a discourse on how Africans can name themselves in the present and in the future without succumbing to nativist impulses requiring a homogeneous past and establishing a transcendental ontology as essential elements of Africanness.  The book seeks to develop a plausible account of African identifications, but ultimately leaves the question Who/what is African? open to debate.”  (p.17)  Accordingly, the book ends with an epilogue, rather than a conclusion.

The book has three major parts:

1: BACKGROUND TO THE HERMENEUTICS OF HETEROGENOUS AFRICANNESS

2: AFRICANNESS, RACE AND CULTURE

3: HETEROGENEOUS SEXUALITIES
The third part of the book “comprises three chapters organised around interrogating representations of African sexualities and ultimately suggesting a philosophical way forward in the manner sexual citizenship is contested.” (p. 14)  The REPROHEALTHLAW Blog is pleased to circulate brief overviews of these chapters, as excerpted from the author’s introduction to the book:

Chapter 6.   Representing African Sexualities: Contesting Nativism from Without     PDF online 
This chapter “speaks to nativism from without. It highlights that narratives which represent African sexualities should always be understood as being culturally and historically situated. They are representations constructed within the knowledge and power system(s) of a given polity at a particular historical time and location, together with a social and political dynamics for social stratification, domination and status subordination. The chapter uses the representation of African sexualities in colonial discourses to make this point. I do not argue that colonial discourses tell us everything we need to know about African sexualities or that, historically, they are the single most important archive on the representation of African sexualities.
“Rather, the value of colonial discourses lies in their stubbornly persistent power, which continues to summon ‘Africans’ into place. In many ways, the construction of stereotypical representations of African sexualities is anchored in the nativisation of African cultures by colonial discourses. The argument in this chapter draws in part on Edward Said’s ‘orientalism’ and Mahmood Mamdani’s ‘nativism’. The works of Said and Mamdani serve as important resources in implicating ‘surface regularities’ in colonial discourses and their effects in typologising Africans as ‘natives’.
“I argue in this chapter for the importance of understanding the representation of Africanness in colonial discourses as an effect of the construction of colonial whiteness.”  (pp. 14-15)

Chapter 7.  ‘Transgressive’ Sexualities:  Contesting Nativism from within and Overcoming Status Subordination.      PDF online
“[F]rom time to time, ‘African values’ are invoked by political and cultural authorities to continentalise sexuality and to prescribe a regimented and homogenised African sexuality that specifically excludes sexualities outside heterosexuality and, more specifically, delegitimises non-heteronormative and same-sex sexualities. I advance counter-arguments to the legitimacy of claims that heterosexuality is the only culturally acceptable sexuality for Africans. The chapter develops a framework for recognising diversities of sexuality in ways that are informed by a transformative understanding of sexuality and, ultimately, of an inclusive equality. The framework seeks to deconstruct scripted knowledge about sexuality in order to build an understanding that reveals the complexity, diversity and ultimately political nature of sexuality. I argue that recognising difference in the realm of sexuality requires a radical epistemology that is capable of moving beyond the raw physicality of the body, the genitalia, biological impulse and a capacity for language in order to take cognisance of how sexuality is socially constructed in historical time and place. Necessarily, representations of African sexualities ought to acknowledge that norms and frameworks which give coherence to heterosexuality and its congruent gender binaries are but one cultural variant that exists in juxtaposition with pluralistic articulations of sexualities.” (pp. 15-16)

Chapter 8. Mediating Conflicting Sexuality Identifications through Politics and an Ethics of Pluralism.   PDF online.
This chapter “concludes Part 3 with a discussion of how we might mediate conflicting sexuality identifications through first promoting an understanding of the politics and ethics of pluralism. The discussion is predicated on an assumption, regardless of contradictory praxis, that African states in their independence as well as post-independence constitutions formally commit themselves to political pluralism. Against this backdrop the overarching premise is that in political communities committed to liberal democracy, differences are an ordinary part of our political lives.  Even if we agree as to how we should be governed and share political space, it is not necessary or warranted that we should also reach agreement on all moral issues, including conceptions of our sexual and reproductive selves.
“Chapter 8 builds its arguments partly by appropriating to the concept of ‘equality’ two political notions: the notion of an ‘overlapping consensus’ as advocated by John Rawls, and the notion of ‘dissensus’ as advocated by Nicholas Rescher.  In part the chapter builds its arguments by linking equality with participatory democracy using mainly Iris Young’s argument for recognising difference in a heterogeneous public in which there is mutual recognition between different sexuality identifications, and Hannah Arendt’s concept of citizenship in a plural political community.
“The main thesis in Chapter 8 is that overcoming an impasse which arises where there is strong communitarian opposition to a given sexuality does not lie in dismissing such opposition as without a rational political foundation. Rather, it lies in accepting the legitimacy of the opposition through a democratic polity that  is committed to non-hierarchical inclusiveness and relations of cooperation in matters of moral and religious controversy.”   (pp. 16-17)

Detailed overview of the entire book, with comments by legal specialists,  a complete Table of Contents and links to PDF chapters are available here from the Pretoria University Law Press.

Recent publications by Prof. Charles Ngwena:
“Reproductive Autonomy of Women and Girls under the Disabilities Convention.”  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 140.1 (Jan. 2018): 128-133.  Article abstract.

“Taking Women’s Rights Seriously: Using Human Rights to Require State Implementation of Domestic Abortion Laws in African Countries with Reference to Uganda,” Journal of African Law 60.1 (Feb 2016): 110-140.   Article abstract

“Human Rights Advances in Women’s Reproductive Health in Africa” by Charles G. Ngwena, Eunice Brookman-Amissah,  and Patty Skuster,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 129.2 (May 2015): 184-187.    Article download from SSRN.  Article online.

“Reforming African Abortion Laws and Practice: The Place of Transparency,” (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) Article abstract.

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

“A Commentary on LC v Peru: The CEDAW Committee’s First Decision on Abortion.” Journal of African Law, 57.2 (Oct 2013): 310-324;   available online here.”  Abstract online.

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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 – December 2016

December 20, 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.

DEVELOPMENTS

African LGBT advocacy rulings, 2014-2016   Overview by Godfrey Kangaude
—-[Botswana] Attorney General of Botswana v. Thuto Rammoge & 19 Others  [2016] CACGB-128-14 (Botswana, Court of Appeal at Gaborone).  [Appeal against LGBT organization registration dismissed]   Decision onlineCase summary for Legal Grounds III.
—-[Kenya] Eric Gitari v. Non-Governmental Organizations Co-Ordination Board & 4 Others, [2015] eKLR, Petition No. 440 of 2013  (Kenya, High Court at Nairobi).  [LGBT organizations can be registered.]  Decision online.   Case summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.
—-[Kenya] Republic v. Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board & another ex-parte Transgender Education and Advocacy & 3 Others [2014] eKLR, JR Miscellaneous Application No. 308a of 2013 (Kenya, High Court). [Transgender organization can be registered].   Decision onlineCase summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.
—-[Zambia] People v. Paul Kasonkomona [2015] HPA/53/2014  (Zambia, High Court).[Freedom of expression: HIV/LGBT activist acquitted for remarks made on television.]   Decisions and documents onlineCase summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

[Belize – homosexuality]:  Caleb Orozco v Attorney General of Belize et al., Claim No. 668 of 2010 (Supreme Court of Belize)  August 10, 2016. [First-ever successful court challenge to a Caribbean anti-sodomy law.]   38-page Judgment online.   News reportGovernment won’t appeal ruling.   Press release by Caleb Orozco of UNIBAM.

[Brazil – abortion]  Habeas Corpus n. 124.306judged by 1st Panel of the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court on November 29, 2016.  Summary in English by Marta Machado.   Sexuality Policy Watch comment.  English news report.  Summary in Portuguese.     Leading vote by Judge Luis Roberto Barroso in PortugueseComment in Portuguese by Debora Diniz

[Brazil – zika]  Direct Action of Unconstitutionality  n. 5581 (Supreme Court of Brazil).  Zika abortion decision  delayed until early 2017.  Summary of the claim in Portuguese.

[Chile – obstetric violence against prisoner]  Lorenza Cayuhán Llebul s/amparo, Rol 92.795-2010 (Supreme Court of Chile). December 1, 2016.    Decision online in Spanish.     English summary by Carlos Herrera.

[Kenya – homosexuality] C.O.L. & G.M.N. v. Resident Magistrate Kwale Court & Others, Petition No. 51 of 2015 (Kenya, High Court –Constitutional and Judicial Review Division).  [Court allowed medical examinations including anal examinations to prove crime of homosexuality].  Decision online.     Case summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

[South Africa: surrogacy]  AB and Another v Minister of Social Development (CCT155/15) [2016] ZACC 43 (29 November 2016)  Constitutional Court of South Africa.  [At least one parent must donate sperm or eggs for a surrogacy agreement to be legal in South Africa]  Decision online.    News Report

SCHOLARSHIP

[abortion, health rights] “Adjudicating Health-Related Rights: Proposed Considerations for the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Other Supra-National Tribunals,” by Alicia Ely Yamin and Angela Duger, Chicago Journal of International Law 17.1 (Summer 2016): 80-120.  Abstract and Article.

[Brazil] – [Zika: from Brazilian backlands to global threat] Zika: Do Sertão nordestino à ameaça global  by  Debora Diniz  (Rio de Janeiro:  Civilização Brasileira, 2016).  Forthcoming in English from Zed Books in September 2017, this book analyses scientific discoveries regarding Zika in Brazil as well as the impact of the epidemic on poor black and brown women’s lives.  Portuguese: Book or e-bookSinopseA história contada.
—Related resources in English:”The Zika Virus and Brazilian Women’s Right to Choose,” op/ed by Debora Diniz, February 8, 2016.  New York Times editorial.  “Zika”  30 minute April 2016 documentary with English subtitles;  “Zika: More than a health issue (Dec 1, 2016)   53-minute  TV interview with English subtitles.  “Zika emergency pushes women to challenge Brazilian abortion law”  Guardian news report.

[Brazil – abortion law] “Social Movements and Constitutional Politics in Latin America: Reconfiguring Alliances, Framings and Legal Opportunities in the Judicialization of Abortion Rights in Brazil” by Alba Ruibal. Contemporary Social Science 10:4 (October 18, 2016): 375-385. Abstract and article.   Other articles on strategic litigation in Latin America.

[Canada – mifepristone]  “Requiring physicians to dispense mifepristone:  an unnecessary limit on safety and access to medical abortion,” by Wendy V. Norman and Judith A. Soon, forthcoming in Canadian Medical Association Journal, Early release October 18, 2016 to institutional subscribers.   Summarized in “Abortion pill dispensing by doctors and not pharmacists could hinder access … [and] entrench inequity” CBC News report.

[obstetric violence] International Human Rights and the Mistreatment of Women during Childbirth, by Rajat Khosla, Christina Zampas, Joshua P. Vogel, Meghan A. Bohren, Mindy Roseman, and Joanna N. Erdman.  Health and Human Rights Journal (in press)  Abstract and Full Text.

[reproductive rights] ” ‘Woman’ in the European Human Rights System:  How is the reproductive rights jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights constructing narratives of women’s citizenship?” by  Liiri Oja and Alicia Ely Yamin in Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 32.1 (2016): 62-95.   Abstract and Article.

[Uruguay] “Reform of abortion law in Uruguay: context, process and lessons learned,” by Susan Wood, Lilián Abracinskas, Sonia Corrêa, and Mario Pecheny, Reproductive Health Matters, online since December 8, 2016. Abstract and Article.

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

NEWS

[Mexico] Excerpts from the Symbolic Tribunal on Maternal Mortality and Obstetric Violence, (published by GIRE, Oct 28, 2016).   5-minute film.

[Spain – conscientious objection]  Galician health system ordered to compensate woman – Forced travel to Madrid for late-term abortion of doomed fetus cost woman her uterus, nearly her life.  News report in EnglishNoticias en español.

[Uruguay Model] “From Uruguay, a model for making abortion safer” [misoprostol – harm reduction instruction method spreading to restrictive jurisdictions, e.g. Uganda and Tanzania.   New York Times editorial.   Relevant 2011 article: Access to Information on Safe abortion, by Joanna Erdman.

JOBS

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

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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.


African Courts recognize sexually diverse persons and LGBTI advocates

December 20, 2016

Many thanks to Godfrey Kangaude, author of a highlight commentary “Towards Respect for Human Diversity,” in  Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts (forthcoming February 2017).  We are pleased to provide the following excerpt for REPROHEALTHLAW subscribers:

. . . Many governments have adopted constitutions that recognise human dignity and equality. Yet in The Attorney General of Botswana v. Thuto Rammoge and 19 Others, the Attorney General of Botswana tried to argue that the Constitution of Botswana did not apply to persons of non-heterosexual orientation. This reflects a pervasive attitude in governments driven by politicians who do not believe in the human dignity and equality stipulated by their own constitutions.

Persons of non-heterosexual orientation, or whose gender identity and expression does not conform to some traditional gender notions, continue to face government-sponsored hate and victimization.  Sometimes this has been indirect, for instance through a refusal to recognise the rights to association and expression such as in the Thuto Rammoge cases in Botswana [1, 2], the Gitari case [3] and Ex-parte Transgender Education and Advocacy case [4] in Kenya, and the Kasonkomona case [5] in Zambia. Apart from criminalizing sexual conduct, governments deploy other laws to prevent LGBTI persons from enjoying their right to association and expression. In the Kasonkomona case, the government used vagrancylaws to try and deny persons the right to talk freely about LGBTI rights.

In all the above mentioned cases, however, the courts applied human rights norms to the issues raised before them and vindicated the claims that LGBTI persons are deserving of human rights because they are in the first place, human beings. However, the case of C.O.L. & G.M.N.,[6] where the Kenyan Court upheld the constitutionality of the law compelling anal examinations in order to prove homosexual behaviour, indicates that there is a great deal that has to be done to secure enjoyment of rights of all persons including decriminalization of sexual conduct involving non-heterosexual intimacy, and also recognition of gender diversity.  The victories in these cases are significant as they are beacons of light in the midst of pervasive discrimination against LGBTI persons. The positive judgments refresh the obligations of governments to be faithful to their own constitutions to respect the fundamental values of human dignity and equality of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. This negative judgement, though, calls for vigilance to realise human rights for everyone.

[1]  Thuto Rammoge & 19 Others v. The Attorney General of Botswana  [2014] MAHGB-000175-13  (Botswana, High Court). [Homosexual rights advocacy society received official recognition.]   Decision online.   Short abstract by Michelle HaymanCase summary for Legal Grounds III.

[2] Attorney General of Botswana v. Thuto Rammoge & 19 Others  [2016] CACGB-128-14 (Botswana, Court of Appeal at Gaborone).  [Appeal dismissed]   Decision onlineCase summary for Legal Grounds III.

[3] Eric Gitari v. Non-Governmental Organizations Co-Ordination Board & 4 Others, [2015] eKLR, Petition No. 440 of 2013  (Kenya, High Court at Nairobi).  [LGBT organizations can be registered.]  Decision online.   Case summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

[4] Republic v. Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board & another ex-parte Transgender Education and Advocacy & 3 Others [2014] eKLR, JR Miscellaneous Application No. 308a of 2013 (Kenya, High Court). [Transgender organization can be registered].   Decision onlineCase summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

[5] People v. Paul Kasonkomona [2015] HPA/53/2014  (Zambia, High Court).[Freedom of expression: HIV/LGBT activist acquitted for remarks made on television.]   Decisions and documents onlineCase summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

[6]  C.O.L. & G.M.N. v. Resident Magistrate Kwale Court & Others, Petition No. 51 of 2015 (Kenya, High Court –Constitutional and Judicial Review Division).  [Court allowed medical examinations including anal exams to prove crime of homosexuality].  Decision online.   Case summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III.

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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: Developments, Resources & Jobs

March 10, 2016

REPROHEALTHLAW Blog
March 10, 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.

DEVELOPMENTS

General Comment 22”  United Nations – Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) adopted a new General Comment 22 (E/C.12/GC/22)  on Article 12 (Health) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  This new General Comment highlights the numerous legal, procedural, practical and social barriers people face in accessing sexual and reproductive health care and information, and the resulting human rights violations.  It codifies wide-ranging state obligations regarding quality maternal health care, non-discrimination, contraception, safe abortion care, sex education, disabilities, infertility care, STIs and HIV/AIDS.  It also discusses conscience issues and rural, regional or cultural disparities.  Full text of General Comment No.22.     UN Press release.

Guyana: Midwives, nurses and pharmacists can provide abortion pill.  Guyana details..

Kenya:  AIDS Law Project v Attorney General and 3 Others [2015] eKLR, Petition No. 97 of 2010 (High Court of Kenya at Nairobi). [Criminal provisions of HIV/AIDS law held unconstitutional.]  Decision online.    Case Summary by Godfrey Kangaude.  

Kenya: duty to protect rights of intersex persons (2 cases)
Baby “A” (suing through her mother, E.A.) and The Cradle the Children Foundation v Attorney General, Kenyatta National Hospital, and the Registrar of Births and Deaths [2014] eKLR, Petition No. 266 of 2013 (High Court of Kenya at Nairobi, (Constitutional and Human Rights Division)). Decision onlineFull Case Summary.
RM v The Hon. Attorney General & 4 Others, [2010] eKLR Petition no 705 of 2007 (High Court of Kenya at Nairobi, Nairobi Law Courts). R.M. Decision online.   Case summary of R.M

Uganda.  “African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Calls on Uganda to Ensure The Right to Legal Abortion and Access to Reproductive Health Services.”  Recommendations call for Uganda to implement the Maputo Protocol—the only treaty, at both the international and regional levels, that explicitly guarantees the right to legal abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health or life of the woman or in cases of fatal fetal impairments.  CRR Press Release Mar.7, 2016
Background from CRR:  74-page report 2013 .  46-page guide to Ugandan abortion law/policy 2012CRR/CEHURD Shadow report 2014.

U.S.   Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: Hearings were held in the US Supreme Court on Mar 2, 2016. The judgment is anticipated in June 2016, and it will determine whether women will have access to abortion services in Texas, and in other states with laws comparable to the restrictive Texas law.   Case history from CRR.  Official transcript, Mar 2, 2016.   Reports of the hearing: Slate article: Oral arguments.   Slate blog: “Most important question.”   Comment:  When “protecting health” obstructs choice :  SCOTUS blog.   Scholarship:  Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel, “Casey and the Clinic Closings: When ‘Protecting Health’ Obstructs Choice,” 125 Yale Law Journal 1428-1480 (2016) Greenhouse & Siegel article.

Zimbabwe:  Mudzuru & Another v Ministry of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs (N.O.) & Others (Const. Application No. 79/14) [2015] ZWCC 12 (20 January 2016);  Constitutional Court outlawed child marriage under 18 years old.  Decision online.   News report.

COURSES

Advanced Human Rights – short courses at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
♦  Disability Rights in an African Context  March 14-18, 2016.  Disability Rights Course.
♦  Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in Africa,  Socio-Economic Rights
May 16-20, 2016
♦  Civil Society Law in Africa, June 8-10, 2016  Civil Society Law Course

RESOURCES

[abortion]  Common Law Fundamentals of the Right to Abortion, by Anita Bernstein. Buffalo Law Review Vol. 63, p. 1141, 2015; Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 438. Bernstein article.

[abortion, Ireland]  The Geography of Abortion (December 11, 2015). by Fergus W. Ryan.  Ryan working paper.

[abortion, Latin America, Caribbean] Investigación sobre aborto en América Latina y el Caribe: Una agenda renovada para informar políticas públicas e incidencia (Research on abortion in Latin America & the Caribbean: A renewed agenda to inform public policy and incidence) Published by CLACAI (Latin American Consortium against Unsafe Abortion) with the support of CEDES Argentina, Population Council USA, and Promsex Peru.   Investigación en EspanolAlternative download link.

[abortion – UK]  British Abortion Law: Speaking from the Past to Govern the Future (March 2016). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 79, Issue 2, pp. 283-316, 2016.
Sheldon article.

Engendering Reproductive Rights in the Inter-American System (2016), by Ciara  O’Connell,  in Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice: What’s Law Got to Do With It?, ed. Kay Lalor, Elizabeth Mills, Arturo Sánchez García and Polly Haste. p. 58, Institute of Development Studies, 2016 . O’Connell chapter

NEWS

Malawi – homosexuality: “Malawi government challenges the clergy on gay rights.”  The real issue is whether the pending Judicial Review should declare the anti-homosexuality law invalid under the Constitution.   News report.

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

Zambia:    Chief Justice launched the first-ever gender-based violence (GBV) fast track court in Kabwe.  News report.

JOBS

Director, new Human Rights Institute, Oxford University, UK  Oxford Directorship

Director of Programs, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region. Apply by March 15, 2016.  IPPF Director.

Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies @ SOAS Centre for Gender Studies, London, UK.    Apply by March 21, 2016.  Lecturer at SOAS.

Postdoctoral research fellow, 3 years, new “Political Determinants of S&R Health” project based at University of Bergen, Norway.  Apply by March 31, 2016.  Postdoc job.

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.


Developments, Resources, Opportunities and Jobs

March 31, 2014

REPROHEALTHLAW BLOG – March 2014

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

DEVELOPMENTS

[Canada] Supreme Court upholds sexual assault conviction of man who pierced girlfriend’s condoms to impregnate her. The “condom sabotage constituted fraud … the result that no consent was obtained,” in R. v. Hutchinson, decision of March 7, 2014, 2014 SCC 19, docket no. 35176
56-page decision online.   News coverage.

[Europe – Italy – abortion – conscientious objection] European Committee on Social Rights on the merits of the complaint International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) v. Italy, Complaint No. 87/2012, re women’s difficulties accessing termination of pregnancy under Italian legislation which amount, according to the complainant organisation, to a breach of the right to health as guaranteed by the European Social Charter.  Health facilities do not effectively compensate for the deficiencies in service provision caused by health personnel who  invoke their right of conscientious objection.  IPPF complaint (30 pages);  Decision on the merits (67 pages).  Summary of Decision (4 pages), IPPF press release.

[Europe – parental leave and surrogacy] Court of Justice of the European Union.  Judgment in Cases C-167/12 C. D. v S.T. and C-363/12 Z. v A Government Department and the Board of Management of a Community School.  EU law does not require that a mother who has had a baby through a surrogacy agreement should be entitled to maternity leave or its equivalent.  The Pregnant Workers Directive merely lays down certain minimum requirements in respect of protection, although the Member States are free to apply more favourable rules for the benefit of such mothers. Official Press Release.   Decisions in English and French.

[CEDAW] Statement of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on sexual and reproductive health and rights: Beyond 2014 ICPD review, 57th session, 10 – 28 February 2014. CEDAW statement.

The Airlie Declaration on Safe and Legal Abortion, 27 March, 2014,  Virginia.  Outcome of a 2-day meeting co-sponsored by Ipas, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.  Political, health and human rights leaders from over 30 countries took part in the event. About the meeting.    Declaration and signatories.  

Morocco reforms its rape law, January 8, 2014,  Article 475 of the Criminal /penal Code allowed rapists to escape prosecution if they married their victim, justifying the traditional practice of pressuring the victim to marry her rapist to preserve “family honor.”   New amendment removes the second paragraph of the article, lifting the immunity of the rapist and preventing him from marrying his victim.  WLP Press release.

South Africa is launching their new Contraception and Fertility Plannning guidelines.  Contraception guidelines.

Zimbabwe Supreme Court: Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association successfully sued Government for raped woman denied abortion, Mildred Mapingure was awarded compensation for her and the resulting child.  Zimbabwe news.

CONFERENCES:

“Task Sharing in Abortion Care,” (FIAPAC) International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates  bi-annual conference  for health care professionals working in the field of abortion care and contraception, Ljubljana, Slovenia,  October 3-4, 2014.  FIAPAC conference details.

“Histories on the Edge” Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, May 22-25, 2014, Toronto, Canada ( includes panel discussion “Pregnant Bodies As Conflict Zones: Abortion Politics in Transnational Context” with Grace Millar Sarah B. Rowley, Katrina Ackerman, Shannon Stettner, Lori A. Brown, Barbara Baird, Catherine Elizabeth Kevin, Discussants: Karissa Haugeberg and Rebecca Cook, May 25).  Preliminary Program.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES:

Fellowships for MA Social Determinants of Health, Doctoral, Post-Doctoral, Research Associate, and Senior Academic at the Comparative Program on Health and Society, University of Toronto 2014-15.  Supporting documents must arrive by May 27, 2014.  Call for Applications 2014/2015CPHS website.

Health Law Fellowships at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, USA, 2014-15, working on academic legal research and scholarly projects in health law, beginning Fall 2014, 65K for one year plus benefits, Apply by April 25, 2014.  Overview online here.   O’Neill Application.

3-day intensive course on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Litigation, The Global School on Socioeconomic Rights,  Harvard University  Boston MA, USA,  November 3-5, 2014, Apply by July 1, 2014.  Health Rights Litigation course

RESOURCES

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  Forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.  To receive details when it is published, email reprohealth. law \at/ utoronto. ca with subject “abortion book flyer”.

[abortion] “My Body My Rights,” new Amnesty International campaign – 7-page report

On Abortion: Exploring Psychological Meaning and Attitudes in a Sample of Mexican Gynecologists, Ma. Luisa Marván, Asunción Álvarez del Río and Zaira Campos, Developing World Bioethics 14.1 (April 2014): 29–36.     Abstract or download article.

[abortion – Africa] “Facilitating women’s access to misoprostol through community-based advocacy in Kenya and Tanzania,” by Francine Coeytaux, Leila Hessini, Nondo Ejano, Albert Obbuyi, Monica Oguttu, Joachim Osur, Kristen Shuken, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 125.1(April 2014): 53-55. Abstract or download article.

[abortion – Ireland] “Human Rights and Abortion Law Reform in Ireland’ IFPA seminar held last December in Dublin Ireland, panel of national and international experts analysed abortion law in Ireland through the lens of equality, criminalisation, human rights and stigma, and explored ways forward to advance Irish abortion law reform.  Speakers included: Dr Ruth Fletcher, Prof. Rebecca Cook, Julie Kay, Lead Counsel in A, B and C v Ireland, Prof. Siobhán Mullally, and Mark Kelly.  Highlights:  9-minute video.

[abortion – Israel] “The effect of a policy change on late termination of pregnancy in Israel,” by Amir Aviram, Ami Fishman, Maya Steinberg, Ido Solt, Rami Aviram, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author.  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics  Abstract online.

[abortion – Nigeria] “Acceptability and feasibility of medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol in Nigeria,” by Friday Okonofua, Oladapo Shittu, Tara Shochet, Ayisha Diop and Beverly Winikoff, International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 125.1 (April 2014): 49-52.  Abstract or download article.

[abortion – Pakistan]  The Rules for Abortion and Causing Miscarriage: Isqat-i-Haml and Isqat-i-Janin in the Pakistan Penal Code, by Imran Ahsan Nyazee, Islamabad School of Law, 19-page working paper online

[abortion and domestic violence] “Associations between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,”  by Megan Hall, Lucy C. Chappell,  Bethany L. Parnell, Paul T. Seed, and  Susan Bewley,  PLOS Medicine,  January 07, 2014,  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001581.  Article onlineNewsmedia comment.

[abortion ship] New film about Women on Waves: “Vessel”   “Vessel” film website.

“Abortion, Libertarianism, and Evictionism: A Last Word,” by Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski, Libertarian Papers 5, 1 (2013). Article online.

“Conscientious objection and refusal to provide reproductive healthcare: A white paper examining prevalence, health consequences, and policy responses,” by Wendy Chavkin, Liddy Leitman, and Kate Polin, for Global Doctors for Choice  69-page paper online.

[conscientious objection] “The Scope of the Conscience-Based Exemption in Section 4(1) of the Abortion Act 1967: Doogan and Wood v NHS Greater Glasgow Health Board [2013] CSIH 36,” by Mary Neal, Medical Law Review doi: 10.1093/medlaw/fwt041 (pre-published online 20 January 2014)  Abstract online.

[Europe – human rights]  Shaping Rights in the ECHR:  The Role of the European Court of Human Rights in Determining the Scope of Human Rights, ed. Eva Brems and Janneke Gerards (Cambridge UP, 2014) pp 137-161.  (Abortion discussed in chapter 7  “Procedural Protection” by Eva Brems.)  Ebook through university librariesTable of Contents.   Book details from Publisher.

[Ireland]  “Refusal of Emergency Caesarean Section in Ireland: A Relational Approach.” by Katherine Wade, Medical Law Review 22.1(Winter 2014): 1-25.   Abstract online.

[Eastern Europe]  “Status of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Central and Eastern Europe (ASTRA)  4-page fact sheet online.

The ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report – now online (large file)UN Secretary-General’s report.

[maternal mortality]  “Accountability in the Provision of Quality Health Care for Women: Alyne da Silva Pimentel [in Brazil]”, by Mónica Aranga Olaya and Valentina Montoya Robledo, Policy in Focus 27 (March 2014): 8-9.  Issue online, see pages 8-9.

[maternal mortality – Uganda] A Global Social Contract to Reduce Maternal Mortality: The Human Rights Arguments and the Case of Uganda, by Gorik Ooms, Mulumba Moses, Rachel Hammonds, Laila Abdul Latif, Attiya Waris, and Lisa Forman, Reproductive Health Matters, Vol. 21, No. 42, November 2013, pp 129-138. Abstract online.

[stigma] “Reducing stigma in reproductive health,” by Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard M. Dickens, International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 124.2(February 2014): 134-138.  Abstract and article online.

“Substantive Equality and Reproductive Rights: A Briefing Paper on Aligning Development Goals with Human Rights Obligations,” published by Center for Reproductive Rights, 30-page briefing paper.

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

NEWS

[abortion – Ireland]  Second woman challenges Ireland’s abortion laws at the UN re fetal abnormality.  Guardian news article.

[abortion – Turkey]Abortion banned in Turkish state hospitals, health group claims.    News report.

[abortion – UK]  Abortion provider BPAS fined £200,000 for data breach.  BPAS did not know that its website was storing the name, address, date of birth and telephone number of people who requested a callback for advice on pregnancy issues. Hacker caught before damage done.  BBC news report.

JOBS

Regional Director for Europe – based in Geneva, Switzerland, Center for Reproductive Rights. Apply by April 18, 2014.  CRR job details.

Program Associates, Global Development and Population Program, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Menlo Park Calif. USA. Hewlett job details.

Program Officer, Safe Abortion Advocacy, Latin America and Caribbean Countries, International Planned Parenthood Federation.  Job at IPPF-WHR.

Director, Special Projects, Ipas, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, Master’s degree required.  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 here.
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Developments, Calls, Resources, News & Jobs

February 25, 2014

REPROHEALTHLAW BLOG – February, 2014

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DEVELOPMENTS:

[Argentina – abortion case] A Supreme Court in Argentina reversed a lower court ruling that had prevented a 14-year-old rape victim from seeking an abortion. News report.

[Bolivia – abortion law] Plurinacional Constitutional Court (TCP) of Bolivia eliminates requirement of judicial authorization for women seeking legal abortion in cases of rape or danger to life or health. Court used human rights arguments based on international human rights law.   Comment from Ipas.   Feb. 5, 2014 decision online (22MB) 62-page decision in Spanish.

[Europe – repro health] PACE adopts progressive Resolution on MDGs ,  January 30, 2014.   The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 1975 (2014) “Stepping up action against global inequalities: Europe’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) process”. includes “the guarantee of sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls”.  Resolution online.     Debate and speeches.

[Europe  – Moldova] Eremia v. Moldova – The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the State of Moldova‘s failure to protect a woman in a domestic violence case violated the victim’s rights to be protected from torture and inhuman treatment.  Decision onlineCourt press release.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS:

“Using Law and the Courts” Reproductive Health Matters 22.44 (Nov. 2014). Submissions due  May 2014.  Call for Papers online.

Gender Justice Uncovered Awards – Call for Nominations , Deadline April 30, 2014.  Winners will be announced in June 2014.   Anyone from anywhere in the world may nominate a good, bad, or ugly decision on the Awards’ web site. Submit your nomination by April 30, 2014.  More information.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Abortion Abroad Webinar Series, sponsored by Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Ipas.  Webinar Series Overview.

—- The Helms Amendment, how it affects women on the ground, and legal issues. Featuring Jamila Taylor, Senior Policy Advisor, Ipas and Aram Schvey, Policy Counsel for Foreign Policy and Human Rights at the Center for Reproductive Rights.  March 4, 2014 Register Helms webinar:

—- “Stigma in the international context” Featuring Kristen Shellenberg, Senior Research and Evaluation Associate at Ipas and Payal Shah, Legal Advisor at the Center for Reproductive Rights March 25, 2014. Register Stigma webinar.

RESOURCES

[abortion – Argentina]  Report from La Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) on the state of enforcement of the Supreme Court’s “F,A.L.” judgement of March 13, 2012 legalizing abortion after rape.  Two years later, eight jurisdictions comply, eight include regulations that may hinder access, and eight do not comply. that “nearly two years after the ruling “F., A.L.”  many jurisdictions still have not created protocols, and many others were given faulty protocols, which generates a situation of intolerable inequality in which access to this right depends on the place of residence.  Detailed summary in Spanish.   Report in Spanish includes comparison chart (53 page Report)

[abortion – Australia] “Manufacturing Mental Illness (and Lawful Abortion): Doctors’ Attitudes to Abortion Law and Practice in New South Wales and Queensland” by Heather Douglas, Kirsten Black, Caroline deCosta,  (2013) 20.3 Journal of Law and Medicine 560-576.  Article online.

[abortion – Ireland] Revised guidelines for doctors in response to new “Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act”.  Revised paragraph #21 on Abortion (page 21) can be read in conjunction with #11 and # 39 on Emergencies and Emergency Situations, #34 on Capacity to Consent and #10 on Conscientious Objection.  Revised Irish medical guidelines.

[abortion – Ireland]  “Peripheral Governance: Administering Transnational Health Care Flows, by Ruth Fletcher, provides “a critical reading of the strategies that the Irish Crisis Pregnancy Agency has adopted in response to women’s practices of travelling for abortion care.”  (2013) 9 International Journal of Law in Context 161-190.  Full text of article now online.

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  Forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.  To receive details when it is published, email reprohealth. law\at/ utoronto. ca with subject “abortion book flyer”.

[abortion stigma] new “Sea Change Program” is leading a new approach to culture change around abortion and other reproductive experiences, conducting social science research, developing tools to measure stigma, try new strategies for transforming stigma, partner with advocates and organizations, raise awareness about stigma and increase visibility, connection and support around abortion.   Stigma website.

[Nigeria] Women and Reproductive Health Rights in Nigeria, by Oluwakemi Amudat Ayanleye, OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development  6.5(2013), 127-140. Article online.

NEWS

[abortion – Israel]  Abortion added to healthcare basket in Israel.  The 2014 basket includes abortion for women aged 20-33 without a medical reason for terminating pregnancy.  News report.

[abortion – Spain] Spain’s tough new abortion law advances after secret vote, Proposed law outlawing abortions except in rape cases or where the mother’s health is in danger has been widely criticized.   Guardian: “serious step backwards.”

[contraception]  new World Health Organization guidance on Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services. These guidelines provide recommendations for programmes as to how they can ensure that human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled, while services are scaled up to reduce unmet need for contraception. WHO Contraception Guidance.

[contraception] Scientist Malcolm Potts emphasizes birth control pills’ therapeutic properties. He notes that the Catholic church nearly approved them for contraception on theological grounds.  Op-ed online.

Homosexuality is now legal throughout Europe.  Northern Cyprus becomes last European territory to decriminalize gay sex.  News report.

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

JOBS

Program Officer, Global Development and Population Program, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Menlo Park Calif.  USA.  Hewlett job details.

Program Officer, Safe Abortion Advocacy, Latin America and Caribbean Countries, International Planned Parenthood Federation, IPPF 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.


Decision, Calls, Conferences, Resources & Jobs

January 16, 2014

REPROHEALTHLAW BLOG
January 16, 2014

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DECISION:

Canada:  Supreme Court Strikes Down Canada’s Prostitution Laws, unanimous decision.  Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72, Case #34788.  Struck down:  “over-broad” and “grossly disproportionate” laws prohibiting brothels, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating in public with clients.  Parliament has one year (if it wishes) to pass new law as Criminal Code provisions remain in place
Supreme Court decision of Dec. 20, 2013 is online here.
Printable PDF version of 83-page decision is online here.
Legal analysis by Ranjan K. Agarwal, Intervenor
News coverage, key points and context by CBC

CALLS

“Population, Environment and Sustainable Development,” call for papers for Reproductive Health Matters journal, May 2014 – still accepting submissions.  RHM Call for papers online here.

“Using the Law and the Courts,” call for papers for Reproductive Health Matters journal Nov 2014.   RHM Call for papers-scroll down.

Call for Papers,  “Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution.”  Conference: August 7-8,  2014 at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, submit abstract by Jan 31, 2014.
PEI call for papers online here.

CONFERENCES

“Task sharing in unwanted pregnancy” FIAPAC bi-annual conference for abortion and contraception professionals,” October 3-4,  2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia   Online poster with list of topics.

FIGO World Congress 2015, Vancouver, BC,  Canada,  Oct 4-9, 2015 [sic].  12-page brochure online here.

RESOURCES:

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  Forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.  To receive details when it is published, email reprohealth. law\at/ utoronto. ca with subject “abortion book flyer”.

[abortion, Australia] ‘A Woman’s Right to Choose: Human Rights and Abortion in Australia’ in Paula Gerber and Melissa Castan (eds), Contemporary Human Rights Issues in Australia (Thomson Reuters, 2013) 251-273.   Book description.

[abortion, CEDAW] “A Commentary on L.C. v Peru: The CEDAW Committee’s First Decision on Abortion,” by Charles G. Ngwena,  Journal of African Law 57(2): 310-324.   Abstract and link online here.

[abortion stigma] New abortion stigma network:  INROADS, the International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma –   To learn more, contact:  info\AT/endabortionstigma.org.
New abortion stigma website online here.

[abortion, surrogacy, ova donation] “Reproductive Technologies and Reproductive Justice,” theme of special issue guest-edited by Mytheli Sreenivas in Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies  34.3, 2013 [includes articles re abortion law advocacy in Taiwan, U.S.A. and elsewhere]
Repro Technologies issue online here.

[CEDAW effectiveness]   “International Women’s Convention, Democracy, and Gender Equality” by Seo-Young Cho, forthcoming Social Science Quarterly  Abstract and article online.

Conscientious Objection to the provision of reproductive healthcare – special issue, International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, vol 123, Supp. 3 (Dec. 2013), Conscientious Objection issue, online here, includes:.

— Editorial by Wendy Chavkin, Global Doctors for Choice

–Conscientious objection and refusal to provide reproductive healthcare: A White Paper examining prevalence, health consequences, and policy responses, by Wendy Chavkin, Liddy Leitman, Kate Polin.

— Conscientious objection or fear of social stigma and unawareness of ethical obligations, by Anibal Faúndes, Graciana Alves Duarte, Maria José Duarte Osis.

— Conscientious objection to provision of legal abortion care, by Brooke R. Johnson, Eszter Kismödi, Monica V. Dragoman, Marleen Temmerman.

— Legal and ethical standards for protecting women’s human rights and the practice of conscientious objection in reproductive healthcare settings   by Christina Zampas.
All are in Conscientious Objection issue, online here.

[Conscientious objection]  A list of our Program publications on Conscientious Objection, with links where available, is online here.

[Course syllabi] Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Course syllabus for a course taught by Rebecca Cook and Joanna Erdman, based on the textbook Reproductive Health and Human Rights: Integrating Medicine, Ethics and Law (Oxford University Press, 2003) is licensed for free adaptation by law instructors anywhere in the world.   This RSH Law course syllabus will remain online until August 2014. See also:  Women’s Rights in Transnational Law 2013 course syllabus by Rebecca Cook.  More teaching resources are online here.

[human rights]  The American Convention on Human Rights:  Crucial Rights and their Theory and Practice by Cecilia Medina (Mortsel, Belgium: Intersentia, 2013).  Book description online.

[LGBTQ] World map shows countries where consensual same-sex sexual conduct is criminalized  UNAIDS Info Graphic online.

Reproductive Freedom, Torture and International Human Rights: Challenging the Masculinisation of Torture, by Ronli Sifris.  (Oxford: Routledge, 2014) Book description.

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

JOBS

Program Officer, Safe Abortion and Advocacy, Latin America and the Caribbean, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere.  Job requires Master’s degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, Law, Political Science, Public Health. IPPF job details here.

Program Associate for Latin America and the Caribbean,  Center for Reproductive Rights.  Apply by Jan. 24, 2014.   CRR job details here.

Other jobs at the Center for Reproductive Rights
Internship at the Nepal office, apply by Jan. 17, 2014
Manager of Policy and Advocacy Research, apply by Jan. 17.
Senior Attorney for Judicial Strategy, apply by Jan. 31.
List and links are online here.

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

The REPROHEALTHLAW Blog is compiled monthly by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, University of Toronto, Canada.  Email:  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 account to confirm the subscription.