Yes for Women. With the beginning of September the new civic project was initiated in Poland. It is called Tak la Kobiet (Yes For Women) and it is promoting its new draft bill
entitled “Law on responsible parenthood and other reproductive rights”. It legalizes abortion on demand up to 12th week and changes current provisions regulating access to sexual and reproductive health services. The initiative has to collect 100 000 signatures in three months to proceed with the project. When the signatures are collected, the draft will be debated by the Parliament.
Women’s Lobby Of Slovenia: Solidarity With The Women In Russia And Poland. At the beginning of September, the Women’s Lobby of Slovenia and their members organized two protests in solidarity with the women in Russia and Poland, threatened by serious attempts in the parliament to diminish their right to legal and safe abortion. Protests took place in front of the Russian and Polish embassies in Ljubljana. The EWL members in Slovenia appealed in support of the women of Poland and Russia in letters addressed to Vladimir Putin and Donald Tusk and delivered to the Russian Deputy Ambassador and to the Polish Ambassador in Slovenia. These appeals requested from the Prime Ministers to use their political influence on the leaders of the most important political parties and persuade them to implement binding international standards concerning women’s rights to freely decide upon their own bodies. In Slovenia there exists a constitutional right to freely decide upon reproduction as well as effective legislation on sexual education and family planning.
Liechtenstein: Referendum narrowly rejects abortion on request. Voters in Liechtenstein narrowly rejected a law proposing abortion on request in the first 12 weeks. There were 52.3% 'No' votes in the national referendum ballot. The initiative had asked for abortion on request in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, after counselling and a further three day wait. It would also have allowed abortion with no time limit for health and for severe fetal reasons. Abortion campaigners feel that this is a surprisingly good result in a very catholic country. Parliament will now have to decide whether another compromise bill should be presented.
Proposed new Russian law threatens women's reproductive rights.
A commission reviewing Russia's abortion legislation is developing proposals that, if passed, would severely restrict women's access to abortion. Russia's current law guarantees the right to abortion, but in practice this right has been slowly but steadily undermined over recent years. Legally, a woman can ask for an abortion on request up until 12 weeks of pregnancy. Between 12 and 22 weeks an abortion can be performed on the basis of defined medical or 'social' reasons. Over the years, government has reduced the number of medical and social reasons, although these currently only make up 2-3% of current abortions.The measures now being proposed by the commission that is reviewing abortion law include the need for married women to obtain a permission from their husbands to perform an abortion and for teenage mothers to obtain consent from their parents or legal guardians. A waiting period of one week will be instituted during which the woman seeking an abortion will have compulsory 'psychological consultations', mandatory viewing of ultrasound and listening to the embryo's heartbeat. The stated purpose of these obligatory procedures is to pressure the woman into changing her mind about the termination of her pregnancy. 'Social reasons' to undergo an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, such as the husband's death during the pregnancy will be eliminated, with the only remaining social reason being a pregnancy resulting from rape. Doctors will be allowed to refuse to perform abortions with no guarantees of referral to another health care provider. An informed consent form is proposed, which warns women of 'serious risks' associated with abortion. The abortion amendments are likely to be introduced to the new version of the Health Law that is currently being debated by the Russian Parliament. If adopted, the proposed changes to the current law will significantly limit women's access to abortion, and will be likely to cause the rise of criminal abortions, already currently the cause of five per cent of maternal deaths in Russia.