In African nations where abortion is illegal, tens of thousands of women are forced to undergo back-street abortions that often lead to severe injury or death. Although statistics are difficult to gather because of the government and mediaís hesitance to address the problem, it is estimated that deaths resulting from illegal abortions are twice as high in Africa than in developed countries. At least 20,000 deaths occur in Africa every year, the majority in Nigeria.
A report by the Senegalese government found that 8,000 women had illegal abortions in 1995. According to Babacar Mane, a statistician at the Dentec Hospital in Dakar, the figures may in fact be much higher due to women concealing the fact that they had an illegal abortion.
Asbef, a family planning organization in Grand Yoff, Senegal, reports that education programs that focus on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases have not reduced the number of illegal abortions. Social worker Hawa Talla says the "biggest problem remains people who still believe that sex should not be discussed with young people and pupils. We find ourselves in a very conservative society."
Only South Africa, Tunisia and Cape Verde have fully legalized abortions, according to a recent report by the Center for Population Studies. A total of 26 other nations only permit abortion if a pregnancy threatens the life of the mother and another 23 allow abortions the motherís mental or physical health is in danger. Other nations, such as Senegal, require three doctors to certify the danger to a pregnant womanís health in order to allow an abortion. Although legislation is currently tabled in the Senegalese parliament to allow abortions in the case of rape or incest, the nationís powerful Muslim leaders oppose it.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .