28 May 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


Argentina activists to introduce new bill to legalise abortion
Al Jazeera, 27 May 2019

On every Tuesday for more than a year, Monica Menini has headed to a central square in the northern Argentine city of Salta. There, Menini and other activists and lawyers set up a table, neatly arrange pamphlets decorated in green and unfurl a banner with messages related to a powerful campaign to legalise abortion. Sometimes the group is met by anti-abortion rights campaigners, who set up competing demonstrations, reciting prayers, tossing holy water at them and carrying giant affiches of fetuses. On a Tuesday in April, pairs of teenage girls, dressed in high school uniforms, approached their table, hoping to acquire a new status symbol: the green handkerchief, emblematic of the campaign to legalise abortion in the country.


Men don’t have abortions. That’s no reason not to fight for women’s rights
The Guardian, 26 May 2019

The decision by Alabama effectively to ban abortion has refocused attention in America on the issue of reproductive rights. The Alabama law is the most dramatic move in a long-running campaign by Republican states to curtail abortion rights and perhaps even overthrow Roe v Wade, the 1973 supreme court decision that legalised abortion in the US. Inevitably, the abortion debate has come to be seen through the lens of the gender divide. It’s women who get pregnant, women who need abortions, and women who suffer when abortion rights are restricted.


It’s not just America, the abortion of women’s rights is happening globally
Varsity, 26 May 2019

News of Republican-controlled states passing archaic abortion bills to mount a challenge to the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, has been met with widespread outrage, and rightly so. To ban abortion is undeniably to violate women’s human rights, as well as those of trans men and non-binary people. Not only this, but such bans perpetuate cycles of poverty; they disproportionately impact those who are unable to travel out of state for safe abortions, i.e. poor women and minorities. Considering that both Alabama and Georgia have a minority population of around 30%, it is impossible not to see this as a race and class issue as well as an attack on women’s human rights.


Louisiana senate passes anti-abortion bill in latest attack on women's rights
The Guardian, 22 May 2019

The Louisiana senate approved a state constitutional amendment on Tuesday declaring that citizens have no constitutional right to abortions. The move is the latest salvo in a broader assault against reproductive rights in the state, and it comes on the heels of extreme legislation in Georgia, Missouri and Alabama all aimed at near-total bans of the procedure. The measure now heads back to the house, which has already passed a version, for final approval. The amendment still, however, needs to be ratified by Louisiana voters in a referendum this fall. Critics called the senate’s move “shameful”, noting that it did not make exceptions for victims of rape or incest.


U.S. House Passes Resolution Officially Recognizing Female Genital Mutilation as a ‘Human Rights Violation’
Newsweek, 22 May 2019

The House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan resolution denouncing the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and recognizing it as a human rights violation against women and girls. "Today we're sending a clear message that every girl, no matter where she’s born, has a right to live free of violence,” Democratic Representative Lois Frankel, of Florida, who introduced the bill alongside Republican Representative Scott Perry, of Pennsylvania, said on Tuesday. “This bipartisan resolution recognizes that FGM/C is a gross human rights violation holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential," she said.