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Concept: Paternal rights and abortion


BACKGROUND: Malaysia has relatively liberal abortion laws in that they permit abortions for both physical and mental health cases. However, abortion remains a taboo subject. The stagnating contraceptive prevalence rate combined with the plunging fertility rate suggests that abortion might be occurring clandestinely. This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of women and their needs with regard to abortion. METHODS: Women from diverse backgrounds were purposively selected from an urban family planning clinic in Penang, Malaysia based on inclusion criteria of being aged 21 and above and having experienced an induced abortion. A semi-structured interview guide consisting of open ended questions eliciting women’s experiences and needs with regard to abortion were utilized to facilitate the interviews. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. RESULTS: Thirty-one women, with ages ranging from 21–43 years (mean 30.16 +/-6.41), who had induced surgical/medical abortions were recruited from an urban family planning clinic. Ten women reported only to have had one previous abortion while the remaining had multiple abortions ranging from 2–8 times. The findings revealed that although women had abortions, nevertheless they faced problems in seeking for abortion information and services. They also had fears about the consequences and side effects of abortion and wish to receive more information on abortion. Women with post-abortion feelings ranged from no feelings to not wanting to think about the abortion, relief, feeling of sadness and loss. Abortion decisions were primarily theirs but would seek partner/husband’s agreement. In terms of the women’s needs for abortion, or if they wished for more information on abortion, pre and post abortion counseling and post-abortion follow up. CONCLUSIONS: The existing abortion laws in Malaysia should enable the government to provide abortion services within the law. Unfortunately, the study findings show that this is generally not so, most probably due to social stigma. There is an urgent need for the government to review its responsibility in providing accessible abortion services within the scope of the law and to look into the regulatory requirements for such services in Malaysia. This study also highlighted the need for educational efforts to make women aware of their reproductive rights and also to increase their reproductive knowledge pertaining to abortion. Besides the government, public education on abortion may also be improved by efforts from abortion providers, advocacy groups and related NGOs.

Concepts: History of abortion, Paternal rights and abortion, Human rights, Fertility, Pregnancy, Family planning, Birth control, Abortion


Abortion is legally permitted in Sri Lanka, only if it is performed to save the mother’s life. However, it is estimated that a large number of induced abortions take place in Sri Lanka. Knowledge and attitudes towards induced abortion in the society are key issues influencing the policy response towards changes in the law. This study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of adults towards induced abortion in Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Paternal rights and abortion, Pregnancy, History of abortion, Abortion law, Sri Lanka, Abortion, Law, Human rights


Physicians who provide abortion care are targets of stigma, harassment and violence. As a result, many providers do not speak openly about their work. We hypothesize that stigma and silence produce a vicious cycle: when abortion providers do not disclose their work in everyday encounters, their silence perpetuates a stereotype that abortion work is unusual or deviant, or that legitimate, mainstream doctors do not perform abortions. This contributes to marginalization of abortion providers within medicine and the ongoing targeting of providers for harassment and violence. This reinforces reluctance to disclose abortion work, and the cycle continues. We call this phenomenon a “legitimacy paradox.” The paradox is that although many highly trained, legitimate physicians provide abortion care, abortion providers continue to be depicted as illegitimate, deviant or substandard doctors. The legitimacy paradox has adverse consequences for abortion human resources, for women’s experiences of abortion care and for abortion law and policy.

Concepts: Paternal rights and abortion, Physician, Abortion law, History of abortion, Abortion


In November 2013, Texas implemented three abortion restrictions included in House Bill 2 (HB 2). Within six months, the number of facilities providing abortion decreased by almost half, and the remaining facilities were concentrated in large urban centers. The number of medication abortions decreased by 70% compared to the same period one year prior due to restrictions on this method imposed by HB 2. The purpose of this study was to explore qualitatively the experiences of women who were most affected by the law: those who had to travel farther to reach a facility and those desiring medication abortion.

Concepts: Paternal rights and abortion, Pregnancy, History of abortion, Law, Abortifacient, Abortion law, Abortion


In this statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its position that the rights of adolescents to confidential care when considering abortion should be protected. Adolescents should be encouraged to involve their parents and other trusted adults in decisions regarding pregnancy termination, and most do so voluntarily. The majority of states require that minors have parental consent for an abortion. However, legislation mandating parental involvement does not achieve the intended benefit of promoting family communication, and it increases the risk of harm to the adolescent by delaying access to appropriate medical care. This statement presents a summary of pertinent current information related to the benefits and risks of legislation requiring mandatory parental involvement in an adolescent’s decision to obtain an abortion.

Concepts: Decision making, Human rights, Paternal rights and abortion, Abortion debate, Core issues in ethics, Minors and abortion, Pregnancy, Abortion


In April 2007, the Mexico City, Mexico, legislature passed landmark legislation decriminalizing elective abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In Mexico City, safe abortion services are now available to women through the Mexico City Ministry of Health’s free public sector legal abortion program and in the private sector, and more than 89000 legal abortions have been performed. By contrast, abortion has continued to be restricted across the Mexican states (each state makes its own abortion laws), and there has been an antichoice backlash against the legislation in 16 states. Mexico City’s abortion legislation is an important first step in improving reproductive rights, but unsafe abortions will only be eliminated if similar abortion legislation is adopted across the entire country. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 14, 2013: e1-e4. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301202).

Concepts: Mexico, Paternal rights and abortion, Pro-choice, Mexico City, Human rights, Reproductive rights, Abortion law, Abortion


The 2005 expansion of the Ethiopian abortion law provided minors access to legal abortions, yet little is known about abortion among adolescents. This paper estimates the incidence of legal and clandestine abortions and the severity of abortion-related complications among adolescent and nonadolescent women in Ethiopia in 2014.

Concepts: Paternal rights and abortion, Human rights, History of abortion, Abortion, Abortion law


The US Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision had clear implications for American women’s reproductive rights and physician ability to carry out patient choices. Its effect on physician abortion training was less apparent. In an effort to increase patient access to abortions after Roe, provision shifted from hospitals to nonhospital clinics. However, these procedures and patients were taken out of the medical education realm, and physicians became vulnerable to intimidation. The consequent provider shortage created an unexpected barrier to abortion access. Medical Students for Choice was founded in 1993 to increase abortion-training opportunities for medical students and residents. Its mission ensures that motivated medical students will learn and a growing number of physicians will commit to comprehensive abortion provision. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 17, 2013: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301152).

Concepts: Paternal rights and abortion, John G. Roberts, Pro-choice, Hospital, Abortion, Supreme Court of the United States, Physician, Roe v. Wade


Before elective abortion was legalized nationally in 1973 with the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, seventeen states and the District of Columbia liberalized their abortion statutes. While scholars have examined the history of physicians who had performed abortions before and after it was legal and of feminists' work to expand the range of healthcare choices available to women, we know relatively little about nurses' work with abortion. By focusing on the history of nursing in those states that liberalized their abortion laws before Roe, this article reveals how women who sought greater control over their lives by choosing abortion encountered medical professionals who were only just beginning to question the gendered conventions that framed labor roles in American hospitals. Nurses, whose workloads increased exponentially when abortion laws were liberalized, were rarely given sufficient training to care for abortion patients. Many nurses directed their frustrations to the women patients who sought the procedure. This essay considers how the expansion of women’s right to abortion prompted nurses to question the gendered conventions that had shaped their work experiences.

Concepts: Paternal rights and abortion, Washington, D.C., John G. Roberts, Abortion law, Abortion, United States, Supreme Court of the United States, Roe v. Wade


From 1989 through September 2017, Chile’s highly restrictive abortion laws exposed women to victimisation and needlessly threatened their health, freedom and even lives. However, after decades of unsuccessful attempts to decriminalise abortion, legislation regulating pregnancy termination on three grounds was recently enacted. In the aftermath, an aggressive conservative drive designed to turn conscientious objection into a pivotal new obstacle, mounted during the congressional debate, has led to extensive, complex arguments about the validity and legitimacy of conscientious objection. This article offers a critical review of the emergence of conscientious objection and its likely policy and ethical implications. It posits the need to regulate conscientious objection through checks and balances designed to keep it from being turned into an ideological barrier meant to hinder women’s access to critical healthcare.

Concepts: United States Congress, Paternal rights and abortion, History of abortion, Logic, Pregnancy, Abortion in Chile, Abortion law, Abortion