In 2012, SuzyKnew! posted an article about women who think they will never need an abortion and then find themselves in a situation like Savita Halappanavar, the Irish woman of Indian desent who died from pregnancy complications when an Irish hospital refused to give her an abortion. Last week, six years after Savita’s death, Ireland voted to overturn the country’s ban on abortion, which was one of the strictest in the world.
(Photo courtesy of UK Daily Mail)
Since a large number of women think they will never need an abortion they aren’t prepared for one. Many women and their families assume that their health care provider, close confidents and their country’s laws will support them if they ever found themselves in a situation like Savita did. But, this may not be true.
What are abortion laws around the world? Here they are in 5 minutes (source)
Although a large majority of countries allow abortions to save a woman’s life, few countries provide real access to safe abortion. Like, Savita, women are dying around the world. #MeToo?
Looking at the map above, North America, including the U.S., has the safest abortions of all regions. But, under the Trump Administration, access to safe abortion is under threat. From Trump’s recent proposal to defund Planned Parenthood, which is an important source of abortions for low-income women, to efforts to reduce access to family planning and birth control and of course who can forget Trump’s missteps during his campaign when he said women who have abortions should be punished (go to jail?), could American women start ending up like Savita?
Have any of Trump’s former lovers found themselves needing an abortion? Maybe the Donald provided them the financial – if not the emotional support they needed to have an abortion. Did these women have the option to keep their Baby Donald if they decided they didn’t want an abortion? Or not?
Ireland’s overturning its ban on abortion and the #MeToo movement against the backdrop of rising populism across the U.S. and Europe and backlash against women are dual trends that could spell hope or disaster for women worldwide.
See the Guttmacher Institute’s Fact Sheet on abortions worldwide for more information