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Analysis and Comment (23)

Abortion isn’t just a plot device in Obvious Child. Abortion isn’t just a plot device in Obvious Child. Chris Teague

Obvious Child: finally, an abortion film that’s not all about the guy

The recently released Obvious Child has been dubbed the first “abortion rom-com”. Donna, played by Jenny Slate, is a 20-something Brooklyn comedian pregnant after a post-breakup one-night-stand. She even…
Research that found links between abortion and breast cancer also found men who had ‘much opportunity to participate in parties’ were more likely to have stomach cancer. Research that found links between abortion and breast cancer also found men who had ‘much opportunity to participate in parties’ were more likely to have stomach cancer. burningmax/Flickr

Abortions don’t cause cancer any more than parties do

The purported link between abortion and breast cancer is based on research that’s no longer accepted as valid because its methods are so flawed. But that hasn’t stopped politicians such as Fred Nile and…
Pro-choice campaigners make their feelings known at a protest in 2013. Pro-choice campaigners make their feelings known at a protest in 2013. Niall Carson/Press Association Images

Time for constitutional change on abortion in Ireland

The high-profile case of a young woman forced to give birth in Ireland has highlighted the realities of Ireland’s recently introduced Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 – a law designed to regulate…
‘Harrowing’ wait. ‘Harrowing’ wait. Ardinnnn

Restricting access to abortions only delays them

In 2012 a 15-year-old UK citizen found herself unwillingly pregnant. Had she lived in England, Scotland, or Wales she could have contacted her GP or local sexual health clinic to arrange a termination…
Stalemate. We need a bioethicist. Stalemate. We need a bioethicist. Donchiefnerd

Mistakes in moral reasoning are as lethal as medical errors

Ethical issues are rife in medicine. Arguments about abortion, organ donation and euthanasia regularly take their turn in the headlines, normally prompted by media scare-stories or an arising controversy…
Campaigners outside the Victorian parliament in the run-up to the 2008 reform of state’s abortion law, which is under fire. Campaigners outside the Victorian parliament in the run-up to the 2008 reform of state’s abortion law, which is under fire. AAP Image/Mariza O'Keefe

Doctors' moral objections don’t justify denying abortion access

Abortion in Australia is governed by varied state-based laws. Despite the clear requirement for doctors with conscientious objection not to block access to abortion, this aspect of some state laws has…
The High Court may be forced to decide on the constitutionality of Tasmania’s abortion protest law. The High Court may be forced to decide on the constitutionality of Tasmania’s abortion protest law. Alex Guibord

Tasmania’s abortion protest law is probably constitutionally valid

Earlier this week, constitutional law academic Michael Stokes predicted the High Court of Australia would overturn new Tasmanian legislation banning anti-abortion lobbyists from protesting within 150 metres…
The legislation prohibits protests within 150 metres of an abortion clinic that are able to be seen or heard by a person accessing the clinic. The legislation prohibits protests within 150 metres of an abortion clinic that are able to be seen or heard by a person accessing the clinic. AAP/Mariza O'Keefe

Tasmanian ban on abortion clinic protests may not be constitutionally valid

Tasmania’s abortion law reform bill, which passed late last week, decriminalises abortion and obligates medical practitioners with a conscientious objection to abortion to provide information about access…
Aborting a foetus just because of its sex seems repugnant to most of us. Aborting a foetus just because of its sex seems repugnant to most of us. Shutterstock

What should we do about sex-selective abortion?

A Melbourne doctor is being investigated by the medical professional standards body for refusing to refer a woman to another GP after she sought an abortion. The case raises important questions about doctors…
The heat over abortion can obscure some basic facts. The heat over abortion can obscure some basic facts. Sydigill

Sex selection abortions aren’t illegal despite all the noise

The Crown Prosecution Service’s ruling that it would not be in the “public interest” to prosecute two doctors exposed in an undercover Daily Telegraph investigation into “sex selection” abortions has caused…
A proposed bill recognises a foetus of at least 20 weeks gestation as “a living person” when it comes to its harm or destruction. A proposed bill recognises a foetus of at least 20 weeks gestation as “a living person” when it comes to its harm or destruction. Leo Reynolds

Zoe’s Law: will changing foetuses' legal status endanger abortion rights?

A proposed law being debated in the New South Wales parliament that aims to recognise the foetus as a person has sparked concerns about encroachments on women’s reproductive rights. But similar laws in…
The election is Tony Abbott’s to lose. But will weakness with many female voters cost him and will his record come to haunt him on issues like abortion? The election is Tony Abbott’s to lose. But will weakness with many female voters cost him and will his record come to haunt him on issues like abortion? AAP/Lukas Coch

Re-inventing Tony: why Abbott’s attempt to woo women doesn’t bear scrutiny

Tony Abbott is trying to improve his image with many women. But as I found out when I met him recently, no makeover can erase his track record of public statements and actions, especially on issues of…
Women all over the Western world, such as these protestors in Paris in1972, have had to fight for abortion rights. Women all over the Western world, such as these protestors in Paris in1972, have had to fight for abortion rights. Marina Urquidi

Still keeping women out: a short history of Australian abortion law

Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)), which found that Texas State law prohibiting abortion was unconstitutional. The landmark decision…
A demonstration in Dublin following the death of Savita Halappanavar. A demonstration in Dublin following the death of Savita Halappanavar. AAP

Systematic failure and grey areas: abortion in Ireland

Savitia Halappanavar was a symbol of all that is positive about cultural diversity in Ireland. A young Indian Hindu, she had embraced Irish culture, partaking in St Patrick’s day festivities and playing…
Indian activists protest the death of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion in Ireland and subsequently died of blood poisoning. Indian activists protest the death of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion in Ireland and subsequently died of blood poisoning. EPA

Tragic Irish case shows abortion laws must respect women’s health

Recently, 31 year-old Savita Halappanavar died in the University Hospital Galway, Ireland, from complications that arose after being denied a timely abortion. Her tragic and highly publicised death has…
What are the real aims of the pro-life movement? What are the real aims of the pro-life movement? AAP

Ideology masquerading as evidence: pro-life opposition to contraception

An American blog by a relatively unknown author about the goals of the pro-life movement went viral recently, racking up around 100,000 hits in a mere two days. The blog questioned the selective and inconsistent…
Anne Summers has spoken about her own experience with a backyard abortion. Anne Summers has spoken about her own experience with a backyard abortion. AAP Image/Luis Enrique Ascui

Dangerous remedies: ending the horror of backyard abortions

When Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke out against sexism and misogyny in the parliament last month, her words had resonance far beyond the political context of the moment. It was a reminder that women…
The notion that Abbott knows better than to attack abortion ignores his attempts to do so through Medicare. The notion that Abbott knows better than to attack abortion ignores his attempts to do so through Medicare. AAP/Lukas Coch

Let’s be clear on Tony Abbott’s attacks on abortion

As the dust from the allegations of sexism settles over the parliament, it’s time to clarify, once and for all, Tony Abbott’s actions on abortion. In his recent Quarterly Essay and in numerous interviews…
A much wider group of Australian women will be able to choose a medical rather than surgical procedure. A much wider group of Australian women will be able to choose a medical rather than surgical procedure. spaceodissey/Flickr

Politics v women’s health: RU486 and the TGA saga

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) finally included the abortifacient Mifepristone (also referred to as RU486) on the Australia Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) in August 2012 – after nearly…
The extension of women’s medical options for abortion is really important so this is a great step forward. The extension of women’s medical options for abortion is really important so this is a great step forward. Malloreigh/Flickr

Arrival of RU486 in Australia a great leap forward for women

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has registered RU486 (mifepristone linepharma) and GyMiso®(misoprostol) for wider use in Australia following an application for registration of the medicines…
Comments from male politicians such as George Galloway have revealed cultural assumptions about rape that originate from some powerful myths about this sex crime. Comments from male politicians such as George Galloway have revealed cultural assumptions about rape that originate from some powerful myths about this sex crime.

Why ‘legitimate’ rape and other myths are alive and dangerous

When US Republican Todd Akin declared earlier this week that it is impossible or “really rare” for a woman to become pregnant as a result of a “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (2)

Free contraception lowers abortion rate

Researchers have found that access to free birth control substantially reduces unplanned pregnancy and abortion rates. The…