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New Law Prohibits Nearly All Abortion Essentially After Six Weeks of Pregnancy

The US state of Texas and the United States Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to women’s (and pregnant people’s) human rights last week. Dozens of US states have been passing destructive laws limiting abortion access for years, but courts usually…
Protesters march from City Hall to the federal courthouse in protest of the new state abortion law in Houston, Texas on September 5th, 2021.
News

Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
News

Draft Law Falls Short of 2020 Constitutional Court ruling

Thailand's parliament is set to pass a law to permit abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The law represents some progress in a country that currently threatens to imprison people who have abortions at any stage of their pregnancy but falls…
Protesters led by the Woman Help Woman group, the Free Feminist and other women's rights groups march to Parliament to protest Thailand's abortion law, Bangkok, December 23, 2020 
News

Regulation Would Expand Funding Cuts for Reproductive Rights

With attention turning toward what the administration of President-elect Joe Biden should do to protect sexual and reproductive rights, the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to further entrench rules that restrict work on these issues…
A woman walks past a mural on a Family Health Options clinic in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

Most Vulnerable Communities May See Biggest Effects

A new study of almost 20 million births in the eastern United States suggests a pregnant person’s exposure to hurricanes may be associated with higher chances of a preterm birth. The report suggests severe storms could trigger early births because of…
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Survivors and Advocates Seek Help from UN Human Rights Committee

Norma* (*indicates a pseudonym) was 12 when her father began raping her. She became pregnant shortly thereafter. Though abortion is legal in Ecuador when a woman or girl’s life or health is in danger, no one told her this. She gave birth despite…
#NiñasNoMadres
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Honorable Cristina Pardo Schlesinger Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia Rapporteur of Case T-6.612.909   Case: T-6.612.909 Subject: Human Rights Watch amicus curiae brief …
News

Presidential ‘Joke’ Sets Back Reproductive Health Efforts

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demonstrated reckless disregard for the health of Filipinos this week by suggesting they avoid using condoms because they “aren’t pleasurable.” During an address to returning overseas migrant workers…
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Fully Implement and Enforce the Reproductive Health Law

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has effectively lifted a supreme court order in 2015 temporarily banning 51 female hormonal contraceptive products by determining that they do not induce abortion. The FDA action…
201711Asia_Philippines_BirthControl Women listen during a family planning lecture by a Likhaan NGO health worker at a reproductive health clinic in Tondo, metro Manila, Philippines January 12, 2016.
News

Replacing Onerous Procedures Allows Access to Strong Pain Medication

As of today, thousands of cancer patients in Armenia may soon be able to get the pain treatment they need – and to which they have the right – thanks to new regulations the government adopted earlier in November. About 8,000…
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Other Countries in Francophone Africa Should Follow Suit

When it comes to end-of-life care and pain treatment, Francophone Africa has a long way to go. But, Senegal is one country working to change this. A 2012 study found 16 of 22 countries in Francophone Africa have no healthcare…
During a morphine shortage, a cancer patient in Dakar cluthes onto the railing of her hospital bed because she is in pain and the medication she needs is unavailable.
News

Other Countries Should Follow Mexico’s Lead

Ensuring good health care at the start of life is a longstanding goal for the global community, and major funding backs efforts to reduce maternal and child deaths. By contrast, health care at the end of life – a need almost as…
Doña Remedios and her daughter at the pharmacy of the National Cancer Institute in Mexico City, Mexico on September 1, 2014 to fill a prescription for morphine. They have to travel for several hours to procure the medication because there are no hospitals
News

More than 61 Million Globally Suffer Severe Pain from Advanced Illnesses

Poor people around the world live and die with little or no pain relief or palliative care, a report published today in the medical journal, Lancet, said, calling the fact a “medical, public health, and moral failing and a travesty of…
A palliative care physician assesses a patient’s pain.
News

Legal Changes Are Next Step to Get Treatment to Those in Need

About 8,000 people die from cancer in Armenia every year, many spending their last days in excruciating pain. But Armenia has recently taken two important steps toward ending their suffering. In February, the government adopted a…
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Yelitza López’s greatest fear is to face a grave illness without pain relief. That fear is very real to her – López’s mother, Divisay, has advanced cancer and suffers from bouts of severe pain. “I cannot watch her suffer,”…
A woman walks past empty shelves at a drugstore in Caracas, February 23, 2016.
News

Government Action Needed to Address Discrimination, Ensure Access

“Sometimes [having your period] is a challenge. [It] stops girls from going to school.” Rebeca, who was 17 when she spoke to Human Rights Watch in 2016, should know. She and other school girls in Tanzania told us they lacked menstrual supplies…
Female and male latrines at a secondary school in Mwanza, northeastern Tanzania. Many students told Human Rights Watch that they had to use dirty and congested pit latrines.
News

Urgent Legal Changes Are Next Step to Get Treatment to Those in Need

About 8,000 people die from cancer in Armenia every year, many spending their last days in excruciating pain. But Armenia is taking an important step towards ending their suffering, and the government recently adopted a national strategy to…
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News

Condoms Needed in High Schools to Curb HIV Transmission

Philippine officials, led by Senator Vicente Sotto III, have vowed to block a plan by the Department of Health to start distributing condoms to students as part of its efforts to stem the spread of HIV. The health department plan recognizes that the…
Students receive free condoms at an event organized by the United Nations Population Fund in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, July 11, 2014.
News

Improved Condom Access Essential to Address HIV Epidemic

The Philippine government has restored funding to service Filipinos’ reproductive health needs, most significantly for the estimated 13.4 million women who rely on government-supplied contraceptive products. The long-overdue move…
An NGO health worker holds contraceptive pills during a family planning session with housewives availing free pills in Tondo, Manila August 6, 2012.
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Several years ago I started researching the nearly insurmountable barriers people with advanced cancer face in accessing opioid painkillers in Armenia. I interviewed many people who were dying — in horrible pain. These were devastating interviews, seared…
Gurgen G., who had a brain tumor, and his mother. Gurgen participated in a palliative care pilot project, which improved the quality of his remaining life. He died in August 2012, free from pain.