WBEZ | legalized abortion http://www.wbez.org/tags/legalized-abortion Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Mexico City a progressive outlier in nation’s patchwork of abortion laws http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-09/here-there-catholic-church-big-player-patchwork-abortion-laws-mexico-and <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6022_AP080813047679-scr.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px; " title="To show their support of safe abortions, activists displayed 8,000 self portraits in downtown Mexico City. (AP/Alexandre Meneghini)" /></div><p><em>This episode of the Worldview was orginally broadcast on August 9, 2011. </em></p><p>Tuesday we continue our week-long look at abortion laws in other parts of the world. It&rsquo;s part of our occasional series <em><a href="http://wbez.org/herethere" target="_blank">Here, There</a></em>, where we look at how other cultures approach challenges we face at home.</p><p>Now we turn our eyes to Mexico, which, much like the U.S., has laws that vary from state to state. In 2008, Mexico City became the first &ndash; and so far only &ndash; place in the country to legalize voluntary abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy. Like Washington, D.C., Mexico City does not belong to any state.&nbsp;</p><p>Not surprisingly, decriminalizing abortion was a controversial move in the strongly Catholic country. Fifty-three percent of Mexico&#39;s states are still advocating to impose stricter bans on abortion or criminalize it entirely.</p><p><strong>Tuesday on <em>Worldview</em>:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>To learn more, we talk to <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/faculty/ana-langer/" target="_blank">Ana Langer</a>, director of the <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/women-and-health-initiative/" target="_blank">Women and Health Initiative</a> at Harvard University&rsquo;s School of Public Health. She talks about the situation in Mexico and describes four Latin American countries that ban abortion under all circumstances, including rape and health of the mother: El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile and Uruguay.</p><p><strong>On how the law became possible:</strong></p><p>&quot;A number of factors came together to make reform possible: A leftist government, which has been ruling the city since the late &lsquo;90s, almost 14 years now; a very, very active civil society with feminist groups playing an important role; and good information about the toll that unsafe abortion took on women in the capitol city and on women in the country in general in terms of morbidity and mortality.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the Supreme Court ratifying the law:</strong></p><p>&quot;The judges came to the conclusion that the law was constitutional. . . which came as a surprise to all of us. . . The Supreme Court is quite conservative.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the anti-abortion backlash prompted by the law: </strong></p><p>&quot;Usually what happens in the capitol city has a strong impact on the rest of the country. But in this case, that didn&rsquo;t happen.&nbsp; In fact, what happened was completely opposite to that. Since the law was approved, 17 out of 32 states &ndash; 53 percent &ndash; have now passed initiatives or reforms to ban abortion entirely.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the impact on access:</strong></p><p>&quot;A large number of women . . . travel to Mexico City to get abortions. The procedure is free for residents of Mexico City, but for those who travel they have to pay a fee, but the fee is very modest. . . In the states where abortion is banned, obviously, women with financial resources access abortion, which has always been the case. The poorer women have more difficulty in getting the procedure done at all.&quot;</p><p><strong>Has this changed the number of abortions?</strong></p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s difficult to know the number of abortions performed before the law. . . there weren&rsquo;t any reliable statistics. But if we count legal abortions, the change was amazing &ndash; from a few dozen every year to. . . 52,000 by January [of 2011].&quot;</p><p><strong>On the political dimensions compared to the U.S.:</strong></p><p>&quot;In Mexico you don&rsquo;t see those people demonstrating outside of clinics. Never, ever has a provider been killed so far. . . People may pass judgment on women who seek abortions but it&rsquo;s not aggressive. . .The situation is not as polarized as in the U.S.&quot;&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-09/here-there-catholic-church-big-player-patchwork-abortion-laws-mexico-and In France, abortion no longer a political issue http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-08/here-there-france-abortion-no-longer-political-issue-90000 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/france%20abortion%20de%20beauvoir%20AP.jpg" title="In 1971, Simone de Beauvoir signed the 'Le Manifeste des 343,' a list of famous women claiming to have had illegal abortions. (AP/Jean-Jacques Levy)" /></div><p><em>This episode of Worldview was originally broadcast on August 8, 2011.</em></p><p>As part of our occasional&nbsp;series <a href="http://www.wbez.org/herethere" target="_blank"><em>Here, There</em></a>, we compare the abortion debate in countries other than the U.S. Monday we start in France.</p><p>At first blush, it would seem as though France has a lot in common with the U.S. when it comes to reproductive rights issues: Both legalized abortion in the 1970s and both had influential feminist movements that advocated changing the law and removing barriers to access.</p><p>But the similarities end there. In France, abortion has moved outside the political realm and into accepted medical practice.</p><p>What&rsquo;s behind this divergence? In an interview, Indiana University political science professor Jean Robinson argued it all started with a reframing of the concept in public debate.&nbsp;</p><p>In the 1970s, a group of several hundred prominent and powerful women, including renowned philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, signed a major newspaper ad admitting to having had an illegal abortion at some point in their lives. The media spectacle made it clear that abortion was an issue for&nbsp;<em>all</em>&nbsp;women, not just women seen as promiscuous or uneducated, spurring a national mood change towards the discussion.</p><p>The language that was used to talk about abortion was also changed. Beginning in the &#39;70s, the French word for abortion was taken out of use in public debates, and replaced by a term that translates as &ldquo;voluntary interruption of pregnancy.&rdquo; The change helped desensitize the issue and kept the conversation about abortion within a medical scope.</p><p>&ldquo;In France, abortion is a health care issue for women &mdash; not a moral, political or religious issue,&rdquo; Robinson said.</p><p>That&#39;s a sharp contrast to the way the issue is framed in the U.S. &mdash; where abortion activists are still referred to as &ldquo;pro-choice&rdquo; or &ldquo;pro-life.&rdquo;</p><p>The difference shows. &ldquo;France has fewer abortions than the United States &mdash; some of the lowest rates in Europe,&rdquo; Robinson pointed out.&nbsp;</p><p>There are several reasons for this, Robinson said, a big one being that sex education in France starts in the 6<sup>th</sup> grade. Also, there&rsquo;s a family stipend provided by the government: For every child born, the family gets money from the state.</p><p>&ldquo;There isn&rsquo;t real pressure to <em>not</em> have the abortion in most urban centers,&rdquo; Robinson said. &ldquo;But there is an attempt to reassure women from the state, that they will have full support if they keep the child.&rdquo;</p></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-08/here-there-france-abortion-no-longer-political-issue-90000 Worldview 8.8.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-8811 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-august/2011-08-02/indiana.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The battle over abortion has divided this country since the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in <em>Roe v. Wade</em>. To try to gain some insights into our cultural divide, we'll spend the week comparing the debate in the U.S. to those of other countries. It's part of our occasional series <a href="http://www.wbez.org/herethere" target="_self"><em>Here, There</em></a>, where we examine how other cultures approach universal issues. We kick off the series with WBEZ's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/michael-puente" target="_self">Michael Puente</a>, who tells us why Indiana has become ground zero in the country’s battle over abortion. We also take a look at France, where, like the U.S., abortion became legal in the 1970s. Rather than having a protracted political debate, the French have reached a consensus on the issue.</p></p> Mon, 08 Aug 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-8811