Polands Health Minister threatend its citizen with a registration once but now it is becoming reality in Brazil: A compulsory registration of all pregnant women will make it easy to track down women who illegally abort.

by Beatriz Galli

January 6, 2012 – 10:46pm (Print)Donate!

In the dead of night on December 27, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff enacted legislation that will require all pregnancies to be registered with the government. Provisionary Measure 557 (PM 557) created the National System of Registration, Vigilance and Monitoring Women’s Care during Pregnancy and Post Childbirth for the Prevention of Maternal Mortality (National Registration System).

She used a provisionary measure—intended only for urgent matters—that allows the president to pass a law without congressional approval. Congress only gets to debate and approve the law once it has been enacted. Rousseff claims that PM 557 will address Brazil’s high rates of maternal mortality by ensuring better access, coverage and quality of maternal health care, notably for high-risk pregnancies. Both public and private health providers must report all pregnancies—providing women’s names—with the National Registration System so the state can then track these pregnancies, from prenatal to postpartum care, presumably to evaluate and monitor health care provided.

How does simply monitoring pregnancies reduce maternal mortality? There is no guarantee that care will be available to all pregnant women and no investment in improving health services included in the legislation.

And what’s the benefit to women? PM 557 does authorize the federal government to provide financial support up to R$50.00 (roughly US$27) for registered pregnant women for their transportation to health facilities for pre-natal and delivery care. However, to receive the stipend women must comply with specific conditions set by the state related to pre-natal care. Let’s face it, that paltry sum may not even cover the roundtrip for one appointment depending on where a woman lives.

In fact, PM 557 does not guarantee access to health exams, timely diagnosis, providers trained in obstetric emergency care, or immediate transfers to better facilities. So while the legislation guarantees R$50.00 for transportation, it will not even ensure a pregnant woman will find a vacant bed when she is ready to give birth. And worse yet, it won’t minimize her risk of death during the process.

The biggest problem with maternal mortality in Brazil is not access to health-care services but rather the quality of health care in public health facilities. The majority of preventable maternal deaths actually take place in public hospitals, disproportionately affecting poor women, women who live in rural areas, youth and minorities.
Last but certainly not least, MP 557 violates all women’s right to privacy by creating compulsory registration to control and monitor her reproductive life. In fact, it places the rights of the fetus over the woman, effectively denying her reproductive autonomy. A woman will now be legally “obligated” to have all the children she conceives and she will be monitored by the State for this purpose.

It’s unclear why Rousseff sought to enact this legislation so quickly and with so little opportunity for debate or public opinion. What is clear though is that women’s real interests and health needs are not the focus here—just their uteruses.

By Maria Cheng
Thu Dec 08 2011
The Record (Waterloo, Canada)


LONDON — Abortion does not increase a woman’s chance of developing mental health problems, according to the largest study ever to investigate the issue.

Among women with unwanted pregnancies, those who had abortions were no more likely to suffer from problems including anxiety or depression than women who gave birth, the research review by the U.K.’s National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health found.

The research shows the “reassuring news” that abortion does not cause mental health problems, but raises a warning that officials must address the problem of unwanted pregnancy, said Dr. Tim Kendall, the centre’s director.

The study is likely to be met by skepticism by those who oppose the practice and believe that terminating a pregnancy can trigger depression or other mental illnesses.

Kendall said mental health problems seemed to be linked specifically to unwanted pregnancies rather than abortion.

About 11 to 12 per cent of women in general suffer from mental health issues like anxiety or depression, but among women with unwanted pregnancies that figure rises to about one-third, he said. For women who later had an abortion, there did not appear to be any further increase in their rate of mental health problems.

“We should be looking at what it is about the unwanted pregnancy stage that is so problematic,” he said. “We need to try to get those women help sooner so they’re not put at greater risk.”

Kendall and colleagues reviewed 44 studies conducted worldwide from 1990 to 2011 that included several million women with unwanted pregnancies from sources including national health systems and insurance databases.

They concluded the best predictor of whether women would have a psychiatric problem after an abortion was whether they had mental health issues before getting pregnant. Kendall said it was possible women with mental health problems after an unwanted pregnancy were at greater risk of getting pregnant or that an unwanted pregnancy worsened their mental health.

The review was released Friday by Britain’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. It was paid for by the U.K.’s department of health.

Dr. Kate Guthrie, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in a statement it was key that health care staff provide followup care to women vulnerable to mental health problems after they terminated their pregnancy. She was not connected to the review.

Guthrie said the group recently revised its own guidelines on abortion to highlight the need for health care workers to tell women about the “range of emotional responses” that might be experienced during and after an abortion.

The Associated Press


The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany allows abortion opponents to continue harassment of women in front of clinics that offer abortion. On June 29th, 2010 they ruled against the decision of the regional court in Munich which said that abortion opponents were not allowed to approach women with one kilometer of the clinic and not allowed to name the doctor who performs abortion. The Federal Constitutional Court claims abortion is of “public interest” and therefore Christians should have the right to engage in activities that oppose abortion. They claimed as well, that the personal rights of the doctor were not being compromised, even though the abortion opponents published leaflets with his name.


von Gisela Notz

Ein christlich motivierter, radikaler Abtreibungsgegner hat am Dienstag, 29. Juni 2010 vor dem Bundesverfassungsgericht Recht bekommen. Darüber jubeln die selbst ernannten „Lebensschützer“. Sie dürfen ab sofort wieder vor Frauenarztpraxen und Kliniken demonstrieren oder selbst erfundene „Straßenberatungen“ durchführen, mit denen sie schwangere Frauen zur „Umkehr“ bewegen wollen. Denn die Richter in Karlsruhe haben das Verbot gegen den religiösen Eiferer und seine „Protestaktionen“ aufgehoben, der nach einem Urteil des Landgerichts München innerhalb einer „Bannmeile“ von einem Kilometer keine PassantInnen belästigen durfte. Er hatte sich in der Nähe einer Arztpraxis auf der Straße aufgestellt und mit Plakaten und Flugblättern versucht, diejenigen, die er für Patientinnen des Arztes hielt, einzuschüchtern. „Als engagiertem Christen sei es ihm darum zu tun, sich mit verschiedenen Aktionen gegen die Durchführung von Abtreibungen zu wenden, auch wenn diese der geltenden Rechtslage entsprächen“, heißt es im Urteil. Ein strafrechtlich relevantes Verhalten konnte das Bundesverfassungsgericht dem selbsternannten „Lebensschützer“ nicht nachweisen. Das Landgericht München wurde gar belehrt, dass es zu Gunsten der selbst ernannten „Lebensschützer“ künftig in der Rechtssprechung berücksichtigen müsse, dass „der Schwangerschaftsabbruch ein Gegenstand von wesentlichem öffentlichem Interesse“ sei. Das Nachsehen werden die Frauen haben, die weiterhin dem „Spießrutenlaufen“ und den unerträglichen Belästigungen ausgesetzt sind. Und nicht nur das – die immer aggressiver werdenden anti-choice Organisationen gewinnen an Macht und Durchsetzungsvermögen.

Dem Kläger waren nach einer zweitägigen Aktion vor einer Frauenordination in München verboten worden, den betroffenen Arzt/die betroffene Ärztin namentlich zu nennen und darauf hinzuweisen, dass er Abtreibungen vornehme. Zudem durfte er im Umkreis von einem Kilometer um die Praxis keine mutmaßlichen Patientinnen oder PassantInnen mehr ansprechen. Die HöchstrichterInnen hoben dieses Verbote nun auf. Zur Begründung hieß es, der Arzt werde durch die Proteste nicht in seinem Persönlichkeitsrecht verletzt. Zudem drohe den MedizinerInnen kein „umfassender Verlust an sozialer Achtung“, wenn bekanntwerde, dass sie Schwangerschaftsabbrüche vornehmen.

Längst nicht mehr nur in den USA

Schon lange nicht mehr nur in den USA, wo radikale Abtreibungsgegner mehrere Ärzte, die Abtreibungen vornahmen, erschossen haben, sondern auch in Deutschland müssen Menschen, die für sexuelle und reproduktive Rechte und die Selbstbestimmung der Frauen eintreten, sich immer wieder mit den Vorgehensweisen christlicher Fundamentalisten auseinandersetzen.
Auch hier werden Frauen, die sich für einen Schwangerschaftsabbruch entscheiden, verunglimpft und als Mörderinnen bezeichnet. Denn die „Lebensschützer“ bedienen sich einer aufhetzenden Rhetorik und ignorieren die grundgesetzlich verbriefte Würde der Frau, ihr Recht auf reproduktive Autonomie, auf selbstbestimmte Sexualität, Kontrolle über ihren eigenen Körper und die von ihr gewählte Lebensform. Sie verleumden Organisationen und Personen, die sich für die Rechte von Frauen und Homosexuellen einsetzen und attackieren sie. Mit „Lebensschutz“ hat das ebenso wenig zu tun, wie die von ihnen beliebte Gleichsetzung von Abtreibungen mit dem Völkermord der Nazis.

Die selbsternannten „Lebensschützer“ sind keine einzelnen „Wirrköpfe“. Sie sind mitten in der Gesellschaft angekommen, unterhalten Beratungsstellen, haben eine Juristinnenvereinigung und eine Ärzteaktion, und sie haben seit Bestehen des § 218 (seit dem Jahre 1871) wesentlichen Einfluss auf die Gesetzgebung ausgeübt. Es ist an der Zeit, dass die demokratischen Kräfte in unserer Gesellschaft den reaktionären Weltanschauungen von christlichen Fundamentalisten und selbst ernannten „Lebensschützern“ entgegentreten, anstatt sie zu bestärken. Selbsternannte Lebensschützer schützen kein Leben, sondern gefährden Leben indem sie Psychoterror ausüben und versuchen, Frauen in ihrem Grundrecht auf Selbstbestimmung für oder gegen ein (eigenes) Kind zu verunsichern sowie das Recht auf Schwangerschaftsabbruch insgesamt zu verschärfen.

Gisela Notz war bis zum Mai 2010 Bundesvorsitzende von pro familia

Vienna – Due to an new law  it is now punishable to harass women in front of an abortion clinic or hand out any kind of “Pro-Life” material. The law which came into force on the 5th of June gives abortion providers the chance to send “Anti-Choice Activist” away by the police. Activist who come back within 12 hours have to face a fine in the amount of 100 to 200 €.

Christian Fiala, head of the abortion clinic “gynmed” and gynecologist, even calls it a “milestone”.

“This law is not really a bubble zone law as in France or BC in Canada. But it enables us to call the police and it gives the police the legal basis to remove the demonstrators in front of the clinic.

This is what we did last Monday for the first time since the harassment started some 15 years ago. The fanatics were outraged but had to obey and leave the place. Since it has been unusually quite in front of our clinic.”

The Oklahoma state legislature overrode Governor Brad Henry’s (D) veto of a bill that will require doctors to report detailed information about patients seeking abortions to the government yesterday. The state Senate voted 33 to 15 in favor of the override yesterday and the state House had already voted 84 to 13 Monday. The legislation will go into effect on November 1, 2010 and require reporting forms to be submitted to the Department of health by April 1, 2012. A spokesperson for Governor Henry, Paul Sund, told Tulsa World, “It is disappointing because every veto override just triggers more lawsuits and legal bills for taxpayers.”

Similar abortion laws passed by the Legislature were challenged and thrown out by the courts last year, and the latest versions are probably headed for the same fate.” The questionnaire will ultimately be posted on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website and includes information as detailed as a woman’s reason for an abortion, her age, marital status, the date of the abortion, and the total number of previous pregnancies, miscarriages, abortions, and live births. Though supporters of the bill argue that the omission of a woman’s name and address preserves her right to privacy, opponents assert that it would be possible to identify a woman from a small town from the information to be published.