International

Challenging harmful masculinities and engaging men and boys in sexual and reproductive health

More research is needed to address the impact of harmful masculinities on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), according to a new priority research agenda drawing on a global survey of researchers that was published today in The Lancet Global Health. Harmful gender norms affect boys and men in many ways, for example by increasing risky behaviours such as substance use or unprotected sex, or by causing negative attitudes and practices towards women. However, research on engaging men and boys has often neglected how to address harmful masculinities in ways that promote gender equality in many SRHR programmes.
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As France guarantees the right to abortion, other European countries look to expand access

"As France becomes the only country to explicitly guarantee the right to abortion in its constitution, other Europeans look at the U.S. rollback of abortion access and wonder: Could that happen here? Abortion is broadly legal across Europe, and governments have been gradually expanding abortion rights, with some exceptions. Women can access abortion in more than 40 European nations from Portugal to Russia, with varying rules on how late in a pregnancy it is allowed. Abortion is banned or tightly restricted in Poland and a handful of tiny countries...."
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Tusk pledges bill introducing “legal and safe abortion” in Poland

"Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, has pledged that his centrist Civic Coalition (KO) political grouping will submit a bill to liberalise the abortion law. He admitted, however, that it remains uncertain if he can gather enough support from his more conservative coalition partners to pass the measure. “Civic Coalition will submit a bill that gives the right to safe abortion up to the 12th week [of pregnancy] with certain conditions,” said Tusk in an interview on Friday with Poland’s largest three television stations, TVP, Polsat and TVN...."
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Evidence-based politics:  WHO and the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) sign Memorandum of Understanding

"Mobilizing political will and working to ensure all people can achieve the highest standards of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Special Research Programme HRP and the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the bridge between science and policy to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. 'Sexual and reproductive health and rights are a cornerstone for better health and must be an integral part of policies, laws and budgets governing universal health coverage,' said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO…
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Strategies to Advance Racial Equity in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

"Sexual and reproductive health equity means that all people are supported by policies and systems that help them achieve their desired sexual and reproductive health. Currently, too many young people—especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth—lack the autonomy and system-level supports to achieve the sexual and reproductive health they desire. This brief aims to show programs, providers, and researchers how they can approach adolescent sexual and reproductive health services in a way that advances racial equity. In this brief, we first provide some context on how racism impacts sexual and reproductive health for Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth. We then offer…
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‘I was shocked’: Australian Catholic hospitals refuse to provide birth control and abortion

"Publicly funded hospitals are using the cover of religion to opt out of providing reproductive care - and experts say it has created a ‘postcode lottery’ for access to services When Sarah*, a Melbourne mother, was pregnant with her second child, her GP gave her a surprising warning: if she had any serious complications, concerns about the viability of the pregnancy or believed she might be miscarrying, she should go to the Royal women’s hospital rather than the Mercy hospital for women, where she was planning to deliver the baby. The reason, the GP told her, was that the Mercy…
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Meta criticized for making reproductive health an R-rated issue

"Female reproductive health experts are calling on Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to rethink its restrictions on reproductive health content."Female reproductive health experts are calling on Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to rethink its restrictions on reproductive health content. The company has long faced criticism for removing and restricting female reproductive health information with a prominent report from the Center for Intimacy Justice early last year accusing Meta of systemically rejecting many female and gender diverse reproductive health ads. The CIJ report also accused Meta of having bias algorithms, stating that male reproductive health…
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Extreme Temperatures Threaten Effectiveness of Pregnancy Tests and Birth Control

"Extreme heat has already made pregnancy more dangerous. Now, it is also complicating efforts to control when and how someone becomes pregnant: Record heat waves across the country could threaten access to effective pregnancy tests, condoms and emergency contraception pills. All of these items can sustain serious damage in extreme heat, rendering them ineffective when used. And all have become critical resources for people living in states with abortion bans and who are trying to avoid pregnancy. In those states, few options exist to terminate an unintended pregnancy other than acquiring abortion pills online or traveling out of state for care.…
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How Meta Created a Wild West for Abortion Misinformation

"...Now these posts are at the center of Oversight Board cases that will establish guidelines for how Meta should moderate abortion-related content. Specifically, the board—a panel of 22 researchers, advocates, and policymakers who advise Meta on content moderation—is considering how the tech giant “should treat content that uses the word ‘kill’ while discussing abortion and its legality.” But beyond the specific moderation issues within the cases, the board will also evaluate how Meta’s enforcement practices shape the conversation about abortion in America. The outcome could have profound implications for abortion access. The Oversight Board is expected to announce its recommendations (shaped in…
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“Undress, Squat, Cough” — Police In Poland Ramp Up The Abortion Crackdown

"Poland's conservative government has made restricting abortion access a guiding pillar since returning to power in 2015. Now that appears to include orders to police to detain women seeking access to terminate a pregnancy in the case of health risks, one of the few exceptions to the strict national abortion ban. One Polish woman, identified as "Joanna" told police this week that police detained her, saying she had been pressured into having an abortion. She had purchased abortion pills on her own volition after health problems, and had decided to take them, which is not punishable in Poland, But the state saw it…
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Maltese lawmakers vote to legalize abortion, but only where there is a grave risk to the mother

"Maltese lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to ease the strictest abortion laws in the European Union, but pro-choice campaigners had withdrawn their support, saying last-minute changes make the legislation “vague, unworkable and even dangerous.” The original bill allowing women access to abortion if a pregnant woman's life or health is in danger was hailed as a step in the right direction for Malta, an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation. It was introduced last fall after an American tourist who miscarried had to be airlifted off the Mediterranean island nation to be treated...."
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