Northern Ireland Makes Progress in Reproductive Rights

Northern Ireland Makes Progress in Reproductive Rights

Article by Jackie Vicksman After criminalizing abortion for more than a century, Northern Ireland has finally reached a breakthrough. Although the rest of the United Kingdom legalized abortion in the 1967 Abortion Act and the Republic of Ireland repealed its restrictive abortion laws in September of 2018, these laws did not extend to Northern Ireland, which maintained its extremely strict policies. Until now. Beginning October 22 of this year, women in Northern Ireland may be given the right to have an abortion in certain circumstances. This possibility is due to the fact that Northern Ireland has not had a functioning government for the past two years because of partisan conflict between Unionists and Republicans, as both parties have an agreement to share power equally in the country. As a result, the U.K. was able to sign an amendment that decriminalizes abortion in the region. The amendment will go into effect on October 21 if the government of Northern Ireland has not...
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Abortion-Rights Bill Introduced in California Aimed at Public Universities

Abortion-Rights Bill Introduced in California Aimed at Public Universities

Last week, an abortion-rights bill targeted at public universities in California was passed inspired by a student-led movement at the University of California, Berkeley. If signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom during the next month, this legislation would mandate all on-campus health centers of California public universities to offer medication abortion by 2023. In the state of California, this legislation would therefore directly apply to 34 college campuses. Medication abortion requires taking two different pills which are approved by law to end pregnancy during the first 10 weeks. There have already been around $10.3 million dollars of donations raised privately that would go toward training staff at campus health centers and equipping the centers with proper medical devices for medication abortion. A study published in August 2018 directly analyzed California college students desire and access to medication abortion and concluded, “College students face cost, scheduling, and travel barriers to abortion care. Offering medication abortion on campus could reduce these...
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Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

As students and faculty start lifting their heads from the end of semester rush and head off to Summer adventures, we have a chance to reflect on all we have accomplished this past year and to celebrate our graduating students. I had the opportunity to think more about this as I prepared my remarks for DGHI's undergraduate commencement on May 10. The opportunity to speak to graduates and their families was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had since joining the Duke faculty in 2016. Asked to talk about my journey from Duke student to a career in medicine and global health, I told the students that they need to expect the unexpected, be prepared for— and maybe even proud of— the inevitable failures, and to take chances on new adventures and challenges. As we embark on new and exciting projects with learners across the university and medical school this summer, I am encouraged to see a new generation of researchers and...
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