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Women’s rights: France and positive changes in the USA

After France became the only country to guarantee the right to abortion in its constitution explicitly, other European countries are examining their abortion laws. In Italy, a 1978 law allows medical personnel to refuse to perform an abortion on moral grounds, which in practice often significantly limits access to the procedure and forces women to engage in abortion tourism. In Croatia, conservative and religious groups have failed to introduce an abortion ban, but many doctors refuse to terminate pregnancies, thus forcing Croatian women to undergo abortions abroad.

In March this year, the first over-the-counter contraceptive pill will be available in American pharmacies and retail outlets, including online. Opill will be as readily available as aspirin; a monthly dose will cost about $20. Moreover, according to the latest study, 86% of surveyed US residents believe that in vitro fertilization should be legal for women trying to get pregnant. According to the National Infertility Association, one in six American women use the in vitro procedure every year.

A group of almost 150 indigenous women from Greenland sued Denmark for forcing them to wear intrauterine contraceptive devices in the 1960s and 1970s and demanded compensation of approximately USD 6.3 million. According to the Inuit women, Denmark has violated human rights this way. Some women – including many teenagers at the time – were unaware of the situation or did not consent to the intervention. The Danish authorities claim that at that time approx. 4.5 thousand women and girls received helical implants to limit population growth in Greenland.

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