ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Jul 01 2015

The sixth session of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda was held from 22-25 June. This session focused on the zero draft of the outcome document. The interventions from UN Member States were predominantly focused on the introductory part of the outcome document and on the  declaration. They also provide information as to the positions and priorities of the various countries, which could be useful for the negotiations moving forward. For a summary of Member States interventions click HERE.  

The co-facilitators convened a meeting with the Major Groups and other Stakeholders on Wednesday, 24 June. Several civil society representatives had an opportunity to deliver a statement, among them many focused on SRHR and gender equality. For a list of CSO statements click HERE.

The next two and last sessions before the UN Summit for Adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda in September will be held in the end of July, from 20th to 24th and from 27th to the 31st.

Source: NGOsBeyond2014  

Jun 30 2015

On 19 June the Ministry of Health and the Russian Orthodox Church signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement signed by Minister Veronika Skvortsova and Patriarch Kirill was published on the website of the Synodal Department for ROC Church Charity and Social Service. The agreement consists of 21 articles. Article 9 is devoted to abortions prevention and article 5 on the role religious representatives in medial institutions.

Article 9:

1. The Parties shall cooperate on the protection of maternal and child health, including reproductive health, promotion of family values and prevention of abortion.

2. The Parties shall promote cooperation of medical institutions with representatives of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church in the prevention of abortion by:
- creation of the crisis pregnancy centers at the hospitals with the participation of psychologists and representatives of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church;
- the participation of representatives of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church in advising women who are planning to terminate the pregnancy, in medical institutions;
- providing places for posting information of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church on the stands in medical institutions.

3. The Parties shall take part in joint efforts to provide assistance and support to pregnant women whose prenatal diagnosis indicate to the malformation of the fetus, as well as mothers who give birth to a child with developmental disabilities.

Article 5

1. The Parties shall cooperate on the preparation of professionals in the health sector.

2. This cooperation is carried out by the Parties by: conducting seminars, courses, training programs and other activities in the institutions of higher, secondary and post-graduate medical education, aimed at the formation of the spiritual foundations of professional medical activities, including on the interaction of medical organizations with religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church;

As a response the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe tabled Written Declaration 594 entitledWomen's right to access appropriate reproductive health services in the Russian Federation”. The undersigned members criticised the 3 draft laws that are currently submitted to the Russian State Duma aiming to strongly restrict access to abortion. They called on their fellow parliamentarians in the Duma to reject the draft laws: “We the undersigned members of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly are strongly concerned about the three draft laws submitted to the State Duma of the Russian Federation aiming to severely restrict access of women to abortion. They aim: to require women to visualise and listen to the heartbeats of the foetus before being given permission to access a legal abortion; exclude coverage of abortion from the Obligatory Medical Insurance and to to prohibit the sale of safe medication that terminate pregnancies.”

Source: European Parliamentary Forum

Jun 15 2015

WHO has published long-awaited report on sexual health, human rights and the law.

The full report is available HERE.

Jun 12 2015

ASTRA sent a letter addressing Iratxe Garcia Perez and the FEMM Committee to congratulate on the successfull adoption of the Noichl report last Tuesday. The letter is available online HERE.

Jun 12 2015

On Thursday June 4th ASTRA Network, regional women’s coalition advocating for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Central and Eastern region, organised a Public Hearing in the European Parliament. The event was hosted by Co-Chairs of the European Parliament Working Group on Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Development, Dutch Member of European Parliament Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE/ D66) and MEP Heidi Hautala (Greens/ Vihreä liitto) from Finland.

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