Queen Mary researcher develops new abortion support resource

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The web tool – Finder.abortion.eu – provides accurate, otherwise hard to find, and practical information in many European languages ​​on how and where women and pregnant people can access a safe and legal abortion depending on the stage of their pregnancy.

People traveling abroad to have an abortion often face significant logistical and financial challenges, in addition to language difficulties and medical terms that they may not understand. This makes the resource a vital asset for people who need clear, practical, non-judgmental information.

Visitors will be able to find out which countries they can go to if they cannot access an abortion locally, which specific clinics are most accessible, as well as more information on groups that can provide financial assistance to cover the costs of the abortion. abortion and travel.

While it is available to any European resident who needs help accessing a safe abortion, we hope this resource will prove particularly valuable for countries where abortion is almost completely banned, such as Malta and Poland. , as well as for countries with limited access to post-abortion care.

Dr Sydney Calkin, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Queen Mary University, London, said:

“Everyone should have access to safe, legal and local abortion services, but for many these don’t exist. Our web resource exists to provide practical information to people who are forced to leave their country of origin because they need essential medical care – abortion.

“A few countries in Europe, like Poland and Malta, ban almost all abortions. Many other countries allow abortion in the first trimester but prohibit any subsequent abortion. People all over Europe have to travel to have an abortion when they least expect it. It is often a very stressful and costly experience. Finder.abortion.eu exists to make this journey easier with information and support.

Mara Clarke, founder of the Abortion Support Network, said: “We are delighted that Finder.abortion.eu is a resource for people who have to travel to access second trimester abortions. Given that there are so many sources providing false medical information and anti-choice rhetoric, it is great that this is a place where anyone in Europe can find clear, unbiased factual information on how and where to access health care. second trimester abortions.

“This resource is all the more important as countries like Poland further restrict access to abortion and as anti-abortion governments work to make abortions more difficult to obtain. There is a lot of stigma around abortion, but even more around subsequent abortion. Even the Republic of Ireland, which liberalized its abortion law in 2018, only allows abortion on request for up to 12 weeks, meaning everyone must travel abroad to access the services. care.

The information available will be particularly important after Brexit as women will be able to identify other countries and clinics given that from October 1 the UK will only accept passports and not EU ID cards.

While abortion is legal to some extent in most countries in Europe, the cost, stigma and medical barriers mean that many must leave their countries of origin for a safe and legal abortion. And their decision to have an abortion abroad is often shrouded in secrecy due to anti-abortion stigma.

Dr Calkin, of the University’s School of Geography, has done extensive research on the geographies of abortion and pro-choice activism, publishing a large body of research and editing books on access to abortion and international relations.


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