There may be no medical procedure in the world that is at once as controversial, as legally regulated, and as common as abortion. Abortion bans are making headlines in the United States, but laws that outlaw and even criminalize the procedure aren't some dystopian future problem. For millions of women and girls, they are reality. Worldwide, a quarter of pregnancies end in abortion every year; nearly half of these abortions are unsafe, with most unsafe abortions occurring in countries where the procedure is outlawed or tightly restricted.
I’ve spent the last year trying to understand the true cost of denying women this right with my dear friend and brilliant writer @jillfilipovic. Here, a family sleeps at the bus terminal in San Pedro Sula before beginning the journey to the US alongside hundreds of other Hondurans. Honduras has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world, and sexual violence is endemic. Both abortion and emergency contraception, though, are banned, including for rape survivors and minor girls. We traveled to Honduras last month on a grant from @theIWMF to assess the impact of these bans on women, on violence, and on migration.
A fuller story is coming soon, but what we found, in the words of one women's rights activist, is that when it comes to violence, reproductive freedom, and migration, "everything is connected." Laws that turn women who end pregnancies into criminals lead to laws that bar women and girls, including rape victims, from preventing unwanted pregnancies. Bans on abortion and contraception stem from the same root as rape and other gendered violations: An insidious and pervasive conviction that women's bodies are not their own. "A mom will do anything for her children," that women's rights advocate told us. And so to protect themselves, and their daughters, Honduran women run.
#wheretoturn #abortion #migration #honduras