By Sophies Davies RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Years after giving into family pressure and having an illegal abortion, one Brazilian woman says she is haunted by the secret procedure so taboo that hardly anyone will talk about it. The woman, who only wants to be identified as F.D., went to a clinic hidden away in the southern state of Paraná for an abortion when she was a student. Ordered by her family to keep silent, F.D. says the secrecy and shame has stayed with her. "For me it was something very violent, very aggressive and terrible," she said. Roughly one million women each year seek abortions to end unwanted pregnancies in Brazil, where abortion is illegal except in cases of rape or incest or if the life of the mother is in danger. Brazil has raided and closed down hundreds of secret abortion clinics across the country over the last decade. Once tolerated, the clinics have become the target of a clampdown which human rights groups say is due to a rising numbers of evangelical Christians in the Brazilian Congress. Just weeks ago, two doctors and a patient were arrested at a secret clinic in Rio de Janeiro's glitzy Copacabana district. The gynecologist and anesthetist were in the middle of a procedure when police came through the doors. The gynecologist works by day at a hospital in Leblon, one of Rio's wealthiest neighborhoods. If convicted, the doctors face up to four years in prison. Women who undergo illegal abortions can face up to three years in prison, though such sentences are rare. The arrests in such a high-priced district highlight Brazil's gaping social divide, which leaves rich and poor women with very different options. Women without means turn to unsafe backstreet operations or try to carry out the procedure themselves, which can result in botched abortions or death. Brazil's National Health System estimates that 250,000 women a year arrive in hospital emergency rooms with health problems that are a direct consequence of unsafe abortions. Brazilian press reports have said that a woman dies every two days from an illegal abortion. One botched case was that of Jandira Magdalena dos Santos Cruz, a young woman last seen getting into a car in Rio in 2014 to be taken to a clandestine clinic to end a 16-week pregnancy. Her mutilated and charred body was found the next day. Police said a criminal network likely ran the illicit clinic and probably killed Cruz after she developed complications they could not handle. Women with means, on the other hand, pay expensive fees at high-end clinics with legitimate, moonlighting doctors. F.D. was referred to a clinic by her boyfriend's father, a doctor himself. She says it was luxurious, well-organized and costly. Being so secret and illegal, however, the abortion left her with psychological scars, she said. She said she also felt pressured into it by her conservative Roman Catholic family. "There are people who go and get it done and then forget, but there are others, more sensitive people like me, who are hurt by it for the rest of their lives," she said. "It's an incredible pain which afflicts you every day of your life," she said. Now married and wanting to start a family, she said she struggles to talk freely about her abortion in a nation that views it so critically. OPPOSITION TO CHANGE While campaigners and United Nations officials have called for an easing of abortion laws, in light of the mosquito-borne Zika virus that is linked to severe birth defects, Brazil's Congress, brimming with evangelical Christians and Catholics, staunchly opposes any such change. The population, two-thirds Catholic, also is largely opposed to legalization, polls show. "Because of this, the majority of women have an abortion in secret and then don't tell anyone," said Vanessa Dios, a researcher at Brasilia-based women's rights group Anis. "They are afraid of being arrested but also morally judged," she said, adding that some women have been excommunicated or thrown out of their church. One consequence of Brazil's strict abortion laws is women turning outside the country for help. Medical abortions, in which women use pills such as misoprostol in the early stages of pregnancy, are growing more common in Brazil, according to the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute and Women on Web, an Amsterdam-based reproductive rights group that provides medications. "I've noticed more women coming to us since the Zika crisis started," said Leticia Zenevich of Women on Web. But some women who buy the pills online have reported that the Brazilian state regulator Anvisa seized packages containing the medication, Zenevich said. Emails sent to the group from Brazilian women lament their lack of options. Several described themselves as "desperate" and unable to afford to raise a child. One wrote that she found phony misoprostol pills sold in Paraguay and that the internet "is full of scams." "I cannot really trust anyone," she said. (Reporting by Sophie Davies, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)
- The Independent
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- The Independent
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- The Telegraph
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- The Week
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married on May 19, 2018, at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, it was their second time around. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday night, Markle revealed that the pair actually were married three days before their wedding, which was televised to millions of people around the globe. The private ceremony was conducted in their backyard by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with no one else present. "This spectacle is for the world," Markle said. "But we want our union for us." She added that on the day of their wedding at Windsor Castle, the couple tried to keep things "fun and light and remind ourselves that this was our day — but I think we were both really aware, even in advance ... that this wasn't our day. This was the day that was planned for the world." A year after their wedding, Markle and Harry welcomed their son, Archie. The pair announced last month that they are expecting their second child this summer, and shared with Winfrey that it is a girl. More stories from theweek.comRead the words that will appear on the exterior of Obama's presidential library in ChicagoWhy the Dr. Seuss 'cancellation' is chilling7 spondiferously funny cartoons about the Dr. Seuss controversy
- The Telegraph
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- The Telegraph
Follow the latest reaction in our liveblog here The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married in their back garden by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their fairytale wedding, they have revealed. In her interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex said the wedding at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 was a "spectacle for the world". The couple decided to have their own moment and married days before. "Three days before our wedding we got married. The vows we have framed," said the Duchess. "We called the archbishop, and we just said, 'Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world, but we want our union between us." The ceremony was "just the two of us in our back yard with the Archbishop of Canterbury."
- CBS News Videos
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- The Telegraph
Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview bombshells: Live reaction as they accuse Royal family of racism, reveal Duchess had suicidal thoughts and say Kate made Meghan cry
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- Business Insider
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- The Telegraph
The Duchess of Sussex has revealed she had suicidal thoughts and struggled with her mental health after joining the Royal family. The Duchess, 39, said in an extraordinarily candid interview that the “stress and isolation” drove her to contemplate taking her own life while pregnant with son Archie. She claimed she told a senior Palace official that she wanted to get treatment for her depression, but was denied because it would “look bad”. "[Going to a hospital] is what I was asking to do, I was told I couldn't because it wouldn't be good for the institution,” the Duchess told Oprah Winfrey during their two-hour interview. She said she felt so low at one point that she told the Duke of Sussex that she could not be left alone because she was afraid she might harm herself. She describes a particularly distressing time when she was attending a concert with her husband at the Royal Albert Hall.
- The Telegraph
Follow the latest reaction in our live blog An unnamed member of the Royal family raised "concerns" about how dark Archie's skin would be before his birth, the Duchess of Sussex has claimed. The Duchess, who is African American, said there were "several conversations" with Harry about Archie's skin tone and "what that would mean or look like". "Those were conversations family had with him," she added. The Duchess went on to suggest Archie's race may have informed the decision not to make him a prince. "They didn't want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security," the Duchess told Oprah Winfrey in a tell-all interview that aired on Sunday. "In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of, 'you won't be given security, not gonna be given a title' and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."
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- The Telegraph
The Queen will increase her official engagements this week as the Royal family responds to the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview with a clear message about where the “focus” lies. Her Majesty, 94, is expected to be seen at least once this week as she carries out official duties via Zoom from Windsor Castle. All other senior members of the Royal family will also be highly visible as they conduct a raft of engagements, including marking International Women’s Day. A senior Buckingham Palace aide said: “We will see them getting on with the day job. “There are several engagements in the diary – they’ve been there for a while.” The volley of royal engagements will leave the public in no doubt about “where the focus is,” one source said. No members of the Royal family were expected to stay up into the early hours of this morning to watch the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ explosive Oprah Winfrey interview. But they were each expected to receive a detailed breakfast briefing from aides, highlighting the main allegations and topics of discussion. A palace aide said they would not “rush to respond” to the issues raised by the Sussexes and reserved the right not to comment at all. One source told a newspaper that the couple were “playing with fire”, adding: “It's very high stakes because there's a lot that could come out in the wash that hasn't been told." While they were braced for damaging revelations about racism and the perceived failure to protect and guide the Sussexes, they were also hoping not to be drawn into the fray. Aides said the mood at Buckingham Palace ahead of the interview was calm, as courtiers maintained the view that “this, too, will pass.” One signalled the belief that the Sussexes were unlikely to win the PR battle as they said: “History teaches us that only the interviewer wins from these programmes.” The Palace has repeatedly insisted that the focus should be on children’s return to school and the vaccination programme, rather than the “media circus” surrounding the Sussexes. The family also remains concerned about the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, who has spent almost three weeks in hospital and remains at the King Edward VII hospital in central London, where he is recovering from a heart procedure. The Cambridges are understood to have been focused on Prince George and Princess Charlotte's return to school this week and have relocated from Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, where they spent lockdown, to Kensington Palace. Prince Louis, who turns three in April, is also expected to start nursery soon. The contrast between the Sussexes’ litany of complaints and the Queen’s own attitude to self-sacrifice was highlighted on Sunday as the monarch released her annual Commonwealth Day message just hours ahead of the Oprah interview. In it, she has stressed the importance of keeping in touch with family to “transcend boundaries or division,” focusing on a message of unity.
Meghan Markle says members of the royal family had 'concerns and conversations' about how dark Archie's skin would be before he was born
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- The Telegraph
The Duke of Sussex is determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with his brother at the unveiling of a statue of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, whatever the fallout from his interview with Oprah Winfrey. Prince Harry hopes that the brothers can present a united front at Kensington Palace on July 1, which would have been the Princess’s 60th birthday, in an attempt to move past their rift. A source close to Prince Harry insisted that whatever had been said and done, he desperately hoped to attend the event and considered it a priority. There is more uncertainty about whether the Duke might make it back to the UK for earlier events, such as Trooping the Colour on June 12 or the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday on June 10, partly due to the impending birth of his second child, thought to be due around that time. Despite the explosive nature of the revelations made to Ms Winfrey, the Sussexes consider the interview their last word on the subject and want to move on. They felt they needed to have their say and explain to the public why they turned their backs on royal life, but now consider the matter closed, sources said. One friend said: “It was something they felt they wanted and needed to do but now they have done it, they feel a line has been drawn under that chapter of their lives and they want to move on.”
- Business Insider
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- The Week
Prince Harry gave an honest assessment of his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, telling Oprah Winfrey that he has "compassion" for both of them because the are "trapped" inside the royal family. During an interview that aired on CBS Sunday night, Harry said he did not "blindside" his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, with the news that he would be stepping back from his royal duties, saying he has too much "respect" for her. Last year, Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, moved from Britain to California, and he said that recently, he's actually spoken to the queen more than usual, and they have a "really good relationship." It's been harder to relate with his father, though. Harry said he is "disappointed" in him, and does not think the family did enough to protect Markle from bad press. "I saw history repeating itself," he said, referring to his mother, the late Princess Diana, who was hounded by tabloids. Harry said he asked for help, but Charles stopped answering his calls. Had he received assistance, "we wouldn't have left," Harry said, but "we did what we had to do." He denied having long ago decided he would leave his royal duties, and Markle backed him up. "I left my career, my life," she said. "I left everything because I love him. Our plan was to do this forever." Harry told Winfrey he has money his mother left him, and believes she would have been "very angry at how this has played out, and sad. But ultimately, all she'd ever want is for us to be happy." Today, Harry said Charles is accepting his phone calls, but "there's a lot to work through there." He thought his father would be more understanding, and "there's a lot of hurt that's happened." It is now one of Harry's "priorities to try and heal that relationship," he added. As for William, Harry said he "loves him to bits" but "we're on different paths." Through Markle, Harry said he was able to see he was stuck in the "institution" he was born into, and his father and brother "are trapped. They don't get to leave. And I have compassion for that." More stories from theweek.comRead the words that will appear on the exterior of Obama's presidential library in ChicagoWhy the Dr. Seuss 'cancellation' is chilling7 spondiferously funny cartoons about the Dr. Seuss controversy