OPINION: Ensure access to high-quality abortion care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
by Kelly Blanchard & Thoai D. Ngo
Thursday, 2 April 2020
The global response to the spread of COVID-19 has changed life dramatically. Evolving restrictions on travel and physical distancing mean that access to contraception and abortion services will become even more difficult for people facing challenges accessing reproductive health care. This pandemic will leave a permanent impact on the health sector—but it presents an opportunity to adopt evidence-based strategies to expand access to information about and access to self-managed medication abortion at home.
Two new evidence reviews show that women can manage abortions with safe and effective medicines during early pregnancy. Self-managed abortion (SMA) is an important option for people seeking abortion care—especially now, as our health systems face severe resource constraints.
Self-Managed Abortion Is Medically Very Safe. But Is It Legally Safe?
by Carrie N. Baker
Between 1969 and 1973, feminists in Chicago with no formal medical training formed an underground abortion service called Jane that performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions.
Today, as many states increasingly restrict medical professionals’ ability to offer abortion, women are once again finding ways to access safe abortion on their own.
Texas 5th Circuit abortion ruling reveals how GOP using coronavirus to oppress women
Because what better time is there to force pregnant people to give birth than during an unprecedented public health emergency.
April 1, 2020
By Danielle Campoamor
Yesterday, in New York City, one person died every four minutes from the coronavirus that has now killed more Americans than the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As of Wednesday, there have been more than 190,000 confirmed cases in the United States, and health officials estimate as many as 200,000 people could perish. A reported 265 million Americans in 30 states have been ordered to shelter-in-place, school is closed for 30 million children, as many as 47 million Americans could lose their jobs, and the apex of infection is nowhere in sight.
Some in the so-called “pro-life” party of “family values” are using this crisis to limit access to abortion.
Federal judges in 3 U.S. states block orders limiting abortion access over COVID-19
Caroline Kelly, CNN
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Federal judges in Alabama, Ohio and Texas have blocked orders banning nonessential medical procedures from limiting abortion access during the coronavirus outbreak, a win for abortion rights activists as the fight over abortion rights intersects with the worsening pandemic.
"Because Alabama law imposes time limits on when women can obtain abortions, the March 27 order is likely to fully prevent some women from exercising their right to obtain an abortion," federal Judge Myron Thompson, from the Middle District of Alabama, wrote Monday. He temporarily halted the order, issued by the state's Health Department earlier this month, until April 13.
Coronavirus: Home abortions approved during outbreak
By Jim Connolly, Newsbeat politics editor
31 March 2020
Patients in England can now have home abortions during the Covid-19 outbreak, the government in England has said.
Abortion policy has changed several times during the current pandemic.
Women and girls wanting to terminate an early pregnancy were first told the service would be available but that decision was then retracted.
New abortion laws for Northern Ireland comes into force
The new regulations will allow terminations in Northern Ireland for the first 12 weeks
By Shaun Keenan
31 MAR 2020
Newly published regulations on abortion services in Northern Ireland will come into force on Tuesday. MPs in Westminster passed the changes to abortion last year in the absence of a power sharing assembly at Stormont.
The new regulations will allow terminations in Northern Ireland on request for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to 24 weeks in cases of a risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or girl.
Texas abortion ban can go back into effect, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules
By Kate Smith
March 31, 2020 / CBS News
Texas will again be allowed to implement its temporary ban on abortion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday afternoon. Per the order, any abortion "not medically necessary to preserve the life or health" of the patient must be halted as part of the state's directive suspending "non-essential" medical procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ban was briefly lifted on Monday evening when a lower court ruled the suspension of abortion services was unconstitutional and in violation of Supreme Court precedent, including Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
In some states, coronavirus measures are effectively banning abortion
Governors and other officials are declaring abortions to be “nonessential” medical procedures.
by Miranda Yaver
March 31, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the country, physicians and hospitals are canceling elective, nonessential surgeries and procedures to preserve health-care resources, including scarce personal protective equipment, and to limit potential patients’ exposure to the virus.
But what exactly counts as “elective?” A growing number of states are putting abortion in that category. These state efforts could affect women’s rights to terminate pregnancies for a long time to come.
The Network of Abortion Providers in Red States Was Already Delicate. Then Came the Coronavirus.
Becca Andrews, Assistant News Editor
March 31, 2020
In many red states, where abortion restrictions are plentiful and doctors who are willing to perform them are not, the physicians who do ultimately provide abortions often fly into town on a regular basis, sometimes traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles to get to clinics.
This is “not simply because of the high degree of regulation,” says Carole Joffe, co-author of Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America, “but that providers just do not feel comfortable living there.”
Anti-Choice Activists Say Abortion Isn’t ‘Essential,’ but Clinic Protests Are
While the rest of us stay at home, anti-choice protesters will keep performing their "vital service" outside abortion clinics during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mar 31, 2020
Jessica Mason Pieklo
More than 200 million people in the United States have been ordered to stay at home by state and local officials desperate to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
Governors and public health officials have asked businesses not deemed “essential” to temporarily close for the same reason.