Jul 2, 2020
By Avril Benoît, executive director for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA)
As world leaders attempt to tackle an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises, many of them deepened beyond imagination by the coronavirus pandemic, the United States is throwing its weight around on the global stage to obstruct lifesaving aid efforts.
The Trump Administration appears intent on blocking international efforts and resolutions containing these critically important words: sexual and reproductive health.
Coronavirus Created an Obstacle Course for Safe Abortions
But during the pandemic, a few countries liberalized their requirements, allowing at-home medical terminations.
By Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Monika Pronczuk
June 14, 2020
BRUSSELS — When a 19-year-old woman from southern Poland decided to end her pregnancy at 18 weeks, she knew the only way to get an abortion was to rush to a neighboring European country.
Abortion is illegal in most circumstances in Poland, and so for years, many women have traveled within Europe to seek the procedure.
But it was April, and across the continent, borders were closing fast because of the coronavirus pandemic. So she and a friend loaded up their Renault with instant noodles and candy for a 14-hour race to Utrecht, in the Netherlands. They made it just in time for her to have the procedure and return home, her friend said.
Canada announces support to Ipas to protect access to safe abortion and contraception during COVID-19 pandemic
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
The global coronavirus outbreak is a major threat to the health of women and girls globally and is anticipated to disproportionately affect low-resource settings where barriers to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care already existed. Today, the government of Canada affirmed that the failure to meet women’s and girls’ urgent SRH needs, including abortion, is a denial of basic rights to health, autonomy, and gender equality.
Through rapid funding from Global Affairs Canada, Ipas will work in select countries in the global south to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by:
The Sexual-Health Supply Chain Is Broken
Condoms, birth control, and other items are harder to get in the developing world because of the pandemic. That is putting lives at risk.
Anna Louie Sussman
June 8, 2020
It took Dimos Sakellaridis about six years to build Kiss condoms into one of Nigeria’s top brands, with approximately 91 million sold in 2019. The prophylactics are available in shops, markets, and kiosks across the country, and a combination of irreverent advertising, a growing population of young people, and a greater understanding of reproductive health within Nigeria has meant his sales have steadily risen.
But if he can’t get a shipment of 12 million condoms (and 4 million packs of birth-control pills) out of the Lagos port soon, those stocks will run out. And unfortunately for Sakellaridis, it makes no difference to the customs authorities, who are working their way through a backlog of containers, that ordinary Nigerians depend on Sakellaridis’s stranded cargo to prevent unwanted pregnancies and stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections. All he can do is wait—and he is not alone.
Another Egregious Attack on Reproductive Health by Trump Administration
Undermining access to reproductive health services during COVID-19 is cruel and detrimental to women’s health and well-being.
by Anu Kumar
The Trump Administration’s latest attempt to roll back reproductive rights and deny essential health care is yet another step toward realizing their extreme anti-rights agenda.
In a letter to the United Nations (U.N.), John Barsa, the acting administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has asked for all references to sexual and reproductive health to be removed from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP).
Five Statements of Support for WHO, with a Preface
22 May 2020
Preface, by Marge Berer
Today’s newsletter includes five statements – by the Campaign, an international group of CSOs, and IAWG, IPPF and Ipas – all in response to demands by the US government on the UN and the World Health Organization to omit any language or policy related to abortion and sexual and reproductive health from the Covid-19 response. This issue was not at all the focus of the World Health Assembly (WHA) on 18-19 May, however, as Trump hoped them to be. Instead, the other issues raised in his three letters to the heads of WHO and the UN – got all the attention, as well as a few more.
U.N. rejects U.S. claim it is using coronavirus to promote abortion
Michelle Nichols, Reuters
May 21, 2020
NEW YORK — The United Nations rejected on Thursday an accusation by the United States that the world body was using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to promote access to abortion through its humanitarian response to the deadly global outbreak.
The U.N. is seeking some $6.7 billion for its coronavirus response plan and has so far received $1 billion, of which $172.9 million was given by the United States. A Reuters tally shows the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has infected some 5 million people globally and caused almost 327,000 deaths.
How coronavirus is changing access to abortion
Health care practitioners are struggling to maintain access to contraception and abortions during the pandemic.
By MIRIAM WEBBER
As the coronavirus steamrolls the global order, reproductive health care practitioners and advocates are struggling to maintain access to contraception and abortions.
Lockdowns and disrupted supply chains have prompted a flurry of action in the sector as governments, practitioners and advocates react to a crisis that has highlighted the often tenuous access to sexual health care products and services.
U.S. rejects WHO coronavirus resolution's language on abortion
Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters
May 19, 2020
GENEVA — The United States rejected language about reproductive healthcare and intellectual property rights in a World Health Organization resolution on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump threatened to quit the body.
Washington did not block the consensus adoption of the text, which calls for a review into the global response to the crisis and which diplomats had striven to pass without a vote.
US asks for abortion references to be removed from UN pandemic response plan
By Kylie Atwood, CNN
Tue May 19, 2020
Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is urging the United Nations secretary general to remove any references to reproductive health, including abortions, from the UN's humanitarian response plan to the coronavirus pandemic to "avoid creating controversy."
"The United States stands with nations that have pledged to protect the unborn," acting Administrator of USAID John Barsa wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres on Monday. "To achieve global unity toward this goal, it is essential that the UN's response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy. Therefore, I ask that you remove references to 'sexual and reproductive health,' and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN's priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic."