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.
Africa commits to curb maternal mortality rate through CARMMA
By International Institute For Non – Aligned Studies
March 30, 2020
For an unbiased growth of the economy, an equal contribution of men and women is what is required. Reiterating its commitment towards the same, the Non-Aligned Movement has translated in its efforts the importance of an equal contribution from both men and women of the society.
While women contribute equally to the growth and development prospects of an economy, the issue of maternal deaths continue to remain a major crisis among several nations and Africa is one of them. The areas reflecting inequities to health services and lack of awareness among the population are more prone to the crisis. Often caused due to haemorrhage, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, infection and obstructed labour, the rates of maternal morbidity and mortality are found highest among adolescent girls below 15 years of age. Girls under this age bar face a higher risk of complications and death as compared to other women.
Effective Contraception Panacea For Abortion-related Deaths
March 28, 2020
By Tunde Oguntola
The high rates of abortion, clearly underscore the need to improve and expand access to effective contraceptive services. Ensuring that women and couples have access to a wide range of effective contraceptive methods to choose from and that they receive comprehensive information about how to use their chosen method consistently and correctly is sound public health policy.
Investing in modern contraceptive methods would be far less costly to women and society than the costs of managing the outcomes of unintended pregnancies.
Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic
By Laura Smith-Spark, Valentina Di Donato and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
March 27, 2020
London (CNN)As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, women's access to abortion is one of many healthcare provisions thrown into jeopardy.
The UK government caused confusion this week when it first announced that women would temporarily be allowed to access early medical abortion at home, rather than attending a clinic -- and then, hours later, reversed its decision.
AN INTERNATIONAL CALL TO ACTION
TO: Women, Health Systems, Governments, UN Human Rights Bodies and WHO
27 March 2020
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
We Need a Rational Policy for Safe Abortion in Every Country NOW!
Every day, in every country of the world, women have abortions. Each year, globally, there are 56 million abortions, or an average of 154,000 abortions every single day. Some 45% of those abortions are still unsafe in spite of 100 years of national and international campaigns for safe, legal abortions.
In almost every country, even where abortions are safe, access to abortion is restricted by antediluvian, punitive and medically unnecessary laws and regulations. The only way many women manage to have abortions at all is if they or an abortion care provider breaks the law in some minor or major way – 25 million times each year if we count only the unsafe abortions. The serious effect of the COVID-19 virus on all our lives has put this absurdity into sharp relief.
Self-managed abortions should be universally available
March 24, 2020
Sam Rowlands, Visiting Professor, Health and Social Science, Bournemouth University
A combination of feminist advocacy, new drugs and the internet is allowing people to safely end early pregnancies themselves when they choose to do so. People can manage abortions using medicines without face-to-face contact with doctors and nurses.
A service at a distance, supervised by a doctor, was first offered by Women on Web in 2005 for countries with no lawful access to medical abortion. Women Help Women offers similar help to women anywhere in the world. And in the US, Aid Access – a fairly new organisation – offers email support. (In the US, online help is increasingly used because access to abortion clinics has been reduced in the last few years.)
(Podcast, 13 minutes) How The US Went From Advocate to Obstructionist
March 6, 2020
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in one of the most consequential abortion cases in decades. Meanwhile, next week brings world leaders to the United Nations — if coronavirus doesn’t intervene — to mark 25 years since reproductive rights were enshrined in international law. It happened in 1995 at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Since then, the US has exchanged its role as a prominent advocate for women’s rights for one that aims to obstruct international agreements that uphold them. Jessica Glenza, who covers health for The Guardian, has the story of how the Trump administration is seeking to re-write international norms about “women’s health,” “women’s rights,” and “gender equality” by seeking to erase those very words. She speaks with Françoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Sigrid Kaag, minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Netherlands, about what the changes mean for human rights and health outcomes around the world.
Win or Lose, Trump’s Policies on Women’s Health Inflict Damage
February 25, 2020
by Barbara Crossette
Whether or not Donald Trump will be re-elected president on Nov. 3, a tough debate is likely to begin soon in the United States Congress over the national budget for the unpredictable year ahead. Reproductive health issues rank high on the agenda for women’s rights advocates.
Trump’s proposed budget would continue to restrict funds for reproductive health sharply, including family planning, to suit the antichoice crowd that is apparently considered an important vote bank. These funds, moreover, would be limited to bilateral aid to allies and other supportive nations. These “friends of Trump” are expected to be active in the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women, beginning on March 9 at the United Nations in New York. They include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, some diplomats say.
How openDemocracy is tracking anti-abortion misinformation around the world
Nine months ago, we began following the money of two US religious right groups. Then, we deployed our own global network – of feminist investigative journalists.
Claire Provost and Nandini Archer
12 February 2020
US religious right activists with links to Trump’s White House have supported the spread of what are called ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ around the world, openDemocracy’s Tracking the Backlash project revealed this week.
There are thousands of these centres in the US where some have been previously criticised for presenting themselves as neutral health facilities while hiding their anti-abortion and religious agendas from women who are looking for help. But the global scale of these activities has not been mapped until now.
European lawmakers demand action on anti-abortion misinformation
openDemocracy investigation sparks cross-party European legislators' call for action on “deliberate disinformation” of vulnerable pregnant women.
Peter Geoghegan and Francesca Visser
12 February 2020
A growing number of European lawmakers from across the political spectrum are calling for action against “deliberate disinformation” targeted at vulnerable women following an openDemocracy special investigation.
This week, openDemocracy revealed that some ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ around the world discourage women from using contraception and say, incorrectly, that abortions increase risks of getting cancer or becoming abusive towards children.