Telemedicine Abortion Gains Momentum During Pandemic
— But FDA regulations on mifepristone still limit access
by Amanda D'Ambrosio, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
June 2, 2020
As access to in-person abortion clinics dwindled during the COVID-19 pandemic, providers have seen increased demand and awareness of another method of abortion care: telemedicine.
Melissa Grant, chief operating officer of carafem, a national abortion and birth control clinic, said that "there's definitely been a marked increase" in telemedicine abortions since stay-at-home orders were put in place.
Getting an Abortion During Lockdown Is Easier Than You Think
New telemedicine services mean that most people in the UK are now able to perform their own abortions at home.
by Beth Ashley
02 June 2020
When lockdown was introduced in the UK, no one could have predicted its scale or impact. Every aspect of normal life has been affected by it – and those seeking an abortion haven’t been exempt, either.
Ellie*, 22, became pregnant in early April. She knew that she didn’t want to continue the pregnancy but was terrified she wouldn’t be able to get a termination due to COVID-19. “There was so much in the news and on social media through March about delayed and cancelled abortions in England,” she told VICE. “People had been campaigning against the [cancellations] all over Twitter. I was terrified about what might happen to me.”
COVID-19 exposed how women continue to be 'disproportionately affected in society'
Sunday, 31 May 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, both locally and on a global scale, how women continue to be disproportionately affected; whether with regard to violence, losing their jobs, or not gaining full accessibility to the contraceptive pill, women’s rights activist and lawyer Lara Dimitrijevic told The Malta Independent on Sunday.
“In the ideal post-COVID-19 reality, authorities need to stop throwing the word equality around. Policymakers need to truly see how women are being affected and ensure that the required change takes place. We need to be practical and listen to one another if we genuinely want to reach equality. Women are suffering and I believe that sexual reproductive rights are an integral part of women’s rights and we need to acknowledge that.”
Abortion During Pandemic: Whose Crime Is It Anyway?
This article has been collectively written by members of NGOs working on safe abortion advocacy.
May 30, 2020
On 12th May 2020, mainstream newspapers reported that an abortion pill overdose allegedly resulted in a woman’s death in Mumbai. Her husband, in-laws, family doctor, husband’s friend and the medical representative who supplied the pills have all been booked under Section 314 of the Indian Penal Code as well as Sections 4 and 5(2) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. While the police were prompt in responding to the complaint of foul play, the news items raise some questions about the process of investigation, reporting as well as the restrictions on pregnant persons’ access to the healthcare services they need, especially in the context of the current pandemic crisis.
To begin with, it is not clear from the report how the conclusion about “overdose” of medical abortion pills was reached. Autopsy reports usually indicate the cause of death in terms of the complication or physical condition which led to death; in this case it was excessive bleeding. The reports do not mention whether the autopsy was followed by further investigations that suggested drug overdose. Moreover, there is no mention of whether the woman’s medical history was explored to rule out any other contributing cause or complication.
Coronavirus pandemic is fueling efforts to increase access to abortion pills
Marie McCullough - The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS)
May 29, 2020
The pandemic is helping U.S. abortion-rights advocates achieve a long-standing goal: Make it easier for women to use pills to end pregnancies up to 10 weeks.
Federal and state regulations have restricted access to “medication abortion” ever since the Food and Drug Administration approved it two decades ago. Nonetheless, use of the two-drug regimen has grown steadily, accounting for at least 40% of all abortions, even as the national abortion rate has fallen to historic lows, data show.
Abortion 'doulas' in Chile risk prison, saying women need their help
“We are doing this because the law is insufficient."
May 28, 2020
By Liam Miller
SANTIAGO, Chile — The woman anxiously removes the SIM card from the cheap cellphone and cuts the chip into pieces before sweeping the fragments into the trash. When her nerves pass, she allows herself a small sigh of relief.
Despite using a "burner" phone like those associated with drug deals in TV crime series, this woman is using it for a different purpose. A college-educated professional, she's one of several women in a group of abortion "doulas," part of a clandestine network willing to break the law and face prison to help women obtain abortions, as long as it's medically safe to do so.
Inside the Plan to End Legal Abortion
May 22, 2020
Whiteface is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blip in Texas’s oil patch 50 minutes west of Lubbock that only a few hundred people call home, so tiny that describing it as a small town would be a stretch. But on a rainy evening in mid-March, several dozen of its residents along with people from neighboring towns crammed into a worn-down community center on the town’s main strip for a meeting of Whiteface’s elected officials, an unusually large audience for their regular council meeting.
“I know y’all aren’t here to listen to our business,” joked one of the council members. And it was true. That night, the council would be voting on an anti-abortion ordinance that, if passed, would make Whiteface the latest so-called “sanctuary city for the unborn” in the state. With its approval, Whiteface would join a dozen other Texas towns that in recent months had declared abortion to be murder and announced that abortions (and in some towns, even emergency contraception like Plan B) were “unlawful” within the town’s limits; some of the ordinances, too, designated a list of the state’s leading abortion providers and advocacy groups as “criminal entities.” The crowd in the sparsely decorated community center, crammed into rows of red and yellow plastic chairs, had amassed to show their support for the ordinance, and to urge the Whiteface council to officially designate the town a self-proclaimed “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
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.
How the Pandemic Is Changing Abortion Care in Vulnerable Countries
By Rachelle Hampton
May 18, 2020
This as-told-to essay from Dr. Manisha Kumar has been edited and condensed for clarity from an interview with Rachelle Hampton.
I am currently the head of Médecins Sans Frontières’ task force for safe abortion care. It’s a relatively new initiative that started in 2016 to increase provision of contraception and safe abortion care in MSF projects. Before this role, I worked for MSF in many different capacities. I was both a field staff doctor in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a medical coordinator in DRC and Bangladesh. Just like many people, I’m working from home now, in Amsterdam. I’ve never spent this much time in my apartment, behind my computer, on Zoom meetings and calls. So much of MSF and who we are is based in the field.
Lockdown cuts off access to abortions and sexual health care for many women
Limiting access to contraceptives and medical termination of pregnancies (MTPs) would only result in women turning to unsafe measures.
Dr Nimeshika Jayachandran
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Two weeks after the lockdown had been announced, 26-year-old Avantika*, a resident of Mumbai found herself panicking after a home pregnancy test she took was positive.
“I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t believe it at first and took 2 more tests which also were positive, and that’s when I really started to panic. I live with my friend and her cousin, who really supported me through the whole process. My friend’s cousin called up a few hospitals near where we live to find out if we could get a scan to confirm the pregnancy, nearly all of them said no,” she says.