Activists in Latin America battle to guarantee access to safe abortion in COVID-19 world

By Josefina Salomón & Christopher Alford
7 September 2020

For decades, women human rights defenders across Latin America have been fighting an uphill battle to ensure sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion, are a reality for all. Over the last five months that battle has turned into a war.

The figures have been shocking for a long time. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned them into a catastrophe, with a potential bleak future.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/09/activists-latin-america-access-safe-abortion-covid19/


India – Women, uninterrupted

Access to contraception and abortion services must be continuous

AUGUST 24, 2020

Among the more serious ramifications of the pandemic has been the rather extensive, even if unintended, disruption of health-care services. Normal life has been crippled by the restrictions flowing from control measures, and access to medical services has become infinitely tougher for a vast majority. The scale of the impact on women’s lives is only now being recognised, as global reports of inability to access contraceptives and abortion services during the long lockdown warn of dire consequences, including unwanted pregnancies, increase in domestic violence, and maternal mortality.

Continued: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/women-uninterrupted/article32424024.ece


UK – I don’t regret my abortion. But the coronavirus lockdown made it a guilty secret

I got pregnant when I should have been social distancing. So now I can’t tell my friends or family about the termination

Anonymous
Published on Tue 18 Aug 2020

There are two pink lines. Amid the chaos of this spring – the pandemic, lockdown, looming economic crisis – just one thing is certain: I am pregnant.

I am 36 and, strictly speaking, single. Before lockdown, I had secretly started seeing my ex, Jon, again. It wasn’t perfect, but freed us from pressure to define our relationship to anybody. Then lockdown hit. The arts industry in which I work vanished overnight. I was alone in my tiny flat, depressed, desperately missing my work, friends, family … and Jon. I craved the feel of skin. He believed he had already had Covid-19, and we both lived alone, so surely it couldn’t be so bad if we met up?

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/18/coronavirus-pandemic-abortion-terminating-pregnancy-lockdown-shaming-sex


UK – Rise in abortions as more than 200 Norfolk women unable to access contraceptive care in lockdown

28 July 2020
Sarah Burgess

Abortion services have seen an increased demand during lockdown as more than 200 women across Norfolk have struggled to access contraceptive care.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant many women’s preferred choice of contraception is unavailable - such as the fitting of long-acting contraception like implants and coils.

Continued: https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/health/abortions-and-contraceptive-care-coronavirus-lockdown-1-6765738


USA – The Demand for At-Home Abortion Is Increasing Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Kimberly Truong
July 23, 2020

As some states rushed to restrict abortion amid the coronavirus pandemic, one new study has found an increased demand in self-managed abortions. Unsurprisingly, many of these requests are happening in states with more severe restrictions as well as more serious COVID-19 outbreaks.

The study, published in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal, tracked requests for medication abortion by mail through data from Aid Access, an online medication abortion pill provider, during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic's spread and consequent lockdown measures in the U.S.

Continued: https://ca.style.yahoo.com/demand-home-abortion-increasing-amid-142240025.html


No More Shame says 29 requests for abortion pills have been sent from Gibraltar between January and June this year

22nd July 2020

From the start of this year to June, 29 requests for abortion pills have been sent from Gibraltar, according to pro-choice campaigners, No More Shame. The group says that its sources at Women on Web - an organisation that provides access to such pills - have provided these statistics.

No More Shame claims that 20 requests for abortion pills were sent from Gibraltar in 2019 to Women on Web. By comparison, it says, 29 requests were sent during the first six months of this year, which reflects an increase of 190%. The group claims that many of these requests were made during the lockdown period, and demonstrates that women in Gibraltar are opting for abortion pills. The group claims that Clinica Ginesur Algeciras has provided its services to 15 Gibraltar residents between January and June of this year. It says there were 21 Gibraltar residents accessing their services for all of 2019.

Continued: https://www.gbc.gi/news/no-more-shame-says-29-requests-abortion-pills-have-been-sent-gibraltar-between-january-and-june-year


India – The women who can’t get an abortion in lockdown

India's grinding national coronavirus lockdown complicated life for women trying to access safe abortions, and now cities are bringing back restrictions, reports Menaka Rao.

13 July 2020
Menaka Rao

In the last week of May, a 20-year old college-going woman in India's capital, Delhi, found out that she was pregnant.

The woman, Kiran, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, had already taken abortion pills on the advice of a friend who was a doctor. But they did not work and so, her only option was a surgical abortion.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53345975


South Africa: Providing safe abortion care during a national lockdown

03 July 2020
Kgaladi Mphahlele, Doctors Without Borders

In 2015, MSF surveyed 800 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Rustenburg and found that one in four women had been raped in her lifetime, yet fewer than 5 per cent of those women reported to a health care facility. Since then, MSF has run several sexual and reproductive health programs for the community— including for survivors of sexual violence— across Bojanala district, where Rustenburg is located, in partnership with local health authorities.

In addition to community outreach and health
education in more than 20 schools in the district, MSF supports four Kgomotso
Care Centers (KCC) providing sexual violence care.

Continued: https://www.msf.org.za/stories-news/fieldworker-stories/south-africa-providing-safe-abortion-care-during-national-lockdown


UK – Tears & Trauma: Even Lockdown Didn’t Stop Anti-Abortion Protesters

Tears & Trauma: Even Lockdown Didn’t Stop
Anti-Abortion Protesters

Vicky Spratt
28 June 2020

It’s 8.30am and it’s already warm and muggy. 25 degrees worth of warm and muggy
to be precise. A man is shouting, his words fill the sticky air. He repeated
“every child deserves a birthday” over and over again.

He is holding a large homemade sign. It reads ‘Abortion Murders Babies’ in
large black and red lettering. He’s joined by two more men, they also have
signs. One says ‘THOU SHALL NOT MURDER’, the other declares ‘Babies are
MURDERED here’ above a pixelated image of body parts. Hours pass, they stand together.
The shouting continues. Women rush past, accompanied by friends and family,
trying to avoid them.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/06/9883832/rupa-huq-abortion-buffer-zones


Coronavirus Created an Obstacle Course for Safe Abortions

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.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/world/europe/coronavirus-abortion-obstacles.html