Latin America – Covid-19 hospital beds and abortion

There is hard evidence that the pandemic presents a heightened risk to reproductive health

DEBORA DINIZ and GISELLE CARINO
31 JUL 2020

“Abortion is a public health matter,” scientists say. This notion seems a bit abstract – how can a criminalized practice constitute a public health need? The Covid-19 pandemic is a teachable moment. But it is the teaching of horror: according to the World Health Organization, thousands of women visit health services every month to receive care for incomplete abortions. In Argentina, the figure was 3,330 women; in Chile, 1,522; in Colombia, 7,778; and in Mexico, 18,285, in different years. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 760,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean are treated annually at healthcare services because of complications from unsafe abortions, averaging out to 63,000 beds a month. When a woman goes to a hospital for complications from an unsafe abortion, she might end up needing a bed twice: once, to treat the unsafe abortion and next, to be treated for the Covid-19 she contracted in the hospital.

Continued: https://english.elpais.com/opinion/2020-07-31/covid-19-hospital-beds-and-abortion.html


Landmark measure to repeal ‘racist,’ anti-choice Jesse Helms amendment hailed as step to a ‘more equitable world’

July 30, 2020
By Common Dreams

“Abortion care is healthcare and healthcare is a fundamental human right.”

Reproductive rights advocates on Wednesday cheered the introduction of the first-ever legislation to repeal the Helms Amendment, which has prevented millions of women across the globe from accessing safe abortion care.

Introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the “Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act” would rescind the 1973 amendment that blocks U.S. foreign aid funding for abortion and would help support comprehensive reproductive healthcare for women worldwide.

Continued: https://www.rawstory.com/2020/07/landmark-measure-to-repeal-racist-anti-choice-jesse-helms-amendment-hailed-as-step-to-a-more-equitable-world/


USA – Democrats introduce bill to repeal anti-abortion rule for US overseas aid

Critics of the Helms amendment, which currently prevents the use of aid to fund abortion services abroad, say it is ‘deeply rooted in racism’

Liz Ford

Wed 29 Jul
2020

The first bill to repeal a US law preventing aid from funding abortion services
overseas was introduced to congress on Wednesday.

Democratic congressswoman Jan Schakowsky said the Helms amendment, a policy
introduced in 1973, was “deeply rooted in racism” and must be replaced to allow
US money to be used to support safe abortion services worldwide.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jul/29/democrats-introduce-bill-to-repeal-anti-abortion-rule-for-us-overseas-aid


Abortion rates don’t drop when the procedure is outlawed. But it does make it more dangerous

Though abortion restrictions are incredibly harmful and coercive in the U.S., they aren't a primary driver in the national decline in pregnancy terminations.

July 29, 2020
By Zara Ahmed, associate director of federal issues for the Guttmacher Institute

Anti-abortion advocates working to criminalize abortion in the United States and abroad will always be stymied by a crucial fact: People everywhere want, need and find ways to get abortions.

I observed this firsthand while working as a public health adviser in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and now new research from the Guttmacher Institute demonstrates just how misguided and dangerous it is to try to limit abortion access. The data shows that abortion rates are roughly the same in countries where abortion is broadly legal and in countries where it isn't. And abortion rates are actually four times higher in low-income countries where abortion is prohibited than in high-income countries where it is broadly legal.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/abortion-rates-don-t-drop-when-procedure-outlawed-it-does-ncna1235174


Abortion rates highest where legally restricted: study

July 24, 2020

Abortion rates are highest in countries that legally restrict access to terminations, but lowest in high-income countries where abortion and contraception are accessible, a new study has found.

Women in the world's poorest regions are three times more likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy than women in the global North. Abortion rates are also highest in middle- and low-income countries, the research found.

Continued: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-abortion-highest-legally-restricted.html


Half of pregnancies during 2015-19 unintended, abortions highest in poor nations

Women in the poorest countries were nearly three times as likely to face unintended pregnancies as those in the wealthiest countries, revealing inequities in access to sexual and reproductive health care

23 Jul 2020
Neetu Chandra Sharma

NEW DELHI: Almost half of pregnancies between 2015 and 2019, worldwide, were unintended, according to a study published in the Lancet Global Health journal. Abortion rates were the highest in low-income countries with most legal restrictions to abortion care, the study pointed out.

The study was a collaboration of Guttmacher Institute and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction.

Continued: https://www.livemint.com/science/health/half-of-pregnancies-during-2015-19-unintended-abortions-highest-in-poor-nations-11595505322628.html


Coronavirus baby boom or bust? How the pandemic is affecting birthrates worldwide.

By Miriam Berger
July 15, 2020

It has been five months — a bit more than half the length of an average pregnancy — since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic.

With millions of people cut off from reproductive health care and stuck at home, some experts predicted that the crisis would create the conditions for a baby boom, at least in some countries. Other analysts predicted a baby bust, driven by economic and social instability.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/07/15/coronavirus-baby-boom-or-bust-how-pandemic-is-affecting-birthrates-worldwide/


South Asia – ASEAN Underground Abortion

ASEAN Underground Abortion

Athira Nortajuddin
6 July 2020

Abortion is an extremely taboo topic in some parts of conservative Southeast
Asia.

ASEAN member states such as the Philippines and Lao do not permit abortion.
Whereas Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand only allow abortion if a medical
practitioner deems that continuing the pregnancy poses a danger to the mother’s
life and health.

Continued: https://theaseanpost.com/article/asean-underground-abortion


Strong words and action needed to protect women’s lives during this pandemic

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.

Continued:  https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/news-stories/news/strong-words-and-action-needed-protect-womens-lives-during-pandemic


USA – 1 in 3 Women Struggled to Get Birth Control Because of Coronavirus

1 in 3 Women Struggled to Get Birth Control Because of Coronavirus
The pandemic has been even worse for women's reproductive health care than the 2008 recession. And this is just the beginning.

by Carter Sherman
June 24, 2020

One in three women struggled to get their birth control, had to delay a doctor’s visit for sexual or reproductive health care, or had to cancel a visit entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to findings released Wednesday by the Guttmacher Institute.

Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks restrictions on reproductive health, surveyed more than 2,000 cisgender women across the United States in late April and early May. Even in those early weeks of the global shutdown, they discovered that the pandemic had already made getting birth control and related health care a struggle for more women than the 2008 recession had.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/3aza8k/1-in-3-women-struggled-to-get-birth-control-because-of-coronavirus