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:
Feds sending foreign aid for abortion services
June 9, 2020
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada is dedicating $8.9 million in new international aid to ensure women and girls around the world have access to safe abortions and reproductive health services — money experts say will help maintain that access despite restrictions due to COVID-19.
International Development Minister Karina Gould said Tuesday that contraceptives, abortion services and reproductive health care have become more challenging to procure for women in many parts of the world and Canada wants to do its part to "step up."
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.
Rwanda to release 50 women jailed for having abortions
Activists welcome pardons, but call for relaxation of abortion laws and an end to punitive measures such as life sentences
Christophe Hitayezu in Kigali
Published on Thu 21 May 2020
Rwanda is to release 50 women who were jailed for having abortions after a personal pardon was issued by the country’s president, Paul Kagame.
Human rights activists welcomed the pending release of the women, six of whom had been given life sentences – the highest penalty available to the courts – two serving 25 years and the others terms ranging from 12 months to 20 years.
Keeping women's health essential despite Covid-19 shortages
Opinion by Anu Kumar
Thu May 7, 2020
(Video: Fear, panic as women navigate pregnancy during a pandemic, 02:59)
(CNN)The world is changing daily as a result of Covid-19. Like millions of people, I now have a virtual workday. I am fortunate -- I'm safe and comfortable at home with my family in North Carolina.
Although living socially distanced and not knowing when life will return to normal is a struggle, I am comforted by the knowledge of the frontline workers I work with around the world working to alleviate some of the harm being inflicted on those living in dense and underserved communities.
Opinion: During COVID-19 crisis, lift barriers to reproductive health care — including abortion
By Anu Kumar
27 April 2020
As COVID-19 spreads worldwide, upending life as we know it, governments around the globe are facing massive challenges in containing the new coronavirus and protecting lives. But even in this time of crisis — in fact, especially in this time of crisis — pregnancy care, including abortion care, remains an essential health service.
Abortion is time-sensitive and cannot be significantly deferred without profound consequences for women and their families. While conservatives in the U.S. have pounced on the political “opportunity” that the coronavirus pandemic presents to advance their ideology, countries in the global south are struggling to meet all the needs of their citizens, including the need for safe abortion care.
Pandemic further hinders safe abortion in Latin America
By Carlos Christian
April 9, 2020
Calls decreased, but text messages increased. They cannot speak because they hear them. They cannot say in front of their families that they seek help, that they need to abort. Las Comadres, a feminist network in Ecuador that provides information to women who want to terminate their pregnancies with drugs, has had to change its communication channels in recent weeks. Telephone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Isolation, imposed as a mitigation measure by Covid-19, has limited the freedom of those seeking access to an abortion, but not the determination of those who are determined to do so.
Verónica Vera, one of the sixty Ecuadorians who responds to requests for accompaniment, now through platforms such as Telegram, says that in March requests for support increased by 25%. Women who want to abort will do so even in a health emergency, and the public health system in Latin America seems not ready to respond. “The difficulty of mobilizing due to the measures adopted by the pandemic, the collapsed medical services and the lack of privacy within prolonged confinements could lead to a setback in Latin America,” he warns.
African countries are trying to liberalize their abortion laws. Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ is making that difficult.
Activists say the policy has forced some countries to take a step backward
March 5, 2020
In 2016, churches in the small southeastern African country of Malawi did something surprising: They backed a law to expand abortion access.
At the time, Reverend Alex Benson Maulana, chair of the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), said that abortion was still a sin. But Malawi was also facing a crisis: In a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, 18 percent of those deaths were due to unsafe abortions.
Nigeria has 2.8m abortions annually
NGO calls for the review of existing laws on Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health
January 25, 2020
By Emma ELEKWA, Onitsha
Nigeria has a reported case of 2.8 million abortions and 760,000 self-induced abortions annually. This was disclosed by a reproductive health expert, who is also the Executive Director Women, Law and Development Initiative, Mrs. Hauwa Shekarau.
Shekarau was delivering a lecture in Owerri at a media capacity building workshop on Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (WSRHR) for journalists drawn from Abia, Imo and Anambra states.