Low priority for reproductive health during lockdown leaves millions unable to access contraception or safe terminations
Neha Thirani Bagri in Mumbai
Published on Mon 13 Jul 2020
Sadhna Gupta* discovered she was pregnant just after India imposed a crippling lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The 21-year-old from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar didn’t want to be pregnant. With no public transport available, clinics closed and Bhubaneswar at a standstill, she bought an abortion pill without consulting a doctor. While what she did was not unusual, Indian law requires a prescription for the pills from a licensed medical professional.
There would be no death, bleeding or suffering if abortion were recognized for what it is: a medical necessity
Debora Diniz and Giselle Carino
01 jul 2020
The news report described her as an anonymous 31-year-old woman. The subheading read: “Case happened in Bom Jesus do Norte” – or Good Jesus of the North. From what we know, she was the first woman to die from a clandestine abortion in Brazil during the coronavirus pandemic. The nameless woman “was two months pregnant,” according to her husband. Twice she sought help in spaces of death, at unsafe abortion houses. She tried a hose, potassium permanganate, syringes. She died of cardiac arrest. Why did she persist? We do not know, nor do her innermost reasons matter. It is enough to know that she was a woman determined not to be forced into maternity during the pandemic.
The pandemic killed her. Cause and effect can be debated in this narrative, that is true. Her death was not from Covid-19, but from the policies that rule women’s bodies as if they were material to be controlled by criminal law.
‘200 women died of illegal abortion in Bauchi’
By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi
30 May 2020
Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Rilwanu Mohammad has said that over 200 women of the state have lost their lives to abortion handled by quack medical practitioners.
Mohammed while briefing members of Bauchi State Public Health Media Network yesterday disclosed this, saying the deaths are caused by unplanned and unwanted pregnancies among women who consult quack medical workers. He said the investigation has not been concluded on the development but preliminary findings have shown that the number of deaths could go up by the end of the investigation.
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.
Student aborts, dies at man’s home in lockdown
Thursday May 21 2020
By ANDREW BAGALA
A female student at the International Paramedics Institute on Masaka Road has died while terminating pregnancy at her boyfriend’s home in Kampala City.
The 20-year-old, who had been released from medical school after its closure due to the lockdown, was rushed to a clinic in Lugooba village, Kawempe Division in Kampala in an unresponsive state yesterday evening.
Woman dies after taking abortion pills; 6 booked
Husband, in-laws and doctor among those booked.
By Somendranath Sharma, Mumbai Mirror
Updated: May 12, 2020
Police in Kashimira, Mira Road, have booked six people following the death of a pregnant woman caused by consumption of abortion pills.
The 32-year-old woman was about six weeks pregnant; those booked include her husband, a real estate agent, her in-laws, their family doctor and a medical representative. Police have opened an investigation, although no arrests have been made so far.
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.
Abortion is Not Elective Surgery, and Abortions Must Continue During COVID-19 Pandemic
Thursday March 26, 2020
Texas this week seized the opportunity to ban abortions and blame it on COVID-19. The state banned “any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother,” with no exceptions for severely ill fetuses, babies who will suffer and die at birth, rape victims, or similar groups. Ohio and Mississippi have enacted similar bans, and other states might soon follow suit.
While an abortion rights coalition that includes Texas abortion clinics has already sued to halt the Texas ban, it’s unclear how courts might rule. Moreover, federal courts are moving more slowly than ever, so even if choice advocates win, many women will be denied abortions before they do
‘Women need legislation against unsafe abortion’
November 15, 2019
Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
A civil society organisation, Vision Spring Initiatives, has said that women and girls in Nigeria must be protected from unsafe abortion during pregnancy through strict government legislation so as to minimise maternal death.
The group noted that women and girls must be empowered on their rights, adding that it was regrettable that Nigeria still had a high maternal mortality.
Quack doctor kills woman during abortion
By Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta
28 October 2019
A mother of four, Mrs. Kehinde Olakitan, has allegedly died at the Mojisola Maternity Clinic located in Onipanu area of Ogun State while trying to get an abortion from a quack doctor. The husband discovered her body, which was dropped in front of a building adjacent to his, shortly after he was called on phone by a nurse identified as Dupe Odebunmi that his wife was ill and admitted at the clinic.
The husband, it was learnt told the police that after hurrying to the clinic he found nobody there but was shocked to find the body of his wife dumped close to their home.