Why COVID-19 Must Not Constrain Access to Abortion in India
During the pandemic, India must ensure that access to critical women’s health facilities remain unimpeded.
By Tarini Mehta
June 24, 2020
Some things cannot be stopped and started as we please, not even if a highly contagious virus demands it. A case in point is development through the different stages of pregnancy. The Indian government did declare safe abortion an essential health service on April 14, when the country was still under a COVID-19 lockdown. It brought some relief to a few women who urgently required those facilities. But things are not that simple.
According to a report by the IPAS Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to manage unwanted pregnancies in India, 73 percent of abortions that take place in India annually are done via medical abortion (MA) drugs that are accessed outside of facilities. Private health facilities take care of 16 percent of cases, while public health facilities cover another 6 percent. The remaining 5 percent are conducted through traditional methods that are considered unsafe. These include, but are not limited to, the usage of sticks, roots, and herbal medicines.
Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner suggests funding cuts for abortion clinics
May 29, 2020
During her annual performance report, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, Anna Kuznetsova, proposed reducing funding for abortion clinics.
According to Kuznetsova, the amount of funding allocated to abortion clinics should be in inverse proportion to the number of abortions. “A clinic should be interested in saving the child, and not in providing services for the artificial termination of pregnancy,” she said.
Kuznetsova also suggested limiting the sale of medical abortion drugs at pharmacies.
The commissioner’s report has already been sent to the Kremlin.
Children’s Rights Commissioner Anna Kuznetsova has consistently advocated for raising the birth rate in Russia and is known for her pro-life views. On May 28, she announced that she had given birth to her seventh child.
In Poland, Abortion Access Worsens Amid Pandemic
Abortions were already difficult to obtain and then came the coronavirus.
By Jessica Bateman, Marta Kasztelan
May 1, 2020
The woman was 21 weeks pregnant when she contacted Abortion Without Borders (AWB), a network of activist groups that advises Polish women on how to access safe terminations. Normally, it would have been relatively simple to book a flight to the United Kingdom, where she could legally access a second-trimester abortion. But the coronavirus outbreak changed everything.
“We got her an appointment, but travel was a different matter,” said Mara Clarke, the founder of Abortion Support Network (ASN), which is part of AWB and helps women obtain abortions overseas. Poland closed its borders and grounded all flights and cross-border public transportation on March 15, meaning the woman would have had to travel to the German border, cross it, and take a train to one of Berlin’s airports.
Coronavirus: Home abortions approved during outbreak
By Jim Connolly, Newsbeat politics editor
31 March 2020
Patients in England can now have home abortions during the Covid-19 outbreak, the government in England has said.
Abortion policy has changed several times during the current pandemic.
Women and girls wanting to terminate an early pregnancy were first told the service would be available but that decision was then retracted.
AN INTERNATIONAL CALL TO ACTION
TO: Women, Health Systems, Governments, UN Human Rights Bodies and WHO
27 March 2020
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
We Need a Rational Policy for Safe Abortion in Every Country NOW!
Every day, in every country of the world, women have abortions. Each year, globally, there are 56 million abortions, or an average of 154,000 abortions every single day. Some 45% of those abortions are still unsafe in spite of 100 years of national and international campaigns for safe, legal abortions.
In almost every country, even where abortions are safe, access to abortion is restricted by antediluvian, punitive and medically unnecessary laws and regulations. The only way many women manage to have abortions at all is if they or an abortion care provider breaks the law in some minor or major way – 25 million times each year if we count only the unsafe abortions. The serious effect of the COVID-19 virus on all our lives has put this absurdity into sharp relief.
NT abortion waiting times decrease in public hospitals after 2017 law reform
By Lauren Roberts
Jan 16, 2020
The average wait time for a surgical abortion in the Northern Territory has dropped from three weeks to two — but nearly two in three women are waiting longer than clinical guidelines recommend, new data shows.
Research published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology this month analysed surgical abortion data from 2012 to 2017 in one public hospital in the NT.
How to Give Yourself an Abortion
January 9, 2020
Posted by Arielle Swernoff
Illustrated by Matt Lubchansky
For as long as people have gotten pregnant, people have given themselves abortions. Historically, these methods have varied from the brutal to the toxic to the bizarre.
But history hasn’t always gotten it wrong. From the Bronze Age until the 1st or 2nd century BCE, silphium, a plant native to Libya, was used as a safe and effective contraceptive and abortifacient. It’s said the plant was so popular that it was harvested to extinction. More recently, enslaved black people in the American South devised numerous herbal treatments to terminate unwanted pregnancies, some of which are still used today.
‘Abortion Reversal’ Is Not Only B.S. but Is Dangerous Too
UC Davis Health ended a study early after researchers found a risk of “serious blood loss” when patients stopped in the middle of the medication abortion protocol.
Dec 6, 2019
The first-ever randomized clinical study on the medically unproven “abortion reversal” treatment being pushed by anti-choice advocates has ended early as a result of safety concerns for participants, according to UC Davis Health, the academic health center where the research was being conducted.
The study sought to enroll 40 pregnant people who were planning to have a medication abortion and test the effectiveness of progesterone as a way to “reverse” an abortion. At the time of its conclusion, only 12 participants had enrolled. Of those, one participant who had received progesterone and two who had received a placebo experienced severe bleeding that required ambulance transport.
Safety Problems Lead To Early End For Study Of 'Abortion Pill Reversal'
December 5, 2019
A study designed to test the effectiveness of a controversial practice known as "abortion pill reversal" has been stopped early because of safety concerns.
Researchers from the University of California, Davis, were investigating claims that the hormone progesterone can stop a medication-based abortion after a patient has completed the first part of the two-step process.
Women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home, doctors say
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says change could improve the accessibility of early medical abortion care for women
Dec 1, 2019
Women should be allowed to take abortion pills from the comfort of their own home and without seeing a doctor face-to-face, leading doctors have said.
As part a new report titled “Better for Women”, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has called on the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to reconsider its guidelines regarding medical abortions.