COVID-19 is changing the way Canadians have abortions

BY TEGWYN HUGHES
POSTED ON JULY 30, 2020

As health care providers continue to adapt to the demands of COVID-19, doctors in Canada say that the crisis proves we need accessible abortion services more than ever.

From routine procedures to life-saving surgeries, health authorities have deemed different services either essential or non-essential to prioritize emergency care. This need to prioritize health care based on urgency has reopened debates about the kinds of services we consider important.

Continued: https://the-pigeon.ca/2020/07/30/covid-19-abortions/


She tried to get an abortion during the pandemic. Her state wouldn’t allow it

She tried to get an abortion during the
pandemic. Her state wouldn’t allow it

(Interactive) Photographs by Glenna Gordon

Story by Kyle Almond and Benazir Wehelie, CNN
June 29, 2020

In the early days of the coronavirus
pandemic, many states put a temporary ban on elective surgeries and medical
procedures deemed nonessential. For several states, that included abortion.

It didn’t take long for abortion providers to
challenge the new restrictions. In some states, several judges blocked the
bans. Others were eventually lifted by the states themselves. But for weeks,
many women were left in limbo.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/06/health/abortion-access-coronavirus-cnnphotos/


The Inside Story Of How Arkansas Exploited COVID To Stop Abortions

The Inside Story Of How Arkansas Exploited COVID To Stop Abortions
Under pressure by anti-abortion activists ― including a board of health member ― the state health department became a weapon in the war against abortion.

By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
June 22, 2020

On the first day of April, Marsha Boss, a 68-year-old Catholic pharmacist, uploaded a photo to Facebook. Snapped on a sunny day, it showed the parking lot outside Little Rock Family Planning Services, one of two abortion clinics left in Arkansas. “We watched three cars from Texas come in, three from Tennessee and one from Alabama all coming to our great state to get an abortion,” she wrote in her post. “How sad is that?”

In private, around the same time, Boss was extending her disapproval to state health officials. Over text messages and in phone calls, she complained that the clinic was violating social distancing guidelines, performing “25 to 30” abortions a day, and warned that out-of-town patients ― many of whom were fleeing abortion bans their states put in place after coronavirus hit ― might spread the infectious disease in Arkansas. She also said she saw someone carrying coveted surgical masks into the clinic, as well as beer.

Continued: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/arkansas-coronavirus-abortion_n_5eeba27ac5b6413b964e4caa?ri18n=true


Canada pledges P44.5 million in COVID-19 aid to Philippines

Canada pledges P44.5 million in COVID-19 aid to Philippines

(Philstar.com) - June 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Canada said it is providing P44.5 million worth of assistance to support the country’s fight against the spread of coronavirus disease.

In a statement Wednesday, the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines said Ottawa will donate 120,000 pieces of N95 masks worth around P29.5 million.

Also part of Canada’s aid is the provision of around P15.2 million to “ensure the unhampered provision of sexual and reproductive health services during COVID-19.”

Continued: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/06/10/2019985/canada-pledges-p445-million-covid-19-aid-philippines


Canada announces support to Ipas to protect access to safe abortion and contraception during COVID-19 pandemic

Canada announces support to Ipas to protect access to safe abortion and contraception during COVID-19 pandemic

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Ipas

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:

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/news/2020/June/canada-announces-support-to-ipas-to-protect-access-to-safe-abortion-and-contraception-during-covid-19-pandemic


USA – Medication Abortion and Telemedicine: Innovations and Barriers During the COVID-19 Emergency

Medication Abortion and Telemedicine: Innovations and Barriers During the COVID-19 Emergency

Amrutha Ramaswamy, Gabriela Weigel, Laurie Sobel
Jun 08, 2020

State actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis have highlighted their divergent approaches to abortion access. Some states classified abortion as a non-essential service, effectively banning services, while others have clarified that abortion is an essential service. In a handful of states, some clinics have begun to offer medication abortions using telemedicine. This approach maintains access to abortion while social distancing, preserving personal protective equipment (PPE), and limiting in-person health care visits and risk of exposure.

In 2017, 39% of all abortions in the U.S. were medication abortions (also known as abortions induced by pills). These abortions are provided using two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. While public knowledge about medication abortion is very low, even fewer people may be aware that telemedicine can aid in the provision of this service. Research shows that providing medication abortion by telemedicine is clinically feasible and safe, but COVID-19 has highlighted the impact of new and existing federal and state restrictions on providing abortions using this approach.

Continued: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-policy-watch/medication-abortion-telemedicine-innovations-and-barriers-during-the-covid-19-emergency/


I Traveled To Texas During The Pandemic To Provide Abortion Care. Here’s What I Saw.

I Traveled To Texas During The Pandemic To Provide Abortion Care. Here’s What I Saw.
Closing clinics, banning telehealth and enforcing waiting periods is dangerous and burdensome at any time, but especially during this pandemic.

Glenna Martin, M.D., M.P.H.
May 25, 2020

As I flew out of Texas in February, I never imagined the tragedy and upheaval that would take place before I was able to return eight weeks later.

I travel monthly from Seattle to Texas to help provide abortion care. But at the end of March — as the coronavirus pandemic was ramping up —Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order halting such care, deeming it nonessential — an order reinforced by the state’s attorney general.

Continued: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/abortion-access-texas-covid-19-coronavirus_n_5ec7dcbdc5b67d1308b9c96e


How coronavirus is changing access to abortion

How coronavirus is changing access to abortion
Health care practitioners are struggling to maintain access to contraception and abortions during the pandemic.

By MIRIAM WEBBER
05/21/2020

As the coronavirus steamrolls the global order, reproductive health care practitioners and advocates are struggling to maintain access to contraception and abortions.

Lockdowns and disrupted supply chains have prompted a flurry of action in the sector as governments, practitioners and advocates react to a crisis that has highlighted the often tenuous access to sexual health care products and services.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/21/how-coronavirus-is-changing-access-to-abortion-273193


USA – ‘I see a danger in returning to a pre-Roe world:’ Abortion advocates view coronavirus-era restrictions as a dark sign of what could come

'I see a danger in returning to a pre-Roe world:' Abortion advocates view coronavirus-era restrictions as a dark sign of what could come

Kayla Epstein
May 15, 2020

In non-pandemic times, obtaining an abortion already presented serious legal and logistical challenges for millions of women. For patients who live in certain states, getting care means enduring state-imposed waiting periods, submitting to unnecessary ultrasounds, or rushing to receive care before an arbitrary legal deadline. For patients who already have children, care must be arranged. Those without a car need a ride, especially if the nearest clinic is hours away. Some need flights to more accommodating states. And many, many need funds.

But women seeking abortions since the coronavirus outbreak began faced a new challenge — states' attempts to temporarily limit or ban abortion outright by deeming them "non-essential" procedures, under the pretext of preserving medical supplies for COVID-19 treatment. These restrictions collided with the travel and social distancing restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus, leading to an even more precarious situation for abortion care than the one already in place.

Continued: https://www.businessinsider.com/texas-arkansas-abortion-bans-coronavirus-advocates-fear-lack-of-access-2020-5


USA – COVID-19 Abortion Bans Could Have Alarming Effects Far Beyond This Crisis

COVID-19 Abortion Bans Could Have Alarming Effects Far Beyond This Crisis | Opinion

Rachel Rebouché and Mary Ziegler
On 5/13/20

The right to an abortion may be enshrined in Roe v. Wade, but it is never safe. A new attack is underway, even as tens of thousands of Americans die and tens of millions file for unemployment.

A month into the COVID-19 pandemic, 11 states began to effectively ban abortions by categorizing them as "nonessential" medical procedures. These states argue they have to stop abortions to conserve hospital beds and personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks.

Continued: https://www.newsweek.com/covid-19-abortion-bans-could-have-alarming-effects-far-beyond-this-crisis-opinion-1503511