Malta – Science should guide all our health policies… including abortion

Science should guide all our health policies... including abortion
Our total abortion ban is no less dangerous or unhinged (or even idiotic, for that matter) than Donald Trump’s notorious recommendation to ‘drink bleach’ as an antidote to COVID-19

Raphael Vassallo
5 May 2020

I guess it had to take a major global health emergency to make us finally understand what should really have been obvious all along. Yes, Dr Fearne: our national policies should be based on scientific advice... and not on popular opinion, electoral concerns, or (still less) the demands of powerful lobby groups.

It is, in fact, thanks to the health authorities’ science-based approach that Malta has so far been spared the nightmare scenarios we have seen unfolding almost everywhere else in the world. As Fearne himself put it last Friday: “We are in today’s positive situation because from the very beginning we abided by what science was telling us, and what the numbers were suggesting.”

Continued: https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/comment/blogs/102116/science_should_guide_all_our_health_policies_including_abortion#.XrLpuMB7lPY


How the pandemic forced long-overdue abortion law reform

How the pandemic forced long-overdue abortion law reform
Sensible policy changes may leave women wondering: why wasn’t it like this before?

by Phoebe Arslanagic-Wakefield
April 22, 2020

The current crisis places us in an extraordinary state of flux and society may never return to normal. Post-Covid-19, employers may struggle to talk employees back onto their commutes and into the office, certain industries may never recover, and the government’s generous financial support packages may be hard to row back. Indeed, the changes initiated are proving highly disruptive to norms, some which have evolved over time to become meaningless shibboleths.

One such reactionary norm is that, under English law, women seeking to abort an early pregnancy (prior to ten weeks) must take the first of the two pills necessary for the termination in an abortion clinic, and only the second pill may be taken in the comfort of their own homes. Women also need the approval of two doctors to access the medication—telephone consultations are not permitted.

Continued: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/coronavirus-covid-19-abortion-law-reform


Abortions ‘can now be carried out’ in Northern Ireland

Abortions 'can now be carried out' in Northern Ireland

By Jayne McCormack, BBC News NI Political Reporter
9 April 2020

Medical professionals in NI can now "terminate pregnancies lawfully", the Department of Health has said.

Last month, abortion laws changed to permit terminations up to 12 weeks, but this had not been put into practice.

Some of NI's health trusts had been told by the department not to proceed with temporary plans.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-52234712


England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access

England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access
Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow

March 31, 2020
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – and governments across Europe – should swiftly follow suit.

The welcome decision follows outrage and confusion last week after the government announced the change only to reverse it hours later.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/31/england-leads-way-uk-after-u-turn-covid-19-abortion-access


UK – State control over women’s bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis

State control over women's bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis
A U-turn on women’s ability to access home abortions and the cancellation of IVF means they have less say over their fertility

Emma Barnett
Sun 29 Mar 2020

It’s been quite a week to have a womb in the UK.

First, pregnant women were suddenly categorised as vulnerable, and advised to stay home by the government. But then some of them were told to come back into work by their employers – including the riskiest of all, the NHS.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/29/state-control-womens-bodies-covid-19-crisis


UK- Coronavirus: Department of Health says temporary changes to abortion law were ‘published in error’

Coronavirus: Department of Health says temporary changes to abortion law were ‘published in error’
'This was published in error,' a spokesperson told The Independent

Sophie Gallagher
Mar 23, 2020

The Department of Health says reported changes to the abortion law, that would allow women to take both pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, are not going ahead.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told The Independent: “This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-abortion-law-change-department-of-health-a9420116.html


N. Ireland – Abortion: Health bodies want laws for ‘safe and compassionate’ care

Abortion: Health bodies want laws for 'safe and compassionate' care

By Marie-Louise Connolly, BBC News NI Health Correspondent
Feb 5, 2029

Health bodies have recommended a legal framework be set up to "prioritise safe and compassionate abortion care" in NI.

They include the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.

The groups agree there should be no abortion restrictions up to 24 weeks.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-51379331


Kenya – Women shy away from morning-after pill for fear of being judged by health workers

Women shy away from morning-after pill for fear of being judged by health workers
Healthcare workers accused of making it uncomfortable for women to access contraceptive

By ANGELA OKETCH
Dec 18, 2019

How often do you buy an emergency contraceptive pill from either a chemist or a hospital? Do you need to consult the pharmacist to be given the pill or is it on a pay and take basis?

Maureen Kerubo says she had to change her picking point for the pills because of the many questions she was asked whenever she went to collect the pills. “Initially, I would walk to a government facility next to my house to pick the pill because of privacy issues, and it was also free.”

Continued: https://www.nation.co.ke/health/Judged-by-health-workers/3476990-5390596-y6ldhu/index.html


Calls for emergency contraception to be available without a pharmacist consultation

Calls for emergency contraception to be available without a pharmacist consultation

The Pharmaceutical Journal
2 DEC 2019

A report from the the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says there is no evidence that emergency hormonal contraception has been misused or overused.

Emergency contraception (EC) should be available over the counter without the need for a consultation with a pharmacist, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has said.

Continued: https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/news/calls-for-emergency-contraception-to-be-available-without-a-pharmacist-consultation/20207415.article?firstPass=false


UK – Women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home, doctors say

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

Sarah Young
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.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women/abortion-pills-home-planned-parenthood-pregnancy-termination-a9228466.html