A choice, not a death warrant
Many unaware safe abortion an option
29 Jun 2020
Noi thought her world had tumbled down when she discovered she was pregnant at
the age of 50.
But it has dawned on Noi, a teacher, that an unwanted pregnancy could happen to
any woman, young or old. What compounds the already dire situation for many
women is that they feel their only choice is to have an illegal abortion.
How the Pandemic Is Changing Abortion Care in Vulnerable Countries
By Rachelle Hampton
May 18, 2020
This as-told-to essay from Dr. Manisha Kumar has been edited and condensed for clarity from an interview with Rachelle Hampton.
I am currently the head of Médecins Sans Frontières’ task force for safe abortion care. It’s a relatively new initiative that started in 2016 to increase provision of contraception and safe abortion care in MSF projects. Before this role, I worked for MSF in many different capacities. I was both a field staff doctor in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a medical coordinator in DRC and Bangladesh. Just like many people, I’m working from home now, in Amsterdam. I’ve never spent this much time in my apartment, behind my computer, on Zoom meetings and calls. So much of MSF and who we are is based in the field.
COVID-19 lockdowns leading to a rise in violence against women and girls
The global COVID-19 pandemic in its indiscriminate spread has claimed loved ones before their time - once bustling cities and neighbourhoods now stand in ‘lock-down’.
14 May 2020
While the spread of COVID-19 is indiscriminate, mounting evidence has revealed that COVID-19 has further compounded existing inequalities putting already marginalised women and girls, often with weaker access to political and economic power, at greater risk, not only to the coronavirus but also to the direct and indirect consequences of lock-down.
FIGO and our 132 National Member Societies commitment to promote women’s health and rights precedes the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the two are explicably linked. UN Women has reported a global rise in domestic violence cases and new evidence released by UNFPA reveals that for every 3 months the lockdown continues an additional 15 million cases of gender-based violence are expected, 13 million women will not be able to access modern contraceptives and there will be an estimate of 325,000 unintended pregnancies.
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.
Training Providers on Law and Clinical Norms
Mozambique liberalised its abortion law in 2014, granting legal abortion on request in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and longer term limits in cases of rape, incest and foetal anomaly. FIGO National Member Society, The Associação Moçambicana de Obstetras e Ginecologistas (AMOG), was proud to support this change in law.
Clinical norms to guide treatment were also made available, and benefitted from AMOG’s technical expertise while being developed. However, barriers that prevent women accessing abortion care remain; although we have the law in place, it is often not being implemented.
In Mozambique, Canadian aid funds a rare service: safe abortions
In an African nation where abortion was only recently legalized, the barriers to access are public education, medical training and money. An $18-million Canadian project is trying to help, and Mozambicans say it’s saving lives
Geoffrey York, Africa Bureau Chief
Published February 25, 2020
For years, the blood supply at Manica District Hospital was falling to worryingly low levels. So many women needed emergency transfusions, after undergoing dangerous abortions at home, that its blood stocks often became depleted.
“They would come here almost in shock from hemorrhaging,” said Flora Diomba, clinical director of the hospital in central Mozambique. “Women were trying to get rid of their pregnancy at any cost.”
Let’s break the silence on abortion and save lives
08 Oct, 2019
Edinah Masiyiwa, Correspondent
The time to discuss unsafe abortions has never been more urgent in Zimbabwe, where nearly all abortions are clandestine and approximately 40 percent of these abortions result in complications such as severe bleeding, infection and even death.
Though the exact figures of women and girls who have died from unsafe abortions is not known, a study showed that abortions are the fifth leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in Zimbabwe.
Abortion stigma pushes women to back-alley methods
When society lashes out at a woman for choosing to terminate a pregnancy, they run to unsafe methods
by Michael Okun Oliech
15 May 2019
Being a mother should be a choice and no woman or girl should feel obligated to have children.
Unfortunately, due to the society that we live in, the choice of motherhood for women and women’s right has been eroded by either the law, patriarchal manipulation, gender inequality, religious doctrines or culture.
My Experience As A Safe Abortion Advocate In Pakistan | #AbortionMeraHaq
By Asia Safe Abortion Partnership
May 14, 2019
Posted by Neelam Saleem Punjani
Working with women on some of the most stigmatised topics like women’s right to safe abortion is not a challenge that many people would welcome. It is sometimes difficult, often frustrating, and at times confrontational. But if you ask me, advocating for women’s right to safe abortion is simply the best job in the world!
I was motivated to work with women by my own experience of growing up in a patriarchal society, where speaking about women’s right has always been considered a taboo.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental human rights
By Jenny Ohlsson
Published : December 10, 2018
On Human Rights Day 2018, I would like to put the spotlight on the many women that die every year because some of their most fundamental human rights are not respected.
I would also like to convey my sympathies to the many daughters, sons, mothers, fathers and siblings that has lost, and will lose, a loved one. But also to our societies that will continue to lose so many brilliant minds and changemakers – all in vain – unless we implement the necessary reforms. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are not only human rights, but a matter of life and death.