South Africa: Providing safe abortion care during a national lockdown

03 July 2020
Kgaladi Mphahlele, Doctors Without Borders

In 2015, MSF surveyed 800 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Rustenburg and found that one in four women had been raped in her lifetime, yet fewer than 5 per cent of those women reported to a health care facility. Since then, MSF has run several sexual and reproductive health programs for the community— including for survivors of sexual violence— across Bojanala district, where Rustenburg is located, in partnership with local health authorities.

In addition to community outreach and health
education in more than 20 schools in the district, MSF supports four Kgomotso
Care Centers (KCC) providing sexual violence care.

Continued: https://www.msf.org.za/stories-news/fieldworker-stories/south-africa-providing-safe-abortion-care-during-national-lockdown


‘Like Ireland on steroids’: Malta’s abortion taboo leaves women in despair

'Like Ireland on steroids': Malta's abortion taboo leaves women in despair
Border closures have trapped women seeking safe terminations and exposed the plight of those who cannot afford to travel

Megan Clement and Bertrand Borg in Valetta
Thu 11 Jun 2020

The nurse who told Marija she was still pregnant thought she was giving her patient good news. She chided Marija, who was seven weeks along, for not starting her vitamins sooner and sent her home.

But Marija (not her real name) was devastated. Six days earlier, she had tried to terminate the pregnancy with abortion pills she ordered online. But she had experienced terrible morning sickness throughout her pregnancy, and had thrown up after taking the first of the two pills. She was worried the medication had not had time to work before she vomited. After taking the second pill and bleeding for a few days, she went to the hospital to find out if she had miscarried.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/11/like-ireland-on-steroids-maltas-abortion-taboo-leaves-women-in-despair


USA – Coronavirus pandemic is fueling efforts to increase access to abortion pills

Coronavirus pandemic is fueling efforts to increase access to abortion pills

Marie McCullough - The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS)
May 29, 2020

The pandemic is helping U.S. abortion-rights advocates achieve a long-standing goal: Make it easier for women to use pills to end pregnancies up to 10 weeks.

Federal and state regulations have restricted access to “medication abortion” ever since the Food and Drug Administration approved it two decades ago. Nonetheless, use of the two-drug regimen has grown steadily, accounting for at least 40% of all abortions, even as the national abortion rate has fallen to historic lows, data show.

Continued: https://www.readingeagle.com/living/health/coronavirus-pandemic-is-fueling-efforts-to-increase-access-to-abortion-pills/article_7e9ee4b3-0d65-5160-8d96-481d14e7ee63.html


USA – Feminist Multi-Front Battle to End FDA’s Abortion Pill Restriction

Feminist Multi-Front Battle to End FDA’s Abortion Pill Restriction

5/20/2020
by Carrie N. Baker

Feminists have been fighting a defensive battle to protect abortion rights for years—but today some are taking the offense, pushing to expand abortion access by calling for the removal of FDA restriction on the abortion pill mifepristone.

Formerly known as RU-486, mifepristone ends pregnancy by blocking the effects of the hormone progesterone, which sustains pregnancy. Used in combination with another drug—misoprostol, which causes contractions to complete an abortion—mifepristone is extremely safe.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2020/05/20/feminist-multi-front-battle-to-end-fdas-abortion-pill-restriction/


How the Pandemic Is Changing Abortion Care in Vulnerable Countries

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.

Continued: https://slate.com/technology/2020/05/coronavirus-abortion-doctors-without-borders.html


Buying pills online for an at-home abortion: a lockdown reality

Buying pills online for an at-home abortion: a lockdown reality

Lucie AUBOURG, AFP News
9 May 2020

With the coronavirus crisis raging, women in the United States are increasingly going online to buy their own pills for a "self-managed" abortion

One week after Sally realized she was pregnant, her home state Texas temporarily banned abortions, deeming them unnecessary elective procedures that were suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.

Continued: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/buying-pills-online-home-abortion-lockdown-reality-013043882.html


Feminists Defend Abortion Access Amid Pandemic

Feminists Defend Abortion Access Amid Pandemic

May 7, 2020
Emily Keller, International Women’s Health Coalition

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and lockdowns are enforced to stop the spread, abortion access—which is limited even in the best of times—has come under threat worldwide.

While some governments have responded with efforts to expand access to abortion—including the easing of restrictions on abortion pills and self-managed abortion—others, including the United States, have rushed to declare abortion “nonessential,” shut down clinics, and pass legislation to further restrict access. Pregnancy does not stop during a crisis, nor does the need for quality, safe, affordable, and compassionate abortion care. In fact, Marie Stopes International estimates that up to 9.5 million women and girls could lose access to contraception and abortion services due to the pandemic.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/2020/05/feminists-defend-abortion-access-amid-pandemic/


Opinion: During COVID-19 crisis, lift barriers to reproductive health care — including abortion

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.

Continued: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-during-covid-19-crisis-lift-barriers-to-reproductive-health-care-including-abortion-97047


Telemedicine Abortion Could Save Lives During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Telemedicine Abortion Could Save Lives During the COVID-19 Pandemic

ZawnVillines
Thursday April 16, 2020

Telemedicine abortion for early pregnancy is safe and technically feasible. Yet states across the nation have moved to ban remote abortion services. Many of the same states that ban telemedicine abortion have also capitalized on the COVID-19 crisis to close abortion clinics, endangering the lives and health of pregnant people.

Is Telemedicine Abortion Safe?

Telemedicine abortion might seem like an odd concept, especially to people who conceive of abortion as a surgical procedure. But the approval of medication abortions revolutionized pregnancy terminations. Fully 40% of abortions in the U.S. happen via pill. Most experts say the figure would be even higher if the FDA relaxed politically motivated restrictions on the abortion pill. In Europe, between 60 and 90% of abortions occur via pill.

Continued: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/16/1937786/-Telemedicine-Abortion-Could-Save-Lives-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic


Self-Managed Abortions May Be More Difficult to Access Right Now—Here’s What You Need to Know

Self-Managed Abortions May Be More Difficult to Access Right Now—Here’s What You Need to Know
With supply chain disruptions in India due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, medication abortion may be less accessible—an issue compounded by anti-choice state officials trying to ban the procedure and the FDA.

Apr 14, 2020
Ray Levy-Uyeda

If you visit aidaccess.org in search of the abortion pill right now, you won’t be able to find what they’re looking for. Aid Access, a website that offers medication abortion pills by mail for people in the United States seeking to self-manage their abortion, has hit a snag in its supply chain, thanks to a halt in trade out of India because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Because of [COVID-19] the government of India have decided to close all international airports to prevent corona virus outbreak and therefor [sic] the pharmacy in India cannot send the medicines until further notice,” reads a disclosure on the Aid Access website’s consultation page.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2020/04/14/self-managed-abortions-may-be-more-difficult-to-access-right-now-heres-what-you-need-to-know/