Keeping women’s health essential despite Covid-19 shortages

Keeping women's health essential despite Covid-19 shortages

Opinion by Anu Kumar
Thu May 7, 2020
(Video: Fear, panic as women navigate pregnancy during a pandemic, 02:59)

(CNN)The world is changing daily as a result of Covid-19. Like millions of people, I now have a virtual workday. I am fortunate -- I'm safe and comfortable at home with my family in North Carolina.

Although living socially distanced and not knowing when life will return to normal is a struggle, I am comforted by the knowledge of the frontline workers I work with around the world working to alleviate some of the harm being inflicted on those living in dense and underserved communities.


India – Women are finding it difficult to access abortion care, an essential service during lockdown

Women are finding it difficult to access abortion care, an essential service during lockdown
The closure of private clinics, lack of mobility and lockdown rules are restricting women from access to abortion care.

By Nirandhi Gowthaman
6th May 2020

The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has adversely affected many communities and subsections of society especially the poor, migrant labourers, marginalised communities and women. Particularly, pregnant women, new mothers and women seeking abortions have been affected due to lack of resources during the lockdown.

The Ministry of Health in its note on providing essential healthcare services said, “Focusing on COVID-19 related activities, and continuing to provide essential services, is important not only to maintain people’s trust in the health system to deliver essential health services, but also to minimise an increase in morbidity and mortality from other health conditions.”


USA – The Ban on Abortion for Low-Income People Is Now a Litmus Test for Congress

The Ban on Abortion for Low-Income People Is Now a Litmus Test for Congress
People have started calling out Democratic members of Congress for supporting the Hyde Amendment.

by Katelyn Burns
Oct 1 2019

Forty-three years ago this week, Congress first enacted the Hyde amendment, which banned federal funds from covering abortion care. The amendment is now standard rider, or bill language, on all applicable federal spending bills. It primarily affects low-income people who depend on Medicaid for healthcare coverage.

Repealing Hyde has emerged as a flashpoint for Democrats as they enter the 2020 primary season in the wake of repeated GOP attacks on abortion access at both the state and federal level. While the current House of Representatives boasts its first pro-choice majority in more than 45 years, there are still a few anti-choice Democratic holdouts who continue to support Hyde, including Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) endorsed Cuellar over Jessica Cisneros, a pro-choice progressive primary challenger. All three anti-choice Democrats face primaries against more progressive candidates.


The impact of U.S.’s abortion policies on international diplomacy

The impact of U.S.’s abortion policies on international diplomacy

On August 29, 2019
WIIS Blog, Women Peace & Security
By Hannah Proctor, Research Fellow, WIIS Global

Throughout 2019, conservative states in the U.S. have been adopting increasingly restrictive abortion laws in an effort to undermine, and eventually abolish, the Roe v. Wade decision, which guaranteed the right to abortion based on the right to privacy. These laws and the mindsets that accompany them have far-reaching consequences that go beyond U.S. borders.

Historically, conservative U.S. administrations have relied on two main pieces of legislation to enforce their anti-abortion positions globally:


Nigeria: Not left out of the global rollback of sexual and reproductive rights

Nigeria: Not left out of the global rollback of sexual and reproductive rights
“What is going on?”

23 July 2019 | By OluTimehin Adegbeye

A few weeks ago, police officers conducted a raid on a Marie Stopes clinic in Lagos. They harassed patients, temporarily detained a doctor, and illegally accessed confidential documents. Immediately following this deeply unnerving attack, which came on the trail of other anti-rights incidents involving state agents, a group of Nigerian feminists, women’s rights campaigners and LGBTQI+ activists came together to ask, “what is going on?”. In the course of the digital conversation that ensued, a consensus was reached: a strategic effort to undermine the sexual and reproductive health and rights of Nigerians is underway, and women’s bodily integrity is on the frontlines.

Nigeria’s patriarchal conservatism is hardly news; women, girls and queer folks in this country are regularly and legally denied their bodily autonomy, and the rate of sexual violence is high.


Malawi – ‘There are times when the whole country runs out of condoms’

'There are times when the whole country runs out of condoms'
Organisations around the world have been badly hit by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the so-called global gag rule. Here’s what’s happening in Malawi.

July 13, 2019
Charlotte Ryan reports from Malawi

ANGELA SOUZA CAREFULLY unwraps a large box of condoms, individually packaged in silver foil. There is no branding on each one, though the red-blue-and-white USAID sticker on the side of the box suggests their origin.

In this context, they appear as valuable as silver coins. Rodney Chalera, the programmes manager at the advocacy group where Angela also works in Lilongwe, Malawi, explains that there are times “when the whole country runs out of condoms”. Indeed, by the close of the afternoon, two women had asked for some for the road. Just in case.


New Zealand – Family Planning welcomes landmark Human Rights Council resolution

Family Planning welcomes landmark Human Rights Council resolution

Contributer: Fuseworks Media Fuseworks Media
Wednesday, 3 October, 2018

Family Planning New Zealand is thrilled with a landmark resolution which recognises the need for comprehensive sexuality education, and accessible sexual healthcare and services, including safe abortion.

The resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council was led by a number of countries including New Zealand and is supported across the board by international family planning organisations.


Ghana: Safe abortion services are relevant – Ipas

Safe abortion services are relevant - Ipas
Nov 4, 2017

Ipas Ghana Youth Advisory Board has called on the public to rally behind safe abortion, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services for young women in the country.

Mr Samuel Nii Lante Lamptey, a Board member of Ipas Ghana Youth Board, said the risk of death following complications of unsafe abortion procedures is several times more than that of safe abortion performed by well-trained health service providers.

Continued at source:

Uganda: Separating morality from service

Separating morality from service
Learning about sexual rights from Uganda

August 18, 2017
Zyma Islam

"According to the constitution nobody has the right to take a person's life, and so abortion is illegal unless authorised by a physician under health grounds.” Mondo Kyateka, Assistant Commissioner for Youth Affairs declares the official stance of the Ugandan government to a group of journalists sitting in a cramped board-room at the Gender, Labour and Social Development ministry in the capital city of Kampala. It is not an atypical stance in any way—unless required to save a mother's life, abortion is illegal in Bangladesh too, along with 52 other countries in the world.

Continued at source: Daily Star:

US refuses to back UN on abortion access in human rights resolution

US refuses to back UN on abortion access in human rights resolution
Washington supports ‘the spirit’ of a UN resolution calling for women’s access to reproductive healthcare but ‘does not recognize abortion’ as a method

Agence France-Presse in Geneva

Thursday 22 June 2017

The UN Human Rights Council has unanimously adopted a resolution condemning abuse and discrimination of women, but Washington refused to back one paragraph mentioning access to safe abortions.

The strongly worded resolution, tabled by Canada, expressed “outrage at the persistence and pervasiveness of all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide”, calling on countries to take immediate steps to prevent gender-based violence and discrimination.

Continued at source: The Guardian: