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
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.
Getting an abortion just got harder, thanks to the coronavirus. Here’s what we can do better
May 11, 2020
Erica Millar, Lecturer, La Trobe University
The COVID-19 crisis has starkly revealed the patchy and precarious provision of abortion in Australia, deepening existing inequalities in access.
What was already an expensive procedure may be even less attainable for many women facing financial strain during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a shortage of staff and resources is likely to be affecting access for many women seeking an abortion – particularly those in regional and rural areas.
“Unconscionable”: Planned Parenthood Pres. Condemns States Using Pandemic to Limit Abortion Access
April 27, 2020
(30 min video and transcript)
As much of the U.S. remains on lockdown, abortion rights are under attack nationwide. We get an update on the fight for abortion access with Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Our bodies have literally been deemed essential,” she says, “and yet the control of our bodies and the right to control our own bodies has not.”
Transcript - This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
Telemedicine Abortion Could Save Lives During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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.
Texas’s Opportunistic Abortion Ban Puts Women’s Lives at Risk
by Dr. Sara Simons
I was midway through my volunteer shift for a Texas abortion fund hotline when the Texas attorney general banned abortions.
I realized something was amiss when I spoke to a college student who had called our hotline that morning, March 23, seeking funding for her procedure.
By the time I reached her that afternoon, the clinic where her appointment was scheduled for March 25 had been shut down until April 21.
There is no good time to restrict access to abortion.
By Rachel Rebouché
April 15, 2020
Over the past few weeks, nine states have tried to implement—with varying degrees of success—measures suspending abortions, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several more states are poised to include abortion in bans on nonessential procedures. Advocacy groups representing abortion providers filed suit in several states that have used the outbreak as a pretext to further restrict abortion access. So far, the litigation in Texas has taken the most tumultuous path: Last month a federal district court suspended implementation of a new policy banning all abortion care. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit then overturned that decision, allowing the state’s ban to take effect based on a “critical interest in protecting the public health.”
‘Constantly Preparing for the Next Crisis’: How Independent Abortion Clinics Are Faring With COVID-19
“Patients think clinics are closed; there is increased panic due to patient’s fear of being turned away.”
Apr 3, 2020
Sarah Anne Lloyd
Independent reproductive health-care clinics are still largely allowed to operate, even in cities and states with COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, but the outbreak is straining an already precarious situation.
“What we’re seeing is the barriers that already exist for access to abortion being compounded by the current crisis in a way that it is limiting people’s resources significantly,” said Roxanne Sutocky, director of community engagement at the Women’s Centers, which operates independent clinics in four states. And people most at risk of losing health-care services, including people of color, will be the among the most vulnerable during this pandemic.
FDA urged to let women get abortion drugs by mail during coronavirus crisis
By Kate Sheehy
March 30, 2020
The FDA is being urged to let women receive abortion-inducing drugs through the mail amid the coronavirus rather than have to leave their homes to get them.
“While any woman who wants to go into a doctor’s office or into a clinic today and get an abortion should continue to be able to do so, control over one’s reproductive freedom should not be limited to those able to leave their homes as we battle the coronavirus,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Monday — echoing a letter sent by her and 20 other top law-enforcement officials to the FDA urging an easing-up of restrictions.
Coronavirus: Concern crisis could prevent timely access to abortion services
Women’s groups say need to visit a GP twice in three days ‘irreconcilable’ with restricted travel
Fri, Mar 27, 2020
Kitty Holland, Social Affairs Correspondent
Doctors and women’s groups are concerned that timely access to abortion services could be compromised during the coronavirus outbreak.
They say the legal requirement that a woman seeking an early medical abortion (before 12 weeks) must make two GP visits, three days apart, is “irreconcilable” with current public health advice to avoid all but essential travel.
Telemedicine Abortion: What It Is and Why We Need It Now More Than Ever
by Carrie N. Baker
Antiabortion politicians in states across the country are using the COVID-19 pandemic to block access to abortion—arguing abortion is not essential health care and supporting limitations in the interest of conserving personal protective equipment for COVID-19 cases.
Medical experts, however, are coming to the exact opposite conclusion.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and seven other medical organizations issued a statement last week declaring that abortion is time-sensitive, essential health care and that lack of access may “profoundly impact a person’s life, health and well-being.”