USA – Telemedicine has become the norm for most medical specialties — except abortion services

Federal restrictions are limiting access to telemedicine abortion care. That needs to change

Julie Burkhart
August 9, 2020

The ongoing pandemic has led to huge shifts in how we live and work, and health care is no exception. In the past few months, telehealth visits have surged more than 50 percent, enabling patients to access much of the health care they need without taking the added risk of leaving their homes.

But for people seeking reproductive health services, longstanding state and federal restrictions continue to needlessly limit their access to telemedicine abortion care.

Continued: https://www.salon.com/2020/08/09/telemedicine-has-become-the-norm-for-most-medical-specialties--except-abortion-services/


COVID-19 has “devastating” effect on women and girls

Sophie Cousins, The Lancet
August 01, 2020
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31679-2

Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund, is among experts warning about disrupted health services and a surge in gender-based violence. Sophie Cousins reports.

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, fears are increasing about the effect of the pandemic on women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and their access to care. In response to COVID-19, in March, WHO issued interim guidance for maintaining essential services during an outbreak, which included advice to prioritise services related to reproductive health and make efforts to avert maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31679-2/fulltext


COVID-19 is changing the way Canadians have abortions

BY TEGWYN HUGHES
POSTED ON JULY 30, 2020

As health care providers continue to adapt to the demands of COVID-19, doctors in Canada say that the crisis proves we need accessible abortion services more than ever.

From routine procedures to life-saving surgeries, health authorities have deemed different services either essential or non-essential to prioritize emergency care. This need to prioritize health care based on urgency has reopened debates about the kinds of services we consider important.

Continued: https://the-pigeon.ca/2020/07/30/covid-19-abortions/


USA – The Demand for At-Home Abortion Is Increasing Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Kimberly Truong
July 23, 2020

As some states rushed to restrict abortion amid the coronavirus pandemic, one new study has found an increased demand in self-managed abortions. Unsurprisingly, many of these requests are happening in states with more severe restrictions as well as more serious COVID-19 outbreaks.

The study, published in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal, tracked requests for medication abortion by mail through data from Aid Access, an online medication abortion pill provider, during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic's spread and consequent lockdown measures in the U.S.

Continued: https://ca.style.yahoo.com/demand-home-abortion-increasing-amid-142240025.html


USA – Anti-Abortion Protesters Exploit Clinics’ COVID-19 Safety Precautions To Harass Patients

By: Clare Busch
July 17, 2020

On June 29, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to also have the ability to admit and treat patients at a local hospital. The same day, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a new mandatory 24-hour waiting period between consulting with a physician and having an abortion. Other state legislatures are back at work enacting new barriers on accessing abortion.

While abortion clinics prepare to navigate additional legal restrictions on patients’ reproductive rights, workers are also navigating how to safeguard patients’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, anti-abortion activists have flouted CDC guidelines by not wearing masks when they protest clinics and exploit new distancing protocols to increase patient harassment.

Continued: https://therealnews.com/columns/anti-abortion-protesters-exploit-clinics-covid-19-safety-precautions-to-harass-patients


Abortion is a protected right in Spain. But the govt blocked a website that provides abortion info and pills.

Since becoming legal in 1985, right-wing politicians have periodically made feeble attempts to limit or ban access to abortions. Each time it happens though, the action is met with strong pushback from the public.

July 16, 2020
By Shauna Blackmon and Lucía Benavides

Access to abortion in Spain is sacrosanct. The procedures are free — covered by the public national health care system — and allowed up until the 14th week of pregnancy for any reason; until the 22nd week with a doctor’s note; and sometimes after 22 weeks if there are issues with either the fetus’ or the mother’s health.

Since abortion become legal in 1985, right-wing politicians have periodically made feeble attempts to limit or ban access to it. Each time it happens, though, the action is met with strong pushback from the public.

Continued:  https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-07-16/abortion-protected-right-spain-govt-blocked-website-provides-abortion-info-and


USA – The Covid Crisis Reveals the Need to Abolish Abortion Restrictions

What kind of nation allows people to be prosecuted for health care?

By Renee Bracey Sherman
July 15, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Last November, I drove more than 12 hours for an abortion. It wasn’t mine (I had mine in 2005); I picked up a young woman in rural Pennsylvania whom I’ll call Raquel. She needed a ride to a clinic in Maryland to get some pills that she would take back at her home to have a medication abortion. As we drove to the clinic, I told Raquel about what to expect during the appointment; after I finished I paused and said, “As much as I love getting to know you on this drive, did you know you could safely do this at home but the government won’t let you?” She was surprised. Like many people, she knew about limitations on abortion but didn’t know that very safe and basic methods are being restricted because of outdated FDA regulations on how they can be dispensed. The drive bonded us—we still keep in touch, and she approved the inclusion of her story here—but it was an unnecessary exercise, one that antiabortion politicians created to make yet another constitutional right as inaccessible as possible. The cruelty of the barricades along the journey is the point.

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/coronavirus-abortion/


India – The women who can’t get an abortion in lockdown

India's grinding national coronavirus lockdown complicated life for women trying to access safe abortions, and now cities are bringing back restrictions, reports Menaka Rao.

13 July 2020
Menaka Rao

In the last week of May, a 20-year old college-going woman in India's capital, Delhi, found out that she was pregnant.

The woman, Kiran, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, had already taken abortion pills on the advice of a friend who was a doctor. But they did not work and so, her only option was a surgical abortion.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53345975


USA – Women Can Now Get The Abortion Pill Through The Mail

In a victory for reproductive rights, many patients seeking medication abortion will no longer have to travel during the pandemic for care.

07/13/2020
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US

For the first time ever, U.S. women seeking to terminate a pregnancy using medication abortion will be able to legally obtain the pills through the mail, avoiding the need for an in-person doctor’s visit.

A federal court ruled on Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must suspend a rule that requires patients to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain mifepristone, a drug used to terminate pregnancies, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Continued: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/women-can-now-get-the-abortion-pill-through-the-mail_n_5f0cdedfc5b6310dc1575be4?utm_hp_ref=ca-us-politics


BC’s Online Abortion Services Increasing Access in Pandemic

The number of clinics offering access to needed medication without physical appointments has tripled.

Moira Wyton, Today | TheTyee.ca
July 2, 2020

Two clinics that began offering online abortion services during the pandemic are seeing a surge in patients, highlighting the lack of reproductive health services available for patients outside the Lower Mainland.

Before the pandemic hit, the Willow Clinic in Vancouver was the only place in B.C. offering abortion services without requiring an in-person visit.

But the pandemic encouraged Vancouver’s Elizabeth Bagshaw Clinic and sister clinic Everywoman’s Health Centre to move ahead more quickly with plans to offer the service, tripling the number of clinics patients can choose from to obtain the required medication.

Continued: https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/07/02/BC-Online-Abortion-Services/