States That Use COVID-19 To Ban Abortion Increase Our Risks, Hardships And Fear Nationwide
Janet Burns, Senior Contributor
April 12, 2020
For the past few weeks, lawmakers in a growing number of US states have taken it upon themselves to restrict abortion during the COVID-19 pandemic by deeming that care “nonessential,” despite medical experts’ explicit warnings not to.
As US states have rushed to define and maintain their own responses to the global viral disease outbreak, numerous state lawmakers have chosen the extra step of declaring virtually all abortion care or procedures “nonessential,” rather than letting doctors decide (along with patients) what’s essential and safe right now.
Pandemic further hinders safe abortion in Latin America
By Carlos Christian
April 9, 2020
Calls decreased, but text messages increased. They cannot speak because they hear them. They cannot say in front of their families that they seek help, that they need to abort. Las Comadres, a feminist network in Ecuador that provides information to women who want to terminate their pregnancies with drugs, has had to change its communication channels in recent weeks. Telephone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Isolation, imposed as a mitigation measure by Covid-19, has limited the freedom of those seeking access to an abortion, but not the determination of those who are determined to do so.
Verónica Vera, one of the sixty Ecuadorians who responds to requests for accompaniment, now through platforms such as Telegram, says that in March requests for support increased by 25%. Women who want to abort will do so even in a health emergency, and the public health system in Latin America seems not ready to respond. “The difficulty of mobilizing due to the measures adopted by the pandemic, the collapsed medical services and the lack of privacy within prolonged confinements could lead to a setback in Latin America,” he warns.
Women face 'catastrophic' risks as thousands of sexual health clinics close
April 9, 2020
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 5,600 sexual health clinics have shut due to the new coronavirus, risking more deaths from unsafe abortions and denying women access to HIV tests and drugs, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said on Thursday.
The world’s largest sexual and reproductive health charity said COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing and staff shortages had closed about one in seven of its members’ clinics, which also offer gender-based violence support and abortion care.
The Pandemic Means More People May Be Giving Themselves Abortions
But the abortion pill sites people rely on are in jeopardy.
by Marie Solis
Apr 8 2020
The first time H* needed an abortion, she drove about two hours to the nearest clinic and back, waited 48 hours—the required waiting period for anyone in Tennessee seeking an abortion—then went back and paid more than $700 for the procedure. That’s not counting gas money for eight hours of driving, or the wages she lost when she took time off from her hourly job for the appointment.
In March, she learned she was pregnant again, and found herself confronting many of the same barriers to getting an abortion: The clinic was still far away, the procedure was still costly, and she would still have to take off a day or two to account for the waiting period and the drives to and from the clinic.
AN INTERNATIONAL CALL TO ACTION
TO: Women, Health Systems, Governments, UN Human Rights Bodies and WHO
27 March 2020
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
We Need a Rational Policy for Safe Abortion in Every Country NOW!
Every day, in every country of the world, women have abortions. Each year, globally, there are 56 million abortions, or an average of 154,000 abortions every single day. Some 45% of those abortions are still unsafe in spite of 100 years of national and international campaigns for safe, legal abortions.
In almost every country, even where abortions are safe, access to abortion is restricted by antediluvian, punitive and medically unnecessary laws and regulations. The only way many women manage to have abortions at all is if they or an abortion care provider breaks the law in some minor or major way – 25 million times each year if we count only the unsafe abortions. The serious effect of the COVID-19 virus on all our lives has put this absurdity into sharp relief.
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.
How COVID-19 Is Making It Harder To Get An Abortion In Canada
Last Updated March 26, 2020
The panicked calls about accessing abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic started coming in to the Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights hotline last week, and they haven’t stopped. “People are worried they won’t be able to get to their appointments, or that they won’t be able to even schedule appointments because they’re in quarantine,” says Frédérique Chabot, director of health promotion for the reproductive rights non-profit. “There’s a lot of anxiety.”
Understandably so. In a country where access to abortion — a legal, medical service — is already hit or miss, the potential closure of clinics and the scaling back of services is another looming barrier. And while Canadians likely won’t ever face a situation like women in Ohio or Texas — where anti-choice politicians are using COVID-19 as a completely transparent ruse to stop or indefinitely “postpone” abortions — there’s a very real concern that reproductive healthcare is going to slip down the priority list as the pandemic deepens and resources are stretched thin. “We can’t treat abortion as if this isn’t as urgent as COVID-19,” says Chabot. “It’s so time-sensitive and has such huge consequences, not like other elective surgeries.”
Abortion Foes Use the Pandemic as an Excuse
Officials hope to achieve their goal of effectively banning the procedure.
March 26, 2020
Who would have thought COVID-19 would give anti-abortion forces the quick victory they could not win in the courts, in the legislative process, or through the deployment of screaming protesters outside clinics? Claiming abortion is a nonessential service that can be postponed so that the clinics’ medical resources can be used to fight the coronavirus, officials in Texas, Ohio, and Louisiana have moved to severely restrict or cut off abortion services completely; the governor of Mississippi announced his intention this week to do the same. Opponents of women’s reproductive rights hope to achieve, with the stroke of a pen, their dream of making states abortion-free.
For patients at these clinics, the situation is terrifying. “We have patients crying on the phone and staff crying with them,” Kathaleen Pittman, the director of Hope Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, told me. “This is hard. So hard.” The clinic is open but has postponed all of its appointments. “We’re looking at all our options,” Pittman said.
Abortion Providers Are Acting as Travel Agents. That’s Wrong.
The spread of COVID-19 will only further complicate the efforts to get abortion patients to clinics safely and efficiently.
Mar 25, 2020
David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe
We will not find out for a few months how the recently argued U.S. Supreme Court case, June Medical v. Russo, will be decided. But lurking behind the Court’s first abortion case since President Donald Trump appointed two anti-abortion justices is an underappreciated aspect of abortion care in the United States: the extent to which abortion providers serve as de facto travel agents for patients.
If the Supreme Court rules against abortion rights in this case, an already challenging situation will become much worse. But even before the Court rules, the COVID-19 crisis is already complicating abortion care and putting more pressure on providers to troubleshoot travel issues.
Anti-Choice Politicians Are Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Deny Abortion Rights
And they’re succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare
By David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe
Mar 25, 2020
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, while the rest of the nation is focusing on staying healthy and social distancing, anti-abortion politicians and movement leaders have been doing the only thing they know — pursuing an agenda to shut down abortion clinics. Capitalizing on the mantra to never let a crisis go to waste, they are succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare.
The chief vehicle they have been using is shutting down what they deem nonessential health care. By now, most people are familiar with orders from mayors or governors that only essential businesses can remain open. Most places that have put these orders in place have also specified that medical facilities can no longer perform elective or nonessential procedures.