Another Egregious Attack on Reproductive Health by Trump Administration
Undermining access to reproductive health services during COVID-19 is cruel and detrimental to women’s health and well-being.
by Anu Kumar
The Trump Administration’s latest attempt to roll back reproductive rights and deny essential health care is yet another step toward realizing their extreme anti-rights agenda.
In a letter to the United Nations (U.N.), John Barsa, the acting administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has asked for all references to sexual and reproductive health to be removed from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP).
Five Statements of Support for WHO, with a Preface
22 May 2020
Preface, by Marge Berer
Today’s newsletter includes five statements – by the Campaign, an international group of CSOs, and IAWG, IPPF and Ipas – all in response to demands by the US government on the UN and the World Health Organization to omit any language or policy related to abortion and sexual and reproductive health from the Covid-19 response. This issue was not at all the focus of the World Health Assembly (WHA) on 18-19 May, however, as Trump hoped them to be. Instead, the other issues raised in his three letters to the heads of WHO and the UN – got all the attention, as well as a few more.
U.S. rejects WHO coronavirus resolution's language on abortion
Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters
May 19, 2020
GENEVA — The United States rejected language about reproductive healthcare and intellectual property rights in a World Health Organization resolution on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump threatened to quit the body.
Washington did not block the consensus adoption of the text, which calls for a review into the global response to the crisis and which diplomats had striven to pass without a vote.
US asks for abortion references to be removed from UN pandemic response plan
By Kylie Atwood, CNN
Tue May 19, 2020
Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is urging the United Nations secretary general to remove any references to reproductive health, including abortions, from the UN's humanitarian response plan to the coronavirus pandemic to "avoid creating controversy."
"The United States stands with nations that have pledged to protect the unborn," acting Administrator of USAID John Barsa wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres on Monday. "To achieve global unity toward this goal, it is essential that the UN's response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy. Therefore, I ask that you remove references to 'sexual and reproductive health,' and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN's priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic."
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.
Science should guide all our health policies... including abortion
Our total abortion ban is no less dangerous or unhinged (or even idiotic, for that matter) than Donald Trump’s notorious recommendation to ‘drink bleach’ as an antidote to COVID-19
5 May 2020
I guess it had to take a major global health emergency to make us finally understand what should really have been obvious all along. Yes, Dr Fearne: our national policies should be based on scientific advice... and not on popular opinion, electoral concerns, or (still less) the demands of powerful lobby groups.
It is, in fact, thanks to the health authorities’ science-based approach that Malta has so far been spared the nightmare scenarios we have seen unfolding almost everywhere else in the world. As Fearne himself put it last Friday: “We are in today’s positive situation because from the very beginning we abided by what science was telling us, and what the numbers were suggesting.”
Million 'Unwanted' Babies, More Deaths: Why India's 'Essential' Abortion Service Isn't Enough
The Coronavirus pandemic will leave 24.55 million couples in India without any access contraceptives, 900,000 unsafe abortions, and a steep increase in pregnancy-related deaths.
Adrija Bose, News18.com
April 29, 2020
It took two weeks for a woman living in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra to get to an abortion clinic in South Mumbai after finding out she was pregnant. The journey usually takes about 2-3 hours.
After finding out she was pregnant, the woman got an appointment at the abortion clinic. But by the time she could arrange for a vehicle amid the lockdown, she had already crossed the seven-week limit to get a medical abortion and instead had to undergo a surgical one. "She was one of the lucky ones," a doctor who works at the hospital said.
Activists are using Covid-19 to set limits on abortion around the world
April 17, 2020
By Annabelle Timsit, Geopolitics reporter
The spread of the novel coronavirus has helped anti-abortion activists in the US win victories—at least for now—that they have sought ever since the US Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.
Facing shortages of personal protective equipment and healthcare staff due to the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities in Texas, Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Alabama have declared that abortion is an elective medical procedure that can be suspended during this time. In effect, this means millions of women in the US now live in states where they may not be able to get an abortion for as long as this pandemic persists. Planned Parenthood has challenged Texas’ policy change in an emergency filing with the Supreme Court.
Estimates of the Potential Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
By Taylor Riley, Elizabeth Sully, Zara Ahmed and Ann Biddlecom
April 16, 2020
Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute used data from 132 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)—covering 1.6 billion women of reproductive age (15–49)—to estimate how sexual and reproductive health outcomes could change following only a modest decline of 10% in access to care. This includes theorizing a decline in access to contraceptives and abortion among other scenarios.
The implications are staggering in terms of the number of people whose needs would be left unserved, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal and newborn deaths.
Declare abortion a public health issue during pandemic, WHO urged
Charities press World Health Organization to ensure women can get contraception and safe abortions during crisis
Fri 10 Apr 2020
The World Health Organization is being urged to declare abortion an essential health service during the coronavirus pandemic.
In guidance notes issued last week, the WHO advised all governments to identify and prioritise the health services each believed essential, listing reproductive health services as an example.