Supreme Court says employers may opt out of Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate over religious, moral objections

Supreme Court ruling may cause tens of thousands to lose birth control coverage

By Robert Barnes

July 8, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration may allow employers and universities to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement to provide contraceptive care because of religious or moral objections.

The issue has been at the heart of an intense legal
battle for nine years — first with the Obama administration sparring with
religious organizations who said offering contraceptive care to their employees
violated their beliefs, and then with the Trump administration broadening an
exemption, angering women’s groups, health organizations and Democratic-led
states.


US Supreme Court Undercuts Access To Birth Control Under Obamacare

July 8, 2020
Nina Totenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court has made it more difficult for women to get access to birth control as part of their health plans if their employer has religious or moral objections to contraceptives.

The opinion upheld a Trump administration rule that significantly cut back on the Affordable Care Act requirement that insurers provide free birth control coverage as part of almost all health care plans.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2020/07/08/884104509/supreme-court-undercuts-access-to-birth-control-under-obamacare


Bangladesh – Increased budget must come with policy changes, utilisation

Experts hail allocation in family planning, but wary of planning

July 06, 2020
Nilima Jahan

The budget allocation in health and family welfare has seen a steady increase in the past few years. This year, the amount increased by 13.66 percent, standing at Tk 29,247 crore.

Although the increased allocation appears to be a step in the right direction, family planning experts believe that the higher budgets are not being utilised in a planned manner.

Continued: https://www.thedailystar.net/city/news/increased-budget-must-come-policy-changes-utilisation-1925709


India – ‘1.85m Women May Have Failed To Get An Abortion During Lockdown’

Sadhika Tiwari
July 5, 2020

New Delhi: In the first three months of the COVID-19 lockdown, March 25 to June 24, 2020, 47% of the estimated 3.9 million abortions that would have likely taken place in India in this span under normal circumstances were possibly compromised. This means that 1.85 million Indian women could not terminate an unwanted pregnancy, concluded a May 2020 modelling study conducted by the Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), India, a non-profit dedicated to preventing and managing unwanted pregnancies. Of these 1.85 million women, 80% or 1.5 million compromised abortions were due to the lack of availability of medical abortion drugs at pharmacy stores, the study found.

The estimation builds on data from telephone surveys of 509 public-sector facilities across eight states, 52 private-sector providers, expert opinion of members of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), sales data on medical abortion drugs, and trend estimation by pharmaceutical industry experts.

Continued: https://www.indiaspend.com/1-85m-women-may-have-failed-to-get-an-abortion-during-lockdown/


Maldives records 12 unintended pregnancies per day amidst COVID-19

Shahudha Mohamed
05 July 2020

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed on Sunday that every day, 12 women unintentionally get pregnant, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), even before the pandemic, only 15 percent of married couples in Maldives used some form of modern contraception – one of the lowest contraceptive prevalence rates anywhere.

Continued: https://edition.mv/news/17692


Kenya – Teen pregnancy: Implement dormant health policies first

A problem we'd rather ignore than confront and find solutions to.

by JEDIDAH MAINA

01 July 2020  

It is ironic that the moral police in Kenya tend to speak the loudest about
potential dangers rather than actual moral failures. This is evident in the
current conversations around teenage pregnancy and what we need to do to deal
with the problem.

One red hot coal in the debate is Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and
whether it is the solution or just another doorway to more sexual
irresponsibility.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/columnists/2020-07-01-teen-pregnancy-implement-dormant-health-policies-first/


Access to emergency contraceptive pills is a woman’s right, not a luxury

Pharmacies price the pill at Rwf 10,000, Rwf 15,000, or even Rwf 25,000 instead of Rwf 4,200
By Dr Aflodis Kagaba
Published : June 29, 2020

During an unexpected and often dangerous situation, a person is required to take immediate action, the same applies to the prevention of an unwanted pregnancy.

The ever-increasing access to birth control for Rwandan women is a sign of progress in supporting them to take more control of their bodies.

Continued: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/opinions/access-emergency-contraceptive-pills-womans-right-not-luxury


Mobile phone among women linked to higher contraception use

Mobile phone among women linked to higher
contraception use
Access to mobile phones is associated with
multiple indicators linked to global social development, such as good health,
gender equality, and poverty reduction, said the study.

By AuthorIANS 
Published: 26th Jun 2020

Mobile phone use among women is associated with increased use of contraception,
lower gender inequality, and lower maternal and child mortality, according to a
new study which covered 209 countries.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the
Sciences, showed that giving women access to information they otherwise would
not have, mobile phones are transforming lives.

Continued: https://telanganatoday.com/mobile-phone-among-women-linked-to-higher-contraception-use


USA – 1 in 3 Women Struggled to Get Birth Control Because of Coronavirus

1 in 3 Women Struggled to Get Birth Control Because of Coronavirus
The pandemic has been even worse for women's reproductive health care than the 2008 recession. And this is just the beginning.

by Carter Sherman
June 24, 2020

One in three women struggled to get their birth control, had to delay a doctor’s visit for sexual or reproductive health care, or had to cancel a visit entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to findings released Wednesday by the Guttmacher Institute.

Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks restrictions on reproductive health, surveyed more than 2,000 cisgender women across the United States in late April and early May. Even in those early weeks of the global shutdown, they discovered that the pandemic had already made getting birth control and related health care a struggle for more women than the 2008 recession had.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/3aza8k/1-in-3-women-struggled-to-get-birth-control-because-of-coronavirus


Campaigners demand the legalisation of abortion in Namibia

Campaigners demand the legalisation of abortion in Namibia

17th June 2020
By Daniel Itai – The Zimbabwe Daily

Namibia is currently facing a shortage of contraceptives and this has prompted some members of the civil society to advocate for the legalization of abortion.

The Popular Democratic Movement Women’s League (PDMWL) feels the shortage of contraceptives in public health facilities across the country is life threatening.

Continued: https://thezimbabwedaily.com/africa/491447-campaigners-demand-the-legalisation-of-abortion-in-namibia.html