COVID-19 Should Not Be Used as an Excuse to Implement Abortion Bans
April 30, 2020
by Surya Swaroop
As the United States is struggling to adapt to the unprecedented influx of patients with symptoms of COVID-19, there is a strong concern that the number of medical supplies available will not be able to keep up with the demand. While this is a pressing matter that the federal government needs to address, some Republican politicians are using this issue to further their political agendas. They have deemed abortions a nonessential medical service, citing the need to conserve medical supplies as the reason abortions should be banned during this time.
The logic of this argument is flawed on every level and indicates how little these politicians regard women’s reproductive health issues.
Coronavirus pandemic stirs fight over abortion rights in US
Republican leaders in eight US states are trying to ban abortions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Janice Hopkins Tanne reports
BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1733
Published 30 April 2020
Janice Hopkins Tanne, journalist
Texas has allowed medical and surgical abortions to go ahead after a long running court fight during which abortion was repeatedly forbidden and permitted, to the frustration and dismay of doctors and patients.
On 22 March, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed an executive order banning non-essential medical procedures. Abortions were considered non-essential. The state attorney general, Ken Paxton, said criminal penalties and fines would be imposed on medical professionals for providing abortions and claimed that elective medical procedures used medical supplies needed by doctors and nurses dealing with covid-19.
States use coronavirus to ban abortions, leaving women desperate: ‘You can’t pause a pregnancy’
Eight US states have worked to try and halt abortions entirely during the pandemic as clinics report a rise in demand
Thu 30 Apr 2020
A woman in Texas was isolating with her family. She was frightened and carried a secret: she was eight weeks pregnant.
Even under normal circumstances, obtaining an abortion in Texas is described as “mostly impossible”. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, politicians in Texas and seven other states have worked to try to halt abortions entirely. They have undertaken costly lawsuits to restrict abortion in the name of health and safety, even as doctors lined up against them.
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.
Why the abortion pill is more important than ever during the coronavirus
There could be an increase in unintended pregnancies just as abortion becomes less available, putting women who are self-isolating in abusive situations at higher risk
By Michelle Cohen
April 29, 2020
While COVID-19 has prompted widespread discussion (and in some cases fiery debate) about medications such as hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and remdesivir, one drug which may be of great consequence during the pandemic has seldom been mentioned: Mifegymiso, also known as the “abortion pill.”
Reproductive health advocates began sounding the alarm last month that access to abortion in this country is shrinking. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights reported that calls to its 24-hour hotline increased by 30 per cent in late March, with many of those phoning in were distressed about not being able to schedule an abortion or acquire contraception.
The fight over Texas’ abortion ban during the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but what did it all mean?
Abortion rights advocates are rushing to help women as another federal legal fight looms over them.
By María Méndez
Apr 28, 2020
AUSTIN -- A lawsuit over whether Texas can halt abortions under coronavirus executive orders ping-ponged back and forth between federal courts, resulting in periods of little to no access, over the last month.
The heated legal fight, which at one point appeared to be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, dwindled last week under a new gubernatorial order that eased restrictions on elective medical procedures, allowing abortions to resume.
For many women, abortion access was already limited. Then COVID-19 hit
Coronavirus—and restrictions on “elective procedures” in states like Texas—have made accessing reproductive healthcare harder than ever. But providers are getting creative.
By Pavithra Mohanlong Read
On a Thursday in early April, Shanthi Ramesh saw three patients back to back. They were all healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Two of them worked in a local emergency room, while the other was driving up to New York the next day to volunteer at a hospital.
They had another thing in common: All three women had gone to Ramesh’s clinic to get an abortion.
Millions more cases of violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, unintended pregnancy expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic
28 April 2020
UNITED NATIONS, New York – A clear view of the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is only beginning to take shape, but experts estimate the human cost could be extraordinary. The economic and physical disruptions caused by the disease could have vast consequences for the rights and health of women and girls, a new analysis by UNFPA and partners shows.
Significant levels of lockdown-related disruption over 6 months could leave 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries unable to use modern contraceptives, leading to a projected 7 million additional unintended pregnancies. Six months of lockdowns could result in an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence.
Timely Pitch: Women Still Need Contraceptives During Lockdown
by Edinah Masiyiwa
Recently, my work phone rang and on the other end was a woman called Tendai (not her real name). Tendai needed to get a replenishment of her contraceptives. She tried to go to the women’s clinic that morning.
Our clinics were deemed essential and are open, but Tendai could not reach one as there was no public transport running in her area. Quickly, I assured Tendai that I would call her back with a solution. Fortunately, Women’s Action Group, the organisation I work for, is part of a coalition working on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and I was able to connect her to a service provider who helped her obtain her contraceptives as they could offer transport within a given radius and she lived close enough to receive that help.
How The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Making Birth Control Harder To Obtain
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many women find it more difficult to get their hands on birth control.
by Elizabeth Sarah Larkin
Apr 28, 2020
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has certainly made life tougher- and that's putting it mildly. Schools are closed (some even for the rest of the school year), people have been laid off or forced to work from home, and all non-essential businesses are closed until further notice. Depending on where you live, some countries have even gone so far as to go into total lockdown. All of this is to encourage social distancing and help flatten the curve so that fewer people contract this highly contagious disease.
One aspect of life that many women around the world have found to be negatively impacted due to COVID-19 is their access to birth control. Doctors aren't allowing patients into their office for a check-up unless it's absolutely necessary, meaning you can't just waltz in there and get it taken care of. Plus, it can take weeks or even months to see your doctor or gynecologist- and that's most likely something you can't afford to do.