COVID-19 impacted access to abortion care all over Europe

Access to abortion care is an important and politically charged topic. It is a human rights issue affecting essential aspects of women’s healthcare. As a global disruptive event, COVID-19 affected abortion access in many European countries.

Jun 9, 2021
University of Oulu

Government policies on abortion are a longstanding topic of heated political debate. The COVID-19 pandemic shook health care systems to the core adding to the complexity of the issue, as the imposed national lockdowns and mobility restrictions affected millions of women’s timely access to abortion care across the globe. Researchers from Finland and France examined how all of the European Union countries and the United Kingdom responded to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis in terms of providing access to abortion care.

Continued: https://www.oulu.fi/en/news/covid-19-impacted-access-abortion-care-all-over-europe


USA – Covid Put Remote Abortion to the Test. Supporters Say It Passed.

Medication abortion was briefly available online in some states, but a court ruling blocked it. Advocates want it back.

BY REBECCA GRANT
04.05.2021

LAST SUMMER, Cindy Adam and Lauren Dubey received the news they had hoped for, but hadn’t expected to get so soon. Their new telemedicine clinic would be able to offer remote medication abortion services, at least for the time being.

Medication abortion — which most commonly involves taking two medications, 24 to 48 hours apart, during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy — has been available in the U.S. since 2000. But, despite a growing chorus of advocates and experts who say remote access is just as safe as in-clinic care, the Food and Drug Administration requires providers to dispense mifepristone, the first of the two medications, inside the walls of a clinic, hospital, or medical office, citing the risk of complications. Most abortion providers interpreted this language to mean they could not mail mifepristone to patients’ homes, rendering fully remote abortion care impossible.

Continued: https://undark.org/2021/04/05/digital-abortion-access/


Ireland – ’Travelling for an abortion is always hard, but now it is just unbelievably difficult’

Women with unwanted pregnancies are finding Covid-19 a major obstacle to keeping their lives on track, writes Ali Bracken

Ali Bracken
February 07 2021

An unwanted pregnancy was not something Aoife had anticipated having to deal with during lockdown. But somehow, at the end of November, she found herself sitting alone in her Dublin apartment, looking incredulously at the pregnancy test results. She initially didn't believe it. So she took another test, and then a third. Finally she was forced to accept the reality.

"I was pregnant in the middle of a pandemic. And I did not want to be," she recalls. "For me, this was the worst news. It also came at the most emotionally challenging time of my life.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/world-news/coronavirus/travelling-for-an-abortion-is-always-hard-but-now-it-is-just-unbelievably-difficult-40060420.html


Experts believe pandemic contributing to increase in abortions

BY ASHLEY BURR
Posted Jan 12, 2021

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Professionals in the
field of reproductive health are seeing an increase in the number of abortions
and requests for information and services related to abortions.

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) — which helps women who face barriers in
accessing abortion care — says it got almost four times the amount of calls in
Canada in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Continued: https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/01/12/pandemic-contributing-increase-abortions/


Covid: Locked-down women turn to pills amid Malta abortion ban

Catholic Malta has the strictest ban on abortion in the EU, but during the pandemic more Maltese women have been ordering abortion pills from abroad, unable to travel because of the lockdown.

By Sophia Smith-Galer, BBC World Service
January 8, 2021

Veronica - not her real name - was among them. "It was a big burden for me. I already have two kids with learning difficulties. I came off the pill, as the doctor suggested I switch to an IUD for health reasons. I was waiting for the appointment, but Covid came and cancelled all the hospital appointments."

Not long after that Veronica got pregnant. "I had to decide what is best for me and the children," she says. "The best for my health, the best financially… plus the father immediately told me to abort."

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55579339


Texas Is What the End of Legal Abortion Looks Like

After Texas used the pandemic as a reason to block the procedure, the number of people who fled the state to undergo abortions skyrocketed, as did second-trimester abortions.

By Carter Sherman
6.1.21

With Amy Coney Barrett now on the Supreme Court, the ruling that legalized abortion nationwide decades ago may be on its last legs. But during the coronavirus pandemic, Texas already gave a sneak peek at what could happen if Roe v. Wade collapses.

In late March 2020, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order postponing all abortions that weren’t “immediately, medically necessary”—which his attorney general defined as including nearly all abortions. Supporters of abortion rights promptly sued, but the order—and the legal tussling over it—intermittently cut off access to abortion until the end of April, when it finally expired.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjpwwp/texas-covid-abortions-end-of-roe-v-wade


Early In The Pandemic, Texas Banned Most Abortions. After The Ban Lifted, 2nd-Trimester Abortions Jumped, A New Study Shows

Texas officials cited a need to preserve medical supplies as a reason to crack down on abortions. A new study finds that many Texans left the state during this time seeking the procedure.

SHANNON NAJMABADI, THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
POSTED ON JANUARY 4, 2021

After Gov. Greg Abbott's order that postponed all non "immediately, medically necessary" surgeries expired in May, second-trimester abortions increased 61%.

The number of Texas residents who went out of state to receive abortions leapt from 157 in February to 947 in April, after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered that all procedures not "immediately, medically necessary" be postponed to contend with the nascent coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Continued: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/health-science/2021/01/04/388664/early-in-the-pandemic-texas-banned-most-abortions-after-the-ban-lifted-2nd-trimester-abortions-jumped-a-new-study-shows/


How the pandemic revolutionised abortion access in the UK

Since patients have been allowed to take pills at home to terminate pregnancies, major medical complications have dropped by two-thirds.

15 DECEMBER 2020
BY KATHARINE SWINDELLS

When national lockdown was imposed at the end of March, and in-person access to healthcare was limited, the government initially flip-flopped over temporary changes to abortion laws.

Yet from the beginning of April, it approved measures to allow patients within the first ten weeks of pregnancy to take abortion pills at home after a telephone call or e-consultation with a clinician. Previously, these would have been face-to-face appointments.

Continued: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/health/2020/12/how-pandemic-revolutionised-abortion-access-uk


Biden Could Expand Abortion Access, Even Without the Senate

The path lies not in legislation but through the deregulation of mifepristone—the only drug the FDA has approved to safely and effectively terminate an early pregnancy.

Nov 28, 2020
Greer Donley

Joe Biden is now poised to become the next president of the United States. His victory, however, is bittersweet for many Democrats, especially those for whom abortion rights are a top issue. Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives, and their odds for a Senate majority seem to be dwindling. Just eight days before the election, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Without a Senate majority and with a hostile Supreme Court, some may wonder whether any progress on abortion rights can be made in the next four years.

Abortion-rights advocates need not accept that all is lost. They simply need to look outside legislation and the courts for their answer.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/biden-abortion-access/616913/


Legal but not accessible: abortion in Turkey from an ethical perspective

By Gender DSC
23/11/2020

Can abortion just be a medical decision?
As has been reported by Amnesty International, “Around 47,000 women die as a result of unsafe abortions every year.” The testimony of Rajat Khosla, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Research and Advocacy shows the peril of the siege over women’s bodies. Although the political authorities try to establish their presence under the subject of religious sensitivity with the slogan that “abortion is murder”, many women have died as a result of the operations carried out under improper conditions.

In countries where abortion is restricted or prohibited, women who are wealthy have the chance to get an abortion abroad and return to their countries, while the poor have to terminate their pregnancy using dangerous methods such as clothes hangers, as in Argentina.

Continued: https://diem25.org/legal-but-not-accessible-abortion-turkey-from-ethical-perspective/