Across the globe, travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders and shifting health care priorities have combined to make abortion an even more difficult procedure to obtain.
As hospitals around the globe direct their attention and resources toward helping COVID-19 patients, other medical needs are, inevitably, getting less attention. One of those is women's reproductive health and access, in particular, to abortion, as evidenced in a recent study by the advocacy group Marie Stopes International. In a recent report, the organization noted that between January and June, in 37 countries, nearly two million fewer women received abortions than in the same period last year.
• Travel restrictions and bans have had an impact as well, limiting options for women in places ranging from the United States to Poland, as they are unable to access abortions in other states or countries where it is considered an essential procedure.
‘US policies have restricted access to comprehensive and often lifesaving, reproductive healthcare.’
Anu Kumar and Patty Skuster, Ipas
15 October 2020
At this moment in US political history, Americans have a chance to rid the United States of its contradictory, confusing, and ideologically driven approach to reproductive health around the world.
The United States is the largest donor to global health and humanitarian assistance. But for decades it has been a case study in contradictions when it comes to aid and foreign policy, and in no area is this more evident than reproductive health and rights, particularly abortion.
After 20 years in the U.S., medication abortion is finally widely accessible through telehealth. But a looming Supreme Court ruling could change all that.
BY RUTH READER
In April of this year, when some of Minnesota’s already few abortion clinics started to close because of the pandemic, a new organization popped up with a novel idea: It would bring abortion services to Minnesotans using a mobile clinic. Called Just The Pill, its goal was to connect the state’s most rural corners with medication abortion care, a two-pill regimen that can end a pregnancy.
In the past, it’s been hard for sexual health groups to get medication abortion to people in remote areas. The Food and Drug Administration restricts one of the medications, mifepristone, in several ways. Patients must take the pill at a clinic, for example. On top of that, states have their own rules that can further encumber access. However, the medical data overwhelmingly shows the abortion pill is safe, even to take at home alone. Health experts say politics—not data—are informing these rules.
STEVIE EMILIA, THE JAKARTA POST
Jakarta / Tue, September 29, 2020
Abortion – safe or unsafe, legal or illegal – has existed throughout history. Yet, it continues to be the most sensitive and controversial issue in reproductive health.
The WHO has disclosed that an average of 73.3 million – safe and unsafe – abortions took place worldwide per year between 2015 and 2019, with the rate of abortions being higher in developing regions than in developed ones.
Meet the women across Europe who are resisting threats, both old and new, to reproductive rights in Poland.
28 September 2020
“It was the most incredible, amazing experience of my life,” the veteran women’s rights activist Mara Clarke told me. “It was totally insane. But also really wonderful. And proof that sisters and siblings can get shit done when they want to.”
In December 2019, three months before coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, a group of women from across Europe launched a bold, feminist response to Poland’s draconian anti-abortion laws: Abortion Without Borders.
By Miriam Berger
September 26, 2020
Argentina’s president was expected to propose a landmark law to decriminalize abortion, setting a new standard for Latin America. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The release date was delayed, indefinitely.
Ruth Zurbriggen, a reproductive rights activist with the group Socorristas en Red, felt “pain and rage.” But the group’s work continued — efforts, she said, made even more pressing as the pandemic took center stage.
It is safe and efficient for early terminations to take place at home
Sep 19th 2020
For most women deciding how or when to give birth, covid-19 has been a nightmare. Fertility treatments have paused, sexual-health clinics closed and partners been banned from delivery rooms. Yet the pandemic has brought one silver lining. It has shown a better way to carry out early-stage abortions.
Abortion is legal in most of the world, and relatively straightforward in most rich countries. But obstacles remain. They include compulsory waiting times and mandatory counselling. Perhaps the most common obstacle is that the first step in medical abortions (which involve drugs rather than surgery) must take place in clinics. Yet temporary measures set up during the pandemic suggest this is often unnecessary. These temporary measures should now become permanent.
They're asking the FDA to declare the pill used in about 40% of abortions an “imminent hazard to public health.”
By Carter Sherman
September 2, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz is leading the charge on a Hail Mary plea to the Food and Drug and Administration: He wants the agency to cut off access to a pill that’s used in nearly 40% of U.S. abortions.
On Monday, the Texas Republican led a group of 20 senators in sending a letter to the commissioner of the FDA, asking the agency to take the pill mifepristone, which helps induce abortions, off the U.S. market. The senators want the pill declared an “imminent hazard to public health.”
Queer and trans people are systematically harmed by continued attempts to dismantle abortion access in the U.S.
By Jessica Zucker
Aug 25, 2020
Amidst a global pandemic that has already claimed the lives of over 165,000 Americans and left more than 20 million unemployed, GOP politicians are still shamelessly focused on curtailing access to safe, legal, affordable abortion care. In Nebraska, Republicans have introduced a bill that would ban an abortion method that is proven to be safe. In Iowa, GOP lawmakers passed a law requiring abortion patients to make an additional, medically unnecessary appointment with an abortion provider then wait 24 hours to receive abortion care. In Tennessee, lawmakers successfully banned abortion as early as six weeks, which is before most people even know they’re pregnant (the law was blocked by a federal court 45 minutes after it was signed).
By: Alyssa Fisher
Aug 23, 2020
Entering her 50th year at Choices Women’s Medical Center, founder Merle Hoffman has witnessed a lot. Imagine launching a reproductive health center providing abortions two years before Roe v. Wade legalized it in 1973.
But it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, she says, that has been “one of the most, most challenging times that we’ve faced, I’ve faced.”