USA – Access to medication abortions via telehealth varies by state and here’s why

By: Chloe Nordquist
Apr 23, 2021

Telehealth is becoming a bigger part of our lives. Those visits are also being used for abortions, but the rules vary from state to state, and even federally.

“Back in March of last year in 2020, at the
height of the pandemic, I found out I was pregnant in the state of Ohio,”
Larada Lee explained.


LIVE on April 7: The other health crisis—breaking the taboo on abortion

The webinar will be live-streamed on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch

Written by Melissa Vida
Posted 31 March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only health hazard affecting people—there's one that's way more persistent. This World Health Day, let's break the taboo topics of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

It is no small feat—in places where it is illegal to terminate a pregnancy, unsafe abortions cause about 30,000 deaths each year, and numerous health complications.


How MSF is empowering women through self-care

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders
Mar 12 2021

For many women and girls in New Zealand, the means to initiate self-care is readily available, with sufficient access to contraception, family planning resources and professional advice.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as, "the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health and cope with illness and disability, with or without the support of a health-care provider."


India – Women, uninterrupted

Access to contraception and abortion services must be continuous

AUGUST 24, 2020

Among the more serious ramifications of the pandemic has been the rather extensive, even if unintended, disruption of health-care services. Normal life has been crippled by the restrictions flowing from control measures, and access to medical services has become infinitely tougher for a vast majority. The scale of the impact on women’s lives is only now being recognised, as global reports of inability to access contraceptives and abortion services during the long lockdown warn of dire consequences, including unwanted pregnancies, increase in domestic violence, and maternal mortality.


COVID-19 has “devastating” effect on women and girls

Sophie Cousins, The Lancet
August 01, 2020

Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund, is among experts warning about disrupted health services and a surge in gender-based violence. Sophie Cousins reports.

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, fears are increasing about the effect of the pandemic on women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and their access to care. In response to COVID-19, in March, WHO issued interim guidance for maintaining essential services during an outbreak, which included advice to prioritise services related to reproductive health and make efforts to avert maternal and child mortality and morbidity.


Panama – Impact of COVID-19 on Unsafe Abortion

Dr Ruth De Leon, Sociedad Panameña de Obstetricia y Ginecología (SPOG) shares how the COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in higher levels of unintended pregnancies in Panama, and as a result places a woman at a greater risk to unsafe abortion and maternal death.

13 July 2020
Dr Ruth de Leon

The Panamanian government implemented preventative measures in January 2020, to ensure that access to and the supply of health care remained strong in order to manage COVID-19. Such measures included suspending elective surgeries, visits and external consultations both in the public and private spheres to free-up slots, in addition to suspending vacations for health workers in the public sector as well as making more beds and resources available within the public and private health sector.

Four days after the first case was confirmed in Panama, on March 13, 2020, a curfew occurred, which started out being flexible, of only 8 hours (from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am), but since then there has been a 24-hour curfew.


Coronavirus Created an Obstacle Course for Safe Abortions

Coronavirus Created an Obstacle Course for Safe Abortions
But during the pandemic, a few countries liberalized their requirements, allowing at-home medical terminations.

By Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Monika Pronczuk
June 14, 2020

BRUSSELS — When a 19-year-old woman from southern Poland decided to end her pregnancy at 18 weeks, she knew the only way to get an abortion was to rush to a neighboring European country.

Abortion is illegal in most circumstances in Poland, and so for years, many women have traveled within Europe to seek the procedure.

But it was April, and across the continent, borders were closing fast because of the coronavirus pandemic. So she and a friend loaded up their Renault with instant noodles and candy for a 14-hour race to Utrecht, in the Netherlands. They made it just in time for her to have the procedure and return home, her friend said.


The Pandemic And Legal Abortion: What Happens When Access Is Limited?

The Pandemic And Legal Abortion: What Happens When Access Is Limited?

June 8, 2020
Isabella Gomez Sarmiento

In April, Johanna Cruz terminated her pregnancy with drugs obtained through a telemedicine consultation.

Abortion is legal in Colombia. And Cruz, a street performer from Chile who was backpacking through the Colombian state of Antioquia, did not feel she was in a position to raise a child. She didn't have a steady income or stable housing. And with stay-at-home orders in place to control the spread of coronavirus, she found herself facing homelessness in the town of San Rafael and unable to travel to Medellin, the nearest city with an abortion clinic.


New York AG Calls For Nationwide Abortion Access During The Coronavirus

New York AG Calls For Nationwide Abortion Access During The Coronavirus

April 4, 2020
5-Minute Listen / Transcript

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Letitia James, attorney general of New York, about her call for nationwide access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic.


We're going to turn now to a subject that has perplexed many people as the country deals with a coronavirus pandemic by closing down most activities. What is an essential business or service and what is not? The answer can vary from place to place. In a handful of states, officials have banned access to abortion clinics during the pandemic in an effort, they say, to preserve needed medical supplies, such as gowns and masks. Texas issued one such ban, triggering a legal challenge that has drawn in officials from other states. New York's attorney general, Letitia James, is organizing other like-minded attorneys general to support the challenge against the Texas measure.


USA – Abortion Providers Are Acting as Travel Agents. That’s Wrong.

Abortion Providers Are Acting as Travel Agents. That’s Wrong.
The spread of COVID-19 will only further complicate the efforts to get abortion patients to clinics safely and efficiently.

Mar 25, 2020
David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe

We will not find out for a few months how the recently argued U.S. Supreme Court case, June Medical v. Russo, will be decided. But lurking behind the Court’s first abortion case since President Donald Trump appointed two anti-abortion justices is an underappreciated aspect of abortion care in the United States: the extent to which abortion providers serve as de facto travel agents for patients.

If the Supreme Court rules against abortion rights in this case, an already challenging situation will become much worse. But even before the Court rules, the COVID-19 crisis is already complicating abortion care and putting more pressure on providers to troubleshoot travel issues.