Italy: Covid-19 Exacerbates Obstacles to Legal Abortion

Inadequate Measures Heighten Existing Risks for Health, Lives

July 30, 2020

(London) – Government inaction has left women and girls facing avoidable obstacles to accessing legal abortion in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today.

The government’s failure to ensure clear pathways to essential, time-sensitive medical care during the pandemic caused interruptions to abortion services and prevented some women from accessing abortion within the legal time limit, exacerbating longstanding barriers to safe and legal abortion in Italy.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/30/italy-covid-19-exacerbates-obstacles-legal-abortion


An Abortion Doula On Canada’s Problematic Lack Of Access

Sarah Ratchford
Last Updated July 28, 2020

As an abortion doula, Shannon Hardy spends her days driving people to appointments or taking care of them afterwards. That all changed when the pandemic started. Sharing a car with a stranger, not to mention helping them convalesce, has been out of the question since COVID-19, leaving many without access to this crucial healthcare service.

Getting an abortion in Atlantic Canada, where Hardy lives, was a challenge even before coronavirus. Though abortions have been decriminalized in Canada since 1988, provinces have jurisdiction over access. As a result, where and at what point in a pregnancy you can get an abortion is influenced by the local political climate, and varies widely. Mifegymiso, the pill that induces what's called a medical abortion, is available and covered by provincial healthcare, but not every doctor will prescribe it. In some places, there's access to surgical abortions, but parts or all of it are not covered or you have to pay up front and seek reimbursement afterward.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/abortion-doula-canada-access


COVID-19 created double barrier for Maltese women’s access to abortion

The shutdown from COVID-19 in Malta laid bare the barriers for women to have access to abortion services

23 July 2020
by Matthew Vella

The shutdown from COVID-19 in Malta laid bare the barriers for women to have access to abortion services, with more people reaching out to activists and charities and seeking medical abortion pills online.

Pro-choice activist Liza Caruana-Finkel, an independent researcher, said COVID-19 had highlighted the problems of a system in which pregnant people in Malta secretly travel for abortions abroad or secretly order abortion pills online.

Continued: https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/103666/covid19_created_double_barrier_for_maltese_womens_access_to_abortion#.XxmmGud7lPY


USA – Abortion is essential, especially during this pandemic | Opinion

Abortion is essential, especially during this pandemic | Opinion

Posted Jun 06, 2020
By Kristyn Brandi

I heard it twice in one day: “I don’t know what to do.”

As a doctor practicing in Newark, I see patients with a broad diversity of lived experiences. Itis unusual to hear the same story back to back. But we are in unusual times. Two people: one, a patient in my obstetrics clinic, the other a close friend. Both were concerned about being pregnant in the time of COVID-19.

Continued: https://www.nj.com/opinion/2020/06/abortion-is-essential-especially-during-this-pandemic-opinion.html


Google search data reveals American’s concerns about abortion

Google search data reveals American’s concerns about abortion

By Kara Manke
May 21, 2020

Residents of states with limited access to contraceptives and high rates of unplanned pregnancies are more likely to turn to the internet for information about abortion. These are the findings of a new study of Google search data across all 50 states by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

The results suggest that policies that limit access to birth control — such as the Title X gag rule, which restricts federal funding from clinics that provide birth control if they also provide abortion information or referrals — lead people to seek out family planning information online.

Continued: https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/05/21/google-search-data-reveals-americans-concerns-about-abortion/


Canada is still falling short on abortion rights

Canada is still falling short on abortion rights

By Sandeep Prasad and Jill Doctoroff, Contributors
Tue., May 12, 2020

Fifty years ago the Abortion Caravan came to Ottawa as part of the decades-long sexual rights movement that changed the country – and eventually led to the decriminalization of abortion.

Today, as standard-bearers for that same movement, we’re marking the important anniversary of this historic event – and reflecting on how far we have to go, at a time when disparities in health care access across the country are becoming clearer in the face of a global health crisis.

Continued: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2020/05/12/canada-is-still-falling-short-on-abortion-rights.html


Abortion in a lockdown: India says ‘yes’ but women wonder how

Abortion in a lockdown: India says 'yes' but women wonder how

Roli Srivastava, Thomson Reuters Foundation
April 16, 2020

MUMBAI, April 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India says it has protected abortion as an essential service in the coronavirus lockdown but experts say women are struggling to get medical help and may resort to risky alternatives or end up with babies they do not want.

With no transport services, limited healthcare and movement restricted, campaigners predict the COVID-19 crisis could push women to take abortion drugs without supervision or seek help from people who lack training.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-india-abortion/abortion-in-a-lockdown-india-says-yes-but-women-wonder-how-idUSL5N2C4610


USA – Women Are Trying to Survive COVID-19. Politicians Are Trying to Take Away Their Care

Women Are Trying to Survive COVID-19. Politicians Are Trying to Take Away Their Care
Now is the time to be making abortion more accessible, not less

April 10, 2020
By Alexis McGill Johnson

Women are trying to survive this. Moms laid off or missing wages to stay home with their children, still trying to make ends meet. Women in abusive relationships, weathering shelter in place orders. Women hiding in their closets, trying to get through one more conference call between homeschooling and tantrums. Health care workers, the majority of whom are women, going to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Low-wage workers deemed essential, some leaving their children at home, continuing to put themselves at risk so that the rest of us have what we need to survive.

We are doing the majority of child care, as schools and daycares close. If our families get sick, we will do the majority of caregiving. And as always happens, Black and Latino communities will face the harshest economic consequences, so women of color will face difficult decisions about how to support their families.

Continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/planned-parenthood-alexis-mcgill-johnson-oped-covid-19-abortion-healthcare-981966/


Women face ‘catastrophic’ risks as thousands of sexual health clinics close

Women face 'catastrophic' risks as thousands of sexual health clinics close

Amber Milne
April 9, 2020

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 5,600 sexual health clinics have shut due to the new coronavirus, risking more deaths from unsafe abortions and denying women access to HIV tests and drugs, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said on Thursday.

The world’s largest sexual and reproductive health charity said COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing and staff shortages had closed about one in seven of its members’ clinics, which also offer gender-based violence support and abortion care.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-women-trfn/women-face-catastrophic-risks-as-thousands-of-sexual-health-clinics-close-idUSKCN21R39C


USA – Abortion during the Covid-19 Pandemic — Ensuring Access to an Essential Health Service

Abortion during the Covid-19 Pandemic — Ensuring Access to an Essential Health Service

Michelle J. Bayefsky, B.A., Deborah Bartz, M.D., M.P.H., and Katie L. Watson, J.D.
Perspective, NEJM
April 9, 2020
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2008006

Each year, nearly 1 million women choose to end a pregnancy in the United States, and about one quarter of American women will use abortion services by 45 years of age. Women’s ability to determine whether and when they have a child has profound consequences for their self-determination and for the economic, social, and political equality of women as a group. Because access to safe abortion care is time-sensitive and vitally important, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other reproductive health professional organizations issued an unequivocal statement on March 18, 2020, that they “do not support Covid-19 responses that cancel or delay abortion procedures.”

Despite ACOG’s position, governors in a number of states have called for a halt to abortion care throughout the Covid-19 epidemic. Governors in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Oklahoma have ordered or supported the cessation of both medication and surgical abortion, while governors in other states have directed that surgical abortion alone must stop.

Continued: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2008006