End all legal barriers to abortion, say leading European politicians

Belgium’s prime minister among signatories to open letter backing global right to safe abortions and reopening of clinics closed in pandemic

Liz Ford
Wed 9 Jun 2021

Government ministers from five European countries, including Belgium’s prime minister, Alexander de Croo, are among 29 politicians, healthcare and women’s rights activists who have signed an open letter calling for the removal of all legal barriers to abortion.

The letter, signed by gender and equality ministers from France, Canada and Norway, and international development ministers from Sweden and the Netherlands, states that women’s right to safe, legal abortion is being eroded by misinformation and attacks on services. It calls for the reopening of abortion clinics closed during the pandemic.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jun/09/end-all-legal-barriers-to-abortion-say-leading-european-politicians


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


International Leaders Join Call for End to All Legal Barriers to Abortion

"Women must have the right to decide about their own bodies—that is a human right."

JULIA CONLEY, Common Dreams
June 9, 2021

Several international lawmakers and leaders joined rights activists Wednesday in a call for all legal barriers to abortion care to be removed worldwide, demanding clinics that were shut down during the pandemic be reopened and for a "global campaign of factual and unbiased information" to counter well-funded anti-choice groups.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo was among the signatories of the letter organized by the SheDecides movement, as well as equality ministers from France, Canada, and Norway; Parliament members from Belgium and Zimbabwe; and international development ministers from Sweden and the Netherlands.

Continued: https://www.laprogressive.com/legal-barriers-to-abortion/


Ireland – Permanent use of telemedicine in abortion care is a positive, patient-centred step

The Department of Health has said telemedicine abortion will 'lapse' once the pandemic ends - this would be a mistake, writes Alison Spillane of the Irish Family Planning Association.

MON, 24 MAY, 2021
ALISON SPILLANE

Abortion has been available in Ireland since January 2019. Telemedicine abortion has been an option for almost half of that time. It expands patient choices and supports reproductive autonomy. Yet, women and pregnant people might be summarily deprived of this critical innovation.

Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, the HSE revised the model of care for abortion services to allow doctors to provide care via phone or video consultations. “Telemedicine abortion”, both as a primary mode of care delivery and in combination with in-person care, has enabled community providers of early abortion care to maintain an essential health service, while minimising the risk of Covid-19 exposure for both patients and staff.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/commentanalysis/arid-40297127.html


Increase in Maternal Deaths: The Silent Impact of Covid-19 on Latin America

The scale of the health emergency led to restrictions and closures in reproductive health services for months.  Artwork by Leila Arenas

International Campaign for Safe Abortion
May 21, 2021

With health systems focused on containing the virus, women have experienced severe hardships when trying to access reproductive health services, such as perinatal care, contraceptive methods and safe abortion services. The monitoring carried out in nine countries in the region is showing that these limitations have led to an increase in maternal deaths. Just in Peru, 433 expectant mothers passed away between January and December of 2020, a number not seen in a decade. This year, more than 90 deaths have been registered up to March 9th. If we continue on this path, specialists asked warn, the indicators could be even worse than those reported during the first few months of the pandemic.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/21-may-2021?e=372dd34034


Fewer Canadian women appear to be travelling to U.S. for abortions during COVID-19

By Amanda Connolly, Global News
Posted May 20, 2021

The number of Canadian women going south of the border to receive medically necessary abortions has dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Ontario government and a sexual health expert who says her organization has seen a drop.

Over the last five years, dozens of Canadian women primarily from Ontario have been referred each year to doctors and clinics in the United States to receive medically necessary abortions they cannot access at home, which are covered under their provincial health-care plans.

Continued: https://globalnews.ca/news/7868372/coronavirus-covid-pandemic-abortion-access-canada/


USA – These Start-Ups Could Make Abortion One Click Away

During the pandemic, women have been able to get abortion pills to take at home through an email or phone call. Will it stay that way?

Emily Shugerman, Gender Reporter
Updated May. 16, 2021

In California right now, you can get an abortion without speaking to a single other human being. You log onto a website—mychoix.co—put in your health information, answer some questions, and wait for an email from a clinician letting you know if you’ve been approved. If you are, an online pharmacy will ship you a package of mifepristone and misoprostol—a two-pill regime that is safer than many prescription drugs and 98 percent effective at terminating early-stage pregnancies. You will take it, you will bleed, your pregnancy will—in all likelihood—end.

This particular configuration is available in only one state, for a limited time, due to an emergency declaration issued by the Food and Drug Administration during the pandemic. But make no mistake: This is the future abortion advocates want.

Continued: https://www.thedailybeast.com/these-start-ups-could-make-abortion-one-click-away


Women in Mexico use mobile apps during at-home abortions

With abortion illegal in 30 Mexican states, women are using an over-the-counter drug for the procedure.

By Andalusia K Soloff
14 May 2021

Mexico City, Mexico – In the middle of the global pandemic crisis, Maria Muñoz, a 26 year-old journalist, found herself facing an unwanted pregnancy in Mexico City.  Fearful of contracting COVID-19 at a hospital or clinic she decided to abort at home, with assistance coming via the popular messaging service, WhatsApp.

An increasing number of women in Mexico are turning to online support networks who advise them on how to use misoprostol, an over-the-counter ulcer medicine, to abort.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/14/women-in-mexico-use-mobile-apps-for-at-home-abortions


USA – The Anti-Abortion Movement Can’t Use This Myth Anymore

Covid-19 may end up inadvertently speeding up abortion progress in America — and exposing conservative hypocrisy along the way.

May 13, 2021
By Jessica Valenti, New York Times

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration announced that people seeking abortion pills during the Covid-19 pandemic will no longer have to visit a doctor’s office to get a prescription. Under the Trump administration, patients were required to receive the first of the medication’s two doses in person, a mandate upheld by the Supreme Court in January. The new policy instead allows for telemedicine consultations and pills sent by mail.

The decision is a practical one for the Covid era: It reduces unnecessary face time in doctor’s offices, which cuts down the potential for exposure. It could also be a huge blow to the anti-abortion movement. Groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have been pushing the Biden administration to make the F.D.A.’s decision permanent. Last week, in a legal filing, the agency announced it was reviewing their restrictions on the medication.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/13/opinion/abortion-pill-fda-covid.html


Women on Web Telemedicine Abortion Service Turns 15!

May 10, 2021
Women on Web

For 15 years now, Women on Web, the first ever telemedical abortion service, has made sure that pregnant people around the world have access to safe abortions. The first abortion Women on Web provided was to a woman living in Lisbon, who completed the online consultation on May 10, 2006, when abortion was still illegal in Portugal.

For 15 years now, Women on Web, the first ever telemedical abortion service, has made sure that pregnant people around the world have access to safe abortions. The first abortion Women on Web provided was to a woman living in Lisbon, who completed the online consultation on May 10, 2006, when abortion was still illegal in Portugal.

Continued: https://www.womenonweb.org/en/page/20954/women-on-web-telemedicine-abortion-service-turns-15