Getting an Abortion During Lockdown Is Easier Than You Think
New telemedicine services mean that most people in the UK are now able to perform their own abortions at home.
by Beth Ashley
02 June 2020
When lockdown was introduced in the UK, no one could have predicted its scale or impact. Every aspect of normal life has been affected by it – and those seeking an abortion haven’t been exempt, either.
Ellie*, 22, became pregnant in early April. She knew that she didn’t want to continue the pregnancy but was terrified she wouldn’t be able to get a termination due to COVID-19. “There was so much in the news and on social media through March about delayed and cancelled abortions in England,” she told VICE. “People had been campaigning against the [cancellations] all over Twitter. I was terrified about what might happen to me.”
Pandemic further hinders safe abortion in Latin America
By Carlos Christian
April 9, 2020
Calls decreased, but text messages increased. They cannot speak because they hear them. They cannot say in front of their families that they seek help, that they need to abort. Las Comadres, a feminist network in Ecuador that provides information to women who want to terminate their pregnancies with drugs, has had to change its communication channels in recent weeks. Telephone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Isolation, imposed as a mitigation measure by Covid-19, has limited the freedom of those seeking access to an abortion, but not the determination of those who are determined to do so.
Verónica Vera, one of the sixty Ecuadorians who responds to requests for accompaniment, now through platforms such as Telegram, says that in March requests for support increased by 25%. Women who want to abort will do so even in a health emergency, and the public health system in Latin America seems not ready to respond. “The difficulty of mobilizing due to the measures adopted by the pandemic, the collapsed medical services and the lack of privacy within prolonged confinements could lead to a setback in Latin America,” he warns.
The Pandemic Means More People May Be Giving Themselves Abortions
But the abortion pill sites people rely on are in jeopardy.
by Marie Solis
Apr 8 2020
The first time H* needed an abortion, she drove about two hours to the nearest clinic and back, waited 48 hours—the required waiting period for anyone in Tennessee seeking an abortion—then went back and paid more than $700 for the procedure. That’s not counting gas money for eight hours of driving, or the wages she lost when she took time off from her hourly job for the appointment.
In March, she learned she was pregnant again, and found herself confronting many of the same barriers to getting an abortion: The clinic was still far away, the procedure was still costly, and she would still have to take off a day or two to account for the waiting period and the drives to and from the clinic.
It's Time For A Revolution In At-Home Abortion
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fiction that most abortions need to be performed in a clinic setting.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
The callers wanted to know how to end their pregnancies without going outside. Many were afraid to travel for fear of contracting the coronavirus, which spreads through contact with others. Some didn’t have the financial resources to make an arduous, often multi-day trip to an abortion clinic. Others were stuck in states where abortions were temporarily halted by Republican leaders exploiting the crisis to erode access.
Faced with dwindling options, callers to the helpline run by the reproductive rights group If/When/How, were considering “self-managed abortion,” loosely defined as ending a pregnancy without the formal supervision of a health care professional. Calls to the confidential helpline have more than doubled in the past two weeks, according to Jill Adams, the group’s executive director.
Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary
April 2, 2020
Remote abortion care should always be offered to ensure the health of women, irrespective of whether there is a pandemic, argue Elizabeth Chloe Romanis and Jordan Parsons
On 30 March 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care liberalised abortion regulations, allowing women in England to be consulted about abortion care remotely and to take both abortion medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, at home. This same change had already been made the previous week, but was then revoked within a couple of hours. The Scottish and Welsh governments both followed suit on 31 March 2020 and have also authorised the remote prescription of abortion pills and for both pills to be taken at home. Before these interventions, women were required to attend clinics in order to access treatment that could have safely been provided remotely—a stance that was paradoxical during the pandemic.
Self-Managed Abortion Is Medically Very Safe. But Is It Legally Safe?
by Carrie N. Baker
Between 1969 and 1973, feminists in Chicago with no formal medical training formed an underground abortion service called Jane that performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions.
Today, as many states increasingly restrict medical professionals’ ability to offer abortion, women are once again finding ways to access safe abortion on their own.
Women in England will be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak
Posted by Lauren Geall
Mar 30, 2020
Women in England will be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson has confirmed.
Last week the government published legislation which said that abortion pills would be available at home, before declaring that the update had been published in error and withdrawing the announcement.
Relaxation of UK abortion rules welcomed by experts
Rules eased during coronavirus crisis to allow women to be sent both sets of abortion pills
Mon 30 Mar 2020
Leading UK healthcare providers have welcomed the government’s decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home without travelling to a clinic.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the government was updating its guidance to help women who need an abortion, but cannot access a clinic because of measures put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.
State control over women's bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis
A U-turn on women’s ability to access home abortions and the cancellation of IVF means they have less say over their fertility
Sun 29 Mar 2020
It’s been quite a week to have a womb in the UK.
First, pregnant women were suddenly categorised as vulnerable, and advised to stay home by the government. But then some of them were told to come back into work by their employers – including the riskiest of all, the NHS.
“Stay Home and Have the Baby”
Texas and Ohio have ordered a stop to abortions, saying they’re not essential medical services. Other states will follow. Right-wing forces are using the pandemic as a pretext to crack down dramatically on abortion rights. We can’t let them.
By Jenny Brown
Texas and Ohio have ordered a stop to abortions, saying they’re not essential medical services, while state officials in Mississippi and Maryland are edging that direction. Their coronavirus prevention program is “Stay home and have the baby.”
The states argued that equipment such as masks used for surgical abortions could be used for care of COVID-19 patients. And they claim if anything goes wrong emergency services would be needed, exaggerating the risk of a safe procedure.