How The Pandemic Is Limiting Access To Abortion

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.

Hannah Steinkopf-Frank
2020-10-19

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.

Continued: https://worldcrunch.com/coronavirus/how-the-pandemic-is-limiting-access-to-abortion


Activists in Latin America battle to guarantee access to safe abortion in COVID-19 world

By Josefina Salomón & Christopher Alford
7 September 2020

For decades, women human rights defenders across Latin America have been fighting an uphill battle to ensure sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion, are a reality for all. Over the last five months that battle has turned into a war.

The figures have been shocking for a long time. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned them into a catastrophe, with a potential bleak future.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/09/activists-latin-america-access-safe-abortion-covid19/


Australia – ‘Devastating’: Rural women are struggling to access abortion services during the pandemic

The pandemic has reinforced existing barriers for rural and regional women when it comes to termination services. There are fears some women could take matters into their own hands and attempt unsafe abortions.

September 6, 2020

BY EDEN GILLESPIE

Dr Catriona Melville, Deputy Medical Director at Marie Stopes, has been flying
into rural towns to provide termination services since the pandemic began. 

She told The Feed that while abortion is an essential service, some patients in
Melbourne, who under lockdown, are in a precarious position with no abortion
clinics or specialists in their area.

Continued: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/devastating-rural-women-are-struggling-to-access-abortion-services-during-the-pandemic


Nepal – Putting the brakes on COVID-19: Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls

Published: July 11, 2020

KATHMANDU: The COVID-19 pandemic has sickened 16,649 people and left 35 dead in Nepal as of July 10. But the full toll of this catastrophe has been incalculably greater. The health system has been overwhelmed and the economy has been greatly impacted. Women and girls have been disproportionately affected, with sexual and reproductive health services being curtailed and gender-based violence on the rise.

Today, 11 July, is World Population Day, a moment to raise awareness of the sexual and reproductive health needs of people. This year, UNFPA is calling attention to the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls amid the pandemic, and the efforts needed to secure their health and human rights.

Continued: https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/putting-the-brakes-on-covid-19-safeguarding-the-health-and-rights-of-women-and-girls/


South Africa: Providing safe abortion care during a national lockdown

03 July 2020
Kgaladi Mphahlele, Doctors Without Borders

In 2015, MSF surveyed 800 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Rustenburg and found that one in four women had been raped in her lifetime, yet fewer than 5 per cent of those women reported to a health care facility. Since then, MSF has run several sexual and reproductive health programs for the community— including for survivors of sexual violence— across Bojanala district, where Rustenburg is located, in partnership with local health authorities.

In addition to community outreach and health
education in more than 20 schools in the district, MSF supports four Kgomotso
Care Centers (KCC) providing sexual violence care.

Continued: https://www.msf.org.za/stories-news/fieldworker-stories/south-africa-providing-safe-abortion-care-during-national-lockdown


USA – Study Examines The Lasting Effects Of Having — Or Being Denied — An Abortion

Study Examines The Lasting Effects Of Having — Or Being Denied — An Abortion
In The Turnaway Study, Diana Greene Foster shares research conducted over 10 years with about 1,000 women who had or were denied abortions, tracking impacts on mental, physical and economic health.

June 16, 2020
Terry Gross
Fresh Air - 36-Minute Listen

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. When Mike Pence was running for vice president, he said, if we appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court, as Donald Trump intends to do, I believe we will see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs. Since then, Trump has appointed two conservative justices. The arguments used against abortion often refer to the medical risks of the procedure and the guilt and loss of self-esteem suffered by women who have abortions.

In order to explore what the impact of abortion is on women's health and women's lives, my guest, Diana Greene Foster, became the principal investigator of a 10-year study comparing women who had abortions at the end of the deadline allowed by the clinic and those who just missed the deadline and were turned away. The study focuses on the emotional health and socioeconomic outcomes for women who received a wanted abortion and those who were denied one.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/16/877846258/study-examines-the-lasting-effects-of-having-or-being-denied-an-abortion


COVID-19 exposed how women continue to be ‘disproportionately affected in society’

COVID-19 exposed how women continue to be 'disproportionately affected in society'

Giulia Magri
Sunday, 31 May 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, both locally and on a global scale, how women continue to be disproportionately affected; whether with regard to violence, losing their jobs, or not gaining full accessibility to the contraceptive pill, women’s rights activist and lawyer Lara Dimitrijevic told The Malta Independent on Sunday.

“In the ideal post-COVID-19 reality, authorities need to stop throwing the word equality around. Policymakers need to truly see how women are being affected and ensure that the required change takes place. We need to be practical and listen to one another if we genuinely want to reach equality. Women are suffering and I believe that sexual reproductive rights are an integral part of women’s rights and we need to acknowledge that.”

Continued: https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2020-05-31/local-news/COVID-19-exposed-how-women-continue-to-be-disproportionately-affected-in-society-6736223695


Keeping women’s health essential despite Covid-19 shortages

Keeping women's health essential despite Covid-19 shortages

Opinion by Anu Kumar
Thu May 7, 2020
(Video: Fear, panic as women navigate pregnancy during a pandemic, 02:59)

(CNN)The world is changing daily as a result of Covid-19. Like millions of people, I now have a virtual workday. I am fortunate -- I'm safe and comfortable at home with my family in North Carolina.

Although living socially distanced and not knowing when life will return to normal is a struggle, I am comforted by the knowledge of the frontline workers I work with around the world working to alleviate some of the harm being inflicted on those living in dense and underserved communities.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/06/opinions/covid-19-womens-health-abortion-access-kumar/


Canada – Why the abortion pill is more important than ever during the coronavirus

Why the abortion pill is more important than ever during the coronavirus
There could be an increase in unintended pregnancies just as abortion becomes less available, putting women who are self-isolating in abusive situations at higher risk

By Michelle Cohen
April 29, 2020

While COVID-19 has prompted widespread discussion (and in some cases fiery debate) about medications such as hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and remdesivir, one drug which may be of great consequence during the pandemic has seldom been mentioned: Mifegymiso, also known as the “abortion pill.”

Reproductive health advocates began sounding the alarm last month that access to abortion in this country is shrinking. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights reported that calls to its 24-hour hotline increased by 30 per cent in late March, with many of those phoning in were distressed about not being able to schedule an abortion or acquire contraception.

Continued: https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/why-the-abortion-pill-is-more-important-than-ever-during-the-coronavirus/


Millions more cases of violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, unintended pregnancy expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Millions more cases of violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, unintended pregnancy expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic

28 April 2020

UNITED NATIONS, New York – A clear view of the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is only beginning to take shape, but experts estimate the human cost could be extraordinary. The economic and physical disruptions caused by the disease could have vast consequences for the rights and health of women and girls, a new analysis by UNFPA and partners shows.

Significant levels of lockdown-related disruption over 6 months could leave 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries unable to use modern contraceptives, leading to a projected 7 million additional unintended pregnancies. Six months of lockdowns could result in an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence.

Continued: https://www.unfpa.org/news/millions-more-cases-violence-child-marriage-female-genital-mutilation-unintended-pregnancies