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


‘May You Be The Mother Of Many Sons…’

Monday, 5 October 2020
Shobha Shukla

...so goes an old common blessing given to an Indian bride, talks of gender equality notwithstanding. While the small family norm slogan of 'hum do, hamare do' (we two, ours two) has rubbed in well the penchant for begetting at least one son has not waned.

Many modern Indian women find their womanhood incomplete without begetting a son. I know of several highly educated and professionally qualified young Indian women who heaved a sigh of relief and smug satisfaction on having a boy as their first or second born. A complete Indian family is envisaged as one with two kids- at least one of who ought be a son.

Continued: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO2010/S00031/may-you-be-the-mother-of-many-sons.htm


Trump’s Proposal to Further Expand Global Gag Rule Amid Pandemic Would Cut Off Healthcare Access to Millions, Rights Groups Warn

"Study after study—including from the State Department—has demonstrated that this neocolonialist policy has inflicted a crushing blow to healthcare access for people around the world."

by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday warned that a newly proposed expansion of the anti-choice global gag rule will put millions at even greater risk of being unable to access healthcare including abortion care.

The U.S. State Department on Monday entered into the Federal Register a proposed policy change which would refuse global health aid through federal government contracts to foreign healthcare groups that provide abortion care or counseling.

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/15/trumps-proposal-further-expand-global-gag-rule-amid-pandemic-would-cut-healthcare


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/


International abortion rule led to lapsed health aid in some African countries, report shows

By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Thu August 20, 2020

(CNN) A State Department review of the Trump administration's policy to bar funding for foreign nonprofits that perform or promote abortions found it has also affected efforts to treat tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS and to deliver nutritional assistance, among other programs, and has had significant impact in sub-Saharan Africa.

The review, published Tuesday, looks at the impact of the Trump administration's 2017 decision to reinstate the "Mexico City Policy" -- which had previously impacted only family planning assistance -- and extend it to all applicable US global health funding under the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/20/politics/abortion-global-rule-usaid-state-department/index.html


Millions of women lose contraceptives, abortions in COVID-19

By ANIRUDDHA GHOSAL and CARA ANNA, Associated Press
19 August 2020

NEW DELHI -- Millions of women and girls globally have lost access to contraceptives and abortion services because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now the first widespread measure of the toll says India with its abrupt, months-long lockdown has been hit especially hard.

Several months into the pandemic, many women now have second-trimester pregnancies because they could not find care in time.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/baby-boom-ahead-covid-19-millions-women-care-72460772


South Africa – Abortion is a regular medical procedure, so why do we need a law for it?

With abortion services becoming available through telemedicine and self-managed abortions increasingly gaining traction globally, the relevance and legality of abortion law should be questioned as women demand reproductive justice, and feminists get organising.

By Marion Stevens
14 August 2020

Abortion has always been legal in South Africa, a fact which may surprise many people. The colonial government introduced Roman-Dutch law, which allowed abortions to take place under certain conditions.

The Abortion and Sterilisation Act 2 of 1975 reserved access to abortion for white women, while increasing control over black women’s bodies – all within a population control framework. Under this act, approximately 1,000 white women accessed abortion every year, while the number of black women seeking abortions was not even recorded.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-08-14-abortion-is-a-regular-medical-procedure-so-why-do-we-need-a-law-for-it/


Sri Lanka’s backstreet abortions: hundreds of women take daily risks with illegal terminations

Sri Lanka’s abortion laws are among the world's most restrictive, yet hundreds of women risk their lives every day with illegal terminations

By Meghan Davidson Ladly

5 August 2020

In an unassuming house in the Sri Lankan city of Negombo, Achala is bravely
breaking a taboo. With poise and calm the 36-year-old is talking about her
abortion, three years previously. While she is hardly alone in terminating a
pregnancy, few Sri Lankan women are willing to openly discuss their experiences
in a country where the issue remains legally and culturally off limits. 

Sri Lanka’s abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the world and
attempts at legal reform are held up in parliament. Yet every day hundreds of
women are thought to obtain illegal abortions, risking their lives and
long-term health.

Continued:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/women-and-girls/sri-lankas-backstreet-abortions-hundreds-women-take-daily-risks/


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

Sophie Cousins, The Lancet
August 01, 2020
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31679-2

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.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31679-2/fulltext


India – ‘Women always take the brunt’: India sees surge in unsafe abortion

Low priority for reproductive health during lockdown leaves millions unable to access contraception or safe terminations

Neha Thirani Bagri in Mumbai
Published on Mon 13 Jul 2020

Sadhna Gupta* discovered she was pregnant just after India imposed a crippling lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The 21-year-old from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar didn’t want to be pregnant. With no public transport available, clinics closed and Bhubaneswar at a standstill, she bought an abortion pill without consulting a doctor. While what she did was not unusual, Indian law requires a prescription for the pills from a licensed medical professional.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jul/13/women-always-take-the-brunt-india-sees-surge-in-unsafe-abortion