African states, donors launch initiative to boost access to contraceptives

Source: Xinhua
2021-07-05

NAIROBI, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Three African countries including Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Uganda on Monday joined hands with international donors to launch an initiative aimed at improving access to reproductive health services including contraceptives.

Senior policymakers said the launch of Shaping Equitable Market Access (SEMA) for Reproductive Health initiative will help reduce unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions among women and girls in Africa and other low-income countries.

Continued: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/africa/2021-07/06/c_1310044494.htm


UK accused of ‘Trump tactics’ after ‘devastating’ £131m cut to family planning aid

Millions of the world’s poorest women and girls will ‘pay the price’ of the UK government reneging on its commitments, say aid workers

Kerry Cullinan
30 April 2021

The UK government has been accused of “using tactics reminiscent of the Trump era” after cutting millions in aid for family planning.

Boris Johnson’s government is set to slash its commitment to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by 85% – from an expected contribution of £154m to just £23m – in an enormous blow for women and girls in the poorest countries where health services have already been decimated by COVID-19.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/uk-accused-of-trump-tactics-after-devastating-131m-cut-to-family-planning-aid/


Southeast Asia – Less Contraception Use In A Pandemic?

Athira Nortajuddin
15 March 2021

Just last year when over half of humanity was confined to their homes due to COVID-19 preventive measures, Karex, a Malaysian contraceptives manufacturer predicted a global condom shortage as the pandemic shuttered factories and disrupted supply chains.

This came as Malaysia, one of the world’s top rubber producers and a major source of condoms, imposed a nationwide lockdown – known locally as the Movement Control Order (MCO). The MCO was implemented sometime in mid-March 2020 for several months.

Continued: https://theaseanpost.com/article/less-contraception-use-pandemic


Biden Wants More Stable Diplomacy. An Abortion Fight Is a Test

U.S. funding for overseas health providers that offer abortion services has vacillated with the changing of administrations for decades. Congress is debating whether to settle the policy by law.

By Lara Jakes
Feb. 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — As it reaches out to allies rattled by four years of erratic American diplomacy, the Biden administration wants to enlist Congress in advancing foreign policies that will withstand the whims of any single president.

An early test lies in the fate of what is known as the Mexico City policy.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/us/politics/biden-abortion-mexico-city-rule.html


There could be 7 million unplanned pregnancies because of COVID-19

Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo
Aug 2 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has rippled across the globe, infecting nearly 18 million individuals worldwide to date. Though the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affects people from all walks of life, women and girls may experience devastating effects of the outbreak.

A new report published in the journal The Lancet reveals the adverse effects of the coronavirus disease, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and highlights the impacts of COVID-19 on women's health.

Continued: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200802/There-could-be-7-million-unplanned-pregnancies-because-of-COVID-19.aspx


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


Coronavirus Created an Obstacle Course for Safe Abortions

Coronavirus Created an Obstacle Course for Safe Abortions
But during the pandemic, a few countries liberalized their requirements, allowing at-home medical terminations.

By Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Monika Pronczuk
June 14, 2020

BRUSSELS — When a 19-year-old woman from southern Poland decided to end her pregnancy at 18 weeks, she knew the only way to get an abortion was to rush to a neighboring European country.

Abortion is illegal in most circumstances in Poland, and so for years, many women have traveled within Europe to seek the procedure.

But it was April, and across the continent, borders were closing fast because of the coronavirus pandemic. So she and a friend loaded up their Renault with instant noodles and candy for a 14-hour race to Utrecht, in the Netherlands. They made it just in time for her to have the procedure and return home, her friend said.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/world/europe/coronavirus-abortion-obstacles.html


The American anti-abortion movement is reverberating abroad

The American anti-abortion movement is reverberating abroad

By Annalisa Merelli in Nairobi, Kenya
November 14, 2019

25 years ago, UN member states met in Cairo for a groundbreaking summit: the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). It was a massive meeting, attended by some 20,000 government representatives, activists and nonprofits.

Their goal was to make international commitments to improve reproductive rights and health around the world. They ultimately pledged to increase access to education for women, reduce maternal, infant and child mortality, and ensure access to family planning methods and reproductive health for all. Among those in attendance was then US president Bill Clinton. The US had emerged as a leader in promoting global reproductive rights. It was an exciting time. The conference felt like a landmark meeting. It was history in the making.

Continued: https://qz.com/1743640/us-abortion-politics-are-affecting-global-reproductive-health/


UK announce £600m aid for family planning as US ramps up anti-abortion stance

UK announce £600m aid for family planning as US ramps up anti-abortion stance

Sarah Newey, Global Health Security Correspondent
23 September 2019

Britain announced a £600 million aid package for women's sexual and reproductive health and rights at the United Nations on Monday in the face of opposition from the United States.

Alok Sharma, the UK’s International Development Secretary, told delegates the UK would promote and defend “women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights” – despite the Trump administration circulating a letter calling for the phrase to be dropped on the grounds that it was being interpreted as a new international right to abortion.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/women-and-girls/uk-announce-600m-aid-family-planning-us-ramps-anti-abortion/


UN says Canadian funding for reproductive health agency critical after U.S. cuts

UN says Canadian funding for reproductive health agency critical after U.S. cuts

Michelle Zilio, OTTAWA
December 6, 2017

The head of the UN reproductive health and rights agency says Canada's financial support has been critical to the agency's work after President Donald Trump cut U.S. funding this year.

Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, says the withdrawal of almost $70-million (U.S.) in American funding will put millions of women's lives at risk in the years to come. Dr. Kanem, who was in Ottawa on Wednesday to launch the agency's annual population report, said the Canadian government's renewal of $15.6-million (Canadian) in funding is "lifesaving" for vulnerable women and girls in some of the poorest regions of the world.

Continued at source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/un-says-canadian-funding-for-reproductive-health-agency-critical-after-us-cuts/article37230933/