Telemedicine can help improve access to abortion in France, a new study suggests

For immediate release 29/07/2021
Women on Web

A new study published in the British Medical Journal Sexual & Reproductive Health suggests that telemedicine abortion provision, a temporary measure which is allowed in France within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, can help meet women’s needs and preferences for secrecy, privacy and comfort, while facilitating increased access to and enabling a more person-centred abortion care beyond the pandemic.

Marion* writes to Women on Web: “I know abortion is legal in France, but I will tell you why I will not be able to have an abortion here. My companion is a violent man, I will never be able to have the opportunity to go to a hospital or a centre without him watching me.”

Continued: https://www.womenonweb.org/en/page/21030/press-release-telemedicine-can-help-improve-access-to-abortion-in


UK – The number of abortions in Staffordshire during the pandemic

Experts believe the increase is partly because of changes to the law

By Richard Ault, Chief Feature Writer
17 JUL 2021

During the year Covid-19 first arrived in the UK, bringing dramatic changes to daily life, there were 2,660 abortions carried out in Staffordshire.

That was up from 2,653 in 2019 and the highest ever recorded in the area, according to figures from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Continued: https://www.staffordshire-live.co.uk/news/local-news/number-abortions-staffordshire-during-pandemic-5648281


Scotland – Telemedicine in abortion care: safe, effective, preferred

Greta Hughson
12 July 2021

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland began providing telemedicine services for medical abortion. In this interview, we spoke to Dr John Reynolds-Wright of the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, who worked with a team to assess outcomes and acceptability for people using these services in Edinburgh. The study worked with 663 women choosing medical abortion at home between April and July 2020.

The study started in April 2020 – how did it come about so soon after COVID restrictions began?
I usually work as a doctor in sexual and reproductive health but I’m currently doing a PhD and working as a research fellow at the Chalmers Sexual Health Centre in Edinburgh. Before COVID, we were working on a large randomised controlled trial (RCT) called the UTAH study, which stood for ‘Using Telemedicine to improve early medical Abortion at Home’. We were randomising women to have a telephone assessment prior to their abortion versus a standard face-to-face assessment.

Continued: https://www.aidsmap.com/news/jul-2021/telemedicine-abortion-care-safe-effective-preferred


A hidden abortion crew prepares to confront a post-Roe America

Driven underground during the pandemic, online abortion providers say they’ll keep supplying pills and services even if the Supreme Court approves state bans.

By DARIUS TAHIR
07/06/2021

The Supreme Court’s decision to review Mississippi’s stringent restrictions on abortion — putting Roe vs. Wade under its roughest stress test yet — is being seen as a call to action for the nation’s community of underground abortion activists.

And they make it clear they’re prepared to defy any laws banning abortion.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/06/abortion-rights-supreme-court-states-restrictions-497821


Telemedicine for abortions should be here to stay

Jillian Merchant
Monday July 05 2021

In recent weeks the Scottish government published its analysis of responses to its public consultation on the continued use of telemedicine for abortion services. It concluded that it would consider the responses, along with further evidence, before making any decision.

Last week this decision came under fire from the Catholic Media Office. As a starting point, it is important to note that public consultations on healthcare procedures are exceptionally rare. It says a lot about the lack of value and trust, placed by society on women and their health, that the public at large should have any say in medical procedures. There are few, if any, other subjects where scientific advances are seen with such fear and inaction than women’s health.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/telemedicine-for-abortions-should-be-here-to-stay-ww3znv0kh


USA – Telemedicine options for abortion are here to stay

Through pandemic necessity, an ad-hoc, telehealth model for reproductive healthcare is sticking around.

By KYLIE CHEUNG
PUBLISHED JUNE 20, 2021

As much of the country prepares to return to some form of post-pandemic normalcy, reproductive health care providers and advocates hope we continue one vital pandemic tradition: telemedicine options for receiving and providing reproductive care from home.

Some researchers and providers have found offering medication abortion care via telehealth is crucial to bridging gaps in abortion access. Abortion medication care is safe and effective up to 10 weeks into one's pregnancy, and providers say that having a telehealth component to abortion care may even help establish greater medical trust and comfort for patients from marginalized communities seeking care.

Continued: https://www.salon.com/2021/06/20/telehealth-abortion-access-pandemic/


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


Abortion in a Post-Roe World? “People Are Resilient and Resourceful”

Thanks to new medications and innovative organizations committed to reproductive health and bodily self-determination, a reversal of Roe v. Wade would not send us back to the pre-Roe world of coat hangers and hospital wards full of deathly ill women.

6/3/2021
by CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine

The day after the Supreme Court announced they would hear the Mississippi abortion ban case, internet searches related to self-managed abortion surged across the United States—especially in states hostile to abortion rights. Online searches for terms related to abortion pills such as “misoprostol” and “medical abortion” exploded by more than 5,000 percent in the 24 hours after the court’s announcement.

“We see a definite spike in visitors to our website when there is news about abortion bans,” said Elisa Wells, co-founder and co-director of Plan C Pills, which provides up-to-date information on how to access abortion pills online. “People are looking for ways to access abortion pills. The need for abortion is never going to go away. When you cut off mainstream supply of it through clinical means, people will look for other ways to access the service.”

Continued:  https://msmagazine.com/2021/06/03/misoprostol-medical-abortion-post-roe-v-wade-abortion-pill-plan-c-aid-access-self-managed-abortion/


USA – Clinics Close, but Abortion Continues

Even as abortion is restricted, telemedicine allows some women to end unwanted pregnancies using legal medications.

By Jane E. Brody
May 31, 2021

Abortion is once again a prominent source of controversy, restrictive legislation and, for many, great distress. A little background may help put this in perspective.

Fifty years ago last fall, after New York State adopted the most lenient abortion law in the country, many out-of-state women with unwanted pregnancies sought help from New York doctors.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/31/well/live/abortion-legal-medication.html


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