Group Takes Legal Action Over Lack of Abortion Services in Northern Ireland

A human rights group says the government’s inaction has left a health care void in a country where the procedure was legalized in 2019, but remains largely unavailable.

By Megan Specia
Jan. 11, 2021

A human rights group in Northern Ireland is taking legal action against the government over its failure to provide abortion access, the group announced on Monday, highlighting the continuing struggle for safe abortions more than a year after the procedure was legalized in the region.

The organization, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, cited deep concerns about a lack of abortion services, which it says has left a health care void for many women and girls.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/world/europe/northern-ireland-abortion.html


Global – The Year of MAGA: Making Abortions Great Again.

By Dr Suchitra Dalvie
January 8, 2021

Ok…… so now that we have your attention :) we wanted to take this opportunity to remind all of us working on safe abortion rights advocacy that Change is Possible, Change is Inevitable and Change did Happen!

Despite the terrible year that was 2020, some incredible breakthroughs took place in our world and we wanted to start the New Year by celebrating those wins--- by taking a moment to breathe and recharge ourselves and by renewing our commitment to this issue.

Continued: https://www.asapblog-prochoicediscussions.com/post/the-year-of-maga-making-abortions-great-again-by-dr-suchitra-dalvie


USA – Telemedicine abortion is here to stay

By Carrie N. Baker

Published: 12/23/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming many aspects of our lives, and
abortion is no exception. Telemedicine is expanding access to abortion health
care in ways that are likely to persist long after the pandemic is over.

Telemedicine abortion combines medication abortion — which uses pills to end a
pregnancy — and telemedicine — which allows health providers to supervise the
use of abortion pills via videoconferencing or telephone consultations.

Continued: https://www.gazettenet.com/Baker-column-37937013


The Supreme Court Doesn’t Hold All the Power When It Comes to Abortion Rights

Here Are 2 Things the Biden Administration Can Do to Extend Access

BY RACHEL REBOUCHÉ
DECEMBER 22, 2020

All eyes are on new appointments to President-elect Joe Biden’s Administration, with great speculation about which policies those appointees will change first. In particular, reproductive-rights supporters wonder what protection the Biden Administration can provide for abortion now that the Supreme Court has six votes to overturn or to further eviscerate the core holding of Roe v. Wade. But the Supreme Court is not the only forum for protecting abortion access, and new leadership for executive agencies matters more than has been popularly discussed. The Biden Administration could take two related actions–one right after taking office and one a few months later–that would help provide early and safe abortion to many thousands of people.

Continued: https://time.com/5922555/medication-abortion-joe-biden/


Scotland – Abortion rules revolutionised by Covid-19 must stay

Jillian Merchant
Monday December 21 2020

At the start of the pandemic the Scottish government, at the urging of medical practitioners and activists, issued guidance allowing early medical abortion at home to prevent unnecessary risk to women and clinicians.

This enabled women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to attend medical appointments by telephone or video call before, where clinically appropriate, being sent the two abortion pills to take at home. This is now subject to a public consultation on making the change permanent.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-rules-revolutionised-by-covid-19-must-stay-t0x6fgnkc


How the pandemic revolutionised abortion access in the UK

Since patients have been allowed to take pills at home to terminate pregnancies, major medical complications have dropped by two-thirds.

15 DECEMBER 2020
BY KATHARINE SWINDELLS

When national lockdown was imposed at the end of March, and in-person access to healthcare was limited, the government initially flip-flopped over temporary changes to abortion laws.

Yet from the beginning of April, it approved measures to allow patients within the first ten weeks of pregnancy to take abortion pills at home after a telephone call or e-consultation with a clinician. Previously, these would have been face-to-face appointments.

Continued: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/health/2020/12/how-pandemic-revolutionised-abortion-access-uk


Biden Could Expand Abortion Access, Even Without the Senate

The path lies not in legislation but through the deregulation of mifepristone—the only drug the FDA has approved to safely and effectively terminate an early pregnancy.

Nov 28, 2020
Greer Donley

Joe Biden is now poised to become the next president of the United States. His victory, however, is bittersweet for many Democrats, especially those for whom abortion rights are a top issue. Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives, and their odds for a Senate majority seem to be dwindling. Just eight days before the election, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Without a Senate majority and with a hostile Supreme Court, some may wonder whether any progress on abortion rights can be made in the next four years.

Abortion-rights advocates need not accept that all is lost. They simply need to look outside legislation and the courts for their answer.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/biden-abortion-access/616913/


Use of ‘at-home abortion pills’ rises amid pandemic – and faces new threats

Medication abortions have are a safe and accessible method of terminating pregnancy, but they have been targeted by onerous FDA restrictions

Cecilia Nowell
Sun 1 Nov 2020

With six conservative justices now sitting on the supreme court, the future of abortion access in US looks increasingly uncertain. But in addition to concerns about whether abortion clinics can stay open, activists are warning that lesser-known abortion medications are also under threat.

Medication abortions have been proven to be a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancy, and because they can be completed without doctor supervision, they serve as a crucial alternative for those who have had other abortion services shuttered in their state, or who do not feel safe accessing traditional health services.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/01/at-home-abortion-pills-increasingly-in-demand-amid-pandemic-under-new-threats


Telemedicine Abortions Are Safe — So Why Are They Still So Hard To Get?

ELIZABETH GULINOLAST
OCTOBER 20, 2020

Katie realized she was pregnant during the first week of April 2020. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. She already had two kids, and she’d just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The condition was still uncontrolled, which made her pregnancy high-risk. But it was just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She was in full lockdown, and she wasn’t sure if she could get an abortion.

"I was Googling abortions," she tells Refinery29. "My biggest thing was not wanting to actually go to a place." Besides being afraid of catching the virus, the nearest clinic to Katie was six hours away from her home in New Mexico, and she wasn’t sure how she’d find the time to get there.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/10/10015435/medical-abortion-pill-telabortion-access


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