Africa: Essential Women’s Health Services at Risk Amid Covid-19

By JOHN LAZAME TINDANBIL
Oct 4, 2020

Bolgatanga, Ghana — The COVID-19 pandemic is setting back important progress on women’s health across Africa. There are many reasons for this, including lockdown restrictions which are keeping women at home, concerns about catching the virus, and the closure of women’s health services. These problems are not simple ones, but they to be acknowledged and addressed.

In my own country, Ghana, where my organisation runs safe abortion and family planning services in the north of the country, we saw a sharp drop in the number of women accessing our services from April to August 2020, compared to the same period last year.

Continued: https://thestreetjournal.org/2020/10/africa-essential-womens-health-services-at-risk-amid-covid-19/


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


US isolated at ‘failed’ anti-abortion summit in Nairobi

US isolated at ‘failed’ anti-abortion summit in Nairobi
Conservative protests against global development conference in Kenya fail to draw crowds, or derail commitments.

Nandini Archer, Claire Provost, Mary Fitzgerald
15 November 2019

US representatives found themselves isolated at a “failed” counter-summit, organised by religious conservative groups, to protest against the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) in Nairobi this week.

More than 9,500 people from 170 countries attended the three-day global summit, queuing for hours to get in on the opening day. Five people were rushed to hospital after fainting in the packed lines of delegates.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/us-isolated-at-failed-anti-abortion-summit-in-nairobi/


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/


Abortion Law: Global Comparisons

Abortion Law: Global Comparisons
A recent spate of state laws to restrict abortion services in the United States has reignited debate over the procedure. How does the United States’ regulation of abortion compare to the rest of the world?

by Rachel B. Vogelstein and Rebecca Turkington
July 15, 2019

The past fifty years have been characterized by an unmistakable trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws, particularly in the industrialized world. Amid ongoing debate over the procedure, the trend has coincided with a drop in abortion rates worldwide. As nations across the globe have expanded the grounds on which women can access reproductive health services, the quality and safety of abortion care has improved, as has maternal survival.

Abortion rates are relatively similar between countries with highly restrictive abortion laws and those where the procedure is permitted without restriction, at between 34 and 37 per 1,000 women annually [PDF], but the safety of the procedure diverges widely: almost 90 percent of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared with only 25 percent of those in countries in which abortion is banned.

Continued: https://www.cfr.org/article/abortion-law-global-comparisons


Despite Progress, Over 200 Million Women Still Waiting for Modern Contraception

Despite Progress, Over 200 Million Women Still Waiting for Modern Contraception

By Thalif Deen

OTTAWA, Canada, Oct 23 2018 (IPS) - The international community will be commemorating two milestones in the history of population and development next year: the 50th anniversary of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the 25th anniversary of a Programme of Action (PoA) adopted at the1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo.

“Let’s use these important benchmarks to launch accelerated action – together. Starting here in Ottawa,” UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem told a gathering of over 150 parliamentarians from more than 60 countries who were meeting in the Canadian capital to review the progress made in several key socio-economic issues on the UN agenda, including reproductive health, maternal and infant mortality, family planning, female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Continued: http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/despite-progress-200-million-women-still-waiting-modern-contraception/


Africa – From Counting To Ensuring Everyone Counts

From Counting To Ensuring Everyone Counts

Dailyguide Africa
October 6, 2018
Dereje Wordofa with Samira Bawumia

At first glance, one may think the Ussher Fort Polyclinic only serves the purpose of a health facility for the people of Jamestown; providing basic healthcare needs for residents in its catchment areas.

But the health facility does a little more than just providing healthcare services.

The facility houses a skills training centre where teenage mothers and girls who have dropped out of school acquire dressmaking skills in a two-year programme being sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Continued: http://dailyguideafrica.com/from-counting-to-ensuring-everyone-counts/


Indonesian incest rape victim, 15, could be sent back to jail for having an abortion

Indonesian incest rape victim, 15, could be sent back to jail for having an abortion

By Tasha Wibawa
Sep 23, 2018

An appeal against the acquittal of a 15-year-old rape victim who was charged with illegal abortion in Indonesia has been condemned by local activists, who say the move is a backward step for the protection of women.

A regional prosecution office launched the appeal, saying it wanted the case to serve as a lesson to others considering aborting a pregnancy, the Jakarta Post reported.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-24/prosecutors-appeal-decision-to-acquit-rape-victim-of-abortion/10280896


Reproductive Health should not be a Political Football

Reproductive Health should not be a Political Football
24.07.2018 In: News, FIGO news

According to UNFPA, the US contribution of $69 million in 2016 saved 2,340 women from dying in childbirth, prevented just under one million unintended pregnancies, provided 1,250 fistula surgeries and prevented nearly 300,000 unsafe abortions!

Sadly, by March 2017, as a result of the re-imposed so-called ‘Global Gag Rule,’ following the US Presidential Election, reproductive health and family planning funds were slashed significantly by the US Government (aid through the State Department and USAID).

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/reproductive-health-should-not-be-political-football