The State of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: A Conversation with Dr. Zara Ahmed

October 9, 2020
By Deekshita Ramanarayanan
15-minute podcast

“Unintended pregnancy and abortion are reproductive health experiences shared by tens of millions of people around the world, irrespective of personal status or circumstance. What differs though are the obstacles,” said Dr. Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at the Guttmacher Institute in this week’s Friday Podcast. Research from the Guttmacher Institute on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) found that in 2018, there were 121 million unintended pregnancies globally, and of those, 61 percent ended in abortion. About half of these abortions were in unsafe conditions and led to approximately 23,000 preventable pregnancy related deaths, said Ahmed.

“A major finding of our research is about the legal status of abortion,” said Ahmed. “This is important. Abortion rates are the same where abortion is broadly legal and where it’s restricted – exactly the same.” Guttmacher research shows that in settings where abortion is restricted, the proportion of unintended pregnancies that end in abortion increased nearly 40 percent over the last 30 years.

Continued: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2020/10/state-sexual-reproductive-health-rights-conversation-dr-zara-ahmed/


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/


Nigeria – World Contraception Day: 7,516 estimated maternal deaths averted through our services, says Marie Stopes

25th September 2020
Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Marie Stopes International, Nigeria , said on Friday, that, through its routine family planning campaign across states in Nigeria between January and June, no fewer than 7,516 estimated maternal deaths was averted, while 37,475 estimated child deaths was also prevented.

It added that no fewer than 1,279,924 persons across Nigeria used a family planning method provided through one of its service delivery channels which led to the prevention of 1,503,457 unintended pregnancies and 529,577 estimated unsafe abortion.

Continued:  https://www.sunnewsonline.com/world-contraception-day-7516-estimated-maternal-deaths-averted-through-our-services-says-marie-stopes/


Ghana – Reducing Unsafe Abortions, The Need For A More Comprehensive Services And Care For Women

By Afedzi Abdullah
09/09/2020

Despite Ghana having relatively liberal laws on abortion, the procedure continues to be highly stigmatised, and as a result, many abortions are done illegally.

Consequently, the country is lacking accurate data on abortion incidence and unintended pregnancies which are very essential to planning reproductive health services.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/1028434/reducing-unsafe-abortions-the-need-for-a-more.html


Malaysia – LETTER | Reduce adolescent pregnancy, uphold sexual and reproductive health

Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia
Published 9 Sep 2020

LETTER | We, leaders and representatives of civil society organisations, professional societies, scientific associations, faith-based organisations, government agencies and departments, private for-profit entities, non-governmental, non-profit organisations, and citizens of Malaysia, are united to reduce unintended adolescent pregnancies in Malaysia.

We desire a society where every person below 18 years of age enjoys health and well-being, is treated with love and respect, and is capable of realising their fullest potential. However, we are concerned with the reported rising rate of unprotected adolescent sexual activity, of which the health and social impacts include unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion or miscarriages, disrupted education, child marriage, social stigma, and further victimisation.

Continued: https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/542003


Abortion rates don’t drop when the procedure is outlawed. But it does make it more dangerous

Though abortion restrictions are incredibly harmful and coercive in the U.S., they aren't a primary driver in the national decline in pregnancy terminations.

July 29, 2020
By Zara Ahmed, associate director of federal issues for the Guttmacher Institute

Anti-abortion advocates working to criminalize abortion in the United States and abroad will always be stymied by a crucial fact: People everywhere want, need and find ways to get abortions.

I observed this firsthand while working as a public health adviser in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and now new research from the Guttmacher Institute demonstrates just how misguided and dangerous it is to try to limit abortion access. The data shows that abortion rates are roughly the same in countries where abortion is broadly legal and in countries where it isn't. And abortion rates are actually four times higher in low-income countries where abortion is prohibited than in high-income countries where it is broadly legal.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/abortion-rates-don-t-drop-when-procedure-outlawed-it-does-ncna1235174


Abortion rates highest where legally restricted: study

July 24, 2020

Abortion rates are highest in countries that legally restrict access to terminations, but lowest in high-income countries where abortion and contraception are accessible, a new study has found.

Women in the world's poorest regions are three times more likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy than women in the global North. Abortion rates are also highest in middle- and low-income countries, the research found.

Continued: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-abortion-highest-legally-restricted.html


Maldives records 12 unintended pregnancies per day amidst COVID-19

Shahudha Mohamed
05 July 2020

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed on Sunday that every day, 12 women unintentionally get pregnant, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), even before the pandemic, only 15 percent of married couples in Maldives used some form of modern contraception – one of the lowest contraceptive prevalence rates anywhere.

Continued: https://edition.mv/news/17692


OPINION: Midwives are more important now than ever – let’s help them help us

OPINION: Midwives are more important now than ever – let’s help them help us

by Simon Cooke and Sylvia Hamata | Marie Stopes International
Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Delivering a baby is just one part of being a midwife. This International Day of the Midwife, we want to highlight the least talked about aspect of midwifery: providing safe abortion and post-abortion care.

The meaning of midwife is ‘with woman’. By providing information and services, midwives are essential in enabling women to exercise their reproductive and sexual rights and choices. In some cases, this will mean assisting a woman with the birth of their first child. In others, it will mean supporting a woman to end a pregnancy or providing a woman with life-saving post-abortion care following an unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://news.trust.org/item/20200504144142-5hqkl


Pakistan – Lost protection

Lost protection
The lockdown has limited peoples’ access to various forms of birth control. The restrictions have also prompted a shortage of contraceptives. The government must declare sexual and reproductive healthcare an essential service or get ready to embrace a baby boom in due course

Alefia T. Hussain
May 3, 2020

Lately, we’ve been joking about a lockdown baby boom. The joke may turn sour a few months on when stay-at-home rules and boredom-induced intimacy between couples start resulting in the arrival of coronababies, coronials or quaranteens.

It might sound cute and joyful, but it’s making many couples insecure — because it’s not the best time to get intimate.

Continued: https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/652596-lost-protection