UN Experts: Access to Contraception and Abortion Must Continue During COVID-19

SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
Health and Human Rights Journal

UN Experts joined together to remind states of their human rights duty to ensure access to contraception for anyone who wants it, including during COVID-19.  On World Contraception Day (26 September), the experts, led by the new Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, states, “The right to sexual and reproductive health includes women’s freedom to decide whether to be pregnant, how many children to have, and to space pregnancies. It also imposes a core obligation on States to provide the essential medicines of the relevant WHO List which includes contraceptives.”

COVID-19 has made it more difficult for women to access family planning services with restrictions on freedom of movement, as well as production and supply chains being disrupted. However, the state obligations remain in place, and the experts said people are entitled to information and access to health care facilities irrespective of lockdown conditions.

Continued: https://www.hhrjournal.org/2020/09/un-experts-access-to-contraception-and-abortion-must-continue-during-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/

Uganda – Unwanted pregnancy? Who is to blame?

September 18, 2020
Doreen N Kyampeire, RedPepper Editorial

Growing up in a typical African home, girls are usually told not to bring home a pre-marital pregnancy and boys not to impregnate someone’s daughter out of wedlock. This threat by parents and guardians poses a mystery to the African child of how exactly this said “evil” happens.

They are never given the full detail on how pregnancy actually happens. This points to a very large gap in sexuality education. The little information got is from the senior women and men teachers in schools which is usually not comprehensive.

Continued: http://redpepper.co.ug/2020/09/doreen-n-kyamp-oped/

Trump’s Proposal to Further Expand Global Gag Rule Amid Pandemic Would Cut Off Healthcare Access to Millions, Rights Groups Warn

"Study after study—including from the State Department—has demonstrated that this neocolonialist policy has inflicted a crushing blow to healthcare access for people around the world."

by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday warned that a newly proposed expansion of the anti-choice global gag rule will put millions at even greater risk of being unable to access healthcare including abortion care.

The U.S. State Department on Monday entered into the Federal Register a proposed policy change which would refuse global health aid through federal government contracts to foreign healthcare groups that provide abortion care or counseling.

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/15/trumps-proposal-further-expand-global-gag-rule-amid-pandemic-would-cut-healthcare

GP cash incentive linked to fall in UK abortion rates, study finds

Use of long-acting reversible contraceptives rose due to scheme encouraging targeted advice to women

Nicola Davis, Science correspondent
Mon 14 Sep 2020

A scheme that gave GP surgeries cash incentives to tell women about long-acting reversible methods of contraception has been linked to a sharp fall in abortion rates.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives, known as Larcs, include the implant, intrauterine device and contraceptive injection and are highly effective.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/14/gp-cash-incentive-linked-to-fall-in-uk-abortion-rates-study-finds

Nigeria – Prioritise girls sexual reproductive health, SFH tasks Nasarawa Government

By Abel Abogonye, Lafia
12 September 2020

Society for Family Health (SFH) has urged the Nasarawa state government to prioritise adolescent girls’ access to sexual reproductive health services to reduce morbidity and maternal mortality.

The Northern regional coordinator, SFH, Anita Elabo at the closeout of the first phase of the A360 project yesterday in Lafia, said access to reproductive health services would promote social inclusiveness and help reduce maternal mortality such as unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortion among adolescent girls and women.

Continued: https://guardian.ng/news/prioritise-girls-sexual-reproductive-health-sfh-tasks-nasarawa-government/

Women Have Paid the Price for Trump’s Regulatory Agenda

By Osub Ahmed, Shilpa Phadke, and Diana Boesch 
September 10, 2020

From the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, his administration has used every tool in its arsenal to chip away at women’s health, employment, economic security, and rights overall. One of the administration’s most effective, and at times less noticed, tools to crafting this harmful agenda against women has been to use the standard agency rule-making process as a political weapon.1 Frequently ignoring relevant data and research, the Trump administration has used the rule-making process to issue guidance, interpret public policy, and implement statutes in ways that are fundamentally harmful to women, often pushing beyond the limits of its legal authority while consistently underestimating the financial costs and dismissing the human impact of its rules.2

Continued: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/09/10/490241/women-paid-price-trumps-regulatory-agenda/

Meeting Women’s Modern Contraceptive Needs Could Yield Dramatic Benefit

September 9, 2020
By Deekshita Ramanarayanan

“Achieving true progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights requires a comprehensive approach and a commitment to tackling deeply entrenched inequities and injustices of which marginalized communities continue to bear the brunt,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute. She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event where speakers analyzed findings from the Guttmacher Institute on the state of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally.

The current COVID-19 pandemic threatens to roll back progress made towards SRHR.  “A growing body of evidence shows that the pandemic is already limiting access to sexual and reproductive health care worldwide, especially in low- and middle- income countries,” said Sarah Barnes, Project Director of the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center. These impacts go unrecognized because they are indirect results of health system disruption rather than the direct impact of a virus, said Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at the Guttmacher Institute.

Continued: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2020/09/meeting-womens-modern-contraceptive-yield-dramatic-benefit/

Nigeria – High rate of unwanted pregnancy among adolescent: group urges PHCs to scale up

Isaac Eranga
September 2, 2020

Benin City: A youth-led non-governmental organization known as the Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative (CAEYDI) has called on Primary HealthCare Centers (PHCs) to improve on their youth friendly reproductive health services in order to reduce the high rate of unwanted pregnancies prevalent among adolescent and youth in Edo State, saying adolescent are more vulnerable when it comes to unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://nigerianobservernews.com/2020/09/high-rate-of-unwanted-pregnancy-among-adolescent-group-urges-phcs-to-scale-up/

India – We Need To Talk About Unsafe Sex And Our Dilemmas Around Using Contraception

By Pragya Roy
September 2, 2020

As much as our country fears conversations around the word and the act of sex, especially outside the institution of marriage and/or for pleasure, the liberal and feminist circles which do widely dicusss sex, sexuality and the common anxieties around them, often tend to overlook one of the most prominent and anxiety-inducing notions—‘unsafe’ sex. In 2013, it was revealed that unsafe sex was the “second riskiest behaviour for boys and the greatest single risk to the health of girls,” in the worldwide risk table.

Although this particular study projected its findings solely on adolescents, unsafe and unprotected sex impacts other age groups too. Institutions of marriage, education and family, entwine with each other whereby factors like child marriage, lack of sex and sexuality education in schools and misogynistic structures engender diverse sexual and sexually violent episodes, especially for women and marginalised groups.

Continued: https://feminisminindia.com/2020/09/02/unsafe-sex-dilemmas-around-using-contraception/