Modern Contraceptives

Healthcare: 1.9m Women lose access to contraceptive services amid pandemic

*Data from 37 countries between January and June 2020 confirmed fears that lockdowns could have a devastating impact on reproductive health of women ─Mary Stopes International

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent months of lockdown-related disruptions leaving 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries without access to modern contraceptives, Reproductive Health Charity Mary Stopes International (MSI) has said 1.9 million women worldwide had lost access to its contraception and safe abortion services in the first half of 2020.

Agency report says the organisation in a statement Wednesday, August 19 noted that “the impact of the crisis was particularly harsh in India where an estimated 1.3 million women lost access to such services due to strict lockdown measures.

“With 920,000 fewer safe abortion and post-abortion care services being delivered, 90 percent less than predicted.”

MSI’s findings, based on data collected from January to June 2020 across the 37 countries where the charity operates, confirmed fears that the lockdowns could have a devastating impact on reproductive health of women, report stated.

An UN Population Fund analysis published in April had predicted that significant levels of lockdown-related disruptions over six months could leave 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries without access to modern contraceptives, leading to a projected 7 million additional unintended pregnancies.

MSI estimated that the lack of access to its services between January and June lead to 900,000 additional unintended pregnancies, 1.5 million unsafe abortions and 3,100 additional pregnancy-related deaths.

According to the organisation, in India alone, the lack of its services led to estimated additional 1 million unsafe abortions and 650,000 additional unintended pregnancies and 2,600 maternal deaths.

India has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, and no less than 50 percent is estimated to be due to sepsis and illegally induced abortions, said MSI.

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