Millions of women and girls across the globe have lost easy access to contraceptives and abortion services because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several months into the pandemic, many women now have second-trimester pregnancies because they could not get an abortion in time.
So far, across 37 countries, nearly 2 million fewer women received services between January 2020 to June 2020 than in the same time period last year, Marie Stopes International says in a new report , at least 1.3 million in India alone.
Those numbers “will likely be greatly amplified” if services falter in Latin America, Africa and Asia, Marie Stopes’ director of global evidence, Kathryn Church, has said.
This month, The World Health Organization said two-thirds of 103 countries surveyed between May and July reported disruptions to “family planning” and contraception services. The U.N. Population Fund warns of up to 7 million unintended pregnancies worldwide.
“All these people … the marginalized groups, the vast invisible majority. This is how life is”, she said.
In January, India began amending laws to allow certain women to obtain abortions up to 24 weeks instead of 20. But the pandemic interrupted it.