The vulnerability of abortion access and training

October 23, 2020

Written by Shereen Jeyakumar, a medical student and AMSA Reproductive Health Scholar, published in KevinMD.com on October 18, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how vulnerable access to abortion care is in the U.S. health care system. Abortion is one of the most time-sensitive, potentially life-altering procedures an individual can undergo, however, lawmakers since March have explained it away as an elective and non-essential procedure. Bans and restrictions were instituted in 12 states in March and April, with most overturned thereafter or removed once elective procedures were allowed to resume. Arkansas still requires women to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their abortion—a requirement that was extremely difficult to follow with the scarcity of tests in April and May.

The most common reasons that women have abortions are clearly exacerbated during a pandemic, highlighting the procedure’s necessity. 40% of women who had an abortion in the U.S. between 2008 and 2010 cited “not financially prepared” as their main reason; 36% chose “not the right time for a baby.” A global pandemic, with record-high unemployment rates (an all-time high of 14.7% in April 2020), only validates their reasons and designates abortion as an essential health service that cannot be restricted. READ MORE…


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