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COVID-19 Halts Reproductive Care for Millions of Women

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Since coronavirus disease 2019 ushered in lockdowns and limited movement, London-based Marie Stopes International reported that roughly 2 million fewer women have received reproductive care services through its programs in 37 countries. The result could be 1.5 million additional unsafe abortions, 900 000 unintended pregnancies, and 3100 additional deaths, according to the nonprofit organization that provides contraception and safe abortion.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Since coronavirus disease 2019 ushered in lockdowns and limited movement, London-based Marie Stopes International reported that roughly 2 million fewer women have received reproductive care services through its programs in 37 countries. The result could be 1.5 million additional unsafe abortions, 900 000 unintended pregnancies, and 3100 additional deaths, according to the nonprofit organization that provides contraception and safe abortion.

In a recent update, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also warned that responses to the pandemic—clinic closures, supply chain delays, or travel restrictions—have curtailed women’s sexual and reproductive health services. In response, MSF has worked with governments around the world to ensure that reproductive services are deemed essential and remain open. However, Manisha Kumar, MD, MPH, coordinator of the MSF Task Force for Safe Abortion Care, said during an August press briefing that many organizations have had to provide care in ways that don’t require women to travel to brick-and-mortar facilities.

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