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Pregnant women face unintended pregnancies, unanswered questions and unhumanitarian orders against essential rights

By – Angela Riccitello

[JIG Covid-19 Series] Covid-19 continues to halt contraceptive methods for women, infect pregnant women and has caused states to ban abortion practices as non-essential services. While services are stripped away, the Pandemic forces women to combat unintended pregnancies, unanswered questions and unhumanitarian orders against their human rights.

Halting of contraceptive methods

The UNFPA found that 4.7 million women may lose access to contraceptives if the Covid-19 lockdown prolongs for the next six months. The UN News reported that disrupted global supply chains are causing massive shortages of contraceptives. The number of women facing obstacles in family planning from unintended pregnancies continues to skyrocket, wrote the UN News. In addition to being unable to plan their families, women and girls from around the globe lose the ability to protect their bodies and health. As healthcare systems become overwhelmed and facilities close, women continue to dangerously miss their medical check-ups.

Unanswered questions from lack of research

With suppressed immune systems, pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting Covid-19. KFDA News reported that, according to studies, many pregnant women are testing positive for the coronavirus but are showing no symptoms. The novelty of the coronavirus and lack of research available make it difficult to determine the capable damages from the disease’s infection. Additionally, the restriction on visitors steals the support system that helps ease the process for women, escalating isolative feelings and frustration.

Unhumanitarian orders preventing essential rights

Texas, among other states, officially banned abortion practices to preserve medical resources for Covid-19 patients, according to The Hill. However, according to the Abortion Care Network, only 4 percent of abortions are actually performed in hospitals in the U.S. By labeling abortion practices as nonessential and refraining access to essential services, women’s human rights are disrupted.




[Photo by UNFPA Myanmar/Yenny Gamming]

*This story is part of the Covid-19 gender-based violence journalism series, produced by the Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence (JiG), an initiative of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The Series is produced by Angela Riccitello (Writer) and Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson (Editor). Riccitello is the journalism intern at JiG and a journalism graduate at Rutgers University. Lagipoiva is the Chief Editor of JiG and the CWGL Visiting Global Associate.