The family planning needs of more than 200 million women worldwide are unmet and the coronavirus pandemic looks set to make things worse.
As resources are diverted to fight the virus, experts warn an additional 49 million women may lose access to modern contraceptives and there could be an extra 15 million unintended pregnancies per year.
“Decisions made at every level of the response to the pandemic are resulting in women being further cut off from sexual and reproductive health services, threatening sharp rises in maternal and neonatal mortality,” aid group Médecins Sans Frontières said in July.
Travel bans and movement restrictions have had unintended consequences on family planning. Routine health services have been restricted in many places, impacting abortion care and sexual violence response. And the shock to the global supply chain of contraceptives has been severe.
In this episode of The Stream we ask, why are more women and girls being allowed to die from secondary impacts of COVID-19 rather than from the virus itself?
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