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Newsletter | June 2020 Edition
Dear Partner,
In the past few months, we have witnessed several changes owing to the pandemic. We face restrictions in our everyday lives and due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the pressure on the health systems is more than ever.
Compromised Abortion Access due to COVID-19: An Ipas Development Foundation Report
Ipas Development Foundation’s (IDF) report on ‘Compromised Abortion Access due to COVID-19’ finds that access to an estimated 1.85 million abortions have been compromised during the lockdown period. Since the dynamic changes in lockdown restrictions impact the degree of compromise of abortion access, IDF considered four distinct time periods for estimation and expected that abortion access will be impacted across all points of care.
The study implies, an estimated 1.85 million women will be unable to access abortion services as a near-term impact of COVID-19, directly affecting their sexual and reproductive health. It is expected that the compromised access results in five possible scenarios:
Report Pointer 1
Women are able to access abortion, albeit a little delayed, but in their preferred point of care
Report Pointer 2
Women are able to access abortion, but not as per their initial preference – while MA outside the facility is the preferred method for majority of women, delayed access may result in exceeding the permissible limit of nine weeks and they may have no choice other than facility-based surgical abortion.
Report Pointer 3
More women have requirement for second trimester abortions (beyond 12 weeks)
Report Pointer 4
Women continue their unintended pregnancy
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Women resort to unsafe abortions
This situation places additional responsibilities on the health system to offer remedial options to these women - both during and post the recovery period.
Read Full Report
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Impact of COVID-19 on India’s Family Planning Program - A Foundation For Reproductive Health Services India Policy Brief
One of the many problems faced by the people in India, since the lockdown started in March 2020, is limited access to safe abortion and family planning services. With around 27.18 million couples estimated to be left with no access to or use of contraceptives, FRHS India estimates that this situation will lead to around 2.95 million unintended pregnancies, 844,483 childbirths and 2,165 maternal deaths by the end of 2020.
Read The National Policy Brief
#ItsTimeWeHelp #DoctorsAsPartners- A Pratigya Campaign Initiative
Staying true to our goal of enabling wider access for effective reproductive care, this month the Campaign set out to build a systematic database by crowdsourcing information on MTP providers in the country.
This crowdsourced database will be published on Pratigya Campaign’s website and anyone seeking safe abortion services and post abortion family planning will be able to access the information.
Pratigya Campaign will respect confidentiality of the providers and information seekers alike and will have checks in place to ensure no misuse of the data.
Your help is sought to make this initiative a success.
Share the form with your friends, family and network and help us build this database.
Here’s how you can contribute to this initiative:
Give us your 5 minutes
Give us your 5 minutes
Pass on the form to your friends and family members
Pass on the form to your friends and family members
*All information shared will be protected by the Pratigya Campaign Secretariat
So, join us in creating this channel of support and help in tackling the challenges facing SRH services in India in these tumultuous times.
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Advocating with larger civil society organisations:
A larger civil society coalition of 30+ members including Pratigya Campaign coalition is working on important recommendations in certain sections of the proposed MTP Amendment Bill 2020 that would move the law towards a more empowering approach for improving the agency and access of pregnant persons.
The coalition comprises experts from civil society groups, former ministry officials, medical providers, media, judiciary, service providing organisations and other civil society coalitions like Common Health, JSA, ISAY, ASAP and MASUM.
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The larger coalition is working on both offline and online media to affect change, and advocate with bureaucrats and policy makers.
Read The Civil Society Recommendations
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What’s Next
A second phase of the Availability of Medical Abortion drugs study has been conducted across Assam, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. The team has surveyed, collected data and is currently finalising the report. Initial findings suggest that there is negligible to no availability of MA drugs in Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
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Watch this space for more
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Real Stories of Endurance
Meet Reena (name changed), a client who wanted to avail an emergency abortion service in Bareilly during the lockdown. A mother of five, due to her poor socio-economic conditions, she realised she would not be able to raise another. She had heard about FRHS India from her sister who had earlier received treatment from one of the clinics.
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What followed next was an arduous journey of 45 kms on a two-wheeler for Reena and her husband to reach the nearest clinic, in a time when many FP clinics in India were ordered to stop their operations.
On her way, she was stopped every few minutes by police to whom she had to explain her predicament and be let through. However, one of the Asha workers and a staff from the FRHSI clinic were constantly in touch with her over the phone and were ready to talk to the police whenever needed. On reaching the clinic, she was offered proper counseling and successfully availed Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning services.
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Check Out Our Social Chatter
This month we dedicated our social media space to celebrating Pride month and we ran a campaign to crowdsource MTP providers information to bridge the information gap.
#DoctorAsPartners #AbortionIsHealthcare #InItTogether #COVID19 #YourVoiceMatters
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Join Us
Pratigya campaign is a national coalition of over 110 civil society organisations advocating for safe abortion rights and access in India.
To join hands, partner with us.
Lend your voice by becoming an e-volunteer with the campaign - Sign up now!
Help us build a database of MTP providers in the country -
Fill the form and share it with others.