NEW DELHI: Millions of women and girls globally have lost access to contraceptives and abortion services because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now the first widespread measure of the toll says India with its abrupt, months-long lockdown has been hit especially hard.Several months into the pandemic, many women now have second-trimester pregnancies because they could not find care in time.Across 37 countries, nearly 2 million fewer women received services between January and June than in the same period last year, Marie Stopes International says in a new report – 1.3 million in India alone. The organization expects 900,000 unintended pregnancies worldwide as a result, along with 1.5 million unsafe abortions and more than 3,000 maternal deaths.Those numbers “will likely be greatly amplified” if services falter elsewhere in Latin America, Africa and Asia, Marie Stopes’ director of global evidence, Kathryn Church, has said. The World Health Organization this month said two-thirds of 103 countries surveyed between mid-May and early July reported disruptions to family planning and contraception services. The U.N. Population Fund warns of up to 7 million unintended pregnancies worldwide.Lockdowns, travel restrictions, supply chain disruptions, the massive shift of health resources to combat COVID-19 and fear of infection continue to prevent… Read full this story
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