The coronavirus pandemic is affecting abortions.
In Australia, travel restrictions and isolation requirements due to Covid-19 have left doctors unable to fly interstate to perform post-pregnancy abortionsrequesting an urgent assistance call.
Travel restrictions particularly affected a later pregnancy clinic in Victoria, which provides services to women whose lives may be at risk from continuing with pregnancy or in cases of serious fetal abnormalities, according to the national non-profit sexual and reproductive health organization Marie Stopes.
Doctors cannot be quarantined when they return to South Australia, as they also provide services in their home state. They are trained to provide the service up to 24 weeks of gestation. There are a very limited number of specialized doctors who can provide these terminations, making it difficult to fill in gaps with other teams.
In Australia, abortion is widely classified as an elective or semi-elective procedure. Although non-urgent elective surgeries have been canceled to increase the capacity of Covid-19 patients, critical gynecological procedures, including abortion, are classified as essential and urgent. But there are other challenges to be addressed.
In the USA, there is some hope, as suppliers in the states of Ohio and Texas receive temporary aid.
In Texas, a federal district judge granted Abortion providers have a temporary restriction, allowing them to continue until April 13, after Attorney General Ken Paxton tried to ban access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic, saying it did not qualify as "essential" health care.
In Ohio, a judge overturned a similar policy put forward by the state health department.
"Patients will suffer serious and irreparable damage," said Judge Lee Yeakel of the West Texas District. Only the Supreme Court has the power to decide whether the ban on abortions during a national crisis is constitutional, said Yeakel.
Advocates for women's health are seeking similar decisions in Oklahoma, Iowa and Alabama, which have also tried to restrict access to abortion in the midst of the pandemic.