Marie Stopes International (MSI), a reproductive health charity, has said about 1.3 million women could not access safe abortion and contraception during the first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The impact of the crisis was particularly harsh in India where an estimated 1.3 million women lost access to such services due to strict lockdown measures.
“With 920,000 fewer safe abortion and post-abortion care services being delivered, 90 per cent less than predicted,” MSI said in a press release.
According to MSI, data collected from January to June across the 37 countries representing the catchment areas of the charity, showed evidences that the lockdowns could have had a heavy toll on the reproductive health of women.
A published analysis from UN Population Fund in April had predicted that significant levels of lockdown-related disruptions over six months could leave 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries without access to modern contraceptives, leading to a projected 7 million additional unintended pregnancies.
This is with MSI estimating that the lack of access to its services between January and June lead to 900,000 additional unintended pregnancies, 1.5 million unsafe abortions and 3,100 additional pregnancy-related deaths.
Reports say,in India alone, the lack of its services lead to an estimated additional 1 million unsafe abortions and an additional 650,000 unintended pregnancies and 2,600 maternal deaths.India has one of the highest maternal mortality rates with 50 per cent of the deaths due to abortion.