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WHO recommends the use of abortion drugs and persuades governments to lift restrictions that make abortion difficult

Published: 29.07.2020

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The ongoing pandemic of COVID – 19 prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to extend the instructions from the interim guide, released on March 25. The updated version from June 1 contains several recommendations, referring to essential medical services, which, according to WHO, have been partly limited due to the pandemic. Among them, as one of the “sexual and reproductive health services”, the abortion to the full extent of law has been mentioned.

The United Nations Organization (UNO) continues its policy, involving promoting the “safe abortion”, including medical abortion. Using the pandemic as an excuse, WHO openly urges women planning abortion, to take at home abortifacients pills, which are now listed as the essential medication. Moreover, WHO urges countries to reduce some restrictions, which are responsible for the delay in abortion services and also in importing medicine, causing the miscarriage.

According to dr. Antonella Lavelanet, medical officer in the Maternal and Perinatal Health & Preventing Unsafe Abortion Team at the WHO, women have the right to abortion, regardless of the pandemic. Dr. Lavelanet emphasizes, that the lack of antibiotics or general anesthesia, as well as the lack of the medical staff, qualified to perform abortion, shouldn’t be treated as contraindications to the procedure. However, taking into account the current restrictions, WHO explicitly urges to develop telemedicine and self – management approaches, meaning, that abortifacients pills are recommended as a safe, noninvasive way of carrying out a do-it-yourself abortion. While suggesting, that medical abortion is an easier and more convenient method, than an abortion procedure, WHO does not reliably inform about the side effects of taking the abortifacients pills. As the statistics indicate – in the recent years, about 20 % of all adverse events, related to medical abortion, needed hospitalization, including blood transfusion, or due to the severe infections.

Some of the Europeans countries have already implemented recommendations from the interim guidance. However, according to WHO, abortion has been limited for the time of the pandemic, as it is still not considered a priority, which is why it should be declared as an essential procedure.

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