Despite a worldwide health crisis due to COVID-19 and a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), a medical officer for the World Health Organization has declared that abortion must be seen as an “essential service” during a time of pandemic. Dr. Antonella Lavalanet of the WHO’s “Maternal and Perinatal Health & Preventing Unsafe Abortion Team” recently hosted an online presentation for the pro-abortion Sexual Reproductive Health Matters (SRHM) journal for almost 5,000 people, in which she emphasized the need for abortions to continue despite there being a global health emergency. Lavalanet even declared that it shouldn’t matter if abortion-minded mothers are contagious.
Speaking on the release of a document by the WHO that included details about clinic management of respiratory infection, Lavalanet clarified how “in that document we said that women’s choices and rights to sexual reproductive health care should be respected irrespective of [their] COVID-19 status.”
To “the full extent of the law,” Lavalanet said there must be “access to contraception and safe abortion.”
To her credit, Lavalanet at least acknowledged the increased health risks posed by abortions done at a later gestation. However, the WHO officer also stated that “abortion… services are essential.” This is likely a response to governments who, according to Lavalanet, “are trying to deprioritize these services.”
By drawing comparisons between abortion and standard medical services, the WHO is putting abortion on the same level as the type of care required for women intending to give birth, or women who have some sort of legitimate reproductive concern.
Lavalanet insisted the same level of resources these women need must be put toward abortions:
We’ve already said that the equipment, medication, and supplies needed to provide these kinds of [abortion] services are the same as those needed for other GYN services, and we already say that they should be available at primary care level with referral systems in place.
But what about these places she mentioned that aren’t prioritizing abortion? This medical officer thinks women should just induce their own abortions instead. She said:
… In light of depleting commodities and restrictions with entering health facilities, we say that women can manage their own safe abortions using mifepristone and misoprostol up until 12 weeks, where individuals have a source of accurate information and access to a provider should they need it or want it.
We’ve seen the abortion industry capitalize on the crisis of the virus in order to promote dangerous at-home abortions. There are serious risks and complications associated with the abortion pill, including hemorrhaging and even death. By abortion advocates’ own numbers, the pill regimen fails “between 7,000 to 24,000 times annually – or even as high as 31,000 times a year.”
If the abortion is incomplete, this means a woman may need to undergo a second procedure, this time a surgical one. The threat posed by self-managed abortions means thousands of patients could potentially need emergency care. Which means these women may be exposed to COVID-19, or infect other people with the virus.
But according to Lavalanet, “Where supplies of antibiotics are not available, abortion should not be denied.” To allow for abortion access, the WHO is willing to dismiss the need for safeguards, such as “general anesthesia,” or “performance in operating theaters.” Lavalanet did say some “range of pain medications can be considered.”
As medical professionals strive to accommodate patients in the outbreak and provide them with care, the WHO recommends these workers be deployed in service of abortion where “human resources are limited.” Lavalanet stated that “[a] range of health workers can be considered for various tasks related both to comprehensive abortion care [sic]… as well as specific tasks related to the management of abortion services.”
In a time of crisis, the emphasis should be on preserving lives. It’s worth asking why, when the world is feeling panicked by a pandemic, is the WHO so focused on endangering women’s health and depriving preborn children of life?
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