All health care providers have faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for in-person services had to be weighed against the need to protect patients and staff from the virus. Facilities that provide abortion experienced unique burdens on top of these challenges. ANSIRH researchers talked to abortion providers across the US to explore how stigma and excessive regulation of abortion impacted them during the pandemic.
Several themes emerged:
Despite these challenges, there were bright spots. Clinics were heartened by community support, including people sending food and personal protective equipment. The pandemic also prompted clinics to innovate new, more efficient ways to provide abortion care by eliminating unnecessary medical tests and increasing the use of telemedicine. The article, COVID-19, health care, and abortion exceptionalism in the United States, is available in Perspective on Sexual and Reproductive Health.