Close to two million women and girls have lost access to contraceptives and abortion services during the coronavirus pandemic, with experts predicting the disruption could trigger a "baby boom" in parts of the globe.
Marie Stopes International (MSI) has revealed that 1.9 million fewer women accessed their services between January and June compared to the same period last year. The organisation is one of the largest providers of reproductive health services in the world and operates across 37 countries.
The MSI report predicts that this will cause 900,000 unintended pregnancies, 1.5 million unsafe abortions and more than 3000 maternal deaths.
"Depressingly, this is not unexpected at all," Dr Clare Wenham, assistant professor in global health policy at the London School of Economics, told Britain's Telegraph. "We saw it with the Ebola outbreak, we saw it with the Zika outbreak, I think this is heavily predictable.
"And so governments could have done something to prevent this situation had they stopped to think about reproductive health issues," she added.
Stringent lockdowns, the prioritisation of coronavirus care, contraception supply chain disruptions and fears of picking up an infection at a health clinic have all contributed to reductions in access to reproductive and sexual healthcare.
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