The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is affecting every country globally, with significant impacts in all areas of life, including healthcare and access to elective procedures. While Australian women have the peace of mind that abortion is considered an essential service in Australia, this is not the case in other nations.

Abortion is already a contentious issue in the USA, and many states ordinarily block access to what should be an essential women’s health right. But in light of the coronavirus pandemic, some states in the USA are making it extremely difficult for women to access abortion services at this time.

There is significant concern that once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, women may not be able to access abortions – even in regions where they could previously do so.

USA Abortions Blocked

Many healthcare provisions across the USA have been paused in light of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, and several US states have blocked health clinics from lawfully providing abortion services at this time.

USA abortions are considered by these states as a non-essential service.

This places the health and wellbeing of many women in jeopardy, particularly as the demand for abortions is rising in light of economic upheaval, job losses, and otherwise uncertain times.

These typically Republican-led states that have banned abortion include, but are not limited to, Texas, Iowa, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. Other conservative states are following suit, taking steps to legislate to ban abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

State attorneys and governors are using executive orders and similar emergency measures to close down the provision of legal abortions (a decision which must be suspected to be politically-motivated) and which will have longer-term impacts on the ability of abortion clinics to financially survive to reopen after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

It also carries significant repercussions for women who require abortions but no longer have access to them. Abortion is a time-sensitive essential health service and must be accessed promptly.

Financial Implications

The vast majority of USA abortions are provided by independent abortion clinics. Until now, every state had maintained no fewer than one legal abortion provider. These typically operate with small staff numbers and on tight budgets. The actions now to compel abortion providers to close their doors will strain these nonprofit small businesses and may limit the capacity of at least some of these to reopen in the aftermath of COVID-19. This is very bad news for women, their health, their wellbeing, and their rights.

Legal Battle

While advocates of abortion are accustomed to fighting state laws, small teams of state leaders have successfully shut down all legal abortions within their states.

On April 7th 2020, The Center for Reproductive Rights along with Planned Parenthood sued Texas on behalf of local abortion providers, and now are pushing forward to take the fight to reopen to the US Supreme Court. This action is being reflected in other states as well, and eighteen other states actively support Texas’ stance.

There is, however, some good news. Abortion providers in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio have successfully won temporary injunctions against the ban, based on their argument that abortions are time-sensitive and an essential health care service. They were supported in this endeavour by:

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • The American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists
  • The American Gynecological & Obstetrical Society
  • The American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • The Society for Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • The Society of Family Planning
  • The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

A joint statement by these bodies stipulates that abortion should not be categorised as a procedure that can be delayed, as it is an “essential component of comprehensive health care”. It is a time-sensitive service for which a delay increases risks or makes it completely inaccessible. There are profound health, wellbeing, and life implications of being unable to obtain a timely abortion.

These professional bodies “do not support COVID-19 responses that cancel or delay abortion procedures. Community-based and hospital-based clinicians should consider collaboration to ensure abortion access is not compromised during this time”.

Gynaecology Centres Australia – OPEN FOR TREATMENT

As an approved ESSENTIAL SERVICE in Australia, all of our GCA centres in NSW are open for treatment. As such, we continue to provide compassionate, confidential, gold-standard first-trimester abortion services as Australia navigates the COVID-19 health crisis.

We have enhanced our existing infection control practices and additional precautions have been implemented throughout our centres to comprehensively address and mitigate the coronavirus.

Please call our clinic on (02) 9159 6894 or contact us today via our website at