As COVID-19 continues to impact people globally, we are seeing the troubling effects of the pandemic on access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. COVID-19 has exacerbated gender and social inequities, leading to increased rates of sexual and gender-based violence and new barriers for those seeking sexual and reproductive health services. These effects are disproportionately impacting women, girls, adolescents, people of colour, LGBTQI2S+ persons, and displaced populations.
A new UNFPA report predicts that COVID-related disruptions to reproductive supplies and services could result in 47 million women without access to modern contraceptives and up to 7 million additional unintended pregnancies.
Around the world, governments are being called on to ensure that sexual and reproductive health services be recognized and maintained as essential health services. However, many challenges remain, with shortages of personal protective equipment, concerns over the global reproductive supplies, and the undue politicization of SRHR issues amid the pandemic.