To the editor:
Abortion is essential health care and should never be up for debate, especially during a global pandemic.
As coronavirus continues to spread, people across the world are facing increased barriers in accessing reproductive health services. On the national level, reproductive rights continue to be attacked during these uncertain times.
For people in the developing world, the pandemic is further threatening health care systems already disrupted by dangerous policies like the Global Gag Rule, which bars U.S. assistance to health providers abroad that even mention abortion and has caused clinic closures, staff layoffs, and supply shortages. Now, health care centers that have managed to remain open are overwhelmed with COVID-19 and simply don’t have the resources to provide desperately needed care.
People don’t stop needing sexual and reproductive health care during a pandemic — these services are as necessary as ever. We all need to stand up to Trump as he continues to prioritize right-wing, anti-choice ideology ahead of public health.
Thankfully, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is helping lead the charge by co-sponsoring the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule and safeguard the health and rights of people around the world.