Impact of Covid-19 on Women’s Health
The Covid-19 crisis is a pandemic affecting women and men across the globe. WEN Wales’ Director Catherine Fookes wrote to the Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething AM in late March to raise concerns around health provisions for women during the coronavirus outbreak.
The letter stated that Welsh Government must ensure that women have access to vital abortion healthcare during this period, as unwarranted delay may cause harm to women.
Welsh Government must also ensure that data on testing and health outcomes of Covid-19 are gender disaggregated so we can learn how women and men are affected by the virus.
Read the full letter below:
30th March 2020
Dear Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething AM
I wanted to write about two areas of concern for women in the current pandemic. Firstly around access to abortion during the crisis. We would like to see Welsh Government enable early abortion services to be procured via tele and video conference tools and medicines that terminate a pregnancy to be taken entirely at home.
We are calling for:
– telemedicine for abortion consultations
– 1 signature not 2 and this should be possible from a nurse or midwife (not just a Doctor)
We need Welsh Government to ensure that women have access to vital abortion healthcare during this period, as unwarranted delay may cause harm to women. The Westminster Government recently made a U-Turn on this but there is no reason why Welsh Government can’t act to ensure Women’s health needs are prioritised.
As BPAS in North Wales has shut its doors & women are now having to travel to Chester this is a further concern.
Our second urgent ask is around health data collection during the crisis – we must ensure that data on testing and health outcomes of Covid-19 are gender disaggregated so we can learn how men and women are affected by the virus and learn from it going forward.
We understand how under pressure you and your department must be in responding to the crisis but ask that you urgently consider the above requests.
If we at WEN Wales can be of any assistance during this crisis in reaching out to women and girls of our network, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Director, WEN Wales