University of Oulu

Neva Bojovic, Jovana Stanisljevic, Guido Giunti, The impact of COVID-19 on abortion access: Insights from the European Union and the United Kingdom, Health Policy, Volume 125, Issue 7, 2021, Pages 841-858, ISSN 0168-8510,

The impact of COVID-19 on abortion access : insights from the European Union and the United Kingdom

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Author: Bojovic, Neva1; Stanisljevic, Jovana2; Giunti, Guido3,4
Organizations: 1Kedge Business School, France
2Grenoble Ecole de Management, France
3University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4TU Delft, Delft, The Netherlands
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-05-17


Government policies on abortion are a longstanding topic of heated political debates. The COVID-19 pandemic shook health systems to the core adding further to the complexity of this topic, as imposed national lockdowns and movement restrictions affected access to timely abortion for millions of women across the globe. In this paper, we examine how countries within the European Union and the United Kingdom responded to challenges brought by the COVID-19 crisis in terms of access to abortion. By combining information from various sources, we have explored different responses according to two dimensions: changes in policy and protocols, and reported difficulties in access. Our analysis shows significant differences across the observed regions and salient debates around abortion. While some countries made efforts to maintain and facilitate abortion care during the pandemic through the introduction or expansion of use of telemedicine and early medical abortion, others attempted to restrict it further. The situation was also diverse in the countries where governments did not change policies or protocols. Based on our data analysis, we provide a framework that can help policy makers improve abortion access.

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Series: Health policy
ISSN: 0168-8510
ISSN-E: 1872-6054
ISSN-L: 0168-8510
Volume: 125
Pages: 841 - 858
Article number: 7
DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2021.05.005
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3141 Health care science
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Copyright information: © 2021 Elsevier B.V. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license