Women and girls left without care: a snapshot in time during COVID-19

COVID-19 is endangering the sexual and reproductive health and safety of women and girls and vulnerable people across Europe. They are left without access to essential medical services such as contraception and abortion care, HIV and STI testing and reproductive cancer screenings, and respectful maternal healthcare. The huge reduction in these services is putting lives, health and wellbeing at risk, particularly those of vulnerable groups whose only access may be through subsidised services provided by civil society. Gender-based violence has surged, with lockdown making it harder to provide support and shelter to women desperately in need of it.

This report has been compiled by IPPF EN and EPF from surveys that were conducted with their respective stakeholders on the impact of COVID-19 on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people, particularly women and girls, in Europe, and on Europe’s international cooperation on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). 

The content of the report derives from what stakeholders in different countries reported as the situation in their country at the time of reporting – early April - and thus aims to provide an overall ‘snapshot in time’ of what was clearly already a significant effect of the pandemic on SRHR.

However, the situation is highly dynamic and evolving daily, so be aware some of the situations reported may already have changed. We will be producing new information as data comes in, but in the meantime, we hope you find this a useful overview of the current context.