Ongoing lockdowns and major disruptions to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in seven million unintended pregnancies in the coming months, according to data released on Tuesday by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners.
They estimate that the number of women unable to access family planning or facing unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and other harmful practices, could “skyrocket” by millions due to the crisis.
“This new data shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally”, said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director.
“The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health.”
In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNFPA works to serve the unmet need for family planning, and to stamp out gender-based violence and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. It also focuses on ending all preventable maternal deaths.