Political (in)action in abortion governance during COVID-19 in Europe: a call for a harmonized EU response during public health crises

Martino A, Zanini G, Capelli I, Mishtal J, Rahmn L, De Zordo S

Medical Anthropology Quarterly
Jun 2020

In this commentary, we examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on abortion governance in an already fragmented European political landscape where access to care varies dramatically between countries (De Zordo et al. 2016). Even in “normal” times, pregnant people face numerous barriers before they can secure an abortion, including legal, procedural, and social obstacles and delays. We bring attention to those countries that may escape our scrutiny because abortion is legal on women’s request or on broad grounds. Specifically, we analyze the situation in France and Italy, based on our ongoing ERC (European Research Council)-funded study on barriers to access and abortion travel in Europe, and the authors’ participation in the current debates on abortion provision.