Focus on Abortion: Viewpoint

COVID-19 and Abortion: Making Structural Violence Visible

Rishita Nandagiri, London School of Economics and Political Science Ernestina Coast, London School of Economics and Political Science Joe Strong, London School of Economics and Political Science

First published online:

| DOI: https://doi.org/10.1363/46e1320
Abstract / Summary

COVID-19 has compromised and disrupted sexual and reproductive health (SRH) across multiple dimensions: individual-level access, health systems functioning, and at the policy and governance levels. Disruptions to supply chains, lockdown measures and travel restrictions, and overburdened health systems have particularly affected abortion access and service provision. The pandemic, rather than causing new issues, has heightened and exposed existing fractures and fissures within abortion access and provision. In this viewpoint, we draw on the concept of “structural violence” to make visible the contributing causes of these ruptures and their inequitable impact among different groups.

Author's Affiliations

Rishita Nandagiri is an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Methodology; Ernestina Coast is professor of health and international development, Department of International Development; and Joe Strong is a doctoral candidate, Department of Social Policy— all with the London School of Economics and Political Science, London.


The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Guttmacher Institute.