Reproductive Rights during COVID-19

A Scorecard to Inform Policy Assessing Risk & Ensuring Reproductive Rights During COVID-19

This project will develop a novel scorecard that uses prior performance on the provision of rights-based reproductive care in combination with real-time data on mobility

Principal Investigators: Liana Rosenkrantz-Woskie, Clare Wenham
Start Date: 01 May 2020
End Date: 31 March 2021
Regions: Africa, Europe, Americas
Keywords: COVID-19, reproductive rights, risk, family planning, gender, health policy


Prior epidemics have shown that harm resulting from sequalae can, if unchecked, overshadow the harm caused by an infectious disease itself. In Sierra Leone, for example, excess neonatal and maternal mortality may have outpaced deaths directly attributable to Ebola in 2014-16. Spillover on routine healthcare must therefore be a priority for policymakers hoping to mitigate population harm from COVID-19.

An area of particular vulnerability is reproductive health. Weak health systems often have poor family planning (FP) services at baseline, which can be exacerbated when scarce resources are diverted for outbreak response. 

The purpose of the proposed research is to develop a risk scorecard that extends beyond what is already known on the intersection of epidemic disease and reproductive health; benefiting policymakers, women impacted by policies and advocates for reproductive rights. In line with this, the project will answer three main questions:

  • Which metrics are most relevant for policymakers to track in order to mitigate FP spillover?
  • Where will “hot spots” of risk likely occur based on historical performance?
  • Where are risks developing in real-time due to increased social isolation?

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