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A doctor at a clinic in Jakarta speaking last June about contraceptives, with the Indonesian government warning of a massive post-COVID-19 pandemic baby boom. Photo: Adek Berry/AFP via Getty Images

Nearly 12 million women lost access to family planning services including birth control and contraceptives because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Population Fund said in a report published Thursday.

Why it matters: The UNPF said the data from 115 low- and middle-income countries shows the disruption for a total of 3.6 months caused by the pandemic over the past year led to 1.4 million "unintended pregnancies."

  • The report, published on the first anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, is another reminder of how the coronavirus has disproportionately affected women.
  • UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem noted to AFP that while the virus has "wrought havoc" on women and girls around the world, the "poorest and the most vulnerable now are seeing the most dire consequences."

What they did: The UNFPA made the projections using anonymous Google Mobility data that showed access to grocery stores and pharmacies to indicate access to essential services, and from collecting data from country partners.

What they found: The worst disruptions to family planning services were largely concentrated in April and May, when governments around the world imposed lockdowns and other restrictions on citizens in attempts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Yes, but: Researchers found the disruption was not as bad as the UNFPA had projected last April, when the reproductive and maternal health agency forecast that some 47 million women would be denied access to contraceptives if lockdowns had continued for six months.

  • "From governments to manufacturers to healthcare providers, the world’s supply chains for modern contraceptives have shown their resilience, and largely bounced back from the stock-outs we saw in the earlier days of the pandemic," Kanem said in an emailed statement.

But, but, but: The report makes clear that "disruptions remain a concern, and limited data and some inconsistencies across countries require ongoing monitoring and analysis."

  • The "severe social and economic impacts of COVID-19 demand intensified action for women and girls," the report notes.

Read the full report, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper... WHO: 1 in 3 women globally experiences violence

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders: U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Stefani Reynolds via Getty Images

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

4 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: Uber makes new hire, launches anti-racism campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios was first to report.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.