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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.

6 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.