THAILAND – Thai pro-choice activists handed in the petition calling for access to safe abortion with telemedicine

Our colleagues and friends in Thailand have written to say: “Thank you again to everyone who signed our petition with us, calling on Thai governmentto issue some measures to ensure women access to safe abortion during Covid-19 pandemic, both as individual and organizations. We think we got a good response from the Department of Health and some media outlets too.”

They went to the Department of Health on 15 May 2020 and handed in the signed letter to Dr Bancha Khakhong, Deputy Director of the Department of Health. There were 559 signatories. He said he himself supported the idea of abortion with telemedicine and that the Ministry of Health are now planning to develop a protocol for telemedicine as the “new normal” of the health care system.

A meeting was arranged for 29 May with the Department of Health, to discuss the demands in the signed letter, including telemedicine for safe abortion. Further news is awaited.

According to the records of the Tamtang Group and the Thai unwanted pregnancy hotline 1663, during the past two months the numbers of women seeking an abortion have significantly increased, while barriers to obtaining an abortion have increased as well, such as travel bans.

Watch an excellent report on this video about their campaign to ensure safe abortions, featuring Kritaya Archavanitkul, head of the Choices Network.

To obtain more information about safe abortions in Thailand, visit theReferral System for Safe Abortion,Love Care Station,TamTangor dial the unplanned pregnancy hotline at 1663.

SOURCES: ThisRupt, by Teirra Kamolvattanavith, May 2020 ; Online Citizen Asia, 16 May 2020