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How The Pandemic Is Changing Birth Control Choices

Birth control is again on people’s minds
Birth control is again on people’s minds
Anne Sophie Goninet

As the pandemic's first wave of lockdowns began, there was plenty of chatter about how it would affect couples, relationships and sex — and consequently what it would mean for contraception. Earlier this year, the UN warned in a report that more than 47 million women in 114 countries could lose access to contraception if health services continue to be heavily disrupted.

As many now brace for COVID-19's second wave, and renewed restrictions, birth control is again on people's minds. A recent report in Canada found that the health crisis has prompted many to reassess their main method of contraception.

Not the best time to be pregnant: According to the report from polling company Léger published by La Presse, around 42% of Canadian women indicated that they were considering or planning to change their main method of contraception and more than half also say they plan to ask their doctors to reconsider their main method of contraception in case of a second wave of cases.

• The main reason: women want to make sure that they have the best contraceptive method possible: 3/4 of the women who took part in the survey felt it was important to avoid unwanted pregnancy during the pandemic because of the uncertainty and instability it has generated.

• This is also true in the United States, where a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute revealed that 49% of women surveyed had changed their plans about when to have children or how many children to have.

• The increased difficulty or inability to see a doctor in person is also an additional worry for women.

Choosing the best method: The Léger report also reveals that more than 3/4 of participants who used a contraceptive in the last six months have chosen the pill — a method which requires greater regular discipline to be effective, according to a nurse practitioner.

• "All our habits have been modified, the pandemic has changed people's routines … For example, women who stay at home all day with their children teleworking, it changes their daily life, and they risk forgetting their pill more often", Julie Poirier told La Presse.

• The Guttmacher Institute study found that 23% of women reported thinking about getting a longer-acting contraceptive method such as an IUD or an implant.

• Anna, a 24-year-old American, told online magazineBustle that she switched from the pill that she'd been taking for nearly a decade to an IUD to get her birth control "all lined up" and feel more secure for a few years.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Two-State v. One-State Solution: Comparing The Two Options For A Palestinian Homeland

For decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been left unresolved. Hamas's recent attack has forced politicians to confront facts: the conflict needs a definitive solution. Here's a primer on the two possible scenarios on the table.

Two-State v. One-State Solution: Comparing The Two Options For A Palestinian Homeland

At a art event in Gaziantep, Turkey, aimed at expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Samy Magdy

CAIRO — The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has once again focused the world’s full attention on the Palestinian cause.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Beyond the outrage and anger over the toll of Israel’s war in Gaza and the Hamas attack of October 7, there is a quieter international consensus that has been revived about forging a lasting settlement that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the Israeli one.

Naturally, there are the eternal (though largely resolvable) details of how that settlement could be achieved. Yet the so-called two-state solution is very much back in the conversation of international diplomacy.

At the same time, there is another scenario for the Palestinians to have a homeland: to share in a single state with Israelis — the one-state solution. There are supporters and opponents of the two solutions on both sides.

Here’s a look at what’s on the table:

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