War in Ukraine: European Parliament calls to ensure access to emergency contraception for women throughout conflict and displacement.
May 2022. On May 5th, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that strongly condemns the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) call on the EU and host and transit countries to guarantee access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services, particularly emergency contraception, post-exposure prophylaxis and abortion care, including for survivors of rape.
The resolution notes the challenges of accessing EC in countries with restrictive policies such as Hungary and Poland.
“T. (…) women require access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services including contraception, emergency contraception, legal and safe abortion care, antenatal care and skilled assistance during childbirth; (…) access to emergency contraception is severely hampered by barriers in Poland and Hungary, due to prescription requirements; (…) in the case of Poland, Romania and Slovakia there are economic barriers in accessing such fundamental sexual and reproductive health and rights services as they are not covered by public health insurance or subsidy schemes, resulting in significant cost barriers as refugees have to pay the full cost out of pocket or seek help from local civil society organisations to cover the costs for them; (…).”
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, approximately 5 million refugees have fled from Ukraine to the EU; an estimated 90 % of the refugees are women and children. A further 7,1 million people have been displaced internally within Ukraine.