Women in Scotland can now take the abortion pill at home after an “irresponsible” move by the Scottish Government.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has written to health boards across the country to say that the drug misoprostol can now be taken outside of a clinical setting.
The change in practice comes entirely by the back door, without parliamentary scrutiny or public consultation.
Medical abortions involve taking two tablets – mifepristone, which kills the developing baby, and misoprostol which induces a miscarriage to expel it from the womb.
From today, health boards will be allowed to give women misoprostol to take home, provided they have first taken mifepristone in a clinic.
The move was celebrated by abortion giant BPAS. Chief Executive Ann Furedi said it would save women the ‘difficulty’ of having to make more than one visit to a clinic.
But pro-life groups warned that the change threatens the health of vulnerable women and girls.
‘Abortion anniversary gift’
John Deighan, Chief Executive of SPUC, said: “The reality is that this will have many vulnerable women who may be desperate about the situation they are in, pushed towards what is seen as the easy option of being handed some drugs and sent home to stop being a problem for society.”
Spokeswoman for charity Life, Clara Campbell, emphasised the severe health risks linked to the abortion pill: “Significant haemorrhaging and abdominal pain often occur and we are concerned about the health and safety of women, especially young people, who are using these pills secretly at home.”
Campbell added: “We recognise that this move by the Scottish Government is an abortion anniversary gift to the abortion industry which is keen to increase the number of abortions it does every year.”
“It is an irresponsible move by the Government of Scotland which should know better than to empower a money-hungry abortion industry to further profit from the plight of women in crisis.”
The Scottish Government claims that it had the powers to issue its directive on home abortion, under the Abortion Act 1967.
There were 12,063 abortions in Scotland in 2016, and the majority were medical abortions.