Activists push for DIY abortions in England

Medical organisations have been criticised for calling on the Government to allow women to have abortions without on-site medical support.

The calls came from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, and the British Society of Abortion Care Providers.

Professor Lesley Regan, leader of RCOG, said England should follow Scotland and Wales in allowing abortion drugs to be taken at home.


In a British Medical Journal article on Monday, the groups urged the Health Secretary to change the law, which currently requires women to take the pills under medical supervision.

But speaking for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), Dr Anthony McCarthy said: “It is scandalous that medics in league with the abortion industry should rush to betray women and their unborn babies.”

Philippa Taylor, Head of Public Policy at the Christian Medical Fellowship, has previously spoken out against Regan’s campaign.

She said that the proposed change would remove “all medical information, supervision and support for a medical procedure. While this is of concern for all women it is particularly so with teenage girls or vulnerable women”.

‘Psychological fallout’

Taylor continued: “There is no control over when, where or even who is taking the pills. Taking such strong drugs is a serious matter.”

The bioethicist also said that the current process of allowing women to take abortion pills in a doctor’s presence but then return home to suffer the pain and trauma of abortion alone is unacceptable.

“The psychological fallout from medical abortions completed at home can be severe, partly because women usually see the foetus, which they have to flush away themselves”.

She added: “Moreover, the reminder of the abortion is always in the home, not in an anonymous clinic that they can leave behind.”

Judicial review

The Scottish Government’s decision to allow home abortions has been challenged by SPUC, which says the move is not legal.

A decision is due in the next few weeks, and a Department of Health spokesman said the Government would “continue to monitor the evidence will await the outcome of the judicial review in Scotland”.

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