Serious concerns have been raised about plans to make DIY home abortions legal in England and Scotland on a permanent basis.
Under coronavirus regulations, women have been temporarily allowed to take abortion pills at home – without medical supervision – if the unborn child is less than ten weeks old in England or twelve weeks old in Scotland.
But now, Westminster and Holyrood are conducting online consultations with a view to permanently extending the emergency measures.
‘Pressure to abort’
Co-founder of the Centre for Social Justice and former government adviser, Baroness Philippa Stroud, called the idea of legalising home abortions in England “terrible”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Lady Stroud lamented the erosion of previous safeguards and protections and described the existing concessions as “dangerous”.
The peer highlighted the documented aftermath of “the pills-by-post process”, which included “sepsis, hemorrhaging, embolisms, renal failure and trauma to pelvic organs”.
She also criticised the provisions’ “lack of adequate oversight”, the risk of “pressure to abort” by an abusive party, and the danger that pills are being taken beyond the gestational limits.
John Mason MSP, in an article for The Times, said that he could see “very few reasons” for the Scottish Government to make the “at-home” abortion law permanent.
The women of Scotland deserve better
He said that “the serious difficulties caused by the lack of in-person consultation should not be underestimated”.
Mason concluded: “Weakening safeguards and waiving safety concerns for some of the most vulnerable in our society is surely the wrong move. The women of Scotland deserve better.”