The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has clarified that there will be no changes to abortion law in the UK in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Guidance had been published on the DHSC website which said women and girls would now be able to take both medical abortion pills at home, and that doctors could prescribe them from home.
The guidance has since been removed from the website, and a DHSC spokesperson said: “This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”
The mistake came after pro-abortion groups including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock demanding provisions be made to allow for home abortions.
Antonia Tully, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: “RCOG has been campaigning for these DIY abortions for months, as part of a propaganda campaign to assure women that abortion pills are safe and simple, when they are anything but.
“Now they are exploiting a time of national crisis to make this ideological change.”
She pointed out that home abortions increase the risks to women, and said that RCOG’s claim that abortion is “essential”, at a time when the NHS is desperately trying to save lives, is “disgusting”.
“they are exploiting a time of national crisis to make this ideological change”
Hancock also faced pressure from pro-abortion MPs in a House of Commons debate, but on each occasion he responded that the Government had no plans to change the law.
Ciarán Kelly, Deputy Director for Communications at The Christian Institute, welcomed the news.
“While no abortion is safe for the unborn child, home abortions also pose an extra risk to the mother.
“Dispensing these drugs is dangerous; the law should not be changed.”
Similar US moves
Pro-abortion groups and activists are making similar moves in the US to make abortion drug mifepristone available at home, but the Food and Drug Administration has also rejected the calls.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, and Mississippi have also ordered that all ‘non-essential’ surgical abortions cannot take place until further notice.
Some clinics are continuing to offer abortions in defiance of the law, claiming abortion is “essential healthcare”, but groups representing over 30,000 doctors have signed a statement calling for all elective abortions to be suspended.
They reasoned that vital healthcare for women – including smear tests and mammograms – is being postponed to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and concluded that continuing abortions during the pandemic is “medically irresponsible”.
“Elective abortion is neither ‘essential’ nor ‘urgent,’ but it does consume critical resources such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, and unnecessarily exposes patients and physicians to pathogens” the medics said.