Judges rule in favour of Scotland ‘DIY’ abortions

A group defending the unborn say they are “greatly saddened” by a court’s decision to support at-home abortions.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) was challenging the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce ‘DIY’ abortions.

But judges in Edinburgh decided not to overturn a previous decision, saying Registered Medical Practitioners (RMP) are still held responsible for abortion drugs taken at home.

Better country

John Deighan, SPUC Scotland’s Chief Executive, said: “This decision may be the loss of one battle but justice and reason will continue to motivate us to continue our efforts.”

He added: “We have now to consider the details of the judgment and decide if there is a way to continue to struggle.

“Scotland will be a better country when it supports pregnant women and when it values life in the womb.”


The case was heard by the Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian, Lord Menzies and Lord Brodie.

…justice and reason will continue to motivate us to continue our efforts.

John Deighan

They decided there was no ‘material difference’ between a woman taking a tablet in the clinic or at home.

“Both result in the termination of the pregnancy taking place outside of the clinic.

“In each case the RMP can properly be described as taking responsibility for the treatment of the termination of the pregnancy and control in the appropriate sense is maintained.”

No consultation

Since October 2017, Scottish women have been able to take the abortion drug misoprostol without oversight from doctors after a change in policy hurried through by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood.

The change came 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.

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