Nearly nine in ten GPs are concerned that making DIY home abortion permanent could lead to vulnerable women being pressurised into having an abortion by an abusive partner, a new poll has found.
It also found that 82 per cent of respondents were concerned about “the possibility of abortion pills being falsely obtained for another person”.
Under temporary coronavirus regulations, women have been allowed to take abortion pills at home unsupervised since last March. But Westminster, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay have recently consulted on permanently extending the emergency measures.
The Savanta Comres poll of 1,000 GPs revealed that 86 per cent were concerned that women could be coerced into having an abortion. The same proportion were also concerned about women having abortions past the legal limit of ten weeks.
Nearly six in ten (57 per cent) respondents had general concerns about women having a medical abortion at home.
But just half of respondents said a woman’s physical safety was the most important consideration when she had an abortion, and one in three prioritised mental wellbeing.
GP and lecturer Dr Gregory Gardner commented that the poll “reflects significant concern among GPs of the vulnerability of women seeking abortion advice by telemedicine”.
the government has chosen to abandon woman to DIY abortion, with no safeguarding to protect them from coercion or abuse
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) Deputy CEO John Deighan said the findings were a “searing indictment of a rushed, badly-thought through policy”.
He said: “Despite the rise in domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdown the government has chosen to abandon woman to DIY abortion, with no safeguarding to protect them from coercion or abuse.
“The sad reality is that many more women will, likely, now be coerced into abortion from an abusive partner.”
Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,000 UK GPs online between 5 and 26 February 2021 on behalf of SPUC and Christian Concern. Data was weighted to be representative of UK GPs region.