Most Scots are concerned about the Scottish Government’s plans to make a DIY home abortion scheme permanent, a new opinion poll has found.
Under emergency Covid legislation, women in Scotland can have an abortion within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy after just a phone or video consultation with a doctor or nurse. In England and Wales only doctors can approve abortions.
Ministers are consulting on making the scheme permanent, but a poll by Savanta ComRes for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has revealed almost seven in ten are concerned about unsupervised home abortions.
The poll also revealed a number of other serious concerns Scottish adults have about the plans, with more than eight in ten concerned women will find the prospect of having to dispose of the aborted baby’s remains distressing.
A similar number were concerned about the possibility of abortion pills being falsely obtained for someone else, as the doctor or nurse will not have seen the woman in person.
Around 85 per cent said they are concerned about women being at risk of being coerced into an abortion, while a similar percentage were concerned that some women might be forced into an unwanted abortion by an abusive domestic partner.
CEO of SPUC Scotland John Deighan said: “This is a searing indictment of the Scottish Government imposing an unwanted abortion policy on an unwilling nation. The Scottish population clearly shows more concern for the health of women and their unborn babies than their shameful elected representatives.
“And the poll proves that the public agree with us, sending a strong warning to our politicians to get their house in order and end this discredited and barbaric policy.
“Since the start of the COVID crisis the focus has been on saving lives. Sadly, the lives of the unborn don’t seem to count. It is appalling that the Scottish Government is using the COVID crisis to push for home abortions to become the norm, depriving many women of the opportunity for reflection and proper medical supervision and support.”
Writing in The Scotsman, Dr Calum MacKellar of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics said that home abortions show a disregard for human dignity – particularly with regards to the baby’s remains.
He explained that in a clinic, an aborted child’s body is treated with some respect as they are typically placed in a box, taken to a mortuary and cremated. However, with home abortions, the remains are usually “flushed down the toilet or discarded as waste in another manner”.
The ethicist concluded: “Scottish society cannot, therefore, continue to let the remains of embryos/foetuses simply be discarded as worthless waste.”