Women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home, the President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has said, despite strong criticism of such a move.
Medical abortions involve taking two tablets – mifepristone, which kills the developing baby, and misoprostol, which induces a miscarriage to expel it from the womb.
Currently, women have to take both drugs in the presence of a doctor, but Dr Lesley Regan wants the Government to change the law so that women can take misoprostol at home.
The change would bring England and Wales in line with the new policy operating in Scotland.
The law was amended there without any public or parliamentary consultation. Charities and campaigners branded it “irresponsible” and “a backward step”.
John Deighan, Chief Executive of SPUC, said: “The reality is that this will have many vulnerable women, who may be desperate about the situation they are in, pushed towards what is seen as the easy option of being handed some drugs and sent home to stop being a problem for society.”
Clara Campbell, spokeswoman for the charity Life, emphasised the effect that the abortion pill has on the body.
She said: “Significant haemorrhaging and abdominal pain often occur and we are concerned about the health and safety of women, especially young people, who are using these pills secretly at home.”
Campbell added: “We recognise that this move by the Scottish Government is an abortion anniversary gift to the abortion industry which is keen to increase the number of abortions it does every year.”
“It is an irresponsible move by the Government of Scotland which should know better than to empower a money-hungry abortion industry to further profit from the plight of women in crisis.”