Women in Wales could soon be allowed to have ‘DIY’ medical abortions, the Welsh Government has announced.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething confirmed the news in the Welsh Assembly earlier this week.
A similar move in Scotland has led to legal action by pro-life campaigners who say ministers are ‘trivialising abortion’.
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, both drugs must be taken in a licensed clinic.
The Wales change would allow women to take misoprostol at home, without oversight from medical professionals.
Gething said he has instructed officials “to start work immediately” on amending the legal framework.
He claimed: “A woman’s right to choose must be respected and access to services improved”.
The move was also celebrated as “brilliant news” by abortion giant BPAS.
But opponents say that women should not be left alone to carry out an abortion, which can often lead to emotional and physiological strain.
In Scotland, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is seeking a judicial review on the issue.
Since October, Scottish women have been able to take misoprostol without medical oversight after a change in policy hurried through by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood.
Calderwood’s change came without parliamentary scrutiny or public consultation and was also celebrated by BPAS.