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Girl locked in room and forced to take abortion pills

An 18-year-old girl in Ireland was locked in a room and forced to take abortion pills, according to reports.

The Irish Examiner has reported on an instance of coerced abortion in the country in which a woman was locked in a room and forced to have an abortion against her will by ingesting abortion pills.

Dr Maeve Eogan, the national director of the Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATU) said: “As a society, we have become more aware, traditionally we would have considered domestic violence purely as a physical injury”.

“Now, very clearly, there are lots of discussions about the crime of coercive control, but in addition, there is this concept of sexual coercion”.

‘DIY’ home abortion, in which a woman is able to take abortion pills outside of a clinical setting if she is not over 12 weeks pregnant, was made available as part of the Irish Government’s COVID response.

By removing abortion from a clinical setting, some medical professionals are deeply concerned about how this makes coercion and abuse easier because there is no in-person appointment with a medical professional to help investigate whether it is taking place.

In response to a parliamentary question from Carol Nolan TD in March this year, the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland claimed that telemedicine abortion (‘DIY’ home abortion) had been a success but also conceded that “meeting the woman in person increases the likelihood of the provider identifying any coercion or domestic abuse”.

Abortion coercion

England, Wales and Scotland legalised ‘DIY’ home abortion before 10 weeks as a part of the pandemic response. Initially, these were introduced as a temporary measure but each country has now made ‘DIY’ abortion – without clinical oversight – a permanent feature of the law.

Prior to making ‘DIY’ abortion permanently available, Dr Calum Miller, NHS doctor and research associate at the University of Oxford specialising in abortion policy, urged the Government to “prioritise women’s safety above the interests of abortion providers by shutting the lid on it once and for all”.

Dr Miller argued that since the introduction of ‘DIY’ abortions, which allows abortion to take place entirely outside of a clinical setting, “the evidence has only piled up more and more against it”.

He said that face-to-face consultations are a “critical safeguard against coerced abortion, life-threatening ruptured ectopic pregnancies and a litany of other possible risks”.

10,000 hospitalisations following ‘DIY’ abortion

Evidence from 85 Freedom of Information requests to NHS Trusts across England suggests that more than 10,000 women had to receive hospital treatment following the use of medical abortion pills in England between April 2020 and September 2021.

This amounts to more than 1 in 17 women who had a medical abortion over the 18-month period needing hospital treatment.

GB News found there had been a substantial increase in the number of women calling 999 in relation to abortion pills taken at home and an increase in ambulance dispatches. ‘DIY’ home abortions, where abortion pills are taken outside of a clinical setting, were first made legal in March 2020 as part of the Government’s pandemic response.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: “The ease of getting abortion pills under false pretences makes crimes like coerced abortion far more likely. Contrary to the suggestions of some, what is needed is not simply more training. Rather, what is needed is to make ‘DIY’ home abortion illegal once more”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.