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Press release – Announcement from Matt Hancock on home abortions does not put women first

Abortion at home

Right To Life spoke out today against the Minister for Health, Matt Hancock’s decision to allow for the administration of misoprostol away from medical supervision and oversight.

They criticised the decision and called it a ‘risky and reckless’ approach to healthcare. They called on the Minister for Health, Matt Hancock, to instead introduce positive changes in policy for vulnerable women and girls during his time as minister to counter the high rates of abortions in the UK.

They also highlighted the issues of safety and risk of abuse associated with ‘home’ abortions.

A spokesperson for Right to Life, Clare McCarthy said:

“Self-administering these strong drugs is not to be taken lightly and the utmost quality of care should be provided to these women – especially those who suffer from complications afterwards.

A study of 42,600 early abortions in Finland – where there is good registry data, unlike England and Wales – found that six weeks post abortion, complications after medical abortions were four times higher than after surgical – 20% compared to 5.6%.

“Irish Obstetrician Dr. Peter Bolyan, who campaigned for the legalisation of abortion in Ireland has admitted that: ‘there are serious dangers when women take [abortion pills] without supervision. We have knowledge of women who have taken them in excessive dosage and that can result in catastrophe for a woman such as a rupture of the uterus with very significant haemorrhage… And if that happens in the privacy of a woman’s home or perhaps in an apartment somewhere, that can have very, very serious consequences for women. So, it’s really important that these tablets are…dealt with in a supervised way…’

“Abortion clinics must be able to accurately track women during and after a medical abortion in order to provide the best safety and care to a post-abortive woman. This change in law would overlook this provision of care creating a potentially dangerous medical situation for women who are at risk. It leaves vulnerable and isolated women even more at risk and recklessly alone.

“The ‘home’ abortion is not a safe or sensible solution for women. It will significantly reduce the supervision and care that is provided to women during a medical abortion.

“Taking the abortion pill away from medical supervision totally avoids dealing with the real issues facing women in that situation. It makes no provision for real, affirmative aftercare for these women potentially leading to further emotional and medical risk.

“The government needs to address the reasons women seek out abortion services in such high numbers in this country, often because of; vulnerability, isolation, lack of financial or emotional support, or pressure from a partner.

“Furthermore, this proposal poses a threat to vulnerable girls who are at risk from sex-trafficking or child-sex abuse, as the ‘home’ abortion could be used by their abusers as a means to more easily cover up trafficking or abuse scandals.

“Women’s safety or health should never be compromised for the sake of convenience or profit.

“Women are worth more than cheap abortions. We are calling on the Minister for Health, Matt Hancock, to put women first in any policy that is passed under his time as Minister.”


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Editors notes