Press Release – UK DIY abortion plan not going ahead

PRESS COMMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UK DIY abortion plan not going ahead

The Government has confirmed that a previous announcement today that it was to introduce DIY abortions to the UK was an administrative error and that there will be no changes to abortion regulations.

Earlier in the day the Government announced they would be making the biggest change to abortion provision since 1967, introducing telemedicine abortions that would allow ‘DIY’ abortions to be performed at home by women on themselves without a doctor or other medical professional present. The very substantial change was announced this afternoon on Twitter without any public consultation, Parliamentary scrutiny or debate. 

Under the current law, abortions could only take place in hospitals or clinical settings approved by the Secretary of State. Under the policy that was wrongly announced, doctors would have been able to prescribe both abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) over the phone or video (eg Facetime or Skype), and then women would have been able to perform their own abortion at home by taking both abortion pills, meaning they will be left to pass their unborn child at home without direct medical supervision.

Spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“We welcome the news that this extreme change to the law is not going ahead and that the announcement was an administrative error.

The Department of Health and Social Care is working tirelessly at the moment so it is understandable that human errors like this are made.

If the policy had gone ahead, it would have been an incredibly opportunistic and tragic change pushed by the abortion lobby to take advantage of this crisis. It would have been the most significant policy change to the practice of Abortion since 1967 and would have happened entirely by the back-door – without any Parliamentary scrutiny or public consultation. For a Government who won the recent election on the premise of giving Parliament “back control”, undermining of Parliament’s role in our democracy would have been an attack on Parliamentary sovereignty: a key component of our democratic system 

Most worryingly, the policy change would have also placed women at risk. The removal of any direct medical supervision overseeing the use of both abortion pills could see a rise of complications experienced by women, thus putting more strain on our NHS – having the opposite of the effect intended by drawing doctors away from the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus crisis.

ENDS

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