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Prominent peer highlights underreporting of complications arising from ‘DIY’ abortions

A prominent member of the House of Lords has drawn attention to the shocking evidence of massive underreporting of complications arising from ‘DIY’ home abortions as part of the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy.

In discussing the issue of data gaps, Baroness Philippa Stroud highlighted the difference in the incidences of reported abortion complications arising from ‘DIY’ home abortions and the data gathered from hospitals via Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, which indicates a far higher rate of complication.

Baroness Stroud said: “The Minister in the other place confirmed in a recent Written Answer that the only method the department uses to gather this data is via HSA4 forms”.

“Between April and June 2020, from the 23,000 at-home abortions, these forms reported just a single complication, yet FOI requests to just six hospitals during the same period suggested that women were presenting due to complications at a rate five times higher than that reported by the Department of Health and Social Care”.

She went on to point out that “there were 36 999 calls due to at-home abortion complications every month to the ambulance service”.

In response to the Baroness’s question about addressing this gap, Lord Bethell, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care said: “I do not have a full brief on the treatment of abortion complication statistics at my fingertips, but she alludes to exactly the kind of data gaps that we wish to address in this consultation period and in the emerging strategy”.

Underreporting of complications from ‘DIY’ at-home abortions

Baroness Stroud is drawing attention to Government data released earlier this year that indicates that complications, including haemorrhage, uterine perforation and/or sepsis, following a ‘DIY’ home abortion are likely to have been vastly underreported.

In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted last year, the Government said that between April and June of 2020 – the first three months after ‘DIY’ home abortions were made available – there were 23,061 ‘DIY’ abortions, and one reported complication.

As the MP, Sally-Ann Hart, who first called attention to this data said: “This would mean that the average rate of complication for medical abortions at a similar gestation over the past five years was over seventeen times higher than the complication rate for home abortions earlier this year”.

“This is not only highly unlikely – that complications would radically reduce in a home setting versus a medical setting – but, some may say, ridiculous”.

The data suggests that either ‘DIY’ abortions without any clinical supervision are significantly less dangerous than medical abortions with clinical supervision – a conclusion that would raise serious questions about the standard of care in abortion centres in England and Wales – or there are serious issues with the quality of recording and reporting incidences of complications arising from ‘DIY’ home abortions.

In Wales also, it has been reported that official data shows that there has been a 100 per cent increase in ambulance call-outs to people taking abortion pills at home since regulations permitting medical abortion outside of a clinical setting came into effect last year.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “There is a disparity between the officially reported data on complications arising from ‘DIY’ abortions and the Freedom of Information requests to individual hospitals. This disparity, in addition to the comparison with the average complication rate over the last five years arising from medical abortions that take place in a hospital setting, is strong evidence that the true extent of complications is likely massively underreported”.

“The huge increase in ambulance call-outs is also indicative of the problem. The manifest dangers of ‘DIY’ abortions for the baby’s mother, as well as the fact that it has no safeguards to prevent coercive abortions, show that its supporters are ideologues concerned with promoting abortion access at all costs with little regard for the wellbeing of women – let alone their unborn babies”.

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Dear reader,

Thanks to the support of people like you, on Monday 5 July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Police , Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this major defeat is not the end for our opposition.

The abortion lobby has already been successful at using the Coronavirus crisis to temporarily introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions.

The policy has not only accompanied a large increase in the number of lives ended by abortion but has also been linked to a number of serious incidents where women’s lives have been put at risk while performing their abortion at home.

Our opposition is now eager to see more widespread changes to legislation enacted and we are currently facing major threats on three fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  2. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  3. The assisted suicide lobby has brought foward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch these extreme anti-life changes become a reality.

As you can see, while we have won our most recent battle, we continue to be facing a very large challenge on life issues in the UK over the next couple of months – and we will be facing this across multiple fronts.

We are, therefore, appealing to you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will go towards saving the lives of the unborn and many others.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

Q

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Q

Be the first to know…

When you sign up for email updates from us, you will be receiving:

Action alerts on the latest pro-life developments along with tools to help you change hearts and minds

Opportunities to help protect and defend more lives

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By clicking submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms below.

Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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