More shocking abuses of ‘DIY’ home abortion pills are exposed

‘DIY’ home abortion pills can easily be obtained and administered to others, potentially in a coercive manner, it has been revealed, as more shocking abuses from an undercover investigation have come to light.

As part of the undercover investigation, commissioned by the Christian Legal Centre, eight volunteers went through the process of acquiring mifepristone and misoprostol – the pills needed to perform a ‘DIY’ home abortion.

In every case, pills were sent to the volunteers, despite using false names, dates of birth and gestational dates. 

Safeguards circumvented as mother acquires abortion pills for underage daughter

Under the use of a false identity and story, Hannah in Hertfordshire (a pseudonym) was able to acquire abortion pills for her underage daughter by pretending she was pregnant herself.

Following a sleepless night, the mother had decided she couldn’t have her fifteen-year-old daughter “go through the system” and in no-way wanted her underage teenager to be questioned by the authorities.

Hannah made the unilateral decision to phone an abortion provider pretending that she was pregnant, get the medical abortion pills sent to their home, and then she would administer these to her daughter.

Hannah wasn’t too sure how this would work out, so she phoned both BPAS and Marie Stopes presenting as seven weeks pregnant and asked for the pills used in a medical termination.

The process was much easier than she thought it would be and after a few telephone calls she received abortion pills in the post from both BPAS and Marie Stopes International.

Although, this is a case study, in real life this would leave a mother like Hannah with two sets of abortion pills – one for her teenage daughter who has circumvented vital safeguards involved in the abortion process and a spare set she could potentially give to another mother with a pregnant daughter.

‘DIY’ home abortion pills consistently prescribed after 10-week limit

Under further false identities and stories, Lisa in Berkshire, Claire in Cambridgeshire, and Laura in Essex (pseudonyms) had each already reached the 10 week gestational time limit when they made their first calls to obtain abortion pills.

Each of them had read about early medical abortion online and knew that their pregnancies exceeded the 9 week 6 day time limit for a ‘DIY’ home abortion.

The women were not just aware they’d be taking abortion pills illegally, but were also aware of the higher incidence of side-effects and failure rates associated with a late-term medical abortion, as detailed on the BPAS website, among others.

The BPAS website states one week of difference, from less than 9 weeks gestation to a 9-10 week gestational age over, doubles the risk of an incomplete abortion; rising from 3% to 7%.

Knowing this, they proceeded regardless and all received their abortion after lying about their gestation age.

Nikki, also also using a false identity, managed to obtain abortion pills from both BPAS and Marie Stopes International. She is now wondering what she might do with the second pack.

Research participant Anna (a pseudonym) gave a gestation date on the cusp of the 9 weeks and 6 days, which would have put her over the limit at the start of the process. During a second call she changed the date of her last menstrual period to remain within the 9 weeks and 6 days limit and this was accepted without any questions being asked.

According to the Christian Legal Centre, all eight volunteers were rushed through the process. The legal advocacy group revealed that: “On one call, staff can be heard talking over the woman to quickly conclude the conversation by sending out the abortion pills.”

Full inquiry into ‘DIY’ home abortions announced

On Monday night, in a major victory for pro-life campaigners, a radical amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill that would have allowed ‘DIY’ home abortions to take place on a permanent basis for domestic abuse victims was withdrawn.

During the debate, pro-life MP Fiona Bruce MP put forward an amendment calling on the Government to conduct an “an inquiry into the safety, number, and impact of abortions carried out under the temporary coronavirus crisis provisions where the place of abortion was the woman’s home”.

The Government subsequently agreed to a full inquiry. But, Minister for Women Victoria Atkins MP promised that the current temporary policy of allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions would continue “until [a] public consultation concludes and a decision has been made”.

Fiona Bruce told CNA: “It is to be hoped, and we need to ensure, that this review — consultation — will properly and fairly highlight safety concerns around the taking of ‘at-home abortion pills’ which have been highlighted in recent press reports.”

Legal challenge imminent

Later this month, on 28 or 29 July, the UK Court of Appeal will hear a challenge of the UK Government’s decision to allow ‘DIY’ home abortions.

Shortly after lockdown began, without public consultation or parliamentary scrutiny, the UK Government controversially announced a policy that would allow ‘DIY’ home abortions.

The policy meant women could obtain and administer medical abortion pills at home before they reach 9 weeks and 6 days gestation.

Prior to the change, women seeking a termination would have to visit a clinic for an assessment from a healthcare professional where they would undergo a routine ultrasound scan to assess gestational age.

Significant problems from the onset

Since ‘DIY’ home abortions were introduced on 30 March, a number of significant and real problems have arisen.

In May, it was revealed UK police were investigating the death of an unborn baby after its mother took ‘DIY’ home abortion pills while 28 weeks pregnant.

In addition, abortion provider BPAS announced that it was investigating a further eight cases of women taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills beyond the 10-week limit, raising questions over what checks are being conducted to ensure the law isn’t being broken and dangerous later-term abortions aren’t happening. 

A number of women have also come forward to share the serious problems they’ve experienced after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

One woman said she went through “hell” and thought she was going to die after taking the dangerous pills.

Another woman said the pain and physical process was “horrible” and “a lot worse than expected”.

‘A system that needs to be stopped immediately’

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “We’re simply asking, based on the BPAS disclosure to The Sun on May 22, that there were already eight cases where women were beyond the ten-week limit, and from our own study, how many more women have obtained and self-administered the abortion pills in breach of the regulations?

“We are for the women and we are trying to point out legitimate concerns about telemedicine services related to legal compliance, client safety, and quality of care. These women need better client-centred counselling and a face-to-face consultation in which they can be assessed by a service provider before giving their consent to this procedure. A rushed telephone call, by voice only, is not the quality of care which these women deserve.

“The system is wide open to abuse from abusers, pimps, and human traffickers.

“Abortion pills through the post is a system that needs to be stopped immediately and a thorough investigation needs to occur around the legality and practices of the two major abortion providers in the UK.”

Chief executive of UK’s largest abortion provider to step down in 2021

The Chief Executive of the UK’s largest abortion provider is retiring after nearly two decades in the role.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) announced yesterday that Ann Furedi would be stepping down in 2021.

Despite BPAS being responsible for over 70,000 abortions last year, Furedi has described her role as the “the best job in the world”.

She has repeatedly campaigned for more extreme abortion legislation and has told the Guardian, “the best abortion law would be a blank sheet of paper.”

Speaking at the launch of BPAS campaign ‘We Trust Womenshe said: “I would like to be very, very clear and blunt… there should be no legal upper limit.”

Push for abortion up to birth continues

In a warning shot to pro-life campaigners, following the announcement that she would be resigning, Furedi tweeted: “I’m not done yet 🦊 and there will be no softening of our stand with the next CEO. ‘Ball-breaking’ is in the job description!”.

Additionally, the Chief Executive job brief asks women to commit to lobbying for the ‘decriminalisation’ of abortion, which would allow abortion for any reason right up to birth.

Just this week, the abortion lobby failed in yet another attempt to achieve the first step towards this long term objective when they unsuccesfully attempted to hijack the Domestic Abuse Bill with extreme pro-abortion amendments.  

However, Furedi’s tweets and BPAS’ job brief shows this threat is not going away and the organisation will continue lobbying for more extreme abortion legislation.

‘Abortion is birth control that women need’

Furedi has worked in ‘pro-choice’ organisations for more than twenty years, having previously run the press office at the UK Family Planning Association before leading the Birth Control Trust.

She joined BPAS as its chief executive, in June 2003 and has pushed for more extreme abortion laws ever since.

Alongside the launch of a BPAS report claiming women need access to late-term abortions, Furedi argued that abortion should be seen as a form of “birth control”.

She said: “Family planning is contraception and abortion. Abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”

‘The point isn’t when life begins, but when life begins to matter’

In her book, The Moral Case for Abortion, the BPAS chief executive states: “The opponents of abortion claim that abortion is wrong because ‘it ends the life of the unborn child’ whereas for abortion’s supporters ending its life in the womb is precisely its point” (p.64). 

She continues: “Essentially, the point for us is not when life begins, but when life begins to matter… Abortion may be an act of killing – but it kills a being that has no sense of life or death, and no awareness of self as distinct from others.” (pp.99-100).

‘The law is silent on gender selection [abortions]’

In 2014, Furedi came under strong criticism when she wrote in online magazine Spiked that women should be able to abort on the grounds of the child’s gender, saying:

“The woman gives her reasons, the doctor decides on the grounds as set out in the law… there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met.” 

She added, “the law is silent on the matter of gender selection, just as it is silent on rape.”

A survey, conducted by Savanta ComRes, found 89% of the general population and 91% of women agree that gender-selective abortion should be explicitly banned by the law. limit for abortion should be reduced.

‘We all make it work’

In 2013, Furedi commented that doctors had to make the law “work” to enable more abortions to take place. 

She said that “women have to pretend they will have a nervous breakdown if they continue the pregnancy, and doctors pretend to believe them.”

“I think that doctors would be far happier with a situation where they didn’t have to go through the arrangements that exist at the moment, but because they do, we all make it work,” she added.

BPAS has objected to life-saving plans that would let coroners hold inquests for stillbirths over fears the move will recognise the humanity and personhood of an unborn baby.

Doctorate awarded for pro-abortion work

Last year, Furedi was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent at a ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral on 22 November.

Controversially, former BPAS board member and abortion activist Professor Sally Sheldon is a member of the Honorary Degree Committee that selected Furedi for the award.

The law professor at the University of Kent has campaigned for abortion on demand for more than 20 years, supports sex-selective abortion and was an architect of a private members bill calling for more extreme abortion legislation.

Additionally, Ann Furedi’s husband, Frank Furedi, is the University of Kent’s Emeritus Professor of Sociology.

The University of Kent says it awards honorary degrees to “distinguished individuals from many walks of life who have made a significant contribution to society”

‘Tragic legacy’

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: 

“Ann Furedi leaves a tragic legacy of overseeing an organisation that, as the UK’s largest abortion provider, has likely deliberately ended the lives of more babies in the UK than any other single institution or organisation in history.

“While it is welcome news Ann Furedi is stepping down from her role as chief executive of BPAS, the organisation’s work to end the lives of thousands of babies each year will continue. She has also made it clear that her replacement, along with BPAS and the rest of the radical abortion lobby, will continue pushing for extreme abortion legislation.”

Abortion lobby plan to hijack Domestic Abuse Bill with extreme amendment

The abortion lobby has announced plans to hijack the Domestic Abuse Bill with a radical amendment that could leave England & Wales with Europe’s most extreme legislation.

In an email to supporters, yesterday, the UK’s largest abortion provider, BPAS, revealed their intention to ‘decriminalise’ abortion by repealing sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act. 

As the Abortion Act was passed to create exceptions to sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act and Infant Life Preservation Act, a repeal of sections 58 and 59 of the OAPA would effectively result in the majority of the Abortion Act becoming moot. 

Repealing these provisions would introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to 28 weeks to England and Wales. There would be no abortion law up to 28-weeks.

This would not only leave England and Wales with the most extreme abortion law in Europe, but also allow for sex-selective abortions to take place up to 28 weeks. 

Canada has been described as a “haven” for sex-selective terminations, which often single out baby girls due to a preference among certain parents and some cultures for having sons, due to the country’s permissive abortion laws.

Despite the current law, there is also evidence of this practice in the UK and it is possible that a form of ‘abortion tourism’ could arise from countries which protect unborn babies from sex-selective abortions. 

Contrary to BPAS’ claims, and the aims of the Domestic Abuse Bill, the abortion lobby’s extreme amendment would likely result in a far greater number of women being coerced or forced into an unwanted abortion. 

If this extreme amendment were to pass, there would be no legal restrictions on places where abortions could be performed. This would make the Government’s temporary measure, allowing the prescription and sale of ‘DIY’ home abortion pills online, a permanent law change. 

Since ‘DIY’ home abortions were introduced on 30 March, a number of significant problems have arisen.

In May, it was revealed UK police were investigating the death of an unborn baby after its mother took ‘DIY’ home abortion pills while 28 weeks pregnant.

In addition, it was revealed a further eight cases of women taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills beyond the 10-week limit were being investigated.

A number of women have also come forward to share the serious problems they’ve experienced after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

Additionally, in a legal challenge against ‘DIY’ home abortion pills, Dr Gregory Gardner, a longstanding GP and honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham, has revealed how a change in law opens women up to abuse and coerced abortion.

He said: “It will be difficult if not impossible to verify by phone or video whether a woman is undergoing any kind of duress to have an abortion. There does not seem to have been any consideration given to this in the proposed change in policy. There will be women who need delicate counselling to discover coercion or other forms of abuse.”

In addition, a number of other safeguards protecting both women and unborn babies would be removed from the current law. 

There would be no legal requirement that two doctors must certify an abortion and doctors would no longer be required to participate in an abortion procedure. Instead, healthcare assistants, nurses, and pharmacists could carry out abortions without a trained doctor present in the case of a complication. 

The extreme proposals being put forward by BPAS and the abortion lobby are completely out of line with where women stand on the issue. 

Recent polling, conducted by Savanta ComRes, on whether time limits for abortion should be increased showed that only 1% of women wanted the time limit to be extended. In contrast 70% of women favoured a reduction in time limits.  

Furthermore, a poll from March 2014, showed that 94% of women agreed that a woman requesting an abortion should always be seen in person by a qualified doctor. This current requirement in law would be removed under the abortion lobby’s plans. 

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “It is highly inappropriate for the abortion lobby to hijack the Domestic Abuse Bill in a way that not only undermines its support for victims of domestic abuse and their families but could also result in women and their babies facing more harm. 

“Polling shows that this extreme proposal is not supported by women, with only 1% of women wanting the abortion time limit to be increased beyond 24-weeks.

“MPs should reject this extreme amendment and commit to bringing forward sensible legislation with increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies. This would ensure we were working together as a society to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year.”

Illegal ‘DIY’ abortion service launched in Northern Ireland by largely taxpayer-funded abortion provider

Abortion provider BPAS, which is largely funded by the taxpayer in England and Wales, has launched an illegal ‘DIY’ abortion service in Northern Ireland.  

Under the current law in Northern Ireland, the first abortion pill must be taken in a clinic under medical supervision.

‘DIY’ home abortions allow women to take both potentially dangerous abortion pills at home by themselves without a doctor or other medical professional present, meaning they will be left to pass their unborn child at home without direct medical supervision.

Taking both abortion pills at home is illegal under the current law in Northern Ireland because the home has not been assigned as a location where the first abortion pill can be taken. It is not at the moment clear if the burden for breaking the law would fall on the women, any medical professionals involved or the abortion provider BPAS.

The Northern Ireland Department of Health has faced significant pressure from English abortion providers Marie Stopes and BPAS to make ‘DIY’ abortions legal in Northern Ireland.

The two abortion providers are the largest in the UK but are looking to expand their ‘market’ and financially benefit from the new extreme abortion regime in Northern Ireland, which could cost an estimated £5 million per year. 

If telemedicine abortions were allowed in the province, these two abortion providers would be able to enter the new Northern Ireland abortion ‘market’ by running the abortion service from their call centres based in England. This would mean that they would not face all the upfront time and costs that would be involved in setting up a physical abortion service in Northern Ireland. Given the Northern Ireland Department of Health has not yet rolled out an abortion service in Northern Ireland, this would leave almost the entire ‘market’ in Northern Ireland to these two abortion providers.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“This is an opportunistic and illegal move by BPAS to break the law in Northern Ireland to attempt to force the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to make ‘DIY’ abortions legal.

This places 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 the NHS in Northern Ireland.

There would be no control over when, where or even who is taking the pills. There are also possible safety issues with under-16 girls and other vulnerable women taking abortion pills at home, school or other locations without the support of medical staff and possibly under coercion from third-parties.

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.

It would also allow BPAS to enter the new Northern Ireland abortion ‘market’ by running the abortion service from their call centres based in England. This would mean that they would not face all the upfront time and costs that would be involved in setting up a physical abortion service in Northern Ireland. Given the Northern Ireland Department of Health has not yet rolled out an abortion service in Northern Ireland, this would leave almost the entire ‘market’ in Northern Ireland to private abortion providers in England.

We are calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to take immediate legal action to stop this illegal abortion service operating in Northern Ireland.”