Murder investigation launched into death of baby whose mother took ‘DIY’ home abortion pills

Police have opened a murder investigation into the death of a baby who they believe was born alive despite their mother taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills. 

The shocking disclosure was exposed at the UK Court of Appeal last week, where the Christian Legal Centre was challenging the Government’s decision to permit ‘DIY’ abortions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A leaked “urgent email”, sent by a senior chief midwife at NHS England and NHS Improvement on the “escalating risks” of the ‘pills by post’ service being run by UK abortion providers BPAS, Marie Stopes and NUPAS, also revealed the deaths of two women as a result of complications after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

One woman died “very quickly” with sepsis whilst seeking urgent care at a hospital’s accident and emergency department after taking ‘DIY’ abortion pills.

A second woman was found dead at home the morning after starting the medical abortion process.

Tip of the iceberg

As the email was sent on 21 May 2020, it is unclear how many further incidents have taken place.

The email also details that many incidents with the new ‘DIY’ abortion service have not been reported to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by abortion providers. 

The email outlines that “the only reporting of incident to the CQC, from this sector are those that are significant, ie babies that are to be a late TOP [termination of pregnancy], as all the other outcomes are seen to be a complication of the process which could occur in any setting.” 

Significant problems from the onset

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

A nationwide undercover investigation found evidence of abortion providers putting women at significant risk by not carrying out basic checks before sending them ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

The study also discovered ‘DIY’ home abortion pills can easily be obtained and administered to others, potentially in a coercive manner..

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”.

Court of Appeal refuses to hear evidence against ‘DIY’ home abortions

Despite the clear harm ‘DIY’ home abortions are having on pregnant women and their unborn babies, the Court of Appeal refused to consider evidence highlighted in the leaked emails.

According to the Christian Legal Centre, Lady Justice King refused, saying that she would give her reason for the refusal later.

The court also rejected an expert witness statement from Kevin Duffy, a former global clinics director at abortion provider Marie Stopes International, who called for ‘DIY’ home abortion services to be withdrawn immediately.  

In his statement, Mr Duffy brought attention to an undercover investigation which found abortion providers were not carrying out basic checks before sending termination pills – including the prescription of termination pills past the 10-week limit.

Service must be withdrawn

Mr Duffy said: “None of the scenarios revealed in my survey, or the incidents in the NHS email leak, would have happened under the pre-lockdown abortion process. These cases are a direct result of the move to home abortion and particularly the removal of the clinic visit and routine assessments.

“It is simply not possible to replace the critical clinic-based consultation with a phone call. The telemedicine service leaves pregnant women highly vulnerable and must be withdrawn urgently.”

The Court of Appeal judges have reserved their ruling to a later date.

‘Inherently dangerous’

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “Ever since the UK Government permitted ‘DIY’ home abortions, stories of illegal late-term abortions and safety abuses have come to light.

“We, along with other pro-life campaigners, warned it was only a matter of time before a woman died as a result of a ‘DIY’ home abortion. Tragically, that is now the case.

“These cases and the thirteen ongoing investigations are likely only the tip of the iceberg, given the date of the leaked email.

“Abortion providers, such as BPAS and Marie Stopes International, who want to keep ‘DIY’ home abortions on a permanent basis are unlikely to want to reveal how many complications or serious incidents have arisen as a result of their ‘services’.

“There are also likely many more incidents that abortion providers don’t know about as the majority of women are likely to not come back and tell an abortion provider that they have broken the law using their service or weren’t even aware how far along they were, given they have not had an ultrasound.

“These ‘DIY’ home abortion schemes, which are inherently dangerous and show no concern for babies or vulnerable pregnant women, should be suspended immediately.”Right To Life UK has launched an online tool allowing UK residents to contact their local MPs and call for an immediate end to ‘DIY’ home abortions following the deaths of two women.

Two women have died after using UK ‘DIY’ abortion service

Two women have died after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills according to a leaked “urgent email” sent by a senior chief midwife at NHS England and NHS Improvement on the “escalating risks” of the ‘pills in the post’ service that is being run by UK abortion providers BPAS, Marie Stopes and NUPAS .

One woman died “very quickly” with sepsis whilst seeking urgent care at a hospital’s accident and emergency department after taking ‘DIY’ abortion pills.

A second woman was found dead at home the morning after starting the medical abortion process.

The tragic incidents were exposed at the UK Court of Appeal yesterday, where the Christian Legal Centre was challenging the Government’s decision to permit ‘DIY’ abortions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Murder investigation into baby born alive

The leaked email not only reveals the two maternal deaths but discloses further serious consequences of the Government’s temporary ‘DIY’ home abortion scheme.

These include a murder investigation into the death of a baby aborted alive and medical termination pills being delivered to a woman 22 weeks over the legal limit for ‘DIY’ home abortion.

Not counting the maternal deaths, there are currently three ongoing police investigations linked to these incidents. One of those is a murder investigation as there is a concern that the baby was born alive.

The email also states that “women attending ED [emergency departments] related to the process through ruptured ectopics, major resuscitation for major haemorrhage and the delivery of infants who are up to 30 weeks gestation.”

Tip of the iceberg

As the email was sent on 21 May 2020, it is unclear how many further incidents have taken place.

However, it did reveal that many incidents with the new ‘DIY’ abortion service have not been reported to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by abortion providers. 

It stated that “the only reporting of incident to the CQC, from this sector are those that are significant, ie babies that are to be a late TOP [termination of pregnancy], as all the other outcomes are seen to be a complication of the process which could occur in any setting.” 

Conflict of interest

The email mentions that a review of these cases has been undertaken by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). This is despite the medical body having heavily lobbied for the introduction of ‘DIY’ home abortions.

The former RCOG President Dame Lesley Regan, who was recognised in 2019’s New Year’s Honours List, sits on the board of BPAS, the UK’s largest abortion provider. She is joined by the former CEO of the Royal College of Midwives, Dame Cathy Warwick.

Court of Appeal refuses to hear evidence against ‘DIY’ home abortions

Despite the clear harm ‘DIY’ home abortions are having on pregnant women and their unborn babies, the Court of Appeal refused to consider evidence highlighted in the leaked emails.

According to the Christian Legal Centre, Lady Justice King refused, saying that she would give her reason for the refusal later.

The court also rejected an expert witness statement from Kevin Duffy, a former global clinics director at abortion provider Marie Stopes International, who called for ‘DIY’ home abortion services to be withdrawn immediately.  

In his statement, Mr Duffy brought attention to an undercover investigation which found abortion providers were not carrying out basic checks before sending termination pills – including the prescription of termination pills past the 10-week limit.

Significant problems from the onset

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

A nationwide undercover investigation found evidence of abortion providers putting women at significant risk by not carrying out basic checks before sending them ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

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

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”.

Service must be withdrawn

Mr Duffy said: “None of the scenarios revealed in my survey, or the incidents in the NHS email leak, would have happened under the pre-lockdown abortion process. These cases are a direct result of the move to home abortion and particularly the removal of the clinic visit and routine assessments.

“It is simply not possible to replace the critical clinic-based consultation with a phone call. The telemedicine service leaves pregnant women highly vulnerable and must be withdrawn urgently.”

The Court of Appeal judges have reserved their ruling to a later date.

‘Inherently dangerous’

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “Ever since the UK Government permitted ‘DIY’ home abortions, stories of illegal late-term abortions and safety abuses have come to light.

“We, along with other pro-life campaigners, warned it was only a matter of time before a woman died as a result of a ‘DIY’ home abortion. Tragically, that is now the case.

“These cases and the thirteen ongoing investigations are likely only the tip of the iceberg, given the date of the leaked email.

“Abortion providers, such as BPAS and Marie Stopes International, who want to keep ‘DIY’ home abortions on a permanent basis, are unlikely to want to reveal how many complications or serious incidents have arisen as a result of their ‘services’.

“There are also likely many more incidents that abortion providers don’t know about as the majority of women are likely to not come back and tell an abortion provider that they have broken the law using their service or weren’t even aware how far along they were, given they have not had an ultrasound.

“These ‘DIY’ home abortion schemes, which are inherently dangerous and show no concern for babies or vulnerable pregnant women, should be suspended immediately.”

‘DIY’ home abortions causing problems around the world

Earlier this year, it was revealed that one father in the United States had performed ‘DIY’ home abortions on his daughter and stepdaughter to cover up 14 years of sexual abuse.

In May, an Indian woman and her unborn baby died after the use of ‘DIY’ home abortion drugs.According to the Mumbai Mirror, the woman’s husband, with the help of his parents and a friend, obtained the abortion drugs from a medical representative – all have now been “booked” with an intent to cause miscarriage by police in the Indian region of Kashimira.

UK Government face legal challenge over ‘DIY’ home abortions at Court of Appeal

The UK Government’s decision to introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions amid the coronavirus pandemic will be challenged at the Court of Appeal today.

Despite assurances from the Government that there would be “no change” to abortion regulations and that in-person consultations remain “an essential safeguard” for women, the Government brought in a policy allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions shortly after lockdown began.

The very substantial change was made without any public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate.

Prior to the change in regulations, abortions could only take place in hospitals or abortion clinics approved by the Secretary of State.

Under the new ‘temporary’ policy, doctors are able to prescribe mifepristone and misoprostol over the phone or video platforms such as Facetime or Skype, meaning women will be left to pass their unborn child at home without direct medical supervision.

The Government had initially stated its intention to allow ‘DIY’ abortions on 23 March, but backtracked later that day claiming the announcement had been “published in error.”

The government web page that had published the changes instead had the following message for visitors: “The information on this page has been removed because it was published in error. This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”

Just one day later, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock reassured the House of Commons that there would be no change to any abortion laws in response to COVID-19.

Additionally, Health Minister Lord Bethell made it very clear that there were significant safety and safeguarding issues for women and young girls with the proposal. 

As the Coronavirus Bill was brought to the House of Lords on Wednesday 25 March, Lord Bethell rejected strongly, on behalf of the Government, the proposed changes to abortion law, stating:

“….we do not agree that women should be able to take both treatments for medical abortion at home. We believe that it is an essential safeguard that a woman attends a clinic, to ensure that she has an opportunity to be seen alone and to ensure that there are no issues.

“Do we really want to support an amendment that could remove the only opportunity many women have, often at a most vulnerable stage, to speak confidentially and one-to-one with a doctor about their concerns on abortion and about what the alternatives might be? The bottom line is that, if there is an abusive relationship and no legal requirement for a doctor’s involvement, it is far more likely that a vulnerable woman could be pressured into have an abortion by an abusive partner.”

He also made it clear that it would be inappropriate to make this change without parliamentary scrutiny: “It is not right to rush through this type of change in a sensitive area such as abortion without adequate parliamentary scrutiny.”

Despite these clear statements, the Government went against its own warnings and, in an incredible double U-turn, announced on 30 March it would allow ‘DIY’ home abortions.

Through their legal challenge, the Christian Legal Centre wants the dangerous legislation overturned immediately and full disclosure of the Government’s decision-making process and rationale.

Serious risk of harm and coercion

Their case is being backed by former Government Minister Ann Widdecombe and Dr Gregory Gardner.

In an expert witness statement for the High Court challenge, Dr Gregory Gardner, a longstanding GP and honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham, highlights the risk of serious injury and harm to women self-administering abortion pills.

“The introduction of home abortions as proposed (notwithstanding the presence of a Covid-19 pandemic) is a policy that is more likely than not to depart from the essential tenets of duty of care through proper clinical assessment, thereby raising the risk of serious injury and harm being done to women self-administering Mifepristone and Misoprostol at home,” Dr Gardner wrote.

In addition to citing risks of infection, haemorrhage, psychological trauma, and risk of future preterm birth, Dr Gardner explains how the Government’s decision could result in more women being coerced into unwanted abortions.

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.”

Former Government minister Ann Widdecombe has also written a statement to the high court in support of the legal challenge.

In her statement, the former Shadow Health Secretary reveals the history of the legislation which has enabled health services in England, Scotland & Wales to roll out ‘DIY’ abortions.

During a parliamentary debate in 1990, Miss Widdecombe raised concerns that an amendment to abortion legislation, allowing the Health Secretary to designate “a class of places” as suitable for abortions would inadvertently pave the way for ‘DIY’ home abortions.

However, the author of the amendment, Robert Key MP, dismissed Miss Widdecombe’s concerns and accused the then Conservative MP of speaking from “the whip issued by the pro-life group” and misleading Parliament.

The Health Secretary at the time, Kenneth Clarke, then assured MPs that the legislation was not intended to legalise home abortions and that abortions would be “administered only in closely regulated circumstances under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner”.

Now, 30 years later, Ann Widdecombe’s previously dismissed concerns have become a reality.

When the legal challenge was launched, Ann Widdecombe said: “Parliament was told one thing. Government is doing another and that says it all.”

Significant problems

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

A nationwide undercover investigation found evidence of abortion providers putting women at significant risk by not carrying out basic checks before sending them ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

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

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”.

‘Abortion industry at the heart of Government’

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “The case exposes the power and influence of the abortion industry at the heart of government.”

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.”