Nationwide undercover investigation reveals ‘DIY’ abortion service putting lives at risk

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

Shortly after lockdown began, the UK Government controversially brought in a policy allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions without public consultation or parliamentary scrutiny.

Prior to the change, women seeking a termination would have to visit a clinic for an assessment from a healthcare professional – something the Government had said was an “essential safeguard” before their incredible U-turn on the issue.

Now, an investigation, commissioned by the Christian Legal Centre, has uncovered that ‘DIY’ home abortion schemes are wide open to abuse and could lead to dangerous and illegal late-term abortions.

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

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

In one case, ‘DIY’ home abortion pills were provided to a volunteer who gave a date that could only have led to a termination beyond the legal 10-week limit stated in the regulations.

Research participant Anna 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.”

Parliamentary pressure for ‘DIY’ home abortions

The shocking results of the undercover investigations come ahead of a potential parliamentary vote today seeking to make ‘DIY’ home abortions available on a permanent basis, for women who are in an abusive relationship.

The radical amendment is being tabled by Labour MP Diana Johnson, along with a further amendment that could leave England and Wales with the most extreme abortion law in Europe.

Contrary to BPAS’ claims, and the aims of the Domestic Abuse Bill, allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions on a permanent basis would likely result in a far greater number of women being coerced or forced into an unwanted termination.

By making both medical and surgical abortions legal outside of a hospital setting or place approved by the Secretary of State, and removing the requirement for an in-person consultation, it will be difficult for physicians and providers to ascertain if abuse or coercion is involved.

The extreme change could compromise the privacy of the patient and, in theory, could allow an abuser to hide in the background of an ‘electronic’ consultation.

According to an investigation conducted by the Independent last year, already “one in seven women in the UK have been bullied into either getting pregnant or having an abortion.” The amendment being tabled by Diana Johnson does nothing to address this coercion and will likely make the situation much worse.

Earlier this year, a pharmacist and self-styled pastor, who sexually abused children, covered up his crimes on some of his vulnerable victims by obtaining medical abortion pills through his role as a pharmacist.

Additionally, Dr Gregory Gardner, a longstanding GP and honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham, has revealed how the radical proposed changes in law could open more children and women up to abuse and coerced abortion.

In an expert witness statement for a UK Court of Appeal legal challenge against ‘DIY’ home abortions, the leading doctor 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.”

Furthermore, by removing the 10-week limit, late-term abortions, similar to the one that caused the death of an unborn baby at 28 weeks in May, will likely become more commonplace.

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

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”.

Pressure in Parliament for permanent home abortions

Last week, the UK Court of Appeal announced it would hear the Christian Legal Centre’s challenge against the UK Government’s decision to introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions.

Lord Justice Lewison ruled it is “arguable” that the Health Secretary Matt Hancock exceeded his powers under the 1967 Abortion Act when he designated “a pregnant woman’s home” as a permissible place for abortion. 

In granting permission for the judicial review, Lord Justice Lewison said that Christian Concern’s argument “has a real prospect of success”, and the Court of Appeal will now hold a public hearing imminently to decide whether Mr Hancock’s decision should be invalidated.

Catastrophic consequences for vulnerable pregnant women

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “This undercover operation has exposed the dangers to vulnerable women as a result of the change in the law. This unsafe, and frequently illegal service, is provided by an abortion industry which wields huge influence at the heart of UK government.

“Pre-action disclosure in our court case reveals the hot line abortion executives have to senior civil servants at the heart of the health and social care department. This has to be investigated and overhauled.

“If Diana Johnson’s amendments go forward on Monday there will be a parliamentary debate on whether to introduce to the UK some of the most extreme abortion laws in the world . 

“It would be an abuse of the Domestic Abuse Bill to hijack it in order to decriminalise abortion at any time for any reason up to 28 weeks.

“How can a civilised parliament even contemplate such a move when we know that babies born at less than 28 weeks have a strong chance of survival.

“The revelations of how these DIY abortion services are run and the lack of due process should cause MPs to think again and to reject these dangerous amendments.

“If the amendments go through they will have catastrophic consequences for vulnerable pregnant women and for our unborn children. Abortion figures are already at record levels and we should be working toward public policies which bring down abortion numbers not increase them.

“The abortion providers are shamelessly pushing these amendments in Parliament while ignoring the safety of women who ask for their services.

“The issue of abortion is coming to a head. This public health, mystery client exercise, conducted and regulated to the highest professional standards, has exposed the chilling disregard for proper process at the heart of the abortion industry.”

‘DIY’ home abortions must be ‘urgently withdrawn’

Kevin Duffy, a former Global Director of Clinics Development at Marie Stopes International, who led the undercover investigation, said: “The investigation clearly demonstrates that abortion at home by pills-by-post, is not safe, and on many occasions it oversteps legal boundaries without any proper scrutiny.

“Each of the scenarios revealed by this investigation would not have happened under the pre-lockdown process. Previously as part of the routine care, the woman would first be examined and assessed in a clinic by a professional service provider before being consented for an abortion, which could have resulted in her being able to safely self-administer both tablets at home.

“Women can self-refer for abortion services and do not need to be referred by their GP. Telemedicine means it is much harder to correctly identify the woman and what her gestational stage is. Service providers using the telemedicine process are solely reliant upon the accurate and honest self-assessment by the woman of the gestational age of her pregnancy, her self-reporting of the first day of her last period has replaced the routine examination by a service provider in a clinic.

“It is deeply concerning that the abortion industry has been allowed to take this service this far during an already highly vulnerable time for pregnant women. The process of wholly relying on telemedicine must be withdrawn urgently.”

‘DIY’ abortions cover up 14 years of sexual abuse

A father has been arrested accused of performing multiple ‘DIY’ home abortions to hide crimes of sexual abuse committed on his daughter and stepdaughter.

Jason Daniel Goodwill was taken into custody last week and now faces more than 20 charges, including rape, corruption of minors and “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child”.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, the father’s campaign of abuse is alleged to have lasted 14 years and stems back to 2006 when his stepdaughter was just 7-years-old.

Authorities opened an investigation earlier this month after they were called to UPMC Hamot Children’s Care Clinic over the suspected child abuse of the victims.

The 12-year-old daughter was taken there for testing and observation after revealing to her 20-year-old step sister that she was being sexually abused by Goodwill.

According to the criminal complaint, obtained by Erie News Now, the now 20-year-old stepdaughter told investigators she had also been sexually abused by Goodwill, starting when she was approximately 7 years old.

As a result of the abuse, the stepdaughter became pregnant on multiple occasions. Recalling the distressing events, the 20-year-old said Goodwill would inject her with a harmful chemical to induce labour so he could abort the pregnancies.

Despite this, the stepdaughter gave birth to a child in 2014, who died at five-months-old and was buried in the back garden of the family home.

Investigators told Erie News Now they had recovered evidence on the property in connection to the death of a child, after carrying out a search warrant at the home on 12 May.

‘DIY’ home abortions are now temporarily allowed across the UK following an incredible double U-turn from the Government, which went against its own warnings.

The very substantial change, which has been made without any public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate, means women will be left to deliver their own dead unborn child at home without direct medical supervision.

Additionally, it opens women and children up to coerced abortions and makes it easier for men to gain access to dangerous abortion drugs.

Previously, abortions could only take place in hospitals or abortion clinics approved by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

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

Last week, a woman and her unborn baby died after taking ‘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.

In the UK, a legal challenge against ‘DIY’ home abortions has been launched by the Christian Legal Centre.

The case, which is backed by a healthcare professional and former Government minister Ann Widdecombe, suffered a setback this week when the High Court upheld the UK Government’s decision to allow ‘DIY’ home abortions.

However, the Christian Legal Centre have announced they will appeal the decision.

Right To Life UK has launched tools in England, Wales & Scotland which makes it easy for residents to contact their local representatives and ask them to revoke the dangerous ‘DIY’ abortion decision in their respective countries.

Ask your local MP, AM or MSP to revoke the dangerous ‘DIY’ abortion decision!

In Northern Ireland we have a separate tool calling on MPs to vote against the extreme abortion regime imposed on the province.

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

“This story highlights one of the significant risks behind this dangerous and reckless change in policy.

“These new regulations, which we’re implemented without any parliamentary scrutiny or debate, put vulnerable girls at greater risk of sex-trafficking and child-sex abuse as ‘DIY’ abortions can be used by their abusers as a means to more easily cover up their abuse.

“Thepolicy change by the Government goes against the very argument previously made by the abortion industry who argued that abortions should be provided at approved locations to protect women from abuse and coercion. By encouraging women to have abortions at home or other locations, the UK Government have put the health and safety of women at risk.

“The UK Government must immediately repeal these changes to allow proper democratic procedures to be undertaken, but more importantly, to protect the health of thousands of women across the country.”

Woman dies from dangerous ‘DIY’ abortion

A woman has died along with her unborn baby after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion drugs.

The unnamed woman suffered from excessive bleeding after taking abortion pills, a medical examination has revealed.

Police in the Indian region of Kashimira were called to the family home of the woman, earlier this month, where they discovered bloodstained bedsheets and abortion drugs.

Initially, police reported the death of the woman, who is survived by an 18-month-old daughter, as “accidental” but have now opened an investigation into her death.

According to the Mumbai Mirror, the woman’s husband, with the help of his parents and a friend, obtained abortion drugs from a medical representative.

The husband, his parents and friend are now among six people who have been “booked”, but not arrested, under the Indian Penal Code and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. One of the sections applied deals with “an act done with intent to cause miscarriage”.

Ask your local MP, AM or MSP to revoke the dangerous ‘DIY’ abortion decision!

‘DIY’ home abortions are now temporarily allowed across the UK following an incredible double U-turn from the Government, which went against its own warnings.

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.”

A Government webpage that had published the changes 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.”

In an incredible double U-turn, the Government went against their own warnings by officially announcing they would allow ‘DIY’ abortions.

Despite these warnings, the UK Government announced in March that it would allow telemedicine abortions, where ‘DIY’ abortions would be performed at home by women on themselves without a doctor or other medical professional present.

The very substantial temporary change is the biggest change to abortion legislation since the 1967 Abortion Act, yet it was made without any public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate.

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

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

A legal challenge, backed by a healthcare professional and former Government minister, has been launched by the Christian Legal Centre.

Right To Life UK has launched tools in England, Wales & Scotland which makes it easy for residents to contact their local representatives and ask them to revoke the dangerous ‘DIY’ abortion decision in their respective countries.

Ask your local MP, AM or MSP to revoke the dangerous ‘DIY’ abortion decision!

In Northern Ireland we have a separate tool calling on MPs to vote against the extreme abortion regime imposed on the province.

Action alert – Ask your MSPs/AMs to revoke dangerous Scotland and Wales ‘DIY’ abortion decisions

The Scottish and Welsh Governments have unfortunately followed the UK Government and introduced ‘DIY’ abortions to Scotland and Wales.

The very substantial change has been announced without any public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate.  

Thank you to everyone that has written to their MPs asking them to revoke the decision made by the Conservative Government for England.

We now need to ensure that it is also clear to both the Scottish and Welsh Governments that the public in Scotland and Wales are upset about the decision each Government has made and that it should be revoked in Scotland and Wales as soon as possible. 

It is vital that there is pressure in all three Governments on this issue.

If you are a Scottish or Welsh resident, please click the button below to email your MSPs/AMs asking them to urgently raise this with the Scottish/Welsh Government. It only takes 30 seconds.

Once you have emailed your MSPs/AMs, please do let friends and family know to email their MSPs/AMs.

Thank you for your help on this.