Over 600 medical professionals from throughout the UK have called for an end to ‘DIY’ home abortion services currently in place in England, Wales and Scotland.
The open letter, signed by over 600 medical professionals, is addressed to the Prime Minister, the First Minister of Scotland and the First Minister of Wales. It publicly requests that the ‘at-home’ abortion schemes in England, Scotland, and Wales are revoked with immediate effect.
The letter follows public consultations by each government on whether to make the temporary ‘at-home’ abortion policy permanent and outlines the serious risk that the temporary measures present to women’s health and welfare.
Dr Calum Miller, a medical doctor and Research Associate at the University of Oxford, explained that the best way to recognise victims of coerced abortion is through an in-person consultation.
“Medical professionals know it, the government knows it, and abortion providers themselves know it,” he said. Coerced abortion is a serious human rights abuse that the government and doctor have a duty to prevent, not facilitate. It’s time we put women’s safety before convenience.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) say that women having abortions should be seen in person for at least a physical examination. This is a critical safety measure to check the gestation of the pregnancy and assess for contra-indications and ectopic pregnancies.
“In a country aiming to provide women with world-class healthcare and not merely the minimum standard, ultrasound should also be routine. We should not be failing women by eliminating the checks we have in place to put their safety first.”
Dr Antony Latham, a GP from the Isle of Harris in Scotland, also warned that ‘at-home’ abortions are dangerous to women for a whole host of reasons.
“Without proper face to face examination a woman can easily obtain the pills under a false name and at the wrong gestation. This has already resulted in at least one death of a baby at 28 weeks’ gestation,” he said.
Carla Lockhart, DUP MP for Upper Bann, noted that the permissions were granted by the Government without adequate parliamentary and public scrutiny and “are putting women’s physical and mental health at risk”.
Scott Benton, Conservative MP for Blackpool South, also stressed that the debate over ‘at-home abortion’ “is not a philosophical debate about abortion itself, it is about ensuring women are safe”.
Branding the government’s introduction of ‘DIY’ abortion “a cruel experiment on women and their unborn babies”, Catherine Robinson, of Right To Life UK, said: “The UK Government must act now and end these dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortion schemes.”
Picture: A pro–life demonstrator. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn).