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Plea to make your voice heard on DIY abortions

The Government has opened a consultation about whether to extend its DIY abortion policy, where women can have a telephone consultation and then abortion pills in the post to take at home. Norfolk GP and Diocese of East Anglia Fertility Awareness Methods Co-ordinator, Dr Jess Beckett, expresses her concerns.

The DIY abortion policy was introduced as an emergency measure during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. I have been very concerned that this policy is unsafe and leaves women particularly vulnerable at this time of isolation.

As a doctor myself, I have been part of local decisions on how to safely manage patients remotely to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. However I feel that a telephone consultation and pills through the post for abortion is taking it too far.

Who knows who is actually on the end of the phone or who is actually taking the pills? It leaves vulnerable women with less safeguards against sexual abuse and coercion. In addition, I have concerns about the safety of not having an ultrasound scan to determine dates of pregnancy and exclude ectopic pregnancies or molar pregnancies. Also not knowing the woman’s blood group, should she haemorrhage.

Since this dangerous policy was introduced, we know that there have been women receiving pills in the post well over the legal limit for abortion, including one woman at 32 weeks gestation. The process of medical abortion is painful and traumatic. Many women aborting at home are suffering in silence and under-reporting complications.

Early on in the pandemic, I asked my MP, Liz Truss, to voice my concerns and urge the Government to revoke the decision to provide home abortions. My letter was sent to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and a reply received.

Mr Hancock concluded by saying: “I am clear that allowing women and girls to take both pills for early medical abortion, up to nine weeks and six days, in their own homes, without the need to first attend a hospital or clinic, is a temporary measure.

“The approval contains a sunset clause; it is time-limited for two years, or until the pandemic is over, whichever is the earlier.”

Sadly, it comes as no surprise that the Government is now considering extending this policy beyond the Coronavirus pandemic. The abortion industry is constantly pushing to further liberalise and do away with abortion legislation. This move is ironic, when you consider that those who campaigned to legalise abortion did so with the aim of avoiding the dangers of backstreet abortions.

UK pro-life groups are collaborating to present two online briefing sessions via YouTube, to help people fill out the Government’s consultation form on whether to extend this unsafe DIY abortion at home policy.

Please join a session and make your views known to the Government. Be a voice for the voiceless.

Saturday January 23, 11am – 12 noon
Wednesday January 27, 8pm – 9pm

Click here to see the consultation form. 

Pictured above is Dr Jess Beckett.