The Government is currently consulting on whether to make the recent temporary changes in the law to permit so-called ‘home abortion’ provision (introduced in order to minimize hospital/clinic visits during the pandemic) a permanent arrangement in England after the pandemic has concluded.
The deadline for responses is 11:59pm Friday 26 February.
Why is this consultation important?
This consultation is not about the big ethical questions about abortion provision in general. Nevertheless, this is an important consultation to which we would urge you to respond because it will determine how abortions are provided for many years to come.
Any decision to make abortion via telemedicine permanent would be deeply concerning for at least two reasons:
- First, provision of abortion without an in-person appointment significantly alters the environment in which women make life-changing decisions about their pregnancies and the future of their unborn child. Abortion providers have described this change as ‘revolutionary’, saying this is one of the biggest changes to abortion law since the Abortion Act passed in 1967, which has significantly streamlined the way they can provide abortions. We believe both women and unborn children are of immense value, and women should not be making these decisions, alone, at the end of a phone call.
- Second, the continuation of telemedicine abortion brings with it not insignificant health and safety risks for women. Abortion by telemedicine, as the following makes clear, denies appropriate protection and care for women.
Pressed for Time?
It is really important to stress that you do not need to answer all the consultation questions. For the purpose of making the above points, it is only necessary to answer three (short version) or four (long version) of the questions. CARE has provided this briefing to help you answer these key questions.
If you can only spare a few minutes, we’ve provided you with a short version of how to respond. If you want to submit a more detailed response, scroll down for more information.
Short Version: takes just a few minutes to respond
There are 11 questions in the consultation. The three questions to which we encourage you to respond are: 1, 7 and 10.
Yes, it has had a negative impact.
As set out in the current temporary approval, permission should be time limited or end when the temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 expires, whichever is earlier.