The Welsh Government is currently consulting on how early medial abortions at home are conducted. The deadline for responses is Tuesday 23 February. This consultation only considers provision of abortion services in Wales.
Why is this consultation so concerning?
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. It is only necessary to answer 3 (short version) or 4 (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
You can respond online through the consultation website, or by completing the response form and posting or emailing it to the relevant address – the form and relevant addresses are also available through the website. All documents are also available and responses can be submitted in Welsh.
There are 11 questions in the consultation. The three questions to which we encourage you to respond are: 1, 3 and 8. Please say the following in your own words.
No, it has had a negative impact with regard to safety.
The provision of abortion without an in-person appointment increases the potential for harm to women at risk of coercion. Without a mandatory in-person appointment it will be difficult to ensure that all women receiving pills are doing so freely, without coercion.
Option 2: Remain unaffected (i.e. be time limited for two years and end two years after the Coronavirus Act came into force (25 March 2022), or end on the day on which the temporary provision of the Coronavirus Act 2020 expire, whichever is earlier.
Ready to submit?
Don't forget, you can respond online through the consultation website, or by completing the response form and posting or emailing it to the relevant address – the form and relevant addresses are also available through the website. All documents are also available and responses can be submitted in Welsh.