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Public consultation to be held on extending ‘DIY abortions’ beyond COVID-19

7 July 2020
1993 care for life 3

The UK Government is to hold a public consultation on whether to allow women to carry on accessing home abortions, even after the coronavirus legislation has ceased to have effect.

Victoria Atkins made the announcement in the House of Commons yesterday during the Report Stage and Third Reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill.

She said:

As I set out earlier, the Government consider that the right way forward is to undertake a public consultation on whether to make permanent the current covid-19 measure allowing for home use of early medical abortion pills up to 10 weeks’ gestation for all eligible women. In answer to the question she asked earlier, I can confirm that we will keep the current covid-19 measures in place until the public consultation concludes and a decision has been made.
Victoria Atkins Minister

Current arrangements that allow women to take both abortion pills at home will continue until the consultation has concluded.

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Current arrangements allow women to procure both abortion pills at home

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the UK Government decided to temporarily allow women to take both abortion pills at home.

Abortion pills can currently be prescribed by a doctor over the phone or on a video call. The pills will then be posted to women at home in a process known as ‘telemedicine’. It’s currently available to women up to 9 weeks and 6 days gestation.

This policy was due to end when the temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 finished or at the end of March 2022.

At the time, CARE warned about the risks involved with home abortions.

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Home abortions are risky for women and deadly for unborn babies

Late last week, an amendment was tabled to the Domestic Abuse Bill by Diana Johnson MP to extend these temporary arrangements for victims of domestic abuse beyond the covid-19 restrictions.

However, the UK Government said it did not believe this change should happen via an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill and instead said it wanted to hold a public consultation on the issue.

Strikingly, the Minister said the consultation would be on allowing all women to do DIY abortions at home, not just victims of domestic abuse. In this sense, the consultation will go further than Ms Johnson’s amendment.

With many MPs speaking out against the home abortion amendment, it was eventually withdrawn in a major victory for pro-life campaigners.

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In any pregnancy, both the woman and preborn baby have inherent value and dignity, by virtue of being made in the image of God. CARE is passionately pro-woman and pro-life.

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