Ask Health Secretary to stop dangerous DIY abortions

22 May 2020

This week we’ve been challenging the undemocratic reinterpretation of the abortion law which allows abortions to take place without any proper medical supervision. Although the case was unsuccessful this week, we are going to immediately challenge in the Court of Appeal. Now is the time to keep up the pressure on all fronts – on the government decision makers, in parliament, exposing the abortion industry and by telling our stories.

Even though the government said to parliament that in-person visits are ‘an essential safeguard’ for women, they allowed home abortions during the lockdown, after aggressive lobbying from pro-abortion campaigners.

As a result of our case, the government was forced to disclose correspondence leading to their decisions. The documents reveal several reasons why Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary should reverse this policy immediately:

  • BPAS had wanted DIY abortions anyway and appeared to use the coronavirus crisis as a ruse to push their policy through
  • The government was materially misled on the purposes of in-person visits. It was told that the only purpose of visiting a clinic is to abide by the law. In reality, important screening procedures and checks are routinely undergone at these visits to make sure that the treatment is appropriate and that the right medical oversight is in place
  • Advice to the government ignored strong medical evidence that entirely at-home abortions put the mother at additional risk, and was therefore additionally misleading about the risks involved.
  • No evidence was provided to show that the government’s stated concern that home abortions will put vulnerable women at risk of being put under pressure by abusive partners was invalid.
  • No evidence trail has been provided to show that the Health Secretary ever agreed with this policy.

Pro-abortion campaigners have always said that legalising abortion is essential to avoid backstreet abortions. Now they are pressuring the government for policies that give women that exact service – no proper medical oversight.

This lack of oversight not only harms the woman – it also leads to the system being abused. Police are investigating an abortion that took place after 28 weeks of pregnancy – four weeks past the limit – using the ‘Pills by Post’ scheme from BPAS.

The policy was always said to be a temporary measure under lockdown. Since the decision was made, some lockdown measures have already been relaxed. The conditions under which these dangerous abortions were allowed have now substantially changed, meaning the Health Secretary should urgently reverse this policy.

BPAS and other abortion providers will not be telling him this – they want this harmful policy in place permanently. We need to make sure that he gets the message.

Please write to your MP, copying in the Health Secretary, to make these points and ask this policy to be ended immediately.

Find out more about DIY abortions
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