Savanta ComRes opinion poll reveals public concerns about DIY abortion

8 January 2021

Kevin Duffy, independent health consultant, comments on a recent survey indicating the Scottish public is very concerned about the safety of DIY abortion.

An independent poll conducted by Savanta ComRes found that more than 90% of the general public in Scotland are concerned about safety, quality, and legal issues related to the telemedicine provision of abortion DIY at-home abortions.

Savanta ComRes was commissioned by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) to conduct an independent opinion poll during the Scottish Government’s consultation on early medical abortion at home.

A total of 1,042 people were polled, a group which can be considered representative of the population across Scotland. The group was evenly split female and male; 45% considered themselves to belong to a Christian religious group and 49% said they had no religion; about two thirds of the women had no children.

Those polled were provided with an overview of the findings from our Mystery Client Investigation. They were told the investigation found that abortion providers had sent abortion drugs to women who had given false personal information (for example, name, address or claimed gestation). They were then asked, “To what extent do you agree or disagree about each of the following:”

91% agreed “It is concerning that callers giving false information can easily obtain abortion drugs.”

92% agreed “Staff at abortion providers need to ensure that they are collecting correct medical and personal information to certify a woman for a home abortion.”

93% agreed “It is important that checks are put in place to ensure women being certified for abortion meet the legal criteria.”

When asked more specifically about telemedicine abortion appointments in which the doctor never sees the woman in person, 79% said they are concerned about the possibility of abortion pills being falsely obtained for another person and 84% are concerned about women being at risk of being coerced into an abortion by a partner or family member.

83% are concerned that women will find it distressing to dispose of their aborted baby into the toilet or sanitary pads.

These concerns raised by the people of Scotland, fully endorse our findings and the issues which we raised in our Mystery Client Investigation. You can download a copy of our report here.

Politicians need to listen to their voters on this matter. More than 80% have significant concerns about the safety and quality of care for women managing their own abortion at home. The government is asking the public to tell them what they think about the current approval for early medical abortion at home; well the answer seems very clear from this poll: the general public don’t like it, they are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of women and want to see an end to abortion at home by telemedicine.

Find out more about DIY abortions
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