DIY at-home abortions could be made a permanent fixture in the UK, the government has confirmed.
The current regulations were brought in just days after the government promised to make no changes to abortion law during the Covid-19 pandemic. For the past 5 months, women have been allowed to take both abortion pills at home following only one or two e-consultations or a telephone consultation with a doctor.
Initially, the government had promised only to keep the regulations in place during the lockdown, but this was later extended to two years. Now, ministers are considering keeping the current system in place after it expires in 18 months’ time.
Minister for Innovation, Lord Bethell, who also leads on Covid-19 policy, has promised a public consultation “on permanent home use of both pills for early medical abortion.” During a House of Commons debate, the government previously announced that the policy would continue until a consultation had been concluded. No date has been set for this consultation. Now, the government appears to be going ahead with plans to make the policy permanent regardless.
Record numbers of abortions
The Mirror reports that up to 90,000 women have used the DIY abortion service over lockdown, though no source is given to back up these figures. The government is expecting to release official statistics for abortions taking place from January to June 2020 next week, on 10 September.
Statistics released in June, however, show that abortions taking place in England and Wales in 2019 reached record highs, with rates increasing some 6% over the last 10 years. Similarly, Scotland recorded its second highest rate of abortion ever with over 13,000 abortions taking place in 2019.
In March, the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations also came into force, introducing one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world despite repeated opposition from the Northern Irish Assembly.
Abortion industry acting illegally
Since the DIY abortions were made available in March, our judicial review into the government decision and subsequent ‘mystery client’ investigation has helped uncover the illegal and dangerous workings of the abortion industry.
An NHS email sent by a chief midwife revealed that 13 incidents were under investigation, with three police investigations underway, including a murder investigation into the death of baby that was aborted outside of the womb. The email also reported two maternal deaths, and abortion pills being delivered to a woman 22 weeks over the legal limit for at-home abortions (and 8 weeks over the legal limit for any kind of abortion).
Speaking to the Daily Mail about the leaked email, Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, commented:
“The leaked email is a sickening admission that those running abortion services in England have elevated ideology over women’s safety.
“The email appears to suggest that pregnant women who have used the telemedicine service during UK lockdown have died or experienced serious life-changing complications.
“This further confirms the inherent danger of DIY abortions and shows how ideologues who show little concern for women – and no concern for babies – have captured NHS England as well as the providers and professional bodies.”
There have also been other reports of women receiving pills past the 10-week limit, such as one woman who gave birth to a stillborn baby after taking the pills at 28 weeks – abortion in the UK is only legal up to 24 weeks.
Our ‘mystery client’ investigation has also revealed abortion providers offering the pills to women for any reason, including a ‘client’ that simply wanted to keep her summer beach body and not be pregnant on holiday.
Time and again, reports have surfaced of the abortion industry acting illegally. Yet the government continues with this disastrous policy; either being misled or turning a blind eye to the damage it is causing.
Pray for the outcome of our legal challenge
If 90,000 DIY abortions really have taken place over lockdown, this would make abortion the biggest silent killer of the UK lockdown, with more than twice as many fatalities as Covid-19.
Please continue to pray for the outcome of our legal challenge into DIY abortions. We will continue to defend the lives of the unborn and most vulnerable until abortion is made unthinkable.
Find out more about DIY abortions