What Other Countries Are Doing for Women and Abortion

If it’s good for the UK it’s good for the United States!!

Make home abortion permanently legal, English doctors say as published by the Times in February, 2021.

English doctors are calling for home medical abortions to be made permanently legal as figures show that allowing women to take pills in private without visiting a clinic cuts waiting times.

Temporary legislation was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic to allow women easier access to medical termination in their homes via phone and video consultations.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is among many organizations calling on the government to make the law permanent after the largest study of UK abortion care found it to be safe and effective.

Researchers studied more than 50,000 early medical abortions in England, Scotland and Wales between January and June last year, before and after the telemedicine service began.

Like in some States in the United States, before the pandemic, women had to attend an appointment to get an ultrasound scan and take medication within the clinic. Under the new system, consultations take place by phone or video, and medication can be taken at home if the pregnancy is ten weeks or less. This is NOT the case in many U.S. States where the Supreme Court judged recently that women have to go personally to the pharmacy to pick up the abortion pill.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) and the National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service said that 80% of the women in the study had said telemedicine was their preferred option.

Dr. Abigail Aiken, associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas and lead author, said: “We found that 98.8% of women were able to end their pregnancies without any further intervention and less than 0.05% experienced a serious complication. The outcomes for the traditional in-person model were almost exactly the same.”

Waiting times between consultation and treatment were cut from 10.7 days to 6.5 days and women received care much earlier in their pregnancy, according to the paper published in the BMJ.

There were no cases of significant infection requiring hospital admission or major surgery; no deaths occurred from early medical abortions at home.

Professor Dame Lesley Regan, chairwoman of the royal college’s abortion taskforce, said: “This study proves there is no medical reason not to make the current telemedicine service permanent.” She rejected arguments that changing abortion laws would lead to more women choosing to have one. She added: “Every day scores of desperate pregnant women put themselves in extreme danger by undergoing illegal and unsafe abortion.”

Join the Reproductive Justice Action Team of the DA Global Women’s Caucus.