Several constituents have raised with me the dangers and implications of abortion medication taken at home and I know there have been concerns since guidance was moderated for the outbreak of coronavirus.
Abortion care is an essential part of care for women, and safeguarding measures are still in place. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has offered guidance on this issue which can be found here:
Guidelines have been issued which enable women to take both Mifepristone and Misoprostol at home for the duration of the outbreak, so that they do not have to visit a medical practice and risk exposure to the virus, and to enable doctors to prescribe medicines from home without consulting a second practitioner, so that abortion care can be provided even in the case of staff shortages. This alteration will last only as long as the temporary provisions enacted by the Coronavirus Act 2020 to protect women seeking care. The medicines must still be instigated prior to nine weeks and six days into the pregnancy and anyone taking the medication has to have a consultation via phone or video call prior.
I have been alarmed to read news reports of cases where abortions had been sought and enacted after the 10 week legal limit for taking the medicines at home, or have caused further illness. I understand that these instances are being investigated to ensure that women are accessing safe care, and that clinicians are properly supported through the consultation process.
While it would be inappropriate for me to comment on ongoing legal proceedings, I am confident that the Government acted within its powers, and in such a way as to make safety the absolute highest priority of the temporary regulations.
I will continue to monitor this issue closely and thank you to those who contacted me about this issue.