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Telemedical Abortion and Mitigating "Crisis" Pregnancies

In this briefing, Dr Milne outlines the need for telemedical abortion to continue to be available for women so as to prevent more women experiencing "crisis" pregnancies. Briefing: Telemedical Abortion and Mitigating

In March 2020 the Department for Health and Social Care approved 2 temporary measures in England to limit the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure continued access to early medical abortion services:

  • Women and girls are able to take both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks in their own homes, without the need to first attend a hospital or clinic.
  • Registered medical practitioners (doctors) are able to prescribe both pills to women and girls for the treatment of early medical abortion up to 10 weeks from their own homes.

Evidence suggests that this temporary measure, known as ‘telemedical abortion’, is safe and has reduced harm to women by widening access to early medical abortion services, and so preventing more women from experiencing ‘crisis’ pregnancies.

This briefing draws on research from Durham University, which suggests that discontinuing these measures would have a detrimental effect on women’s ability to access early medical abortions, and so increase the number of women who experience ‘crisis’ pregnancies. Research also concludes that continued provision of telemedical abortion will not result in more women illegally accessing abortion to end a late-term pregnancy.

Recommendations:

  • Early medical abortion continues to be accessible through telemedical appointment, with women and girls permitted to take both pills at home, and medical practitioners permitted to prescribe both pills to women and girls for use in their own homes.
  • Home-use of abortion medication for early medical abortions be made a permanent aspect of the abortion provision provided to women in England.

 

Read the briefing: Telemedical Abortion and Mitigating Crisis Pregnancies

 

Find out more about why removal of telemedical abortion and requiring vulnerable women to attend appointments in clinics will not prevent 'crisis' pregnancies, nor safeguard children.

What is telemedical abortion and why is it important?

Watch Dr Milne talk about telemedical abortion and why it is important it continues to be available for women

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