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UK: DIY Home Abortion Allowed During Coronavirus Crisis

The current pandemic has lead to unprecedented demand for healthcare across all sectors, and providers around the world struggle to keep up with the need to care for not only Covid19 patients, but those with other needs. For abortion mills, this means a decrease in business, as “patients” don’t want to or are unable to leave their homes.

The United Kingdom has released some new guidelines for abortion during this time – they loosen the restrictions on access to abortion pills and increase the ability of UK women to abort babies, even in this time of crisis. 

This odd focus on abortion instead of other, more urgent and moral health options has led the UK to change regularions on at home abortion pills. In the past, women had to travel to a clinic to receive these pills. Since current UK law requires citizens to stay home unless they have absolutely critical or eessnetial reasons for travel, the new law is designed to make it easier for pregnant women to terminate babies.

The new law is in effect for 2 years, according to TIME magazine, though it could be changed when the coronavirus crisis ends. 

Women hoping to terminate a pregnancy will still have to make a phone call, but won’t have to head to a doctor’s office, have an ultrasound or even confirmation of pregnancy. 

“Public safety and continued access to key services is our priority during this difficult period,” a UK health services spokesperson said. “This measure will be on a temporary basis and must follow a telephone or e-consultation with a doctor.”

The switch  was first made last week, then erased from the UK government website after safety and moral concerns were raised. The original legislation allowed abortion pills, but required the treatment to begin in an abortion clinic. Now, women can pick up the entire course of treatment for home use. 

In 2018, there were more than 200,000 abortions in the UK, and medical procedures (not pills) accounted for 71% of total abortions. Several progressive groups had been lobbying the UK government to change the current law in light of the coronavirus crisis. The pills are intended to be more accessible, and the latest measures are intended to replace the closure of almost 25% of the nation’s abortion clinics due to COVID-19. 

The change in legislation means that barriers to abortion have been removed — but it also means that women trying a DIY approach could end up with unintended health consequences. It also means that a medical provider is removed from the process entirely and that “abortion on demand” could become a new form of birth control. 

It remains to be seen if clinics in the United States will follow in clamoring for DIY abortion methods, or if laws in this country could be changed. This new law has the potential to chance the way abortion is provided in the UK and could increase the number of unborn babies at risk each year.


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