Women in England will be able to take the second abortion pill at home by the end of 2018, as the government introduces new plans to bring England into line with Scotland and Wales.
The plans will mean women who are having an early medical abortion will not risk beginning to miscarry while on their journey home after taking the abortion pill at a clinic.
An investigation last month found women are taking abortion pills illegally at home to avoid suffering extreme pain and being incapacitated on the journey home.
Single mothers have also been using illegal abortion pills at home due to being unable to organise childcare.
Currently in England, the two abortion pills which are taken 24 to 48 hours apart, must both be administered in a clinic or hospital. Under the new plans, it will be possible to take the second tablet at home.
An ‘Outbreak of Common Sense.’
A protest supporting women’s reproductive rights and the right to choose Credit: internets_dairy Flickr
In October 2017 Scotland became the first place in the UK that women could take the second abortion pill at home and in June of this year, Wales followed suit.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a charity supporting women in pregnancy choices, has been campaigning for women having an early medical abortion to be able to take the second abortion pill at home.
Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “We are delighted by this decision, which represents an outbreak of common sense.
“It will dramatically improve the experience of the more than 100,000 women in England who undergo Early Medical Abortion every year.”
Women will no longer risk pain and bleeding as they travel home after taking it, and means they can use it at the time that is right for them, when they are safe.
Anne Furedi, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service
“Bpas has long campaigned for this simple, evidence-based measure,” she continued, adding that it was “standard practice” around the world, and endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
“Enabling women to use this medication at home rather than being forced to take it in a clinic means women will no longer risk pain and bleeding as they travel home after taking it, and means they can use it at the time that is right for them, when they are safe and comfortable in the privacy of their own homes.”
Reproductive Rights Are Not An Explicit Human Right
Credit: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 Flickr
Although reproductive rights and the right to have an abortion are not explicitly defined in the Human Rights Convention, case law relating to abortion usually falls under Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention and the Right to Family and Private Life and in particular, respect for an individual’s private life.
Article 3 of the Human Rights Convention and the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment is also consideration in relation to reproductive and abortion rights.
Reproductive rights campaigners are hoping to challenge the law in Northern Ireland, which following the Republic of Ireland’s historic vote in May of this year to legalise abortion is the only part of the UK where abortion is illegal unless there is serious risk to a woman’s life or health.