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At-home abortions made permanent in England and Wales

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At-home abortions made permanent in England and Wales

Women or people with a uterus up to nine weeks and six days pregnant will have access to medical abortion medication at home, laws set to be passed on 30 August in England and Wales dictate.

This permanent bill was voted on by MPs in March, after the pandemic caused them to temporarily permit abortion pills to be sent via post after a phone consultation. 215 politicians voted for the measure whilst 188 voted against it.

Previously, a medical abortion required those pregnant to take the first tablet of two tablets, mifepristone, at an abortion clinic. Now, eligible women will be allowed to take both pills at home.

The Government website adds that doctors will be required to certify “in good faith” that gestation is below 10 weeks. They will be required to include information on place of termination, place of consultation as well as whether the consultation was fully remote. The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance for medical practitioners to support them completing the required certificate.

“The wellbeing and safety of women requiring access to abortion services is paramount,” says Maggie Throup, minister for Public Health. “With these measures women will have more choice in how and where they access abortion services, while ensuring robust data is collected to ensure their continued safety.”

In response to the news, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will be publishing safeguarding advice for people under the age of 18 accessing early medical abortion services. This will underline the idea that every young person should have access to early medical abortion providers in a timely manner and that their safeguarding needs must be addressed.

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