Judges uphold Scotland’s DIY abortions policy

22 May 2019

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"Women should not be facing the mental anguish that accompanies DIY abortions, nor any abortion for that matter."

“We are greatly saddened by this decision."

The Edinburgh Court of Sessions has upheld a previous decision not to allow a Judicial Review against the Scottish Government's home abortion policy.

The battle over home abortions

SPUC Scotland filed the legal challenge in January 2018, after Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, refused to reverse her decision to authorise the taking of misoprostol (the second stage of a medical abortion) outside a clinical setting.

Lady Wise upheld the Scottish Government’s decision in August last year, and an appeal followed in April. Now, in a decision published today, Lady Dorrian has upheld the initial ruling.

The Society will now take time to consider the verdict and assess if the legal battle can be continued.One option now might be to take the case to the UK Supreme Court.

Women deserve better

Following the judgement John Deighan, chief executive of SPUC Scotland said:

“We are greatly saddened by this decision. We have been convinced all along that the policy decision by the Chief Medical Officer and Scottish Government was illegal as well as detrimental to the well-being of women in our country. Women should not be facing the mental anguish that accompanies DIY abortions, nor any abortion for that matter.

“However those concerns have not been upheld by the judges.

“We felt compelled to act on our profound concerns over this policy and bring this legal challenge," he went on. "Our supporters made that possible and there are so many of them who retain a conviction that women deserve better than abortion and that right to life has to be defended for every person.

“It has shocked us that the health of women could have been neglected in such a cavalier manner just for the sake of satisfying a radical pro-abortion agenda. This is just what the promotion of DIY abortion has done.

“This decision may be the loss of one battle but justice and reason will continue to motivate us to continue our efforts," Mr Deighan concluded.