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Royal College President endorses home abortions

11 December 2017

Lesley Regan
Prof. Lesley Regan claims the pills are "safe" (adapted from Cripps Photography)

President of Royal College endorses abortion pill consumption at home.

Professor Lesley Regan, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), continues to advance her opinion in favour of abortion pills being consumed at home, without medical assistance.

At present women who have a medical abortion (more common in the first nine weeks of pregnancy) can undergo the procedure by taking two sets of medication, which must be taken in a clinic.

"Don’t speak for me" 

Prof Regan, who has compared abortion to "getting your bunions sorted", was recently criticised for not allowing members of the RCOG to vote on the organisation’s official stance on removing restrictions to abortion; 33 General Council members voted on behalf of thousands of RCOG members, which include 6,000 senior doctors in England specialising in childbirth and women's health.

In a textbook example of the black and white fallacy, Prof Regan claimed that "if you don’t support safe abortion then by definition you are supporting and condoning unsafe abortion and serious injuries and death."

Now, the Times, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail report that Prof Regan claims that it’s "safer to take abortion pills at home".

"…if you come for a termination, I make you take [the pills] in front of me. So, possibly on the way home, you start becoming uncomfortable or start bleeding. You are certainly not going to have [the abortion in] the same composed, calm way."

It has not been made clear whether this represents a personal opinion, or the position of the RCOG.

Safe?

Only four years ago, the Irish Independent reported on the case of a Dublin woman who died from a heart attack caused by "extensive internal blood loss" hours after having an abortion. A year later, the Irish Mirror recounted the story of a woman who reported profuse bleeding after taking Misoprostol, a common abortion pill: "I'm a very lucky girl, I made it to the hospital on time and I didn't collapse and die in my bathroom in a pool of blood, which could easily have happened."

"What I want to get through to women here is - do not take those tablets alone, or at all. You do not know what will happen."

SPUC News has also received comments from our readers detailing the horrific consequences of the abortion pill. See one recent comment here.

The RCOG’s own publications report on a survey published in Reproductive Health Matters, which revealed that only 36% of the women surveyed (who had had a medical abortion in a clinic) said they would have opted to use misoprostol at home, had that choice been available.

Who does this benefit?

On the other hand, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) claims that women may resort to buying drugs online in an effort to avoid being "forced to take pills in front of a medical practitioner", report the Times and the Telegraph.

Scotland is already planning to change the law to allow women to take the second pill at home and Prof Regan has raised the issue with Professor Chris Whitty, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Health, reports the Telegraph.

BPAS, which charges £470 for a medical abortion at the time of writing, is also calling for a change in the law, which would enable them to continue to dispense the abortion pills but no longer require doctors to be present as the second pill is consumed. Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS said: "Medical bodies around the world agree that home use is safe and sensible."

Regan’s proposal shows callous disregard for pregnant women…

Commenting on Professor Regan’s proposal, Antonia Tully, Director of Campaigns at SPUC, said: "By calling for home abortions, Professor Regan is abusing her position of authority and is showing a callous disregard the mental and physical welfare of women. She is also betraying a complete disregard for the lives of pre-born babies".

Since being elected 18 months ago, Professor Regan has pushed a political agenda effectively calling for abortion for any reason to be legalised and now for an introduction of do-it yourself abortions.

Mrs Tully continued: "In reality this means that many vulnerable women, who may be desperate about the situation they are in, will be on their own with no medical supervision, taking drugs which are powerful enough to destroy their unborn baby".

Regan’s proposal amounts to a call for back street abortions, where there is no medical oversight. A review of academic studies produced by SPUC, Abortion and Women’s Health, highlights the most common clinically significant adverse events of having a medical abortion. These are typically hospital admission, blood transfusion, emergency room treatment, IV antibiotics administration, infection and, in some cases, even death.

"With the new year approaching, it’s time for Professor Regan to go and for the RCOG to focus on caring for all mothers and their unborn babies", said Mrs Tully.

News in brief:

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