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DIY abortion pills given to 900 women in one year

16 October 2018

 
​At least 911 Scottish women were given misoprostol to take at home.

As fears over safety grow 

More than 900 abortion pills have been given to women to take at home in the year since the Scottish Government introduced the policy.

A freedom of information request by the Courier newspaper found that 911 women were dispensed misoprostol, the second drug in the chemical abortion process, to take away from medical supervision. The figure is likely to be significantly higher as several boards offering this method could not provide the data or only had some of it.

There was a five-year high of 12,212 abortions of all types in Scotland in 2017, according to the latest Scottish Government data.

Some "dragging their feet"

Showing their determination that this unsafe practise be available everywhere, abortion advocates have slammed the fact that some Scottish health boards - Tayside, Fife, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire and Arran - do not yet offer home abortion. Jillian Merchant, of Abortion Rights Scotland, said it is "very disappointing" that some health boards are "dragging their feet" in providing the services, which she said are "not something which should be determined by postcode".

Increased fears over safety

It is not known why these health boards have not yet started dispensing misoprostol for home use. However, the news comes as fears grow about the safety of home abortions, after a Swedish study found that its use there may have doubled the number of complications experienced by women undergoing chemical abortions. 

It also comes as the Society's legal challenge against the Scottish Government's introduction of home abortions continues. 

Each of the 911 a tragedy

SPUC Scotland CEO John Deighan said: "The push to home abortions is a tragic development for a society and health service fatally compromised by our abortion culture.  Each of the 911 abortions represent a catastrophic failure for a woman and the child she was carrying.

"It highlights the importance of our legal battle to out this barbaric policy to an end," he continued. "We will be in court in the coming months to hold the Scottish Government to account and we aim to end their bedroom abortion regime. The abortion act never envisaged women having abortions on their own with no medical supervision and in locations that we can in no way be convinced are safe."

Terrible suffering

"I would call on any woman to refuse the dangerous pills that they are being offered to abort their baby," Mr Deighan went on. "I would also urge health boards not to support this policy. There will be a consequence in the number of women suffering mental health problems who will return at some point in the future asking why they were permitted to go down this tragic path.

"Coercion and terrible mental health outcomes for women opting for chemical abortions are two aspects that are completely neglected in the cavalier approach to abortion taken by our government. The latest statistics expose just how many women and families are affected. We are storing up a terrible toll of suffering that will one day need addressed."

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