On Wednesday, the United Kingdom’s House of Lords voted to alter existing abortion laws to make temporary pandemic-era at-home abortions permanent.
In 2020, the UK moved to allow “abortion by mail,” i.e. for chemical abortion pills to be issued through the mail to women in England, Scotland, and Wales who were less than ten weeks pregnant and consulted with doctors via telehealth beforehand, LifeSiteNews explains.
The measure had a built-in expiration date of two years but, despite warnings from hundreds of medical healthcare providers that the “pills by post” scheme was dangerous and should be put to an end, Parliament’s upper chamber voted 75 to 35 on an amendment that would alter current abortion law to make chemical abortions by mail permanent.
The bill will now go back to the House of Commons for a vote.
“The temporary provisions in England, Scotland, and Wales have already placed the health of many women and girls at risk,” over 600 doctors urged British leaders in an open letter prior to the vote, calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to “end the ‘home use’ abortion schemes currently in place.”
The doctors added that, with abortion via telehealth, “there is no way to verify accurate gestational age via telephone without an in-clinic ultrasound” and that serious complications can arise, including “ruptured ectopic pregnancies and resuscitation for major haemorrhage.”
In one case, one woman was able to obtain abortion pills despite being 32 weeks pregnant, 22 weeks beyond the legal limit, well into the third trimester, and carrying a nearly full-term baby that would easily be viable outside the womb.
In another case, a police investigation was launched when a baby born alive after a woman ingested abortion pills was suspected to have been murdered.
The doctors also noted that the abortion by mail scheme compounds the risk that women could be forced or coerced into abortion by abusive partners or family members.
“This concerning trajectory of incidents is unsurprising given the evidence that there can be more complications from taking abortion pills than surgical abortions even in a supervised medical setting,” the doctors wrote, noting one study of over 42,000 women which found that complications arise from medical abortions nearly four times more frequently than surgical abortions.
“Advocates of this dangerous policy say we must listen to women who are affected by it — they ignore the fact that in the Government consultation, 45% of the group of women who had accessed the pills by post service during the pandemic felt that there were benefits in relation to safeguarding and women’s safety in requiring at least one visit to a service to be assessed by a clinician. This is more than twice the number (22%) who said that there would be disadvantages,” Alithea Williams of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children warned after the vote.
“DIY home abortion scheme has inflicted untold damage to countless mothers and their babies. It should be consigned to history, where it belongs,” she concluded.
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