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Government in UK confirms plans to approve the home-use of early abortion pills

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Staff Writer | August 28, 2018
abortion pills
Britain   Safeguards will be introduced to protect women

Women in England will be allowed to take the second of 2 early medical abortion pills in their own home.

The UK government will legalise the home-use of early medical abortion pills in England by the end of the year.

Under the plans, women will be allowed to take the second of 2 early abortion pills in the safe and familiar surroundings of their own home.

With clinical and legal advice clear that the use of abortion pills at home is safe and legal, women will have the choice of whether they wish to take the second pill at home or at a clinic.

The current system requires women to take both pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, 24 to 48 hours apart in a clinic to end an early pregnancy before 10 weeks gestation. Women leave the clinic after taking the second pill and pass the pregnancy at home. The 2 visits can be difficult to organise and often uncomfortable or traumatic, and in some cases women can begin to miscarry before they have reached their home.

4 in 5 terminations are early medical abortions, carried out under 10 weeks gestation. This means the majority of women seeking abortions will now have the option for home-use. However, women will still be able to take the second pill in a clinic if they choose to do so.

The plans will not change the way women are assessed and treated for an abortion. Any woman seeking an early medical abortion will be given the usual checks including the criteria under the Abortion Act.

Safeguards will be introduced to protect women undergoing this treatment at home, and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will work closely with partners in the health system to make the changes quickly and safely.

The next step will be to work with partners, including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, to develop clinical guidance for all professionals to follow when providing the treatment option to patients.


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