Court battle for right to have abortion at home

by Helen Russell

Court battle for right to have abortion at home

The rule that prohibits women taking medical abortion pills in their own home is being challenged at the high court later this month as campaigners fearthat the current system jeopardises women’s health and wellbeing.   

Women within the first nine weeks of pregnancy can opt for what’s known as a ‘medical abortion’. This involves taking two pills 24 and 48 hours apart.

At the moment, women in the UK must take both pills at a clinic before going home.  This has resulted in some women beginning to miscarry on the journey back home.

Most other countries allow women to take the second pill at home so that they are in a more familiar environment for the final stage of termination.

Now, British campaigners are demanding the same rights for women who opt for abortions in the UK.  The clinic-only ruling has been branded as ‘ludicrous and stupid’ by Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

The BPAS provides 25% of medical abortions in the UK and has been pushing for change for the last 10 years. This month, they're finally taking the issue to court.

Health officials have confirmed that is it safe and effective to take the second pill at home and Furedi says: ‘What we really believe is that our clinical practice must be shaped by clinical evidence and not political convenience’.

So what do you think? Tell us your views below and let us know what you think of the current ruling.

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