How to choose an abortion provider that puts your choices front and centre
The pandemic continues to impact women seeking an abortion and how they access services.
The introduction of ‘At home abortion pills’ during April 2020 for women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant has helped a lot of people. But there is more to finding an abortion service which puts you first and respects your right to choose.
To help you choose a provider of abortion services, we thought the following checklist of what to look for might be helpful.
Get in touch if you have further questions: we have same day appointments available.
1. Ask about waiting times
Absolutely key is how long you must wait for an appointment. The "Abortion Care Quality Standards" by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state that women should expect to have a consultation and treatment within 10 days. When you call the service provider, make sure you check how long you will have to wait for your first appointment or consultation. If it is more than five days, ask if an alternative provider is available. This is particularly important for a medical abortion where you are eligible for telemedicine, as you will not have to attend a clinic.
If you are not eligible for telemedicine, you should check not only when your telephone consultation appointment will be, but also how long you will have to wait to be seen in a clinic. Again, if the waiting time to be seen face-to-face is longer than you expect when you call, ask if another provider could see you sooner.
We have same day appointments available.
2. Ask about choice of treatment type
The next key consideration is CHOICE of treatment type. Does the service you are considering offer you a choice of options?
If you are eligible for telemedicine, you can choose to be treated at home or face-to-face in a clinic. During the pandemic, many patients who are eligible have opted for telemedicine to minimise the risk of being exposed to the virus. However, you are entitled to choose whichever which suits you. If you are not offered the choice of being seen face-to-face and that is your preference, ask if another provider is available so that your choice is respected.
CHOICE is also important if you require or request a surgical procedure. Most abortions are treated under 10 weeks in England and Wales and can normally be treated medically, but everyone can opt to be treated surgically. If that is your preference, ask the booking service about the choice of anaesthetic: from general anaesthetic to conscious sedation or nothing at all.
3. Ask about counselling options
Everyone who comes to MSI Reproductive Choices is offered counselling if they would like it – and again this can be offered either over the telephone or face-to-face.
4. Read the available CQC inspection reports
CQC inspections are regular checks on health and social care services to make sure services are providing care that's safe, caring, effective, responsive to people's needs and well-led. These reports are public and available for everyone to read.
5. Read clients stories
Reading stories from clients who have received treatment from a provider will make it easier to know what to expect and that you are not alone.
How to get in touch
At MSI Reproductive Choices, choice is at the heart of everything we do and we believe that choosing a provider which puts your wishes and needs first is your right.
You can always contact our advice line on the numbers below if you’d like to talk things through, or get more information. You can also live chat with our service advisors, they'll be able to help.
England, Scotland and Wales: 0345 300 8090
Northern Ireland: 0333 234 2184
Ireland: 1 800 200 374
International: +44 (0) 1454 457 542
You can also use facebook messenger to contact us via social media: MSI Reproductive Choices UK facebook page.