London, 27th November 2020 –
During the COVID-19 pandemic the government put in place a temporary measure in England, enabling women and girls to take both pills for early medical abortion (EMA) in their own homes up to 10 weeks’ (9 weeks and 6 days) gestation.
Before the pandemic, only the second pill for EMA could be taken at home ‒ women and girls attended an abortion service to take the first pill.
The temporary measure has been put in place to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and ensure continued access to abortion services. It’s time limited for 2 years, or until the pandemic is over ‒ whichever is earliest.
The government is now seeking views on whether or not to make the temporary measure permanent.
MSI UK Media statement
If you are covering news of the UK Gov Open consultation on "Home use of both pills for early medical abortion" you may find the following statement from MSI Reproductive Choices helpful.
Dr Jonathan Lord, UK Medical Director for MSI Reproductive Choices, said:
"Thanks to the introduction of telemedicine, thousands of women have been able to access the timely, high quality care they deserve. Waiting times and gestations have significantly reduced and the number of safeguarding cases identified has risen by 29%, meaning increased protection for vulnerable women. Had this service not been available, the consequences would have been catastrophic.
“We are pleased to see the Government launch a public consultation to make permanent the home use of both pills for early medical abortion, and will work closely with them to ensure they have access to the data, evidence and voices needed to make the decision that is right for women.”