36 emergency calls a month over DIY abortions at home

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An average of 36 calls a month are being made to 999 by women who have taken abortion pills at home during the pandemic, Christian Concern reports.

The alarming figures were part of the evidence presented to a cross-party group of politicians in the Commons and Lords about the dangers of DIY abortions. 

It comes after the Government relaxed abortion regulations at the start of the pandemic to allow women to take both abortion pills in their home. 

England, Scotland and Wales are all considering making the changes permanent, but pro-life campaigners say the regulations only put vulnerable women at risk of coercion or medical complications. 

During the online briefing, hosted by Lord Mackay of Clashfern, a video presentation shared the story of one woman named only as Kirsty who was coerced into taking the pills at home against her will. 

She revealed how she still struggles with the trauma of what occurred. 

"The home abortion is made to think you are doing it in the comfort of your own home," she said.

"But instead, you have the memory of what you have done in your own home forever. My home is no longer my happy safe space, it is the place where I took away my child."

Dr Dermot Kearney, of the Catholic Medical Association, voiced concern that gestation cannot be verified through e-consultations and that ectopic pregnancies may be missed.

He told parliamentarians that the risk of complications is much higher if the pills are taken after 10 weeks' gestation - something which a previous Christian Concern investigation revealed is happening.

Dr Kearney is the co-founder of the Abortion Pill Rescue Service, a 24-hour service to help women obtain the abortion reversal pill. 

He said there had been over 110 calls to the service in the last nine months. 

Further evidence presented during the briefing revealed that complications have become more common after regulations were relaxed.

While the Department of Health recorded only one complication among 23,061 medical abortions between April and June 2020, freedom of information inquiries to the Care Quality Commission and the NHS found that six hospitals had reported 69 complications following the taking of abortion pills.

The FOI requests also found that an average of 36 calls per month were made to 999 emergency services after the abortion pills had been taken, with an average of 20 ambulance responses per month.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, one of the groups involved in the briefing, said: "Abortion pills are powerful drugs and the idea that women are receiving them through the post and taking them without proper medical supervision hardly bears thinking about.

"The statistics speak for themselves, yet behind each of these figures are women who have been neglected and failed by the abortion industry.

"Alarmingly, the government is now considering making this dangerous policy permanent – without looking at all the evidence. Women deserve better than this. Women deserve proper care."