British Medical Association's support for DIY abortions is 'dangerous' for women

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The British Medical Association (BMA) has been slammed over its support for the extention of 'DIY' abortions. 

The Government is to consult over whether to extend a temporary relaxation of regulations during the pandemic to allow women to have abortions at home up to the 10th week of pregnancy. 

The change to the rules allows abortion providers to send pills in the post after women have had a phone or video consultation with a doctor. 

At its annual meeting this week, the BMA said home abortions should be made permanent.  

During the debate, retired obstetrics consultant Professor Wendy Savage claimed that the change had "benefited women" and that no serious complications had been reported.

"It is essential that the BMA supports the permanence of this change by all means possible," Professor Savage said.

Yorkshire clinical genetics trainee Melody Redman disagreed, citing cases of women receiving abortion pills who were beyond the 10-week cut-off.

"Remote services mean a removal of current safeguards," she said. 

"Face-to-face consultations allow appropriate clinical assessment and risk management. Remote services mean no ultrasound scanning, so no checking for ectopics, no qualification of gestation beyond a woman's last menstrual period."

She added: "The system is rife with problems. The risks to women are very real."

BMA medical ethics committee chair John Chisholm came out in support of 'DIY' abortions, claiming that "robust safeguarding procedures" were in place to protect women and girls.

"The evidence is very much there that this has been a positive and successful change," he said. 

During the debate, a motion was passed by a majority of doctors supporting the "continuation of these remote services post-pandemic, which are in line with best global practice and benefit women".

Michael J Robinson, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said it was "shocking" that the BMA would support a "dangerous" home abortion policy.

"With their support of decriminalising abortion, and now for removing medical safeguards from the procedure, the UK's major health bodies have in recent years succumbed to a radical abortion ideology, at the expense of women's health," he said. 

"Even in the small amount of time it's been in place, there have been heart-breaking accounts of women going through this traumatic experience alone, as well as blatant breaches of the law, with women well over the legal gestation being sent pills through the post.

"This policy is impossible to regulate, dangerous for women, and is leading to greater loss of human life. It has no place in healthcare."