Majority of Scots concerned about DIY abortions - poll

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A poll has found strong concern among Scots about allowing women to have abortions at home during the pandemic. 

The survey of 1,042 Scots was carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

Over two-thirds (68%) of Scots said they were concerned about women having a medical abortion at home after a phone or video consultation with a doctor.

The vast majority of respondents (86%) were worried about the possibility of women being at risk of an unwanted abortion arising from domestic abuse by a controlling partner. 

A similar proportion (84)% voiced fears about women being coerced into an abortion by a partner or family member. 

Over three-quarters (79%) said they were concerned about abortion pills being obtained for another person on false grounds.

And 83% said they were worried about women finding the experience of an at-home abortion "distressing" and "potentially having to dispose of the terminated pregnancy either into the toilet or sanitary pads".

The survey also asked respondents about a recent undercover investigation which found that women had received abortion pills after giving false personal information, including their names, addresses and gestation dates. 

When asked about the findings, levels of concern rose further, with 91% saying it was concerning that callers had easily obtained abortion drugs after giving false information. 

Most respondents said staff at abortion providers must ensure they collect the correct medical and personal information (92%), and put checks in place to ensure callers meet the legal criteria for an at-home abortion (93%).

In addition, eight in ten Scottish adults (82%) were concerned about women having a medical abortion past the legal limit of ten weeks into gestation.

John Deighan, SPUC Scotland Chief Executive said that the current regulations were the equivalent of "state-sponsored backstreet abortions". 

"The poll proves that the public agree with us, sending a strong warning to our politicians to get their house in order and end this discredited and barbaric policy," he said.

"This is a searing indictment of the Scottish Government imposing an unwanted abortion policy on an unwilling nation. The Scottish population clearly shows more concern for the health of women and their unborn babies than their shameful elected representatives.

"The home abortion provision is a travesty that should never have been introduced. Allowing women to take powerful drugs at home, alone, with no medical supervision and have them dispose of foetal remains on their own shows a complete lack of care and respect for women, as well as further devaluing the value of human life in the womb.

"It is quite clear from the poll that the political elite in their metropolitan Edinburgh bubble are out of step with the ordinary men and women voters of this country."