Pro-life coalition urges Sajid Javid to end pills-by-post abortion service

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A coalition of pro-life groups has written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid to end the controversial pills-by-post service that has made home abortions possible during the pandemic.

'DIY' abortions make it possible for women to terminate their pregnancies at home up to the 10th week of their pregnancy following an e-consultation with a doctor. 

The government initially said the service would be temporary but it is now considering making it permanent and has consulted members of the public on this proposed change. 

Care for Women, whose members include Christian Concern, CBR UK and the Catholic Medical Association, said in its letter that the service would no longer be necessary once the final Covid restrictions are removed on July 19.

"With the coming end of coronavirus emergency measures and regulations associated with the Coronavirus Act 2020, the rationale for allowing pills-by-post abortion as a temporary measure will no longer be valid," it said.

The letter goes on to say that if the government moves forward with its plans, Parliament must have an opportunity to review data and evidence before the regulations are allowed to continue.

The letter cites the findings of an undercover investigation by Christian Concern in which women were able to obtain abortion pills via the service using false names, dates of birth and gestational ages.

Concerns have also been felt by members of the public and those in the medical profession. 

In March, a poll by Savanta ComRes found that a majority of GPs (86%) were concerned about women being coerced into an abortion, while three quarters (74%) worried about the potential for distress to women in having to dispose of a terminated pregnancy themselves.

In another poll by Savanta ComRes last December, 84% of adults in England were concerned about coerced abortions, and 82% about the possibility of abortion pills being falsely obtained for someone else. 

The letter concludes, "We are sure that you will agree with us that there is no reason to continue this policy once emergency measures come to an end."