Wales to make at-home abortions permanent

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Temporary measures to allow 'DIY' at-home abortions are to be made permament in Wales. 

Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan has called the move "progressive".

The rules were relaxed at the start of Covid to allow women to take abortion pills at home. The pills were sent in the post by abortion providers after a telephone or e-consultation. 

The measures were supposed to be temporary but there were calls by pro-abortion advocates to keep them in place after the end of the pandemic. 

The Welsh government is making the changes permament despite concerns about health risks to women and the possibility of coercion by abusive partners. 

Ms Morgan claimed the measures were safe. 

"This is a progressive step which demonstrates the Welsh government's commitment to supporting women," she said.

The Welsh government's decision follows a public consultation on the issue last year. 

Ms Morgan said she had "carefully" considered responses to the consultation. 

"I am satisfied that the arrangements are safe and bring significant benefits to women and girls who wish to access abortion services, with reduced waiting times enabling them to access the help they need more quickly than would have been possible under the previous arrangements," she said. 

"The benefits to the NHS are also significant, with a reduced number of appointments being required."

The decision by the Welsh government comes in the same week as England decided to end the temporary measures at the end of August.