N. Ireland – Coronavirus: Woman can travel to England for abortions, Secretary of State says

Coronavirus: Woman can travel to England for abortions, Secretary of State says
Abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland last October following legislation passed by Westminster.

Rebecca Black, Press Association
06 April, 2020

The Secretary of State has suggested it is appropriate for women to travel to England to seek terminations during the coronavirus lockdown.

Strict abortion laws were overturned on March 31 after MPs voted for a change in the law last year.

Decisions have not yet been made by Stormont officials on how to put the new legislation into practice.

Continued: https://www.irishnews.com/coronavirus/2020/04/06/news/coronavirus-woman-can-travel-to-england-for-abortions-secretary-of-state-says-1892763/


UK – Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary

Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary

April 2, 2020
BMJ Blogs

Remote abortion care should always be offered to ensure the health of women, irrespective of whether there is a pandemic, argue Elizabeth Chloe Romanis and Jordan Parsons

On 30 March 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care liberalised abortion regulations, allowing women in England to be consulted about abortion care remotely and to take both abortion medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, at home. This same change had already been made the previous week, but was then revoked within a couple of hours. The Scottish and Welsh governments both followed suit on 31 March 2020 and have also authorised the remote prescription of abortion pills and for both pills to be taken at home. Before these interventions, women were required to attend clinics in order to access treatment that could have safely been provided remotely—a stance that was paradoxical during the pandemic.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/04/02/elizabeth-chloe-romanis-jordan-parsons-access-remote-abortion-services-should-not-temporary/


Spike in Maltese women seeking abortion help amid flight ban – UK charity

Spike in Maltese women seeking abortion help amid flight ban - UK charity
Maltese women are calling the UK for advice on terminating pregnancies

April 1, 2020
Kristina Abela

A UK-based charity offering support to those living in countries with restrictive abortion laws has seen an increase in calls from Maltese women unable to travel to have an abortion.

Last week Abortion Support Network received eight calls from Malta – the same number it usually deals with in one month, founder Mara Klein Clarke said.

Most of the women who called were seeking advice on how to terminate their pregnancies with the travel ban meaning they can not fly to the UK, Klein Clarke told Times of Malta.

Continued: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/spike-in-maltese-women-seeking-abortion-help-amid-flight-ban-uk.782582


UK – Coronavirus: Home abortions approved during outbreak

Coronavirus: Home abortions approved during outbreak

By Jim Connolly, Newsbeat politics editor
31 March 2020

Patients in England can now have home abortions during the Covid-19 outbreak, the government in England has said.

Abortion policy has changed several times during the current pandemic.

Women and girls wanting to terminate an early pregnancy were first told the service would be available but that decision was then retracted.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-52092131


England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access

England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access
Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow

March 31, 2020
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – and governments across Europe – should swiftly follow suit.

The welcome decision follows outrage and confusion last week after the government announced the change only to reverse it hours later.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/31/england-leads-way-uk-after-u-turn-covid-19-abortion-access


Women in England will be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak

Women in England will be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak

Posted by Lauren Geall
Mar 30, 2020

Women in England will be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson has confirmed.

Last week the government published legislation which said that abortion pills would be available at home, before declaring that the update had been published in error and withdrawing the announcement.

Continued: https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/abortion-access-during-coronavirus-pandemic-at-home-abortion-pills-telemedicine-update/373309


Relaxation of UK abortion rules welcomed by experts

Relaxation of UK abortion rules welcomed by experts
Rules eased during coronavirus crisis to allow women to be sent both sets of abortion pills

Aamna Mohdin
Mon 30 Mar 2020

Leading UK healthcare providers have welcomed the government’s decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home without travelling to a clinic.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the government was updating its guidance to help women who need an abortion, but cannot access a clinic because of measures put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/relaxation-of-uk-abortion-rules-welcomed-by-experts-coronavirus


UK – State control over women’s bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis

State control over women's bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis
A U-turn on women’s ability to access home abortions and the cancellation of IVF means they have less say over their fertility

Emma Barnett
Sun 29 Mar 2020

It’s been quite a week to have a womb in the UK.

First, pregnant women were suddenly categorised as vulnerable, and advised to stay home by the government. But then some of them were told to come back into work by their employers – including the riskiest of all, the NHS.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/29/state-control-womens-bodies-covid-19-crisis


Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

By Laura Smith-Spark, Valentina Di Donato and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
March 27, 2020

London (CNN)As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, women's access to abortion is one of many healthcare provisions thrown into jeopardy.

The UK government caused confusion this week when it first announced that women would temporarily be allowed to access early medical abortion at home, rather than attending a clinic -- and then, hours later, reversed its decision.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/27/health/coronavirus-abortion-access-intl/index.html


UK – Abortion and COVID-19: why we need to support women’s right to abortion in health emergencies

Abortion and COVID-19: why we need to support women’s right to abortion in health emergencies

Mar 27, 2020

Clare Wenham, Ernestina Coast, Katy Footman, Tiziana Leone, Rishita Nandagiri, and Joe Strong discuss the UK government’s apparent U-turn over medical abortion during the novel coronavirus outbreak. They draw on their own research and other evidence to make the case for women being able to take abortion medication at home, following a phone or video consultation.

On 23 March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care approved emergency measures relating to abortion regulation which would have revolutionised abortion practice in England. Women would be able to take abortion medication in their homes, without having to travel to a clinic first, with a consultation over the phone or video link. This was explained as accounting for self-isolation guidelines and the limited opportunity women would have during the COVID-19 outbreak to seek abortion, potentially leading to a number of unwanted pregnancies being forced to continue or women being forced to resort to illegal or unsafe methods to terminate them. Moreover, self-isolation may lead to an increase in sexual activity amongst some, not to mention the increased risk of sexual violence within quarantine settings. Thus, this change in regulation was heralded as a major breakthrough for emergency management of COVID-19 and meeting women’s reproductive needs. That being so, it was remarkable that within five hours of this announcement, came the following ‘This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulation‘.

Continued: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/abortion-and-covid-19/ Abortion and COVID-19: why we need to support women’s right to abortion in health emergencies