Self-Managed Abortion Is Medically Very Safe. But Is It Legally Safe?
by Carrie N. Baker
Between 1969 and 1973, feminists in Chicago with no formal medical training formed an underground abortion service called Jane that performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions.
Today, as many states increasingly restrict medical professionals’ ability to offer abortion, women are once again finding ways to access safe abortion on their own.
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.
Abortion: New laws come into force in Northern Ireland
Significant changes to NI's abortion laws have come into force.
Mar 31, 2020
Terminations can be carried out in all circumstances in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.
After that abortions are legal in some cases - for example, there is no term limit in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities.
Robin Swann is "urgently reviewing" arrangements to allow women to access free abortion services in England, in light of the Covid-19 crisis.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Abortion Foes Use the Pandemic as an Excuse
Officials hope to achieve their goal of effectively banning the procedure.
March 26, 2020
Who would have thought COVID-19 would give anti-abortion forces the quick victory they could not win in the courts, in the legislative process, or through the deployment of screaming protesters outside clinics? Claiming abortion is a nonessential service that can be postponed so that the clinics’ medical resources can be used to fight the coronavirus, officials in Texas, Ohio, and Louisiana have moved to severely restrict or cut off abortion services completely; the governor of Mississippi announced his intention this week to do the same. Opponents of women’s reproductive rights hope to achieve, with the stroke of a pen, their dream of making states abortion-free.
For patients at these clinics, the situation is terrifying. “We have patients crying on the phone and staff crying with them,” Kathaleen Pittman, the director of Hope Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, told me. “This is hard. So hard.” The clinic is open but has postponed all of its appointments. “We’re looking at all our options,” Pittman said.
Coronavirus is making abortion access more difficult in the UK
By Rachel Thompson
March 25, 2020
The UK is now under lockdown. Britons are only permitted to leave their homes for food, health reasons, or work (if it's not possible to be done from home) in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Abortion services in the UK are under considerable strain as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Women with severe health issues who've been advised to self-isolate say they're being forced to choose between risking their health by leaving their house and continuing with an unwanted pregnancy that could imperil their health, according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).
Self-managed abortions should be universally available
March 24, 2020
Sam Rowlands, Visiting Professor, Health and Social Science, Bournemouth University
A combination of feminist advocacy, new drugs and the internet is allowing people to safely end early pregnancies themselves when they choose to do so. People can manage abortions using medicines without face-to-face contact with doctors and nurses.
A service at a distance, supervised by a doctor, was first offered by Women on Web in 2005 for countries with no lawful access to medical abortion. Women Help Women offers similar help to women anywhere in the world. And in the US, Aid Access – a fairly new organisation – offers email support. (In the US, online help is increasingly used because access to abortion clinics has been reduced in the last few years.)