UK – Pills in the post: how Covid reopened the abortion wars

As some European countries rolled out ‘telemed’ abortion, others shut down access completely.

by Sarah Hurtes and Daniel Boffey
Wed 21 Apr 2021

Kay, 34, realised her period was late a month into Britain’s lockdown. The coronavirus death count was spiralling across the country. Covid-19 was putting the NHS under unprecedented strain and Boris Johnson had given the British people what he described as “a very simple instruction” in an address to the nation from Downing Street: “You must stay at home.”

A worrying, unsettling time, and Kay, a mother of a six-year-old girl, needed to get hold of a pregnancy test kit. She went online and, two days later, took delivery of the test, learning of a positive result via two pink lines. It was the news she had dreaded.


US/UK – Madison County man charged with making social media threats to abortion activists

by: Daniel Griffin
Posted: Apr 20, 2021

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A London, Ohio man has been charged by a federal grand jury with making online threats against people connected with a non-profit organization whose mission is to help people access safe abortions.

James David Hampton, 40, was charged with 10 counts stemming from an alleged incident that took place on Aug. 26, 2020, according to a statement from Vipal J. Patel, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.


Westminster steps in after Northern Ireland fails to comply with abortion law change – how it happened

April 1, 2021
Claire Pierson

Abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland in October 2019. In March the following year, the legal framework was in place to provide terminations. A year later, though, it hasn’t happened. The Department of Health in Northern Ireland hasn’t provided a clear plan to commission permanent abortion services that would ensure provision would be budgeted for and available throughout all of Northern Ireland.

Now Westminster has had to intervene to ensure women in Northern Ireland can access abortion services they are legally entitled to. Abortions can be carried out in all circumstances up to week 12 of pregnancy, until week 24 if continuing the pregnancy would risk injury to the woman’s physical or mental health, and without a time limit in cases of severe or fatal foetal abnormality or risk to the life of the pregnant woman.


Dangerous so-called abortion reversal treatment offered to women ‘by anti-abortion groups in UK’

‘There is also a very real risk of haemorrhage from using these medications. The fact that anti-abortion groups are encouraging women down this path demonstrates that they do not care about women,’ says expert

Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent
March 25, 2021

Dangerous so-called abortion reversal treatment is being offered to women by anti-abortion groups in the UK, healthcare professionals have said.

The warning comes after an undercover investigation conducted by Open Democracy revealed advocates of abortion pill reversal treatment claimed at least 60 women in Britain requested it in the first half of last year.


Abortion pill reversal’ spreading in Europe, backed by US Christian right

New investigation shows how a US Christian right group is pushing an ‘unproven, unethical’ treatment to ‘reverse’ abortions

Claire Provost
25 March 2021

“You are the first client I personally have worked with in Germany, but we have assisted many women all over Europe,” a US-based nurse told an openDemocracy undercover reporter, posing as a woman who had taken the first, but not the second, pill required to have a medical abortion.

The nurse then emailed this reporter instructions on how to take a controversial ‘treatment’ that claims to be able to ‘reverse’ abortions. Our reporter subsequently received dosage information to take to a local hospital or pharmacy in order to get the medication needed.


Abortion wait period to be scrapped in Jersey

March 24, 2021

Women seeking an abortion in Jersey will no longer need to wait a week for an appointment after requesting a termination.

The island's government has agreed to update the 1997 abortion law following calls from Deputy Louise Doublet.


UK government moves to compel Northern Ireland to expand abortion services

By Reuters Staff
Mar 23, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government published legislation on Tuesday to hand it powers to compel Northern Ireland to implement more liberal abortion services, despite opposition from the region’s first minister and health minister.

Britain’s parliament voted in 2019 to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland, allowing terminations without restriction up to 12 weeks and with no time limit in the case of “severe foetal impairment or fatal foetal abnormality”.


N. Ireland – Abortion: New powers not taken lightly, says Brandon Lewis

Published March 23, 2021

The decision to introduce new powers compelling Stormont to implement abortion laws has not been taken lightly, Brandon Lewis has said.

The government has published regulations allowing the NI secretary to direct commissioning of central abortion services in NI.


UK – Women from poorer backgrounds three times more likely to have abortions

Exclusive: gap between worst-off and wealthiest women has widened during pandemic, British Pregnancy Advisory Service figures show

Tobi Thomas and Jessica Elgot
Tue 23 Mar 2021

Women from the most deprived backgrounds are almost three times more likely to have abortions than women from the wealthiest backgrounds, and the gap has worsened during the pandemic, data suggests.

A Guardian analysis of data provided by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) found that in 2020, women from the most deprived backgrounds accounted for 16.5% of all abortions, and women from the wealthiest backgrounds accounted for 5.9%.


UK – It’s about time at-home abortions were legalised

Holly Hostettler-Davies
5 March 2021

In an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, temporary legislation was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic to allow women easier access to medical terminations in their homes with the use of two pills.

A safe method to help meet demand?
Doctors are calling for at-home medical abortions to be made permanently legal here in the UK, after research found that between April and June 2020, 23,061 abortions took place at home, making up 43 per cent of all legal abortions.