UK – Will easy, early abortions become another casualty of the Tories’ culture war?

Doctors say a return to pre-Covid rules, where women had to get a clinic appointment, will leave thousands waiting too long

Polly Toynbee
Thu 10 Feb 2022

How long ago the Abortion Act of 1967 seems now, and yet the struggle for a woman’s right to control her own body never ends. Time and again this basic principle comes under attack from rightwing and religious lobbies forever seeking to limit and reverse it.

Now they are at it yet again. As the prime minister dashes to roll back all coronavirus legislation a month early to mollify his rebels, the health secretary, Sajid Javid, and his junior minister, Maggie Throup, will decide whether to maintain the abortion laws that were introduced as part of emergency Covid laws, allowing women to request earlier and easier terminations at home. If Javid and Throup instead return to the old abortion laws that were in place before Covid, where women had to have an in-person clinic visit in order to get an abortion, thousands of women will have to chase scarce clinical appointments, forcing many to wait beyond the time limit for medical abortions.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/10/abortions-tories-culture-war-doctors-covid-women


A hidden abortion crew prepares to confront a post-Roe America

Driven underground during the pandemic, online abortion providers say they’ll keep supplying pills and services even if the Supreme Court approves state bans.

By DARIUS TAHIR
07/06/2021

The Supreme Court’s decision to review Mississippi’s stringent restrictions on abortion — putting Roe vs. Wade under its roughest stress test yet — is being seen as a call to action for the nation’s community of underground abortion activists.

And they make it clear they’re prepared to defy any laws banning abortion.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/06/abortion-rights-supreme-court-states-restrictions-497821


USA – Telemedicine options for abortion are here to stay

Through pandemic necessity, an ad-hoc, telehealth model for reproductive healthcare is sticking around.

By KYLIE CHEUNG
PUBLISHED JUNE 20, 2021

As much of the country prepares to return to some form of post-pandemic normalcy, reproductive health care providers and advocates hope we continue one vital pandemic tradition: telemedicine options for receiving and providing reproductive care from home.

Some researchers and providers have found offering medication abortion care via telehealth is crucial to bridging gaps in abortion access. Abortion medication care is safe and effective up to 10 weeks into one's pregnancy, and providers say that having a telehealth component to abortion care may even help establish greater medical trust and comfort for patients from marginalized communities seeking care.

Continued: https://www.salon.com/2021/06/20/telehealth-abortion-access-pandemic/


Record number of women in England and Wales had abortions in 2020

Increase put down to women being able to seek treatment at home and financial uncertainty

Sarah Marsh
Thu 10 Jun 2021

A record number of women in England and Wales had an abortion last year, with the rise particularly among women aged 30 and over.

A total of 209,917 abortions were reported in 2020, with the numbers rising year on year and up from 207,384 in 2019. The largest increases in abortion rates by age were among women aged 30 to 34 with a rise from 16.5 per 1,000 in 2010 to 21.9 in 2020.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/10/record-number-of-women-in-england-and-wales-had-abortions-in-2020


UK – Women have right to choose abortion at home

Louise McCudden
10 May 2021

When visiting a clinic remains such a tough experience for so many, removing the option of telemedicine, without a clinical basis for doing so, would be indefensible.

In March 2020, as part of its Covid-19 response, the UK government temporarily allowed early medical abortion to be carried out at home. Previously, only the second of the two pills used to terminate a pregnancy, misoprostol, could be taken at home; mifepristone had to be taken in a clinic. Now, if the pregnancy is under 10 weeks’ gestation and a remote consultation gives the go-ahead for abortion at home (known as “telemedicine”), there is no need to visit a clinic at all. Both pills can either be collected in person or posted directly to a home address.

Continued: https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/women-have-right-to-choose-abortion-at-home


The mobile apps helping Mexican women seek abortion

Feminist groups and activists in Mexico are helping women perform ‘at-home’ abortions.

10 May 2021

Al Jazeera
(20 minute podcast)

Feminist groups and activists in Mexico have taken it upon themselves to help
women gain access to abortion, in a country where it is largely illegal. At
great risk to their safety, they use social networks to inform women on how to
perform “at-home” abortions. They have taken to the streets and to their
cellphones to push back against the law, while helping women find the support
they seek. The local efforts come as Mexico’s Supreme Court prepares to discuss
the legal merits of cases surrounding abortion in June.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/podcasts/2021/5/10/the-mobile-apps-helping-mexican-women-seek-abortion


F.D.A. Will Allow Abortion Pills by Mail During the Pandemic

The agency said it would stop enforcing a rule requiring women to get the first of two pills in person at a medical clinic or hospital.

By Pam Belluck
Published April 13, 2021

The Biden administration has decided to allow women to receive abortion pills by mail for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, the latest development in an issue that has increasingly taken center stage in the American abortion debate.

In a letter sent Monday to two leading organizations representing reproductive health physicians, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration said that the agency would temporarily stop enforcing its requirement that the first of two drugs needed to terminate an early pregnancy be dispensed in a medical clinic.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/13/health/covid-abortion-pills-mailed.html


Exclusive: First Large-Scale Telemedicine Abortion Service Launches in U.S.

On the heels of a Biden administration announcement that temporarily allows telehealth abortion, a new, first-of-its-kind telehealth service, Abortion on Demand, opens to help women get care.

By Susan Rinkunas
Apr 13, 2021

A new telemedicine site is changing the future of abortion access, hopefully, permanently: Launching today, Abortion on Demand (AOD), the first large-scale telehealth abortion (a.k.a. teleabortion) service run by a U.S.-based provider, will help people who want to end their pregnancies with pills. The launch comes immediately after the Biden administration announced it would temporarily allow telemedicine abortions during the pandemic; it's a change long-awaited by reproductive rights advocates and AOD's founder, Dr. Jamie Phifer, who has been building the service for the last year and a half—keeping it under wraps until such a policy change enabled her to legally get it off the ground.

Continued: https://www.marieclaire.com/health-fitness/a36028641/abortion-on-demand-telemedicine-service-launch/


Taking away home-use abortion pills will leave more women in crisis

If temporary rules allowing women to terminate early pregnancies in their own homes with two pills are removed then more women will be left in crisis

Emma Milne
Feb 21, 2021, The Independent

The English and Welsh governments are consulting the public about whether they should revoke temporary rules which allow women to terminate early pregnancies in their own homes with the use of two pills. The rules were brought in to reduce the need for face-to-face appointments as Covid-19 swept through the population.

It is vital that women continue to be allowed access to these drugs for use at home for early medical abortions. This method of termination is safe and allows women to manage their reproductive health privately and respectfully. Despite concerns being raised by anti-choice campaigners that allowing women to obtain early abortions at home will lead to misuse of the medication, the evidence so far does not support those allegations.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women/home-abortion-pills-women-b1804145.html


Scotland – Abortion rules revolutionised by Covid-19 must stay

Jillian Merchant
Monday December 21 2020

At the start of the pandemic the Scottish government, at the urging of medical practitioners and activists, issued guidance allowing early medical abortion at home to prevent unnecessary risk to women and clinicians.

This enabled women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to attend medical appointments by telephone or video call before, where clinically appropriate, being sent the two abortion pills to take at home. This is now subject to a public consultation on making the change permanent.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-rules-revolutionised-by-covid-19-must-stay-t0x6fgnkc