MPs Propose Abortion Pill Safeguards

A cross-party group of MPs has called on Parliament to reinstate in-person appointments for women seeking a chemical abortion.

Prior to the pandemic, women seeking an early abortion were required to attend a face-to-face consultation with a medical professional before they could be given abortion pills, which were then taken in a supervised medical environment.

However, pro-abortion activists were successful in a campaign to remove this requirement during lockdown, meaning women less than ten weeks pregnant can procure the pills after just a phone or video consultation, with the pills then posted to them

46 MPs have supported an amendment tabled by Conservative Flick Drummond to the Criminal Justice Bill which would ensure any woman seeking an abortion has an in-person consultation before being able to take abortion pills at home.

Drummond said this would enable more accurate assessment of the gestational age of the baby and any potential health risks for the woman, as well as determine whether it might be a coerced abortion.

Their amendment would have prevented the case of Carla Foster, who claimed to be seven weeks pregnant to obtain abortion pills but was actually 32-34 weeks pregnant and was subsequently arrested for the illegal abortion.

The amendment is backed by former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, Labour MP Rachael Maskell and Conservative Maggie Throup, who was the health minister responsible for abortion services when the at-home scheme became permanent.

There is public support for the amendment, with a poll of 2,000 adults by Whitestone Insight revealing that 71 per cent of women support a return to in-person appointments, while only 9 per cent support maintaining the current rules.

Many medical professionals are also supportive of a change in the law, with over 800 doctors and nurses writing to all MPs to outline the dangers posed by late-term abortions and the need for in-person medical oversight.