Home abortion pills will be made permanently available to women in England and Wales from the end of the month, the government has announced.
The so-called “pills in the mail” were made available temporarily when the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020.
It allowed women to have early medical abortions at home, by taking two pills during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
News earlier this year that the temporary provision was to be scrapped was called by critics a “regression on women’s rights”.
In March, MPs voted to keep home servicewhich has become the most popular option.
Pregnant women in England and Wales will be able to access early medical abortions in their homes from August 30, following a teleconsultation with a doctor.
The Commons has been told that since the rules changed two years ago, 150,000 women have had home abortions before they were 10 weeks pregnant.
Tory MP Laura Trott said at the time that maintaining the service was “a matter of human dignity, the dignity of women”.
The measure was also backed by Clare Murphy, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), who said the take-home pills made it easier for vulnerable women to access abortions.
The Department of Health today said the abortion law was being amended to allow permanent access to early medical abortions remotely, with doctors required to certify in ‘good faith’ that the gestation period was less than 10 weeks .
Physicians will also be required to record information about where the interruption took place, where the consultation took place and whether the consultation was entirely remote.
This additional data will help analyze abortion trends and better understand the use of remote services.
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National safeguard guidelines will soon be published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health regarding those under 18 having access to early medical abortions.
This is to ensure the “continued safety of children and young people”.
Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said: “The well-being and safety of women requiring access to abortion services is paramount.
“Through these measures, women will have more choices about how and where to access abortion services, while ensuring the collection of robust data to ensure their continued safety.”